ED CARPENTER RACING READY FOR INDIANAPOLIS 500 QUALIFICATIONS
Fast Friday Practice Complete; Two-Day Qualifying Format Begins Tomorrow
INDIANAPOLIS (May 17, 2019) – Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Preview
– After four days and 2,120 miles of practice, Ed Carpenter Racing is prepared for qualifications for the 2019 Indianapolis 500. Beginning tomorrow and concluding with a Fast Nine Shootout for the pole position on Sunday, the starting positions for ECR’s three-car lineup for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing will be decided over the next two days.
– Ed Carpenter Racing runs two full-time entries in the NTT IndyCar Series, but has expanded to three cars for the Indianapolis 500. The only owner/driver in the NTT IndyCar Series field, Ed Carpenter, leads the team in the No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet. Spencer Pigot, ECR’s full-time driver, will be behind the wheel of the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet in his fourth season with the team. Ed Jones, who drives the No. 20 at the road and street course events, has shifted over to the No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet for the 500-mile race.
– Each of the first three days of practice saw one of the ECR drivers as one the Top 3 fastest cars of the day. Carpenter was third-quick on Tuesday, Wednesday saw Pigot finish the day third on the charts and Ed Jones topped the scoring sheet on Thursday. Jones also had the quickest lap without the benefit of a draft, putting him first on the no-tow list. Pigot was second on Thursday’s no-tow chart.
– Fast Friday lived up to it’s name as all three ECR drivers turned their quickest laps of the month today. Pigot ended the day fourth overall at 230.471 miles per hour (mph). Over the course of the four days, he turned 327 laps. Carpenter ended the day in sixth at 230.358 mph, making 271 circuits of the track this week. A lap of 230.106 mph had Jones 10th overall as he clocked 250 laps from Tuesday to Friday.
– Carpenter solidified his status as a hometown favorite when he won back-to-back pole positions for the “500” in 2013 and 2014. Proving his prowess on the 2.5-mile oval, he earned himself another front row starting position in 2017 when he qualified second. Last year, he became only the 10th driver in the century-plus history of the race to win three or more pole positions. His four lap average of 229.618 mph was nearly a mile an hour faster than his closest competitor. Ed Carpenter Racing has had a car qualify on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 five of the past six years.
– Pigot began Indy 500 practice on Tuesday only three days after recording his best finish of the year. In last weekend’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Pigot finished 5th. The 25-year-old is in his fourth year as an NTT IndyCar Series driver and fourth season with Ed Carpenter Racing. All but four of Pigot’s 44 Indy car starts have come with ECR, though the 2018 Indianapolis 500 was his first the team. He made the prestigious Fast Nine Shootout for the pole position last year, earning the 6th starting position.
– Jones burst onto the scene with a third-place finish in his Indianapolis 500 debut in 2017. In addition to being the highest finishing rookie in the field, he went on to win the NTT IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year title. Last year, Jones collected two more podium finishes with Chip Ganassi Racing before joining Ed Carpenter Racing with Scuderia Corsa. The 24-year-old is also coming off of his best finish of the year as he took the checkered flag 6th in last weekend’s INDYCAR Grand Prix.
– Carpenter returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the heels of his career-best finish. After starting from the coveted first starting position, he led 65 laps – the most of all drivers. At the end of the 500 miles, Carpenter finished 2nd. This year’s Indianapolis 500 will be Carpenter’s 16th, making the 38-year-old one of the most experienced drivers in the field. It will also be his first race of the 2019 season as he competes exclusively on oval events.
– The order for tomorrow’s qualifications was chosen tonight, May 17, in a blind draw. The No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet of Carpenter drew the 5th qualifying position, the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet of Pigot drew the 2nd qualifying position and Jones has the 36th qualifying position in the No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet.
– First-day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying runs from 11 a.m.-5:50 p.m. tomorrow, with the fastest 30 drivers at the end of the day securing a spot in the race. Grid positions 10 through 30 are locked in at the end of Saturday, while the fastest nine drivers advance to Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout. Drivers with times in positions 31-36 at the end of tomorrow will start off Sunday’s qualifications with the Last Row Shootout. Saturday’s qualifying streams on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., with coverage switching to NBCSN from 5-6 p.m. Sunday’s qualifying airs from noon-3 p.m. on NBC.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet: “Today didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but the good thing is we have a fast car. We lost the balance of it through the middle of the day and had a couple technical glitches that made it hard to get a run in. When we got it sorted, the balance wasn’t really where it needed to be so I had to bear down a little bit at the end. The guys did a good job – with an hour to go, I wasn’t really happy but we finished up with a balance I feel good about. I think we’ll be in good shape going into tomorrow! All in all, it was a little bit more of a roller coaster of a day than I had hoped for, but at the end of the day, I think we’re in a good spot for tomorrow.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet: “Overall, it was a positive day. We did quite a few runs and made some solid improvements over the course of the day. It was challenging at times to get a clean track. For the most part, we feel really good about what we have and I’m looking forward to day one of qualifying tomorrow!”
ED JONES, No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet: “The conditions have been really difficult today, including the temperatures and the wind, but car seems to be running really well. We just have to keep on top of how the conditions change, as tomorrow looks to be even hotter. Temperature will definitely play a big part in how qualifying goes. In the end, we just have to finalize a few small things and get ready for tomorrow.”
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