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Indy Lights vice-champion Rinus van Kalmthout joins Ed Carpenter Racing for a full season in 2020

Source: Team PR

RINUS VEEKAY SELECTED BY ED CARPENTER RACING TO CONTEST FULL 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES SEASON

19-Year-Old Dutch Driver Joins ECR Full-Time in the No. 21 Chevrolet

(INDIANAPOLIS) November 20, 2019 – Ed Carpenter Racing announced today it will welcome Rinus VeeKay as the full-time driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season. The 19-year-old joins ECR after a meteoric rise through the Road to Indy ranks and a second-place finish in this year’s Indy Lights championship. As VeeKay begins his Indy car career, he will benefit from the guidance of team owner Ed Carpenter, who will be driving in his 18th season.

Born in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, Rinus van Kalmthout began karting in 2009 at the age of 8. With sights set firmly on the NTT IndyCar Series, he transitioned to the Road to Indy in 2017 and launched his U.S. career driving as Rinus VeeKay. He found immediate success, following up a second-place finish in the 2017 USF2000 standings with the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 title. His championship season included seven wins, 10 podium finishes and the Road to Indy career advancement scholarship, which placed him just one step below his ultimate goal. For the 2019 Indy Lights season, VeeKay claimed six race wins and finished on the podium 14 of 18 times en route to a runner-up finish in the standings. In all, the Dutch teenager earned 16 Road to Indy victories and 36 podium finishes in just 48 races.

The newest addition to ECR is ecstatic to have reached the pinnacle of North American open-wheel racing. “I’m so happy!” exclaimed VeeKay. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

VeeKay got his first taste of an NTT IndyCar Series car in August when Carpenter selected him for an evaluation test at Portland International Raceway. A second successful test followed at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October, confirming VeeKay’s compatibility with the Indianapolis-based team. Days later, he stepped back into an Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis Memorial Road to Indy Test and set the fastest time in all six sessions. VeeKay will now focus solely on the NTT IndyCar Series, competing with ECR as a true Indy car rookie throughout the 2020 season.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” commented Carpenter. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

Since ECR’s inception in 2012, the No. 21 Chevrolet has always featured an Indy Lights graduate, a trend that will continue with VeeKay. ECR has shown versatility by earning seven wins on each style of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. The team currently boasts 28 Top 5 finishes, 20 of which have been podiums. ECR Chevrolets have started on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 six of the past seven years, including Carpenter’s three pole positions. In 2019, ECR was the only multi-car team to have their entire lineup make a run for the coveted first starting position and would ultimately start second, third and fourth.

“I would like to thank Ed Carpenter and his partners for this great opportunity and trust,” continued VeeKay. “The number of available seats in the NTT IndyCar Series is very limited, so it’s a great honor that they have chosen me to join their team. I would like to thank Jumbo, La Place, KNAF TeamNL, my new partner Basic-Fit, all my other partners, my manager Charles Crews, but most all my family who made this all happen. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season.”

Carpenter echoed VeeKay’s enthusiasm for the upcoming year. “We’re very excited for the 2020 season to get here and have an ECR car return to Victory Lane!”

The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series will see ECR continue to compete with two full-time entries, the No. 20 and No. 21. While the No. 21 will feature VeeKay for the full season, Carpenter will continue as oval driver of the No. 20 in his 18th season of Indy car competition. The road and street course seat for the No. 20 is still under consideration and will be announced at a later date. VeeKay will make his NTT IndyCar Series debut with the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 15, 2020.

 

