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Juncos Racing Indy 500 Practice Summary Day 5

SPENCER PIGOT NO. 11 JUNCOS RACING DALLARA/CHEVROLET/FIRESTONE FRIDAY, MAY 19 – FAST FRIDAY Practice 5 Fast Lap: 39.7931 seconds/226.170 mph – 32nd Combined Results (after 5 days) Fast Lap:  39.7931 seconds/226.170 mph – 32nd Practice Summary: Following lightning and rain in the morning, Day 5 of practice for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 started on…

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Juncos Racing Practice Summary Indy 500 Day 2

SPENCER PIGOT

No. 11 Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone

Indianapolis 500 – Tuesday, May 16, 2017 – Practice Day 2

Practice 2: Fast lap – 40.7922 seconds/220.630 mph – 26th

Combined Results (2 days): Fast lap – 40.7922 seconds/220.630 mph – 29th

Spencer Pigot Practice Summary:

Spencer Pigot, No. 11 Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, was 29th on the speed charts following yesterday’s first day of practice with a speed of 218.065 mph. He had a strong day today as the team trimmed the car a bit and put him out in traffic. He ran his fastest lap on the 42nd of the 66 he ran today and went from being eight mph off the pace on the first day of practice to just four mph down today, The 23-year-old resident of Orlando, Florida.is contesting just his second Indy 500 and running on an oval for just the second time in an IndyCar.

Spencer Pigot Practice Day 2 Quote:

“Overall it was a good day. We definitely improved on yesterday. Our goal was to run a lot more in traffic, which we were able to do. We definitely got a lot more data today. We tried a few different down force levels to see what we think might work best for the race and what to really focus on as far as dialing everything in later in the week. A good day and I’m looking forward to tomorrow

Spencer Pigot Fast Facts:

  • The 2017 Indy 500 will be Pigot’s 15th career Verizon IndyCar Series and first with Juncos Racing in an IndyCar.
  • He previously competed for Juncos Racing team in Karting, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights..
  • Pigot made his Indy 500 debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing last year qualifying  29th and finishing 25th.
  • Pigot is contesting his second Verizon IndyCar Series season.
  • In 2016, he made three starts for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2016 and seven for Ed Carpenter Racing.
  • Pigot has made four starts for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2017 all on road or street courses and is scheduled to run the remaining road and street events for the team.
  • He has placed in the top-10 twice in his first four races this year, a season-high eighth at Long Beach and ninth in the Indy Grand Prix.
  • Pigot currently sits 21st in the championship race with 66 points.
  • In 14 career IndyCar starts, Pigot has earned four top-10 finishes with a best showing of seventh at Mid-Ohio in 2016 (ninth at Road America in 2016, eighth at Long Beach, 2017 and ninth in the Indy Grand Prix, 2017).

 

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA

No. 17 AFS/Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone

Indianapolis 500 – Tuesday, May 16, 2017 – Practice Day 2

Practice 2: Fast lap – 40.8554 sec/220.289 mph – 27th

Combined Results (2days): Fast lap – 40.4325 sec/222.593 mph – 24th

Sebastian Saavedra Practice Summary:

Sebastian Saavedra, No. 17 AFS/Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, was 21st on the speed charts following yesterday’s first day of practice with a speed of 222.593 mph. The talented 26-year-old Colombian, who is making his sixth appearance on the Speedway oval, continued to build on the momentum he gained yesterday. Saavedra, who is returning to IndyCar competition after a one-year hiatus, also began to reduce his downforce levels slightly today and spent most of his track time working in traffic. Although his speed dropped a bit from yesterday so did the times of the drivers at the top of the speed charts, mainly due to track conditions. He remained just four mph off the fastest car turning his quickest lap on the 39th of the 55 he ran today.

