ED CARPENTER RACING READY TO FIGHT THROUGH MID-OHIO FIELD IN TOMORROW’S RACE
Despite Solid Practice Sessions, Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones Left Frustrated After Qualifying at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
(LEXINGTON, Ohio) July 27, 2019 – Qualifying Notes
– With Spencer Pigot having one of the fastest cars leading into qualifying and Ed Jones making substantial improvements across all three practice sessions, both will have the cars underneath them to help them fight their way forward in tomorrow’s race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This afternoon’s qualification session left both frustrated as Pigot will start 13th in the Honda Indy 200 while Jones will roll off from the 18th position. Despite the setback, the Ed Carpenter Racing teammates are ready to move up through the field once the green flag flies.
– The weekend had progressed in an upward fashion for Jones as he gained nearly two miles an hour of speed from Friday’s first practice to this morning’s Practice 3. His best lap came in at 122.706 mph, the 11th fastest lap of the session. Pigot was in the Top 10 in each of the three practice sessions, finishing Practice 1 and Practice 3 second on the charts. Pigot’s top speed also came this morning as he turned a lap of 123.608 mph, which was also the second fastest lap of the weekend to that point.
– By finishing this morning’s practice with an even-numbered position on the timing sheets, Pigot was assigned to Round 1, Group 1. After a three lap run on black Firestone Firehawks, Pigot came into the pit lane in the second position. As other cars completed their runs on blacks, he fell to 7th. Three laps on sticker red Firehawks for the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet did not yield any additional positions and Pigot would not advance to Round 2.
– By virtue of an odd-numbered position in Practice 3, Jones was up next in Round 1, Group 2. He followed the same plan as Pigot, completing three laps on the black compound tires and three more on red tires. The No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet sat 9th after his laps on blacks, also remaining in the same spot after a run on reds. Though he did turn his fastest lap of the weekend at 122.829 mph, he would also not advance to Round 2.
– This weekend has the NTT IndyCar Series at a third different type of track in three weeks. Two weeks ago in the streets of Toronto, Pigot and Jones earned the best street course qualifying positions by two ECR cars in the team’s history. Last weekend at the short oval of Iowa Speedway, team owner and oval driver Ed Carpenter climbed back into the No. 20 and surged up through the field after a disappointing qualifying session. Pigot too carved his way forward, extending ECR’s streak of Top 5 finishes at Iowa to seven consecutive years. Jones is back in the No. 20 to race alongside Pigot at Mid-Ohio, the natural terrain road course one hour north of Columbus, Ohio.
– For the second year in a row, Pigot raced to the front of the pack at Iowa and gained the most positions of all competitors. After qualifying 19th, the 25-year-old finished the 300-lap race in the 5th spot as the checkered flag flew in the early hours of last Sunday morning. The result matched his best of the season as he also finished 5th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Two weeks later, he started a career-best 3rd in the Indianapolis 500. With his qualifying run 10 days ago in Toronto, Pigot has earned career-best starting positions this year at each type of track the series races on – ovals, road courses and street circuits.
– As road and street course driver of the No. 20, Jones most recently competed in the Toronto street race on July 14. He qualified 6th, setting the fastest lap of all Round 1 qualifiers on his way to his second Firestone Fast 6 shootout of the year. The IMS road course is also home to Jones’s best finish of the year, where the 24-year-old followed up his first Fast 6 appearance with a 6th place finish. Following that race, he moved over to the No. 63 for the Indianapolis 500 and qualified a career-best fourth. With his qualifying effort, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolets would start second, third and fourth in the 500-mile race.
– NTT IndyCar Series will kick off tomorrow’s race day with a half hour warm up session from 12 – 12:30 p.m. ET, streamed live on NBC Sports Gold. NBC will broadcast the Honda Indy 200 live from 4-6 p.m. ET. The race will feature 90 laps around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn course with the green flag set to wave at 4:05 p.m. ET.
ED JONES, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, Qualified 18th: “We certainly made improvements on the black tires over the course of the weekend. However, not being able to run the reds yesterday really cost us quite a bit as we didn’t know what to expect. It’s not usually very easy to overtake here but hopefully we are able to make some positions up.
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Qualified 13th: “Qualifying was really frustrating. We seemed to be really quick through the weekend, but we obviously didn’t have it there on red tires. We didn’t get a run on them yesterday, so that did not help us. We’ll have to take a look at it and see where we can improve for tomorrow.”