POCONO RACEWAY STARTING GRID SET BY ENTRANT POINTS
Qualifications Cancelled Due to Weather; Spencer Pigot Will Start 12th, Ed Carpenter From 15th for Tomorrow’s 500-Mile Race
LONG POND, Penn. (August 17, 2019) – Saturday Notes
– After the first practice session at Pocono Raceway was washed out, qualifications were cancelled for the ABC Supply 500 in favor of an extended practice this afternoon. With the change to the schedule, the starting grid for tomorrow’s 500-mile race has been set off entrant points. Spencer Pigot will roll off 12th while Ed Carpenter will start 15th.
– Weather in the area prohibited this morning’s first practice from beginning at the scheduled time of 9:30 a.m. ET. Teams were allowed to move their cars back to the garages before the predicted rain storm reached the 2.5-mile triangular oval. As track drying efforts began, NTT IndyCar Series officials decided to scrap qualifying and have one longer practice. Per the INDYCAR Rule Book, the starting field would be set on entrant points. The No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet, driven by Carpenter on ovals and Ed Jones on road and street courses, currently sits 15th in entrant points. Pigot, in the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, is 12th.
– In place of qualifying, drivers were given a two-hour practice session. Without the need to work on single-lap pace for qualifying, Ed Carpenter Racing was able to immediately begin race preparations and concentrate on improving the cars over the long runs. Carpenter turned 57 laps with a top speed of 213.207 miles per hour. Pigot was just a tick faster at 213.912 miles per hour on his 64th of 66 laps.
– The 2018 edition of the ABC Supply 500 was Pigot’s first race at Pocono. Coming to the green flag, Pigot was struck from behind by another competitor. The contact sent Pigot spinning across the track, tapping the inside wall with the rear of his car. Since he was already several laps down, the No. 21 crew continued repairs during a lengthy red flag which began on Lap 8. By rejoining the race, Pigot gained six positions to run 16th. The decision was then made to retire the No. 21 from the event on Lap 17, feeling maximum points had been gained given the circumstances.
– Carpenter has competed in each race since the NTT IndyCar Series returned to Pocono in 2013, bringing home a Top 10 finish last year. He was 10th at the time of the red flag; once the race resumed, Laps 12-200 remained green. Carpenter did not fall out of the Top 10 for the entire remainder of the event, despite having to hit a difficult fuel number during his last two stints in an effort to not make any additional pit stops. After 500 miles, Carpenter would earn a 10th place finish.
– While the ABC Supply 500 is the second of the two 500-mile races this season, the first was the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May. ECR competed as a three-car team as Jones was entered alongside Carpenter and Pigot. The trio earned the highest average starting position of over a dozen teams in the race as they qualified second, third and fourth. For Carpenter, qualifying second marked the fifth time in seven years he would start first or second in the Indy 500. Pigot qualified next to Carpenter on the front row, his third starting position the highest of his career to date. Both would lead the prestigious race and Carpenter led the team with a 6th place result.
– Pocono Raceway marks the first of three race weekends in a row for Pigot. After tomorrow’s race, ECR will make its way to World Wide Technology Raceway (formerly Gateway Motorsports Park) just across the river from St. Louis, MO. There, Carpenter will conclude his 2019 season on Saturday, August 24 as the 1.25-mile track is the last oval on this year’s schedule. Jones will be back behind the wheel of the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet for the Grand Prix of Portland on Sunday, September 1.
– Live coverage of the ABC Supply 500 will begin tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. The green flag is scheduled to drop on the 200-lap race at 2:45 p.m. ET.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet, Starting 15th: “It was an interesting practice session. Obviously, I would have liked to have had the SONAX Chevrolet higher up on the time sheets. I actually feel pretty good about the car – the way it’s driving, the way it handles and the pace over a long run. A session like this, it’s really hard to know what everyone was doing. We were on full tanks the whole time – was everyone running full tanks? – we don’t know. We’ll find out tomorrow. I feel better here than I have in past seasons heading into the race. I would have liked to have qualified. I think we do have more pace in the car than what the time sheets say if we were actually trying to qualify. But, we’ll start on entrant points and work our way through the field.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Starting 12th: “We worked through a lot of changes today which was positive. The general feeling of the Autogeek Chevy in traffic isn’t too bad so we’ll look to make some small improvements for tomorrow. It’s unfortunate the rain caused the schedule to change so much, but we’re starting 12th so it could have been worse. Hopefully, we can find some more speed and work our way up throughout the race.”
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