CHECKERED FLAG FALLS ON ED CARPENTER RACING’S 2019 SEASON

CHECKERED FLAG FALLS ON ED CARPENTER RACING’S 2019 SEASON
Spencer Pigot Completes NTT IndyCar Series Season Finale; Ed Jones Eliminated from Contention After Contact Damages Suspension
(SALINAS, Calif.) September 22, 2019 – Race Notes
  • The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series has come to a close with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. After a trying weekend, Ed Carpenter Racing drivers Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones were determined to make the most of the last race of the year. Pigot fought hard until the end of the 90-lap race, finishing 20th after battling severe tire degradation in the closing laps. Suspension damage would eliminate Jones from competition and leave him with a 23rd place result.
  • Pigot completed the race on three pit stops, making his first on Lap 11 to swap his opening set of sticker red Firestone Firehawks for a set of black tires. He fought an ill-handling No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet during his second stint, but was still able to maintain his position. For the final stint, he selected a set of scuffed red tires in hopes of gaining more spots. Unfortunately, the reds did not hold up as well as anticipated. In the closing laps, Pigot was unable to hold off competitors who had selected red tires or blacks. He dropped from 16th to 20th, where he would finish the race.
  • Jones also made his first pit stop on Lap 11, also electing to make a change from red to black tires. He was able to stretch his tires until Lap 37, when he made his second stop. The only yellow flag of the day flew on Lap 45 and Jones used the caution to make another pit top. On the Lap 48 restart, Jones was hit by another competitor in Turn 2. He fought the handling issues which resulted from the contact, but had to bring the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet in two laps later. With hopes that a new set of tires would rectify the problem, he rejoined the race. However, it was short-lived as it was immediately deemed the suspension on the No. 20 was damaged beyond repair. Jones was retired from the race on Lap 51 and was credited with a 23rd place finish.
  • Jones served as road and street course driver of the No. 20 this season with team owner Ed Carpenter competing during the oval events. Of the five oval races in 2019, Carpenter finished in the top six on three occasions. He qualified on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 for the fifth time in the past seven years and started 2nd. The Indianapolis-native led the “500” before finishing 6th, then followed up with another 6th place at Pocono Raceway. In the conclusion of his 17th season of Indy car competition, Carpenter returned to the podium. The 38-year-old raced his way through the entire field at WTT Raceway, finishing 2nd by only .0399 of a second.
  • This season, Pigot earned career-best starting positions at each type of track the series races on – ovals, road courses and street circuits. He earned a spot on the front row of the Indianapolis 500, qualifying third. Pigot added two 5th place finishes to his credit in 2019, one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and one at Iowa Speedway. With his result, the 25-year-old extended ECR’s streak of Top 5 finishes at Iowa to seven consecutive years. He has started over 50 races with Ed Carpenter Racing, making him the team’s longest-tenured driver aside from Carpenter.
  • Jones’s best finish of the year came at the INDYCAR Grand Prix at IMS, when he finished 6th. Following that event, he moved from the No. 20 over to the No. 63 for the Indianapolis 500. He qualified a career-best fourth, making ECR the only multi-car team to have their entire lineup in the Fast Nine Shootout for the pole position. Jones reached the Firestone Fast 6 during qualifying on two occasions this year, the IMS road course and the streets of Toronto.
  • The NTT IndyCar Series will resume on March 15, 2020 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. After a week off, Ed Carpenter Racing will return to its Indianapolis-based race shop and begin preparations for the 2020 season.

ED JONES, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, Finished 23rd: “It was a frustrating weekend and even though we didn’t quite have the pace, we worked hard during the race. Obviously the restarts are quite eventful, when it goes green you are allowed to pass and it seems a lot of people didn’t realize that going into Turn 11. I made up a few places, then again into Turn 2 I was making up some more. We were on the outside of the track when another car just drove straight into us. Unfortunately, it damaged the car and we had to retire from the race.”

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Finished 20th: “It was not a very strong race for us. I am disappointed to end the season on this kind of note. There were some positives throughout the year that we can look back on but also some areas we need to work on. I want to thank everyone at Ed Carpenter Racing for always trying their best and making the most of every situation! We’ll work to be better next time.”

ED CARPENTER RACING DETERMINED TO RACE FORWARD IN SEASON FINALE

Spencer Pigot Qualifies 15th at WeatherTech Raceway; Ed Jones Will Start 18th (SALINAS, Calif.) September 21, 2019 – Qualifying Notes For the first time in 15 years, Indy car racing has returned to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca; for the final time this year, the starting field is set. After today’s qualifications, Ed Carpenter Racing’s drivers…

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ED CARPENTER RACING FOCUSED ON FINISHING YEAR STRONG AT WEATHERTECH RACEWAY

Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones Will Conclude 2019 Seasons in NTT IndyCar Series Return to Laguna Seca (INDIANAPOLIS) September 17, 2019 – Preview Notes Only 90 laps remain in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, which will come this Sunday afternoon in the form of the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. Spencer Pigot and Ed…

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SPENCER PIGOT REBOUNDS TO FINISH 6TH IN PORTLAND AFTER LAP 1 CONTACT

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.”

