Pigot Earns 10th Starting Position for Tomorrow’s KOHLER Grand Prix; Jordan King Qualifies 13th For First Race at Historic Road Course
(ELKHART LAKE, Wis.) June 23, 2018 – Qualifying Notes
- For the second time in his Verizon IndyCar Series career and the second road course race in a row, Spencer Pigot advanced to Round 2 of qualifications as the starting field was set for tomorrow’s KOHLER Grand Prix. In qualifying for his third race at Road America, Pigot earned himself the 10th starting position. Pigot’s Ed Carpenter Racing teammate, Indy car newcomer Jordan King, will roll off 13th for his first race at the fan-favorite Wisconsin road course.
- King entered the Road America weekend as one of the only drivers in the field that had not yet been on the track in any series. Without even test day at Road America to his name, he spent Friday’s first practice session familiarizing himself with the 4-mile road course. He turned 50 laps in his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet over the course of the three sessions, setting his fastest time during second practice on Friday at 139.016 miles per hour (mph).
- Pigot managed 45 laps during the three sessions with his fastest lap coming in Friday’sopening practice at 138.802 mph. The No. 21 Direct Supply crew worked throughout the combined two and a half hours of practice to dial in the set up of the car. Still, Pigot’s fastest lap had him only 18th on the weekend’s combined timing sheet heading into qualifying.
- Qualification groups are decided by the lap times in the practice session immediately preceding qualifying, assigning King to Group 1 and Pigot to Group 2. Because Road America is the longest circuit the Verizon IndyCar Series competes on, rounds that would normally be 10 minutes were extended to 12 minutes. The fastest six drivers from each segment would advance to the next round.
- When the green flag waved for Group 1, King immediately went out on a set of sticker black Firestone Firehawk tires. After two laps, he came into the pit lane for a switch to a new set of the softer, faster red tires. His fastest lap was his last at 139.300 mph, which landed him in the 6th position. The second-to-last car to receive the checkered flag, Will Power, bumped King from the top six fastest drivers. King dropped to 7th, just 0.0435 seconds away from advancing to Round 2. He has the 13th starting position for tomorrow’s race.
- Pigot started Group 2 on a set of sticker blacks as well. Keeping with the same plan as King, Pigot stopped after two laps for his own set of sticker reds. On his first lap at speed on the red tires, Pigot shot to the top of the scoring sheets at 139.732 mph. As other cars turned their final laps, Pigot sat 5th. He fell one position after the checkered flag to 6th; however, that was still enough to advance him to Round 2 of qualifications for the second time in his career.
- For Round 2, Pigot began on a set of scuffed black tires and made a pit stop after two laps for another set of sticker red tires. For the first time this weekend, Pigot broke the 140 mile-per-hour mark, setting a quick lap of 140.024 mph. He finished the 12-minute season in the 10th position, a mere one-tenth of a second off of moving up to the Firestone Fast 6.
- In a change from previous years, there will be no warm-up session tomorrow morning. The 55-lap KOHLER Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network with coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. local). The green flag is scheduled to drop at 1:12 p.m. ET (12:12 p.m. local).
JORDAN KING, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Qualified 13th: “We’ve been making progress throughout the weekend, little steps at a time, and qualifying was our best session yet. The car is now performing within that half-second window of the front of the field. There’s always that last hundredth of time left to get so I’m a bit annoyed that we didn’t get it, but it was still a pretty good lap! I got as much as I could out of the car. There was just a little bit of oversteer out of Turn 12 and that’s probably the half a tenth that we needed to transfer. I would have like to have got through to the next round but it was still a decent effort considering how much progress we’ve made.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet, Qualified 10th: “Qualifying was definitely a solid improvement! It’s nice to have the Direct Supply car in the Top 10 to start the race tomorrow. We’ve been making pretty big changes every session and we hadn’t really found anything that worked until qualifying. We were struggling with the front of the car in some places and the rear of the car in other places, we just had to try and tack it down a little bit! Obviously it helped being on new tires and the reds, but the car has come alive – certainly a step in the right direction! To only be a tenth or so off the Fast 6, compared to where we were in practice, is a really good improvement. I’m happy with that, but we want to be higher up and we’ll try for that tomorrow!”