ED CARPENTER RACING PREPARED FOR THE 103rd RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
Final Indy 500 Practice Complete; Focus Has Now Shifted to Sunday’s 500-Mile Race
INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2019) – Indianapolis 500 Race Preview
– The next time Ed Carpenter Racing’s three Chevrolet-powered Indy cars take to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, it will be for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500. Team owner Ed Carpenter will roll off from the 2nd position, the fifth time in the last seven years he will take the green flag from the front row. ECR’s full-time driver, Spencer Pigot, sits on the front row for the first time in his NTT IndyCar Series career as he will start 3rd. ECR has expanded to three cars for the Indianapolis 500, claiming the 4th starting position with the team’s road and street course driver Ed Jones.
– Indianapolis-based Ed Carpenter Racing moved operations from its race shop at 71st Street and Georgetown Road to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 16th and Georgetown for the Month of May. The team headed into the month looking to build strong momentum and did just that. Pigot and Jones both turned in their best results of the season in the INDYCAR Grand Prix, contested on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course two weekends ago. Pigot finished fifth, his first Top 5 of the 2019 season, while Jones was just behind in sixth.
– On Tuesday, May 15, three days after the INDYCAR Grand Prix, Carpenter, Pigot and Jones began turning practice laps on IMS’s 2.5-mile oval. Over the course of the next four days, the trio put in 2,120 miles of work. All three were near the top of the charts every day, both in speed and no-tow. Fast Friday practice lived up to its name as each set their fastest lap of the month. Pigot’s best lap came in at 230.471 miles per hour (mph), Carpenter’s fastest was 230.358 mph and Jones topped out at 230.106 mph.
– Qualifying spanned two days, beginning on Saturday, May 18. Positions 1-30 were locked into the field at the conclusion of Saturday with fastest top nine cars advancing to Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout. As the result of a blind draw, Pigot was only the second car to qualify. His four-lap average of 230.083 was the fastest of the 73 qualifying attempts made by 36 drivers on Saturday. Jones ended the day sixth overall with an average speed of 229.440 mph and Carpenter was just behind in seventh at 228.772 mph. For the second year in a row, all three Ed Carpenter Racing cars advanced to the Fast Nine Shootout. ECR was the only multi-car team to have their entire lineup able to make a run for the pole position.
– Sunday’s Last Row and Fast Nine Shootouts were delayed by nearly four hours as heavy rains moved through the Indianapolis area on May 19. The fastest nine drivers from Saturday went out in reverse order of their speeds and would have four laps to make a run for the coveted first starting position. Carpenter, the first ECR driver to make his attempt, put up an average speed of 229.889 mph. He remained the provisional pole sitter until Simon Pagenaud completed his run, bumping Carpenter to 2nd by only .700 of a second. Jones, out next, had a four-lap average of 229.646 mph, which was good enough for the 4th starting position. As the fastest qualifier on Saturday, Pigot was the final car to make an attempt. Once he had finished his four laps, he slotted in between Carpenter and Jones in 3rd at 229.826 mph.
– It is the sixth time in the past seven years that Ed Carpenter Racing has had a car qualify on the front row of the Indianapolis 500. 2019 is the first time in the team’s history it has secured two of the three front row spots. With drivers starting 2-3-4, ECR has the highest average starting position of over a dozen teams in the race.
– After the field of 33 was set, drivers and teams shifted back to race preparations during two hours of practice on Monday, May 20. Immediately following practice, Carpenter headed to Dallas, Texas while Pigot and Jones were off to Pigot’s hometown of Orlando, Fla as part of a nationwide media blitz on Tuesday, May 21. Visits to Indianapolis Public School Christian Park School 82 and numerous local partners highlighted pre-race appearances for the ECR drivers on Wednesday, May 22 and Thursday, May 23. One more practice took place this morning, Friday, May 24, providing one and a half more hours of track time. The final session brought Pigot’s total laps of practice for the month to 450, Carpenter with 403 and Jones at 369. The Indianapolis 500 will consist of 200 laps.