TOP 10 STARTING POSITION FOR SPENCER PIGOT IN THE GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND

Pigot Qualifies 10th at Portland International Raceway; Ed Jones Will Start 23rd
PORTLAND, Ore. (August 31, 2019) – Race Preview
  • After a frustrating time in practice, Spencer Pigot turned his weekend around when it counted in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Portland. Pigot not only advanced to the second round of qualifications but earned a starting position inside the Top 10 for tomorrow’s 105-lap race. He will roll off 10th while teammate Ed Jones will start 23rd.
  • Three practice sessions proceeded this afternoon’s qualifications. The warm up session, which included pit stop practice, gave drivers an additional half an hour of track time yesterday. Pigot completed 73 laps with his best speed of 120.942 miles per hour (mph) coming in Practice 2. Jones was just behind with a quick lap of 120.861 mph in Practice 1. Jones made 60 circuits of the 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course.
  • The results from the practice session immediately before qualifying determine which drivers are assigned to which group. With odd-numbered finishing positions in Practice 3, Pigot and Jones were both assigned to Round 1, Group 2. The teammates began the 10-minute session on sticker black Firestone Firehawks before pitting for sticker reds. Jones turned in a top speed 121.450 mph, which landed him 12th in the group.
  • Pigot, too, would turn his fastest lap at the end of the session. His speed of 122.433 mph would have him 6th at the checkered flag, earning a spot in Round 2. The fastest six from both rounds had another 10 minutes to set a fast lap. Pigot saved his best lap for last, coming in at 122.215 mph in the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet. At the end of the session, he was 10th, which will give him his starting position for tomorrow.
  • As road and street course driver of the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, Jones most recently competed at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 28. A road course is home to his best finish of the year to date, 6th place in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Following that event, he moved over to the No. 63 for the Indianapolis 500 and qualified a career-best fourth. He has reached the Firestone Fast 6 during qualifying on two occasions this year, the IMS road course and the streets of Toronto.
  • Last week at WWT Raceway at Gateway, Pigot started his 50th race with Ed Carpenter Racing. Aside from Carpenter, Pigot is the team’s longest-tenured driver. This season, Pigot has earned career-best starting positions at each type of track the series races on – ovals, road courses and street circuits. He earned a spot on the front row of the Indianapolis 500, qualifying 3rd, in between teammates Carpenter and Jones. Pigot has added two 5th place finishes to his credit this year, one at the IMS road course and one at Iowa Speedway. With his result, he extended ECR’s streak of Top 5 finishes at Iowa to seven consecutive years.
  • The Grand Prix of Portland will be the third Indy car race in three weeks. Team owner Carpenter has been in the No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet for the previous two events, oval races at Pocono Raceway and WWT Raceway. He finished 6th at Pocono, which matched his best result of the year to that point. Last Saturday night, he returned to the podium. A smart pit strategy shot him to the front of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 field and a fortunately-timed yellow kept him there. Carpenter used years of experience to hold off charges from competitors behind, then surged forward himself in the final five laps. He finished second by just .0399 of a second to give his team their best finish of the year in his last race of the season.
  • The next time Pigot and Jones are on track, it will be for tomorrow’s 105-lap Grand Prix of Portland. NBC will begin it’s live broadcast at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. local). The green flag is scheduled for 3:42 p.m. ET.

 

ED JONES, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, Qualified 23rd: “It is a disappointing qualifying result, for sure. We had expected to be much higher up and it’s surprising how it ended up. We will definitely have our work out for us tomorrow, but hopefully we can have a good strategy and get back towards the other end of the field.”