Sebastian Saavedra Practice Day 2 Quote:

“A very positive second day. We maintained the momentum and built from yesterday. The track conditions were definitely different, which made it a bit more challenging. We focused on continuing to work on a more traffic friendly car and we definitely succeeded at that. Now we need to continue the momentum we have built so far and not lose our focus in the next couple days”

Sebastian Saavedra Fast Facts:

  • The 2017 Indy 500 will be Saavedra’s 62nd career Verizon IndyCar Series start, first with AFS/Juncos Racing and sixth at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • This will be Saavedra’s first Verizon IndyCar Series start since the Grand Prix of Sonoma in 2015.
  • In five previous Indy 500 starts Saavedra has a best qualifying position of 24th in 2012 and a best finish of 15th in 2014.
  • Saavedra is contesting his sixth Verizon IndyCar Series season and first with AFS/Juncos Racing.
  • In 61 career IndyCar starts, Saavedra has earned four top-10 finishes and one pole (at the inaugural Indy Grand Prix in 2014). His best finish is eighth in 2013 at Baltimore (Ninth Long Beach – 2014; 10th Detroit – 2013 and Long Beach – 2015);

JUNCOS RACING MAKES INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY DEBUT IN VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES

JUNCOS RACING MAKES INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY DEBUT IN VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES

SAAVEDRA LEADS TEAM ON SPEED CHARTS

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – May 15, 2017 – Juncos Racing made its Indianapolis Motor Speedway debut in the Verizon IndyCar Series today during the first day of practice in preparation for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 set for May, 28, 2017.

Spencer Pigot in the No. 11 Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet//Firestone car was the first Juncos Racing driver to turn a lap on the fabled 2.5-mile oval. He went out at noon today for an installation lap checking the car to make sure all the systems were functioning properly.

Shortly thereafter, Sebastian Saavedra, in the No. 17 AFS/Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone car, turned the first laps at speed while doing a “refresher course” (for drivers who have not driven at the Speedway recently), prior to full practice.

Commenting on making his IndyCar debut at the Brickyard Juncos Racing owner Ricardo Juncos said, “It is a honor and a privilege to be here racing IndyCars at the greatest race track in the world. I have so many people to thank for making this dream come true. Mark Miles and everyone at the Speedway as well as Jay Frye and all the staff at IndyCar have been so helpful guiding us through the process. Chevrolet for supplying the power, and most of all the all the drivers, engineers, crew and everyone at Juncos Racing who have worked so hard to get to this point. This is something very special and I am so proud.”

During the full practice Saavedra, who is making his sixth Indianapolis 500 appearance, led the team with a lap of 222.593 mph placing him 21st on the speed charts for the day. His fastest lap of the day came of the 36th of the 39 laps he turned on the first day of practice.

“All together a very positive first day for AFS Juncos No. 17 car,” Saavedra said. “I felt as if I was a riding a bike. It came back to me quickly. I had to mentality ease through it, not put any pressure on myself which allowed us to get the small things out of the way. We focused on the initial setup and I started connecting with my engineer. It’s been awhile since we worked together, so it was good to get to have this time together. It was also good to work back with my teammate Spencer Pigot. That is going to be crucial for us to have a good month of May. So, overall a very positive first day of testing. I’m very pleased.”

Pigot, who is contesting just his second Indy 500, did not run in traffic during any of his 49 laps. His fastest speed, 218.065 mph, came on lap 39 which put him 29th on the speed charts.

“Yeah, it was a good first day,” Pigot said. “We didn’t really have any issues and that’s what we wanted. We didn’t do a huge amount of laps. We just did a few runs to make sure everything was working well and just kind of did our own thing today. As the week goes on we’ll get more aggressive and start running in traffic a bit more, find some people to get tows and go a little bit quicker. Today the goal was to make sure everything ran okay and we did that”

Juncos Racing has previously competed at IMS 17 times in both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Series. The team has made seven starts on the road course (four in Pro Mazda and three in Indy Lights) and three starts on the oval in the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race. Juncos Racing has four total victories at the Speedway all on the road course (three in Pro Mazda and one in Indy Lights) over five years (2012, 2014-2017). Three of the victories came last weekend when the team captured both the Pro Mazda events and the Indy Lights race.

Saavedra, is a veteran of 61 Verizon IndyCar starts. In his five previous Indy 500 starts he has a best finish of 15th in 2014. The 2017 Indy 500 marks Saavedra’s return to Verizon IndyCar competition after a one year hiatus. The 26-year-old native of Bogata, Colombia made his first IndyCar start at the Indianapolis 500 for Bryan Herta Autosport. He has also competed in the Indy 500 for Andretti Autosport, 2012, Dragon Racing, 2013, KV Racing, 2014 (also captured the pole for the inaugural Indy Grand Prix) and Chip Ganassi, 2015

Pigot, the 2014 Pro Mazda and 2015 Indy Lights Champion (both with Juncos Racing) has made 15 Verizon IndyCar starts over the last two years including his first Indy 500 (qualified 29th and finished 25th) last year Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The 23-year-old from Orlando, Florida is scheduled to contest all Verizon IndyCar road and street course events for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2017. He has already notched two top-10 showings in his first four events this year (an eighth place showing at Long Beach and a ninth place finish last weekend in the Indy Grand Prix). .

