Former Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton has left his debut oval race smiling after taking seventh place at the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix.
The British driver is enjoying his rookie campaign in the IndyCar Series after graduating from IndyLights last year where he finished fifth in the drivers' championship despite missing three rounds due to sportscar commitments.
Having been the first driver to break the 190mph barrier in the build up to the 250-lap race, Chilton sliced up the field into the top five in his #8 Chip Ganassi but after being dragged back in traffic finished a respectable seventh on his oval racing debut.
“I think this was an amazing result for me,” Chilton said. “We were able to move forward and stay up near the front of the pack for most of the race. I think I was even in the top five for a while, but got caught in some traffic and got shuffled back a bit.
“I'm really pleased with the result considering this is my first oval race in this series. Big props to the team for making the No. 8 Gallagher Chevrolet so easy to drive.”
After picking up top rookie in Phoenix Chiton moves up to 10th in the drivers' standings after two events and now heads to the Long Beach Grand Prix on the 17th April.