 

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Qualified 10th: “We definitely made some improvements today and had our best session of the weekend during qualifying. All of the practice sessions were tough, but it’s encouraging we moved in the right direction when it counted. We still have a few things we want to improve on and get better at, but overall we are pleased with where we will be starting.”

ED CARPENTER RACING HEADS TO PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR PENULTIMATE ROUND OF 2019 INDYCAR SEASON

ED CARPENTER RACING HEADS TO PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR PENULTIMATE ROUND OF 2019 INDYCAR SEASON INDIANAPOLIS (August 27, 2019) – Race Preview Only two races remain in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, beginning with this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland. Road and street course driver Ed Jones will climb back into the No. 20 Ed…

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ED CARPENTER RETURNS TO THE PODIUM IN FINAL OVAL RACE OF 2019 INDYCAR SEASON

ED CARPENTER RETURNS TO THE PODIUM IN FINAL OVAL RACE OF 2019 INDYCAR SEASON

Team Owner Races Up To Second Place Finish at WWT Raceway; Spencer Pigot Taken Out Of Contention Just After The Midway Point

MADISON, Ill. (August 24, 2019) – Race Notes
  • Ed Carpenter returned to the podium tonight at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, finishing 2nd in the last oval race on the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series calendar. As Carpenter competes exclusively in the oval events, tonight’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 marked the conclusion of his 17th season of Indy car competition. He would end his season in style, working his way through the entire field to earn his best finish of the year. Spencer Pigot had raced his way into the Top 10 before contact with another competitor would bring his night to an end just after the midway point of the race.
  • The weekend did not start easy for Ed Carpenter Racing. Of 22 cars entered in tonight’s race, Carpenter finished Practice 1 in 20th and Practice 2 in 22nd. Qualifying was a struggle as well. The team owner would only earn the 17th starting position while Pigot qualified 13th. However, both had gained nearly mile an hour of speed from practice to qualifying, the beginning of the weekend’s upward trend.
  • On only the second lap of the race, Carpenter narrowly avoided the sideways car of Marcus Ericsson which brought out the first caution of night. Once the race restarted, Pigot settled into 12th and Carpenter into 15th. Both remained in those positions throughout their first stint and were two of the first cars to pit. Pigot made his first stop on Lap 47; Carpenter was in the following lap.
  • The second caution flag of the night flew as Will Power got high in Turn 4 and made contact with the wall on Lap 55. Pigot and Carpenter were beneficiaries of the wave-around and got back on the lead lap. During the yellow, Scott Dixon entered the pit lane with an issue and both ECR drivers picked up the position. For the restart on Lap 69, Pigot was 11th and Carpenter was 14th.
  • Alexander Rossi worked his way around Pigot after the Lap 69 restart, dropping the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet back to 12th. Carpenter remained in 14th, positions they would again hold for the duration of the stint. Again, they would pit within one lap of each other as Pigot came in on Lap 95 and Carpenter was just behind on Lap 96.
  • On new tires, both surged forwards. Pigot passed race leader Santino Ferrucci, putting himself in a position to easily regain lead-lap status. Carpenter was the next car behind Ferrucci and as pit stops cycled through, both were scored on the lead lap again starting on Lap 119. Quick work by their crews, as well as fast in and out laps, would help Pigot gain three positions to move up to 9th while Carpenter was up one to 13th.
  • The caution flag flew again on Lap 121 as Ericsson brushed the Turn 4 wall. Pigot and Carpenter split strategies on Lap 124 as Pigot ducked into the pit lane under the yellow for fresh tires. He only lost three positions, coming out in 12th. Carpenter moved up to 10th by staying out.
  • The race would only go back to green for three laps as Pigot was unfortunately the next car to make contact. While working to pass Charlie Kimball heading into Turn 3, the two touched, which sent Pigot slamming into the wall. He was quickly out of the car under his own power and was checked, cleared and released from the infield care center. The No. 21 sustained too much damage to be repaired and was retired from the event. Pigot would be credited with a 21st place finish.
  • Carpenter brought his No. 20 Autogeek Chevrolet in under Pigot’s caution, one of only two cars to pit. The move would put him down in 15th place, but with additional fuel over the rest of the field. As everyone else made their next pit stops, Carpenter steadily cycled forward. He was preparing for his fourth pit stop when the last caution flag of the night flew on Lap 192. All but four cars were trapped one lap behind the field; Carpenter was 3rd. He came in when the pits opened on Lap 194, but as he was on the lead lap, he retained his position. The wave around would put all but three cars back on the lead lap.
  • The race was restarted on Lap 205 and Carpenter held off charges from championship leaders Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi. Newgarden continued to close on Carpenter, but was unable to make the pass. Ferrucci would eventually work around Newgarden and set his sights on Carpenter, but Carpenter would not give up the position. Using years of experience to his benefit, Carpenter saved the best for last. With only five laps remaining, Carpenter charged past Tony Kanaan for second. Coming to the checkered flag, Carpenter sent his No. 20 to the outside of Takuma Sato and trailed him to the line by only .0399 of a second. The margin was the closest of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season and in the 10-year history of Indy car racing at WWT Raceway.
  • Carpenter switched to just oval events starting with the 2014 season, splitting the No. 20 between himself and a second driver for the road and street course events. Tonight’s finish was his first podium result since a second place in the 2018 Indianapolis 500. WWT Raceway is now the shortest track that Carpenter has scored a podium finish at, measuring 1.25 miles. Prior to tonight, Carpenter’s best result of 2019 was 6th in this year’s Indianapolis 500 and just six days ago at Pocono Raceway. In his 17th season, the 38-year-old finished in the Top 6 in three of five races.
  • The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 was the second in a string of three back-to-back race weekends. From Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania last weekend to tonight’s race just across the river from St. Louis, a cross-country trip to Portland, Ore. is next. Ed Jones will step back into the No. 20 and race alongside Pigot in the penultimate round of the 2019 season. The Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway will be contested on September 1, 2019.

