INDIANAPOLIS (May 12, 2018) – Race Notes
- Despite having two of the quickest cars during the INDYCAR Grand Prix weekend, race day goals for Ed Carpenter Racing’s pair of 24-year-olds were immediately interrupted by two different incidents on Lap 1. After contact with another car, suspension repairs for Jordan King dropped him two laps behind the field and limited him to a 24th place finish. Spencer Pigot fell to 23rd after contact of his own and though he had to wait until the closing stages of the race to regain lead-lap status, he managed a 15th place finish.
- For the first time in ECR’s history, both team cars had qualified in the top nine on a road course. King started his first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the 5th position after making it to the Firestone Fast 6 in only his fourth Verizon IndyCar Series start. Pigot broke through the first round of qualifying for the first time in his IndyCar career yesterday and started a career-best 4th in the road course race.
- Just after the drop of the green flag for today’s 85-lap race, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves made contact entering Turn 2. Pagenaud ricocheted into King, causing him to stray off course into the gravel. The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team retrieved the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet from the gravel trap and King brought it around to pit lane for repairs on the left-front suspension. King re-entered the race in the 24th position, two laps behind the field.
- Just four turns ahead, Pigot had issues of his own. Contact with Takuma Sato in Turn 6 sent Pigot over the curb and soaring into the air. When the car landed, Pigot was able to continue but reported back that he felt some sort of damage to the underside of the car. Upon bringing the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet back to the pits, it was discovered that the front air jack had been broken. Pigot rejoined the race directly in front of the leaders but had the speed to stay in front of them.
- With a new set of black Firestone Firehawks, Pigot remained on the lead lap until his first scheduled stop on Lap 23. With the damage to the air jack, the Preferred Freezer Services crew was forced to manually lift the front of the car via a quick lift. With the extended time needed to complete the stop, Pigot lost a lap and fell one lap behind the rest of the field.
- Though King was able to continue following the repairs to his suspension, he spent the remainder of the race on his own lap. With no other cars falling out of the event, King was unable to regain any positions and finished 24th.
- Pigot was also mired one lap behind the field until the second and last full course caution on Lap 56 when Josef Newgarden spun and stalled on the track. While the rest of the field came into the pit lane, King and Pigot stayed on course. Both got the wave-around and Pigot finally found himself on the lead lap again. In the 10 laps after getting back amongst the field, Pigot gained nine positions to run 14th. He was instructed to save fuel in the closing stages, which allowed Tony Kanaan to pass him. This dropped him to 15th where he would finish his third INDYCAR Grand Prix.
- Team members for Ed Carpenter Racing will get tomorrow off to celebrate Mother’s Day before returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday with their focus shifted to the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500. As ECR’s full-time driver, Pigot will remain in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet. Team owner and oval driver Ed Carpenter will step back into the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet as the two-time pole winner prepares for his 15th Indy 500. Danica Patrick will join the team for her final race in the No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet. The 2.5-mile oval will open for practice on Tuesday, May 15th.
JORDAN KING, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Finished 24th: “Unfortunately, we got caught up in someone else’s accident. There really was not anywhere for me to go. Wrong place, wrong time which put an end to our race, really. The pace was good as it has been for the last four races. It all comes together eventually, this is just one of those days that is a bit annoying at the moment.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet, Finished 15th: “Starting inside the Top 10 is nice! We can definitely race from there, hopefully staying clean throughout the first lap and pick up a few positions. I’m happy with the Preferred Freezer Services Chevy. We had a good first round of qualifying. Once we got to Round 2, it felt like we picked up a bit too much understeer. That cost us, but overall, the car is good and we should have a good race!”