– As one of the most experienced drivers in the field, Carpenter will be making his 16th Indianapolis 500 start on Sunday. The Indianapolis-native and hometown favorite is a three-time pole winner, earning back-to-back pole positions in 2013 and 2014 and again last year in 2018. He has started first or second in five of the last seven Indy 500s, adding second place starting positions in 2017 and 2019. The Indianapolis 500 will be Carpenter’s first race of the 2019 season as he competes exclusively in the oval events; there have been no oval races since last August’s race at Gateway Motorsports Park. The 38-year-old is coming off of a runner-up finish in last year’s “500” after leading 65 laps, the most of all drivers.
– Pigot’s qualifying position of 3rd for the Indianapolis 500 is the best of his career. The 25-year-old is in his fourth season as an NTT IndyCar Series driver and fourth year with Ed Carpenter Racing. All but four of Pigot’s 44 Indy car starts have come with ECR, though last year’s Indy 500 was his first with the team. He made his Indianapolis 500 debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2016 and competed for Juncos Racing in 2017.
– Jones has matched his career-best Indy car starting position with his 4th place qualifying effort last Sunday. Jones has three third place finishes in the NTT IndyCar Series, the first of which came at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his Indianapolis 500 debut. Jones was the highest finishing rookie in 2017 field, later winning the season-long award of Rookie of the Year. The 24-year-old was born in Dubai of British descent and currently resides in Miami, Fla.
– Carpenter is carrying the classic blue and white colors of longtime ECR partner Preferred Freezer Services (PFS) on his No. 20 Chevrolet. PFS, a global leader in the cold storage, warehousing, distribution and logistics industry, first teamed up with ECR to field a second car for the team in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. The company has supported ECR’s Month of May program each year since, serving as primary partner on seven entries for the 500-mile race over the past six years. Two companies with deep Hoosier ties, SMC Corporation of America and DEEM Mechanical and Electrical Company, are also featured on the No. 20.
– Pigot’s No. 21 Chevrolet showcases continued support from car care superstore Autogeek.com, remaining in the black and white scheme it has sported in the first five NTT IndyCar Series races this season. Over the last 15 years, Autogeek has risen to become one of the most reputable and trusted sources for automotive detailing products and accessories. Through detailing how-to guides and instructional videos, Autogeek provides a wealth of car care know-how for detailers, hobbyists and car care enthusiasts.
– Scuderia Corsa’s red and white colors adorn Jones’s No. 63, which features WeatherTech, Pacific Western Bank and Copter. In partnership with Scuderia Corsa, Jones races the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet in the 12 road and street course events on the 2019 calendar. ECR runs two full-time entries in the NTT IndyCar Series, the No. 20 and No. 21, but expanded to three cars for the Indianapolis 500 to include Jones. As Carpenter has stepped back in the No. 20 for the 500-mile race, Jones shifted over to the No. 63.
– Carpenter’s No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet, Pigot’s No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet and Jones’s No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet will now sit quietly in their garages until Sunday, May 26. NBC Sports Network will begin with a live pre-race show at 9 a.m. ET. Coverage will switch over to NBC beginning at 11 a.m. ET. The Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network will also carry the race on Sirius 216, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. The green flag for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to drop at 12:45 p.m. ET.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet, Starting 2nd: “The biggest thing we wanted for today was to get out in more race-like conditions. I feel good about the data we got and the changes we made in order to see improvements on the car. It definitely looked like a hard session for everyone, which is a good thing in my eyes. The temperature was a big factor in making today’s session hard. We could always use more practice, but I think we have had a really great week and a half of preparation. I’m really happy with the day we had and I’m ready to line us all up and get the race going.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Starting 3rd: “It was a pretty good session today. It was difficult out there with the conditions, but it was more representative of what race day is going to look like. We’ve learned a lot over the past few weeks. We will go through everything one more time and make our best decisions for the race.”
ED JONES, No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, Starting 4th: “It was a tough session with track conditions being a little different after this morning’s rain. We are keeping an eye on the conditions for Sunday so we can decide what to do next. We still did a good number of laps today and had solid pit stops which is good practice for race day. Hopefully today was tougher than how it is going to feel on race day
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