ED CARPENTER, No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet, Finished 2nd: “Even just another straightaway, I maybe could have gotten Takuma! Qualifying so bad didn’t help us, but we were really good on the long runs tonight. Early in the race, the guys asked me what I needed and I said clear track more than anything. The car was really good and we had made really good adjustments. Days like yesterday are really tough and dejecting for the whole team. We kept our heads down and did not gave up; we came back strong tonight and got a result. This is a great way to finish the year. It would have been a little better if we could have gotten a win, I definitely gave it all I had! It was fun to be back up at the front again.”

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Finished 21st: “I had a good run coming out of Turn 2. Charlie Kimball had gotten past me but was struggling for momentum. He went to the inside going into Turn 3. I thought I was far enough up alongside him to get some respect and get some space, but he turned in and I was there. It’s an unfortunate end to the day; I feel bad for all of the guys. I thought we had a pretty good car and were making good gains towards the front of the field.”

QUALIFICATIONS COMPLETE FOR LAST OVAL RACE OF 2019 NTT INDYCAR SERIES SEASON

QUALIFICATIONS COMPLETE FOR LAST OVAL RACE OF 2019 NTT INDYCAR SERIES SEASON
Spencer Pigot Qualifies 13th, Ed Carpenter Will Start 17th in Bommarito Automotive Group 500
MADISON, Ill. (August 23, 2019) – Qualifying Notes
  • Qualifications have been completed at WWT Raceway and Ed Carpenter Racing is now focused on this evening’s final practice as preparations continue for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. Spencer Pigot will start 13th in tomorrow night’s race while team owner Ed Carpenter has qualified 17th. WWT Raceway, previously known as Gateway Motorsports Park, is the home to the final oval race on the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series calendar.
  • Qualifying order on an oval is set by the reverse order of entrant points, meaning the ECR Chevrolets would qualify one right after the other. Carpenter was out first, turning laps at 24.7471 seconds and 24.8850 seconds. His two-lap average was 181.334 miles per hour, faster than his best single-lap speed from Practice 1. It would give him the 17th starting position on the grid.
  • Pigot took to the 1.25-mile oval immediately after Carpenter’s run. His two-lap average speed came in at 183.211 miles per house after laps of 24.5837 seconds and 24.5399 seconds. Like Carpenter, Pigot also improved his time from Practice 1. Pigot’s best single-lap speed increased over a mile an hour in between the two sessions and he landed 13th on tomorrow night‘s starting grid.
  • Carpenter and Pigot will have one final hour of practice this evening from 8:15-9:15 p.m. CT. The session will include the opporunity for the No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet crew and the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet crews to practice hot pit stops. It will be streamed live via INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold.
  • As Carpenter drives exclusively at the oval events, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be the finale of his 17th season of NTT IndyCar Series competition. In addition to Pocono, ECR’s leader has raced at Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Carpenter continued to show his prowess at IMS, starting on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 for fifth time in the past seven years. He added to his tally of solid “500” results by finishing 6th, the best of ECR’s three-car lineup.
