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 have their sights set on racing through the field in tomorrow’s NTT IndyCar Series season finale. Spencer Pigot will start 15th in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey while Ed Jones will roll off from the 18th position.
– The race weekend started a day earlier than usual with an open test for all drivers. Jones and Pigot had six hours of track time on Thursday, followed by the beginning of official on-track activity yesterday. Jones improved his speed by over two miles an hour in between Friday’s Practice 1 and Practice 2. Pigot set the 8th fastest lap in Practice 1, following that up with a lap that was a mile an hour faster in Practice 2.
– This morning’s Practice 3 set the groups for qualifying. With an even-numbered finishing position on the time sheets, Pigot was assigned to Round 1, Group 1. He began his 10-minute session on a set of sticker black Firestone Firehawks, switching to a set of sticker red tires after three laps. He was able to complete three more laps at speed on the reds with a quickest of 113.752 miles per hour. The lap gave the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet the 15th spot on the starting grid for tomorrow’s race.
– With an odd-numbered position on this morning’s speed chart, Jones was out to qualify as part of Round 1, Group 2. He was the only driver to begin on a set of sticker reds and sat 3rd after his first run. Following those three laps, he came into the pit lane for a second set of sticker reds. He was able to improve his time in the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, but not his position. With a fast lap of 113.507 miles per hour, Jones will start the final Indy car race of the year from the 18th position.
– Over the past three days, Pigot has turned 111 laps around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course while Jones has made 129 circuits. Though they have not yet competed in an NTT IndyCar Series race at WeatherTech Raceway, both have raced at the historic venue to great success. Pigot was crowned the 2015 Indy Lights champion after winning both races in the season finale. The following year, it would be Jones who would capture the same championship at the same track.
– 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 third. Pigot has 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 now started over 50 races with Ed Carpenter Racing, making him the team’s longest-tenured driver aside from Carpenter. Pigot is one of many Indy car drivers with California roots. Before moving to his hometown of Orlando, Fla., Pigot was born in Pasadena.
– Jones has served as road and street course driver of the No. 20 this season with team owner Ed Carpenter competing during the oval events. A road course is home to Jones’s best finish of the year to date, 6th place in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at IMS. 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 has reached the Firestone Fast 6 during qualifying on two occasions this year, the IMS road course and the streets of Toronto. Jones races under the United Arab Emirates flag, giving nod to the British driver’s birthplace, hometown and residence of Dubai. During the racing season, the 24-year-old is based in Miami.
– Tomorrow’s NTT IndyCar Series season finale will feature 90 laps around WeatherTech Raceway. The championship-deciding race will be shown live on NBC, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. local). The green flag time has been updated and is now scheduled for 3:26 p.m. ET (12:26 p.m. local).
ED JONES, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, Qualified 18th: “It’s been a tough weekend so far but I think we made some progress in each of the sessions. 18th on the grid is certainly not where we want to be, but race strategies are going to be quite different. Hopefully we can make something happen and end the season on a high.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Qualified 15th: “It was certainly not the qualifying we wanted. It’s going to be a tough race. We’ll see what we can do with strategy and try to pass some cars on the start. We definitely need to make some improvements for tomorrow and hopefully move forward.”
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