King Will Start 12th in IndyCar’s Return to the Pacific Northwest; Spencer Pigot Qualifies 17th at Portland International Raceway
PORTLAND, Oregon (September 1, 2018) – Qualifying Notes
- Though he had not been in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for an entire month, Jordan King went right back to work at Portland International Raceway. He advanced into the second round of qualifications for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Portland, earning the 12th starting position. Spencer Pigot will start 17th in his third race in 15 days in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.
- In addition to an open test on Thursday, three practice sessions preceded today’s qualifications. King turned his fastest lap in the opening practice session on Friday morning at 122.352 miles per hour (mph), 15th on the combined timing sheet. Pigot’s quick time came this morning in Practice 3, 10th overall at 122.582 mph. Neither had turned a lap at Portland International Raceway prior to Thursday; heading into qualifying, King had made 105 circuits of the 1.964-mile road course while Pigot had made 95.
- In Practice 3, Pigot was 6th on the charts while King was 12th. Because they had even-numbered finishing positions, they were assigned to Round 1, Group 1 of qualifications. When the 10-minute session began, the pair of 24-year-olds headed out immediately on a set of black Firestone Firehawks. After three laps on black tires, Pigot sat 5th while King was 7th. They came into the pit lane for a set of red Firehawks and completed three more laps. At the checkered flag, King was 3rd with a lap of 122.681 mph, advancing him to Round 2. Pigot would end the session with at 121.916 mph, a lap that had him sitting in 9th which translated into 17th for tomorrow’s starting lineup.
- With moving on to Round 2 today, King has advanced out of the first round of qualifications in half of the possible races this year. The Verizon IndyCar Series rookie began the next session on another set of black Firehawk tires, switching to a second set of sticker reds after three laps. His final lap was his quickest with a speed of 122.112 mph, giving him the 12th starting position in tomorrow’s race.
- The Grand Prix of Portland will be King’s 10th Indy car start. In his debut, the season opening Firestone Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, Fla., he set the track record in qualifying, made the Firestone Fast 6 and took the lead of the race on only the fifth lap. He also paced the field during the only international stop on the 2018 calendar, the Honda Indy Toronto. He made his second Firestone Fast 6 appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during qualifications for the INDYCAR Grand Prix.
- Pigot finished in 6th in last Saturday night’s race at Gateway Motorsports Park, a finish bested only by his performance at Iowa Speedway in July. Though he qualified 18th and fell a lap down to the leaders early in the 300-lap race at Iowa, he raced to the front to finish second. It was the 24-year-old’s highest result of his career to date and his first podium in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He also put forth the best qualifying effort of his career this year, making the Fast 9 Shootout and starting 6th in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500. He paced the field at Indianapolis and Toronto and earned additional Top 10 finishes at the street circuit in Detroit and the road course of Road America.
- Tomorrow’s race will feature 105 laps around Portland International Raceway, the first Indy car race held at the road course since 2007. NBC Sports Network will begin pre-race coverage at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. local). The green flag for the 2018 Grand Prix of Portland is scheduled to drop at 3:02 p.m. ET (12:02 p.m. ET)
JORDAN KING (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet), Qualified 12th: “The first session, we did a good job and I was quite happy what the car. The track really changed between Rounds 1 and 2. I was two or three tenths slower than I did in the first session so I’m a bit annoyed. We should have been solidly inside the Top 10. The difference between blacks and reds seems quite big here, so it will be interesting to see who has a good car on what tire during the race. Portland is good fun!”
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet), Qualified 17th: “It’s frustrating, the car felt a little strange. It just really didn’t have the grip to lean on the fronts or the rears. I was just all over the place. We really didn’t change the car too much, so we’ll have to look at everything and see what we can do for tomorrow. We’ve been quick at points over the weekend, so hopefully we can get the car fast again for the race.”