(FORT WORTH, Texas) June 8, 2018 – Qualifying Notes
- The starting field has been set for the third oval race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, the DXC Technology 600. Team owner Ed Carpenter and full-time driver Spencer Pigot improved their speeds from this afternoon’s practice session to qualifying and had an additional hour of practice tonight to perfect the set ups of their Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolets. Carpenter will start 14th tomorrow night’s 248-lap race at Texas Motor Speedway while Pigot will roll off 18th.
- The first and only practice session prior to qualifying took place early this afternoon with hot and windy conditions throughout. The first half an hour was dedicated to scuffing tires for Firestone and was then followed by an hour of open practice. Carpenter’s quickest lap came in at 216.944 miles per hour on his 34th of 57 practice laps. The best lap for Pigot was his 70th of 72 at 216.261 miles per hour.
- The starting lineup for tomorrow night’s DXC Technology 600 was set by the average time of each driver’s two-lap run. In a new rule for 2018, qualification order for oval events is set in reverse order of entrant points. Pigot was 6th out to qualify while Carpenter was 13th in line.
- Pigot’s average speed over qualifying was 216.895 miles per hour and he will start the bright green No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet 18th in his first race at Texas Motor Speedway. Carpenter qualified his black and chrome No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet in the 14th position after navigating the 1.5-mile oval with an average speed of 218.057 miles per hour.
- An hour-long final practice session finished out the day. Carpenter and Pigot did not focus on outright speed; instead, they used session to work on their race setups and the handling of their cars in traffic. Carpenter turned 44 laps in final practice; Pigot turned 73.
- As Carpenter has shifted his driving focus exclusively to the oval events, Texas will be his third of six races this year. The 37-year-old is returning to the site of his most recent win as his No. 20 was the car to beat at Texas Motor Speedway in 2014. Carpenter led 66 of the final 67 laps and stretched his lead to over 14 seconds at one point. His victory that night was his was his third career win in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
- Texas Motor Speedway will be a new track for Pigot, who is competing in a full Verizon IndyCar Series season for the first time this year. After sharing the No. 20 with Carpenter the past two seasons, the 24-year-old was elevated to ECR’s full-time driver of the No. 21 for 2018. Though Saturday night will be his first race at Texas, he has tested the No. 21 at the high-banked oval twice and now has 145 laps of practice under his belt.
- Carpenter, the only owner/driver in IndyCar, will racing the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet two weeks after a career-best Indianapolis 500 performance. In May, Carpenter became just the 10th driver in the history of the Indy 500 to win three or more pole positions when he earned the first starting position for the third time. He led the most laps of all drivers (65) on his way a runner-up finish in the 102nd running of the 500-mile classic. Of Carpenter’s 15 Indianapolis 500 starts, this year’s second place was the highest of his career.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: “The first half of practice earlier, I felt like we were really good. Then as people starting doing (qualifying simulations), we kind of fell behind. We took a little bit of a swing at it there in qualifying and just missed the balance. Ultimately, I think the speed is there. I wasn’t flat, I was lifting in (Turn) 1 and 2 for understeer. However, I thought the car was really good on long runs. I’ve struggled here in qualifying and gotten to the front before, that’s what we will do tomorrow.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: “It’s definitely a lot harder to drive here today in these conditions than it was in the tests. We had a little bit too much understeer in (Turns) 1 and 2 that made me have to get out of the throttle. We’re going to have our work cut out for us tomorrow night
, but hopefully, we’ll make good progress in tonight’s final practice.”