LEEDS, Ala. (April 21, 2018) – Qualifying Notes
- After today’s qualification session, Ed Carpenter Racing has shifted their focus to tomorrow’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Changing track conditions presented a challenge for both of the Fuzzy’s Vodka drivers in qualifying and despite speed shown throughout the weekend, Spencer Pigot and Jordan King were not able to advance to Round 2. Pigot will start 17th in tomorrow afternoon’s 90-lap race while King will roll off one row behind in 19th.
- Pigot showed what he was capable of in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet yesterday during second practice. He was consistently near the top five while on black tires; when given a set of red tires at the end of the session, he set a lap that was the second-fastest of the session. He spent the majority of this morning’s Practice 3 on old tires, saving a set of stickers for the end. Just as he was getting up to speed on his new tires, the red flag came out and ended the session, which did not give him an opportunity to set a fast lap.
- Just after setting the 8th-fastest lap of Practice 3 this morning, King went off course entering Turn 2. The car sped through the gravel and made moderate contact with the wall, damaging the front wing and suspension on the left front corner of the car. The No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka crew worked to complete repairs and King’s car was ready for the 3:05 p.m. CT qualifying session.
- Qualification groups are decided by the lap times in the practice session immediately preceding qualifying, assigning both King and Pigot to Group 1. Both started on a set of black Firestone Firehawk tires, making a stop after three laps for a set of sticker red tires. Pigot’s best lap of 121.553 miles per hour was the 9th fastest of the group. King was just behind, setting the 10th fastest lap at 121.053 miles per hour. Since only the top six advance to Round 2, their laps would give them their starting positions for tomorrow.
- King, who is new to the Verizon IndyCar Series, will race at Barber Motorsports Park for the first time tomorrow. The 24-year-old rookie will be competing in his first Indy car road course race for Ed Carpenter Racing after two street races in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. In King’s Indy car debut last month in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, he set the track record, made the Firestone Fast 6 during qualifying and took the lead of the race in only the fifth lap.
- Pigot has an impressive history at Barber Motorsports Park. On his way to becoming the winningest driver in the history of the Mazda Road to Indy, Pigot swept both Pro Mazda races at Barber in 2014. The following year, Pigot repeated his performance by scoring back-to-back victories in the two Indy Lights races. Tomorrow, the 24-year-old will compete his second Indy car race at Barber in his first season as the full-time driver of the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.
- Also in 2015, Ed Carpenter Racing won the marquee event of the weekend, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. With a commanding performance, Josef Newgarden scored the victory for ECR after leading a field-high 46 of 90 laps. The next year, ECR netted another podium at Barber with Newgarden’s 3rd place finish.
- The 90-lap Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. on Sunday, April 22.
JORDAN KING, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Qualified 19th: “I feel like we had the potential to be in the Top 10 and challenge to get through to the Fast 6. It’s a bit annoying in that sense, but the circuit changed a lot so the car was quite a bit different. It was difficult to get the lap time out of the car this afternoon, when this morning we seemed to show good promise. I am quite disappointed for obvious reasons, but it’s just one of those things!
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Qualified 17th: “Qualifying was pretty disappointing based on how everything went yesterday. The car just didn’t feel quite the same today. I’m not sure if it’s the rubber that’s been laid down or the heat, but both Jordan and I struggled this afternoon. This is something that we really need to work on and sort out for future sessions. It’s frustrating to be second one day and near the back the next, but we’ve got such a good group of guys here and the Fuzzy’s Vodka team working really hard. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, it might be a crazy race with the weather coming!”