ED CARPENTER RACING SHIFTS FOCUS TO TOMORROW’S RACE AFTER TOUGH QUALIFYING SESSION IN LONG BEACH
- The starting field has been set for the iconic Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, including Ed Carpenter Racing’s Ed Jones and Spencer Pigot. The Indianapolis-based team is looking forward to the opportunity to turn their weekend around after a tough qualifying session for tomorrow’s 85-lap race. Ed Jones will start 17th in the downtown city streets of Long Beach, Calif. while Spencer Pigot will roll off 23rd.
- Three practice sessions preceded this afternoon’s qualifying session. Pigot turned 46 laps, with his quickest coming in Practice 3 at 104.317 miles per hour (mph). It was over a mile and hour faster than his best lap in the weekend’s opening practice. Jones found over two miles an hour of speed in 49 laps from Practice 1 to Practice 3, turning a quick lap this morning at 104.352 mph.
- Qualification groups are decided by the practice session prior to qualifications. With an odd number finishing position in Practice 3, Pigot was assigned to Group 2 while Jones, with an even numbered finishing position, was out first in Group 1.
- Jones would start the 10 minute session on a set of sticker black Firestone Firehawk tires, completing two laps before pitting for sticker red tires. Timing was not on his side as multiple cars exited the pit lane right in front his No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, slowing his first lap on reds. He would not have the opportunity to record a second lap as a red flag came out and ended the session. He ended Round 1, Group 1 in 8th with a lap of 103.020 mph.
- Seeing how the red flag affected the outcome of Group 1, Pigot’s No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet crew quickly switched over to a set of sticker reds. After two laps, he came in to the pit lane for a second set of reds. His lap of 104.378 mph was his fastest of the weekend, but he struggled with overall grip during both runs. Pigot would finish Round 1, Group 2 in 12th.
- NBC Sports Network will begin broadcasting the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach live at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT). The green flag will wave for the fourth race of the NTT IndyCar Series season at 4:42 p.m. ET (1:42 p.m. PT).
ED JONES, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet: “We tried to change up the strategy a bit to try and avoid getting affected by a red flag, as that has happened in a few previous qualifying sessions. We didn’t get to show our potential on black tires, our third lap was going to be our quickest but we came in early for reds. Because we stopped early, our first lap on reds was affected by cars coming out of the pit lane in front of us. On the second lap, the red flag came out. By doing what seemed like the right thing, in hindsight, created another issue for us. I don’t know how much father up we would have been but, but one of the worst things is when you don’t get to see what your potential is. It seems we have improved every session this weekend, so I feel like we will have a strong car for the race and should be able to move forward quite a bit.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet: “We’ve been chasing a lot of things this weekend, unfortunately it’s not just one thing we are looking for. We’ve been trying a lot of different things but haven’t been able to hit the nail on the head yet. We’re going to have a long day tomorrow, but hopefully we’ll make some solid improvements to the car overnight, maybe get creative with strategy, and see what we can do.”