LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 14, 2019) – Race Notes
- Both Ed Carpenter Racing drivers were confident in the quality of their Chevrolets for today’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, but neither had luck on their side. A first lap incident collected Spencer Pigot, but with minimal damage, he was able to continue and finish the race in 18th. Ed Jones was on a solid three-stop strategy before a stall in the pit lane dropped him one lap behind the field as well. He finished 16th.
- Pigot was the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver in this morning’s warm up session, but would not be able to showcase that speed at the start of the 85-lap race. Several cars in front of him made contact in the tight Turn 2 fountain area. With nowhere to go, Pigot bumped a stopped car and the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet stalled. By the time Pigot’s car was re-fired, he was one lap down to the field. The damage to the car necessitated a front wing change, which was completed on Lap 3 and Pigot rejoined the race.
- Jones held his starting position of 17th on the opening lap, then gained one on the Lap 4 restart. He continued running 16th until his first pit stop. He brought the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet in on Lap 10 for a switch to Firestone’s red Firehawk tires after starting the race on blacks. Committed to a three-stop strategy, Jones would have to run 19th until the leaders began making their first pit stops.
- On pace with the front running cars, Pigot had raced his way back up to a position that would have had him able to regain his lap should a yellow come out. It looked like the break was coming as a car stalled in Turn 1, but it was handled as a local yellow. Pigot made his second full-service pit stop on Lap 28.
- Jones cycled his way forward as the cars on two-stop strategies made their first stops. He was up to 12th by the time he had to make his second stop on Lap 33. As he went to exit his pit box, the car stalled. The No. 20 crew worked quickly to restart the car, but the extra time in pit lane would mean that Jones too would fall one lap behind the leaders.
- For the next stint, Jones ran 18th while Pigot was 20th, albeit on different ends of the track. Both selected reds for the closing laps of the race. Pigot made his final pit stop on Lap 55, while Jones came in four laps later. After the entire field had come in for the last time, Jones was 17th and Pigot was 18th.
- Neither driver would have the opportunity to gain their lap back as race continued caution-free until the checkered flag. With a car in front of Jones having to pit for a splash of fuel with only three laps to go, he picked up one more position. Jones would finish 16th while Pigot came home in 18th.
- Ed Carpenter Racing has now shifted their focus towards the Month of May. Pigot and Jones will be joined by team owner Ed Carpenter as all three will test at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval on April 24. The next race for the NTT IndyCar Series will be the INDYCAR Grand Prix, contested on the 2.439-mile road course at IMS. It will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 3:30 p.m.
ED JONES, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, Finished 16th: “It was one of those situations today where we needed to try something a bit different to make things work. We needed a bit of luck on our side as well. Unfortunately, things didn’t play out that way. On the upside, we made progress with the car every session this weekend and ended in a better spot than where we started. That’s a positive. Going into the two races at Indianapolis, ECR has solid cars there so we should have two solid races headed our way!
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Finished 18th: “It was a very unfortunate start to the race. We got caught up in the mess that was going on in front of me and stalled the car after some contact. We went a lap down and from there, just had to try and claw our way back as much as we could. It’s frustrating because it seemed like we were actually going pretty quick and had a good racecar. If we had been able to stay on the lead lap at the beginning, it would have been a lot better, but that’s not the way it went. We’ll come back stronger next time.”