Newgarden, Pigot Face Constant Challenges During Honda Indy Toronto

TORONTO (July 17, 2016) – Race Notes

– The 2016 edition of the Honda Indy Toronto and the 2015 Honda Indy Toronto could not have been any more different for Ed Carpenter Racing. After going 1-2 at the checkered flag in 2015, ECR cars would face many challenges and finish at the far end of the field in 2016.

– The most recent winner in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Josef Newgarden, qualified 8th for the Honda Indy Toronto. Also the defending Toronto winner, Newgarden’s race was off to a solid start as he was able to get around James Hinchcliffe for 7th before the first lap was even completed.

– Spencer Pigot, winner of both Indy Lights races at Toronto in 2015, started 21st in only his 7th IndyCar race. Pigot drives the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet during the road and street course events while team owner Ed Carpenter drives on the ovals.

– The No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services crew had to abandon their strategy just five laps into the race. Juan Pablo Montoya hit Newgarden’s rear wing, sending his left rear bumper pod flying. A full course caution for the debris allowed the crew to make a rear wing change and keep Newgarden on the led lap. Running 8th at the time of the contact, he rejoined the race in 22nd.

– Pigot was able to keep with his original strategy, pitting early for a switch from red to black tires. The Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka crew gave Pigot a fast seven second pit stop and sent him back out into the race. He worked hard on fuel conservation throughout the next stint, hoping the strategy would vault him to the front of the field in the waning laps.

– Newgarden had just re-entered the Top 10 after falling all the way back to 22nd when he hit the curbing in Turn 5 on Lap 57. The car got away from him, sending him into the wall. He was checked, cleared and released from the medical center. Newgarden was credited with a 22nd place finish.

– For the ensuing restart after the caution, Pigot had moved into the Top 5. He was attempting to complete the race without making any more pit stops, but that plan was thwarted when he flat spotted his tires under breaking. He came in for one final stop for a new set of tires, but fell back down to 21st.

– Pigot smartly avoided two cars who went into the wall ahead of him on Lap 82. With one lap to go, Pigot held his position on the next restart and would finish 19th.

– The Verizon IndyCar Series moves to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in two weeks for the Honda Indy 200 on July 31st. The race will be broadcast live on CNBC at 2 p.m. ET.

SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH: We just struggled to get the tires up to temperature. I locked up on the second to last restart and flat spotted the tires so we had to come in and pit. We just didn’t really have the pace today to compete towards the Top 10. I also had a broken front wing which definitely did not help. I just want to thank Ed Carpenter Racing and Rising Star Racing for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get back in the Fuzzy’s Vodka car in Mid-Ohio.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 21 PREFERRED FREEZER SERVICES CHEVROLET, FINISHED 22ND: “It was an error on my part. I hate to blame it on an injury, but I hit the curb to hard and lost the wheel. I couldn’t hang on to the wheel, I didn’t have the strength. I feel terrible for our guys, we had a good race going. We were fighting back after we got put back for an incident that I don’t think was our fault. We could have had a good finish there. This was my mistake and I feel bad because we are going to lose some points here.”