Pigot Earns Third Top 6 Finish in Six Races; Jordan King Caught by Untimely Caution and Finishes 15th
PORTLAND, Oregon (September 2, 2018) – Race Notes
- Spencer Pigot knew he had a better car than his qualifying effort showed and he proved that today during the Grand Prix of Portland. Though he started 17th, Pigot continued a trend that he has become known for and raced his way all the way up to 4th. Jordan King, on a different strategy, was caught out by an untimely yellow flag and was forced to settle for a 15th place finishing position. It was the first race for both at Portland International Raceway as Indy car racing returned to the Pacific Northwest for the first time since 2007.
- At the drop of the green flag, King started 12th while Pigot passed four cars in three turns to move from his starting position of 17th up to 13th. A five-car incident occurred just after the chicane on the opening lap. The accident occurred on driver’s left, Pigot and King went driver’s right and avoided the melee altogether. King was up to 7th and Pigot was 8th. At the restart on Lap 7, King picked off Jack Harvey for the 6th position. Later in the lap, pole sitter Will Power suddenly slowed on course, moving the pair of 24-year-olds up another position – King to 5th and Pigot to 7th.|
- Pigot and King went to opposing strategies on Lap 20. Pigot brought his No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet into the pits for his first stop, switching from the primary black Firestone Firehawks he had started on to the alternate red tires. Pigot was 19th following his stop, but was ordered to give up the position to Carlos Munoz after Race Control deemed Pigot had blocked Munoz. King, who had started on the alternate red tires, was able to stretch his first load of fuel to Lap 31. He then came into the pit lane, choosing a scuffed set of red Firehawks for his second stint.
- On Lap 43, Power made contact with the tire barrier, bringing out the second full course caution of the day. At the time of the caution, King was running 4th while Pigot was 7th, Pigot elected to use the yellow flag period to make his second pit stop, taking a set of sticker reds. He was 15th at the restart on Lap 47, however he used the fresh tires to his advantage and passed three cars in under two laps to move to 12th.
- King picked up the third position as he passed Ryan Hunter-Reay on Lap 49. Pigot had moved up to 9th when the next yellow flag flew on Lap 55. This time, King had to use the caution to pit while Pigot did not. The Top 3 cars before the caution came out of the pits in 16th (Josef Newgarden), 17th (Alexander Rossi) and 18th (King). Rossi and Newgarden were able to move though a gaggle of slower cars after the Lap 60 restart, but the cars fanned out in front of King. By the time King was also able to get his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet through the group, Newgarden and Rossi had taken off.
- With Pigot not pitting under the caution, he vaulted up to 5th. Race leader Hunter-Reay came in for a stop on Lap 71, moving Pigot to 4th. Santino Ferrucci slowed on track on Lap 75 and the top four cars, including Pigot, ducked into the pit lane in anticipation of the caution. The yellow flag did not fly until after they had completed their stops, cycling Pigot back to 6th. During the flurry of activity, King also came into the pit for his last stop and would come out 14th.
- The Lap 81 restart saw Pigot execute a textbook pass around championship points leader Scott Dixon down the backstretch. Max Chilton, who did not stop under the yellow, had to pit on Lap 85. Pigot found himself back in the fourth position, chasing down Sebastien Bourdais. Pigot worked diligently to close the gap to Bourdais over the final 20 laps, but settled for 4th place.
- After the strategy of the race had moved out of King’s favor, he worked to make the most of the situation. As all drivers have to complete at least two race laps on each compound of tires, he was forced to complete his final stint on a set of the primary black tires. Matheus Leist was able to overtake King with only two laps remaining, dropping King to 15th where he would finish the race.
- Pigot’s 4th place finish comes on the heels of a 6th place just eight days ago at the short oval of Gateway Motorsports Park outside of St. Louis. He was the highest-finishing Chevrolet-powered driver in the Grand Prix of Portland. Today’s result is his third Top 6 finish in six races and is the second-best finish of his career. He finished 2nd at Iowa Speedway in early July, the first podium finish of his Verizon IndyCar Series career.
- The Ed Carpenter Racing team will enjoy a week off before heading to the season finale, the Grand Prix of Sonoma. The 2018 season will conclude at Sonoma Raceway on September 16.
JORDAN KING (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet), Finished 15th: “The race got off to a really solid start. I was overtaking people, shifting shapes, really cracking on. I had made it all the way up to P3 behind Alexander Rossi and was having good fun racing with him. Then the yellow came out and turned everything around. It was really unlucky timing as we were heading for a strong result. Fortunately, we’ve got Sonoma in two weeks’ time so I’m looking forward to getting back in the car.”
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet), Finished 4th: “I’m really happy to end up 4th with the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet team. The start was kind of crazy! From starting 17th, I found myself up to 8th after Turn 1. That was a welcome surprise! After that, we had a few good stints and were able to pick off a few guys here and there, then the yellows fell in our favor. Right from the get-go, even on blacks, the car felt good. We had a lot of reds saved up and were able to put them to good use!”