  • WWT Raceway is the second of two short oval races on the NTT IndyCar Series calendar; Iowa Speedway was the first. For the second year in a row, Pigot raced to the front of the pack at Iowa and gained the most positions of all competitors. His 5th place extended ECR’s streak of Top 5 finishes at Iowa to seven consecutive years. The result matched his best of the season as he also finished 5th at the IMS road course. Two weeks after INDYCAR Grand Prix, he would start a career-best 3rd in the Indianapolis 500 and go on to lead the race. This season, Pigot has earned career-best starting positions at each type of track the series races on – ovals, road courses and street circuits.
  • While Carpenter checked off a milestone last weekend; Pigot will reach one this weekend. Carpenter’s 6th place at Pocono on Sunday was the 50th Top 10 finish of his Indy car career, even as he has only competed on ovals since 2014. Pigot will be making his 50th Indy car start with Ed Carpenter Racing this weekend. Since stepping up to the NTT IndyCar Series in 2016, all but four of Pigot’s starts have come with the team. Aside from Carpenter, Pigot is ECR’s longest-tenured driver.
  • The NTT IndyCar Series is currently in a string of three back-to-back races on three different types of circuits, the second of which is the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. Coverage of tomorrow night’s 248-lap race will begin at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 24.

ED CARPENTER, No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet, Qualified 17th: “We really have gotten better as the day has gone on, but where we unloaded was too far outside the window. We used up a lot of time in that first practice correcting that. During my qualifying run, I bottomed a little too hard on the second lap and got loose in Turns 3 & 4. We’ll have to work our way through the field tomorrow night.”

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Qualified 13th: “It was tricky there in Turns 1 & 2. There was oil dry down right there at the bottom of the corner where you want to be. It was a difficult run, it just felt like the whole car lacked grip all of the way through. We definitely made some improvements from practice to have a solid run. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

FINAL OVAL RACE OF THE 2019 SEASON UP NEXT FOR ED CARPENTER RACING

Ed Carpenter, Spencer Pigot Ready to Race Under the Lights at WWT Raceway on Saturday Night INDIANAPOLIS (August 20, 2019) – Race Preview Only one oval track remains on the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series schedule, World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, located just across the river from St. Louis, MO. For team owner Ed Carpenter,…

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      In October last year the city released a request for proposals seeking “an open-wheel auto racing format” to run the annual Grand Prix event. From the start it was only a two-horse race between Michaelian and Pook. Pook, of course, was hardly a carpetbagger. He founded the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1975 and brought […]
    • Q&A: Printup talks future of WGI, IndyCar, Phish
      Everybody was excited, but I take a lot of personal interest in IndyCar. I always have. I kind of grew up in IndyCar, so I was glad that we were able to get them back. The fans themselves, for only having a little bit less than 90 days to sell the race last year, we […]
    • Rick Mears – still the ultimate pro at 65
      Over the past 20-something years writing about racing, I’ve encountered three people from whom I learn something about the art of racecar driving every time we speak for longer than five minutes. One of that trio is Rick Ravon Mears, born this day 65 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and brought up in Bakersfield, Calif. […]
    • Memoir helps widow cope after IndyCar driver's death
      Tonya Bergeson-Dana talks with her son, Conor, about his father when he brings it up, which is often. If he’s asking the questions, she reasons, he’s ready to hear the answers. Paul Conor Dana, at age 9, knows that his father was Paul Dana, a journalist and IndyCar driver who died in March 2006 during […]