Pigot Drives Damaged Car Back Up Into the Top 10; Ed Jones Gains Nine Positions to Finish 14th in Grand Prix of Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (September 1, 2019) – Race Notes
- The first corner of today’s Grand Prix of Portland was not a kind one to Spencer Pigot, but he rebounded to bring home a Top 10 finish. Pigot was collected in a Lap 1, Turn 1 collision that cost him eight positions and damaged his No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet. Not only did Pigot regain each spot he lost, he picked up additional and finished 6th. Teammate Ed Jones ran a clean race, avoiding every on-track incident and picking up multiple positions. He finished 14th, having gained nine spots over the course of 105 laps.
- Both Pigot and Jones fought unrelated issues in the opening practice session at Portland International Raceway, setting both of them on the back foot. The No. 20 and No. 21 crews worked hard to help Pigot and Jones gain speed across each of the next three sessions. By yesterday afternoon’s qualifying, Pigot was able to advance to the second round and earn the 10th starting position. In contrast, Jones would start 23rd.
- Heading into the chicane on the opening lap, Graham Rahal made contact with Conor Daly. The two slid across the track into the right side of Pigot’s No. 21, spinning the car and damaging the bodywork. The contact dropped Pigot to 18th, but he was able to continue. Jones avoided the incident all together and was up to 17th. When the pit lane opened on Lap 11, both came in. Jones switched from black to red Firestone Firehawks and topped off on fuel. Pigot only took a top off while the crew inspected the car for more damage.
- The race restarted on Lap 12, but remained green for only one lap. Spotters for the No. 20 and No. 21 helped guide Pigot and Jones through another Turn 1 incident. Pigot was then 14th while Jones was 15th. On Lap 17, green flag conditions resumed.
- Pigot used his opening set of red tires to carve his way through the field. By Lap 20, he was back up to his starting position of 10th; Lap 30 saw him up to 6th. He held the position for 10 more laps before making his second pit stop on Lap 40 for a set of sticker black tires. After the stop, it was discovered that Pigot drove his entire first stint with a broken right rear wheel.
- Jones was in for his second stop on Lap 42. He rejoined the race in the 15th position, but went a lap down to the field on Lap 56. He was able to keep his No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet in the same position throughout his next stint, making his third pit stop on Lap 73 for sticker blacks.
- After his second stop, Pigot rejoined the race in 14th. As stops cycled through, he was back into the Top 10. Again he raced forward, this time on black tires. He worked his way up to 6th before his third and final pit stop on Lap 73. A solid stop by the No. 21 crew allowed Pigot to retain the 6th position.
- A late-race caution set up a five-lap shootout to end the race. Under the yellow, Jones ducked into the pit lane for a set of sticker red tires to finish the race. Pigot and the rest of the Top 10 did not pit. Behind Pigot was Simon Pagenaud on red tires, but Pigot was able to stay in front of him. At the conclusion of 105 laps, Pigot would bring home a 6th place finish and Jones would take the checkered flag in 14th.
- The NTT IndyCar Series will have a brief break before the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. There, Pigot and Jones will conclude their 2019 seasons with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. NBC will air the race on Sunday, September 22nd at 2:30 p.m. ET.
ED JONES, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, Finished 14th: “We did a good job avoiding the on-track incidents today to help us gain many positions over where we started. We made good progress throughout the weekend, though we didn’t get the car quite to an optimal place for the race. I’m hoping to have a better outing at the season finale!”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Finished 6th: “It turned out to be not too bad of a race! After getting hit in the first corner, I did not think we would have much of a chance after that. We definitely had damage to the car, but it handled alright. We were able to have some good pit stops, good strategy and ultimately good pace. We got through the field and worked out way up to 6th, which is not bad considering where we were after the first lap. It makes you think ‘What could have been?’ but hopefully we can have another strong race at Laguna Seca.”