JUNCOS RACING TO FIELD CAR FOR SEBASTIEN SAAVEDRA IN 101ST RUNNING OF INDIANAPOLIS 500

Indianapolis, Indiana (May 10, 2017) – Juncos Racing announced today that it has entered a car for Sebastian Saavedra in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The team, which is making its debut at the Brickyard, announced Tuesday that Spencer Pigot…

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JUNCOS RACING TO RUN PIGOT IN 101ST RUNNING OF INDIANAPOLIS 500

JUNCOS RACING TO RUN PIGOT IN 101ST RUNNING OF INDIANAPOLIS 500 Indianapolis, Indiana (May 9, 2017) – Juncos Racing announced today that Spencer Pigot will drive for the team in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.. Pigot, 23, will pilot the…

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Team Release and TSO Notes: Juncos Racing Announces Entry in 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500

TSO notes and thoughts (from Steve) Ricardo Juncos told TSO that he first thought about joining the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2013, but wanted to wait for the right opportunity, and that finally surfaced in December of 2016. Juncos Racing purchased three chassis, the speedway aero-kits, one transporter, two full sets of pit equipment and other sundry…

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Canadian Zachary Claman Demelo Joins Juncos Racing for 2016 Indy Lights Campaign

Canadian Zachary Claman Demelo Joins Juncos Racing for 2016 Indy Lights Campaign

Indianapolis, Indiana (December 15, 2015) – Juncos Racing is pleased to announce Zachary Claman Demelo will join the team for the 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. Claman is the second driver to join the regaining 2015 Indy Lights Champions line up for the 2016 season.

 

The 2016 Indy Lights season will mark Zachary Claman Demelo’s (Montreal, Canada) first run in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series. The Canadian native recently made his official debut with Juncos Racing at the fifth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test. Claman proved to be a strong contender in the Indy Lights series leading the field in the final session and finishing third overall.

 

“I’m very happy about being given the opportunity to work with Juncos Racing,” said Claman. I get along very well with all the guys and I think we work well together. I’m looking forward to a strong season and showing everyone what we are capable of as a team.”

Claman joins the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series with Juncos Racing after competing in the 2014 F3 Cup and Formula Renault 2.0 series in Europe. Claman has also recorded many championships in karts throughout North America including Canadian National Champion and four Eastern Karting Championships. The young Canadian took third in the World Finals, won the Florida Winter Tour Tag Senior Championship, and was the runner up in the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Senior Championship.

Team Principle Ricardo Juncos has been very impressed with Claman’s preseason results and is confident the young Canadian will be a stand out driver in his rookie Indy Lights season.

“I am pleased to be able to announce that Zach Claman will be joining our organization for an assault on the 2016 Indy Lights Championship,” said Juncos. “Zach has been extremely impressive in preseason testing thus far, everyone is excited to see what he can do come St. Petersburg. I have to personally thank Mike Wilson for organizing the first test between Zach and Juncos Racing. Mike has been a huge supporter of Juncos Racing for over a decade and we will be putting our full effort behind Zach.”

Garett Grist Returns to Juncos Racing for the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship

Indianapolis, Indiana (December 10, 2015) – Juncos Racing is pleased to announce Canadian Garett Grist will return to the team for the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Grist is the fourth driver to commit to the 2015 Pro Mazda Champion team.

Garett Grist (Grimsby, Ontario, Canada) recently completed a very successful season in the 2015 Pro Mazda series finishing third overall in the championship. Grist, who had a tough start to the 2015 season, went on to finish off the second half of the year by recording an impressive six poles, along with three wins and four podiums.

The 2016 season will mark Grist’s third year in the Pro Mazda series and fourth year in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series. Grist looks to carry the strong momentum gained during the 2015 season into battling for the 2016 championship.

“I still have a lot to learn and plenty to prove in Pro Mazda,” said Grist. “We had a slow start to the 2015 season and that put us behind in the championship. Peter (Dempsey) and I really hit our stride in the second half of the year and we look to continue that form in St. Petersburg in March. Just look at Laguna Seca. The crew at Juncos has been amazing and I think we have a real shot at the championship in 2016.”

