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Newgarden Fights Through Late-Race Issue; Pigot Finishes First Race With ECR

(DETROIT) June 4, 2016 – Race Notes

  • The first of the two Duals in Detroit is complete with both Ed Carpenter Racing drivers managing to take the checkered flag despite setbacks throughout the race. Josef Newgarden finished 14th while rookie Spencer Pigot finished 17th in his first race with ECR.
  • The morning warmup session went well for both drivers as Newgarden set the fastest lap of the session, which was also the fastest lap of the weekend. Pigot ran a lap almost two seconds faster than his fast lap during yesterday’s qualification session.
  • Starting the race mid-pack in the 14th position, Newgarden went off sequence early and came in to the pits on Lap 3 to make a switch from the alternate red Firestone Firehawks to the primary blacks. Pigot, who started 21st, had come in on Lap 2 to work the same strategy.
  • On Lap 10, the first full course caution came out. Newgarden, who had worked his way up to 12th, elected not to bring the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services/Fuzzy’s Vodka car into the pit lane. Pigot came in twice under the caution for splashes of fuel.
  • Newgarden was up to 7th by the time he made his second pit stop on Lap 27. Six cars elected not to pit under the next caution on Lap 43, dropping Newgarden back to 15th after he stopped. Since he was at the back of the pack, he ducked in for a splash of fuel two laps later in a bid to make it to the end of the race.
  • Pigot had gained 10 positions and climbed up to 11th before his pit stop on Lap 35. On his way out, the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car caught the air hose of a wheel gun. Pigot was assigned a drive through penalty for hitting his own equipment and fell one lap down to the leaders. Despite losing a lap, Pigot powered through and finished in the 17th position, up five spots from where he started.
  • Newgarden was sitting solidly in the Top 10 in the closing laps of the race when he radioed in about an issue on the car. The car sounded sour as it came down the front stretch with ten laps to go, but Newgarden managed to keep the car running and on course. Though he lost several positions in the last few laps, he still managed to finish 14th. The No. 21 crew will work through the evening to resolve the issue in time for tomorrow’s race.
  • Despite coming up through the Mazda Road to Indy program, Pigot had never run on the Belle Isle circuit until yesterday’s first practice session. He managed to get in 50 laps of on-track time in the two hours of practice and 10 minutes of qualifying before the start of today’s race.
  • Newgarden retains his position in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings, tied for fourth with Carlos Munoz.
  • Today’s 70-lap race was part of the only doubleheader on the IndyCar calendar, featuring one full points-paying race today and another on Sunday. The Dual in Detroit takes place at the temporary street course located on Belle Isle, an island in the middle of the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Tomorrow’s Dual will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 21 FUZZY’S VODKA/PREFERRED FREEZER SERVICES CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: “It was not a fun day. We could have a better finish with the Fuzzy’s Vodka Preferred Freezer Services car. We ran into some trouble there towards the end during the fuel saving component of the race. We probably could have gotten a top five, but we just had to nurse the car home. We got it across the line, which was priority number one. We still got some points, we just weren’t as high up as we could have been so we’ll come back tomorrow and try again.”

SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17TH: “It was a tough race. Starting in the back never makes things easy, but we tried to improve throughout the race and I think that we did that. The guys were good in the pits and it was unfortunate that a couple of things happened set us back. We’ll try and come back even better for tomorrow.”