SPENCER PIGOT FIGHTS THROUGH TO FINISH 11TH AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Ed Carpenter’s Night Ends Early After Contact, Finishes 20th
(FORT WORTH, Texas) June 9, 2018 – Race Notes
- In his very first race at Texas Motor Speedway, Spencer Pigot brought home a hard-fought 11th place result. Team owner Ed Carpenter was credited with a 20th place finish after contact with another competitor on Lap 173 brought his race to an early end.
- After yesterday afternoon’s qualifications, Carpenter would start tonight’s DXC Technology 600 from the 14th position while Pigot would roll off two rows behind in 18th. Both gained positions at the drop of the green flag with Carpenter climbing to 12th and Pigot to 15th. The first yellow came out on Lap 7 as Matheus Leist’s car ignited and rolled to a stop in Turn 3.
- Pigot used the early yellow as an opportunity to dive into the pits to top off on fuel and get a fresh set of Firestone Firehawks. After his pit stop, he was back in 18th, his original starting position. Carpenter was also back to his starting position of 14th for the Lap 14 restart.
- Carpenter made his first pit stop on Lap 62 under green flag conditions, followed by a second stop on Lap 120. Despite battling understeer and a lack of grip throughout both stints, Carpenter had worked his way up to 11th after his second pit stop.
- As Pigot had stopped under the first caution, he cycled all the way up to third before his second stop on Lap 71. However, with cars who had already stopped so close behind, Pigot lost a lap on his pit stop and fell to 18th again. On Lap 123, race leader Robert Wickens passed Pigot, dropping him two laps behind the field. After Pigot’s third pit stop on Lap 130, he was 16th.
- Carpenter began to struggle tremendously with a lack of grip and the decision was made to pit him early in the pit window. He came in on Lap 160 from the 11th position and cycled back out in 16th, waiting for other cars to pit to regain his position. He set his fastest lap of the race on his fresh Firestone Firehawks on Lap 164. On Lap 173, Carpenter was outside of lead lap car Wickens when the two collided and spun into the Turn 3 wall. Both drivers were checked, cleared, and released by INDYCAR’s medical staff. Carpenter would finish 20th in his third race of the year.
- When Carpenter made his pit stop, Pigot moved in front of him to the 15th position. After Carpenter was retired from the event, Pigot was 14th. Pigot used the caution period to make a pit stop on Lap 182, maintaining his 14th place position. The final yellow flag of the race flew on Lap 205, eliminating two more cars from contention and moving Pigot up to 12th.
- Pigot became the beneficiary of a wave-around, getting one of his laps back. He came in on Lap 213 for a fresh set of tires and splash of fuel to finish the race. Pigot was then on a lap with only Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton. Pigot was quicker than Ed Jones, a lead lap car in between himself and Kimball, and worked around Jones with 13 laps to go. Though he gained on Kimball every lap, not enough time remained for Pigot to catch all the way up to Kimball. Pigot would finish 11th in his very first race at Texas Motor Speedway.
- The Ed Carpenter Racing team will get their first break in many weeks as the Verizon IndyCar Series has an off-weekend next weekend. Pigot will be back in the No. 21 car, carrying the colors of Direct Supply, for the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America on June 24. Joining Pigot will Jordan King, road and street course driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. Carpenter’s next race will be the oval race at Iowa Speedway, the Iowa Corn 300, on July 8.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: ““It was a mistake. I knew Robby (Robert Wickens) was coming. I thought I could close the door, but it was a big mistake on my part. He was a lead lap car. We were having a bad day, we just didn’t have it this weekend. We just could never get the balance right where it needed to be. I made it worse by making a mistake like that so, my apologies to him. I know it doesn’t mean much now. I feel bad for those guys. I feel bad for my guys. The night certainly didn’t need to end like this. It’s a mistake on me, and I’ll have to come back and get ‘em in Iowa.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: “It was a tough race. Throughout the stints, the balance was changing quite a lot so I had to try and stay on top of that. At the end of the day, we were missing a little bit but we hung in there. The guys did a great job with strategy and in the pits to keep us in the fight and finishing 11th was probably better than we expected at the beginning of the race! Overall, I’m just happy to get through it and I learned a lot tonight.”