The young Canadian first joined the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series running in the 2013 USF2000 Championship. That year Grist took third in the championship by recording one win and three podiums, along with earning “Rookie of the Year.” Grist moved up the ladder in 2014 into the Pro Mazda series where he finished sixth in the championship and recorded two wins and three poles.

Team Principle Ricardo Juncos, is excited to have Grist back with the team after finishing off the 2015 season on such a high note. Juncos is very confident Grist will carry the strong momentum gained last season to be a tough contender to beat in the 2016 championship.

“I am thrilled to confirm that Garett Grist will be returning to Juncos Racing for 2016,” said Juncos. Garett’s 2015 season ended so strongly that it became a must to have him return this year. He is certainly a championship favorite and rightfully so, having won three of the last six races of 2015 as well as nearly every pole position during the second half of the season. Garett works extremely well with everyone on our Pro Mazda team and we are very excited to see what we can do now that we have a season working together under our belt.”

For more information please visit juncosracing.com and promazdachampionship.com

American Will Owen Returns to Juncos Racing for the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship

Indianapolis, Indiana (November 13, 2015) – Juncos Racing is pleased to announce Will Owen will return to the team for the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Owen is the first driver to join the championship winning team for the 2016 season.

Will Owen (Castle Rock, Colorado) first joined Juncos Racing this past year for the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship, where he captured one pole, five podiums and six Top-5 finishes during his rookie season. The young American helped Juncos Racing capture their second consecutive Pro Mazda team championship and finished seventh overall in the drivers’ championship.

“Last year I got the opportunity of a lifetime to race with Juncos in Pro Mazda,” said Owen. “I had a great first year, and enjoyed every second of it. I am so glad to announce that I will continue with Juncos in the 2016 season. Last year we took every opportunity to learn as much as we could, and this year we can apply that knowledge to get great results and try to win the championship. I love the feeling of going into the season with people I already know and am comfortable with. Having good people around you is critical to being successful and having a good time, and I will have both of those things with all the members of Juncos Racing. I’m looking forward to making this year the best I possibly can!”

 

Owen made a strong impression on the team last season starting with the 2015 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship. There he picked up his first pole position in the Pro Mazda series and challenged for the lead throughout the five race championship taking home two podiums. Owen carried the momentum into the rest of the 2015 year, picking up multiple podiums, finishing a season high second at both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway.

Team Principle Ricardo Juncos, is thrilled to have Owen rejoin the team for his sophomore year in the Pro Mazda Championship after a successful 2015 season. Juncos is confident Owen will earn his first victory in the Pro Mazda series after being close multiple times throughout his rookie season and is ready to see him be a top contender for the championship.

“Having Will (Owen) rejoin our team for a second consecutive season was an absolute must for us,” said Juncos. “He was on the heels of his first victory from the first race of the Cooper Tires Winterfest all the way until the season concluded in Laguna Seca. You couldn’t ask for a more dedicated driver, his focus and determination will be what make him a future champion. I speak for everyone on the team when I say that we are excited to have him return for his sophomore season in the Pro Mazda Championship. We undoubtedly believe that he will be a championship contender.”

For more information please visit juncosracing.com and promazdachampionship.com

Team USA Scholarship celebrates 25th anniversary with an outstanding crop of nominees

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For a quarter of a century, the Team U.S.A. Scholarship has been providing unparalleled opportunities in AND out of the race car for young American drivers.  Founded in 1990 by Jeremy Shaw, the program includes funded rides, guidance, and insight from those that have “been there, and done that.”

Jimmy Vasser, the first Team USA Scholarship winner in 1990, gets ready to race at Brands Hatch (photo courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

Jimmy Vasser, the first Team USA Scholarship winner in 1990, gets ready to race at Brands Hatch (photo courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

A group of 11 drivers will be traveling to Road America this weekend (August 8-9) to convene with a panel of judges who will narrow the dozen drivers down to the six drivers who will take part in a shootout at Auto Club Speedway in early September.

Two drivers from the group of six that have progressed to the shootout (hosted by Allen Berg Racing Schools and Cooper Tire) will ultimately be named scholarship winners and fly the Stars and Stripes during the traditional end-of-season Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone in England.

The eleven drivers that will convene at the historic 4.048 mile, 14-turn road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin include:

  • Ben Auriemma, 17, Manhasset, N.Y., F1600 Championship Series
  • Sam Chastain, 22, Noblesville, Ind., F2000 Championship Series
  • Dakota Dickerson, 18, San Diego, Calif., Skip Barber Racing Series
  • Austin Mack, 17, Warren, R.I., F1600 Championship Series
  • Tommy McCarthy, 16, Fremont, Calif., SCCA Spec Miata/USAC midgets
  • Austin McCusker, 17, Glen Head, NY, F2000 Championship Series
  • Tazio Ottis, 19, Alameda, Calif., SCCA Formula Mazda
  • Chase Owen, 23, Houston, Texas, Skip Barber Racing Series
  • Timo Reger, 18, Houston, Texas, Skip Barber Racing Series
  • Michai Stephens, 23, Evanston, Ill., F1600 Championship Series
  • Austin Versteeg, 16, Sandy, Utah, IMSA Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda

Austin Cindric, who is competing in Red Bull Global Rallycross, the ARCA Racing Serires, the Pirelli World Challenge and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, was the twelfth driver selected but had to bow-out of the proceedings due to prior commitments.

“From the beginning, it has always been a goal of mine to represent the Team USA Scholarship program during my racing career,” said Cindric. “It is really an honor to be selected as a candidate this year as this program has made such an impact on so many young American drivers over the years. Unfortunately, my current commitments conflict with many of this year’s activities, so I feel it’s best to withdraw my name before the finalists are chosen as I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of another nominee receiving this great opportunity. Hopefully, there will be a way to represent Team USA in another meaningful way in the future.”

Two young drivers Colton Herta and Scott Huffaker were also considered, but because they are not yet 16 years-old, they do not meet the minimum age requirement to compete in the Formula Ford events.

From the first winner in 1990, Jimmy Vasser, to the 2014 representatives, Aaron Telitz and Michai Stephens, the esteemed group of 42 drivers have certainly left their mark in American motorsport.

The list of previous scholarship winners includes:

  • Verizon IndyCar Series team owners – Vasser & Bryan Herta
  • current IndyCar drivers – Josef Newgarden, J.R. Hildebrand, Charlie Kimball and Conor Daly
  • former IndyCar drivers – A.J. Allmendinger, Phil Giebler, Jeff Simmons, Buddy Rice, Tonny Renna, and Memo Gidley
  • current Mazda Road To Indy drivers – Aaron Telitz, Jake Eidson, Matthew Brabham, Jack Mitchell, Jr., Neil Alberico, Spencer Pigot, & Felix Serralles
  • current sports car pilots – Tristan Nunez, Trent Hindman, Connor De Phillippi, Joel Miller, Dane Cameron, Bryan Sellers, Joey Hand, and Andy Lally
2008 Team USA Scholarship winners Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden have competed against each other in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2015 (Photo Courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

2008 Team USA Scholarship winners Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden have competed against each other in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2015 (Photo Courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

The esteemed panel of judges who will meet with the dozen drivers in the kettle moraines of Wisconsin include  Derrick Walker, president of operations and competition for INDYCAR and principal of Walker Racing/Team Falken Tire, Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull, Mazda Motorsports Specialist Kyle Kimball, accomplished racer and NBC Sports Network pundit Townsend Bell and his Scuderia Corsa teammate, Bill Sweedler, television personality and pit lane reporter Jamie Howe, and former scholarship winners Lally, Sellers,  Cameron, and factory Mazda driver Miller.

“I am very grateful for all of the time and effort that has been expended by many people to help provide what should be an illuminating weekend for our scholarship contenders,” said Team USA Scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw. “They will learn a great deal about what to expect as they progress along the racing ladder, and we will have an opportunity to learn a little more about them as individuals.”

Supporters of the Team U.S.A. scholarship include:  Doug Mockett & Company, the Road Racing Drivers Club and SAFEisFAST.com, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Team Penske, Mazda, Chip Ganassi Racing, Basecamp.com, Afterburner Autosport, Honda Performance Development, Robertson Racing, Masters HGP, Allen Berg Racing Schools, Ellis Clowes North America, Co-Force International, Race Hero, PitFit Training, RaceCraft1, Sparco USA, RACER Magazine, Speedstar Management, Styled Aesthetic and Manifest Group.

You can check out the Team USA Scholarship website or follow them on Twitter or Facebook

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