ED CARPENTER RACING RETURNS TO STREET COURSE RACING FOR CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX
Ed Jones and Spencer Pigot to Take on Only Doubleheader of the Year This Weekend
INDIANAPOLIS (May 29, 2019) – Race Preview
– The NTT IndyCar Series will head north to Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan this weekend, just mere days after the Indianapolis 500. Once at the island park in the Detroit River, Ed Carpenter Racing will compete in two races in two days, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. After racing the No. 63 in the Indianapolis 500, Ed Jones will resume his duties as road and street course driver of the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet. Spencer Pigot will be back at the site of his first Indy car race with ECR as he joined the team for the doubleheader back in 2016.
– The weekend, collectively referred to as the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, features the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit IndyCar doubleheader. The 2.34-mile, 13-turn street circuit on Belle Isle will come with a unique set of challenge for both drivers and crews. Jones and Pigot must compete in two full-distance, points-paying races in two days with the green flags for each race falling exactly 24 hours apart. The Duals will be Pigot’s seventh and eighth starts at Belle Isle while Jones will compete in his fifth and sixth Detroit races.
– The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will mark the fourth weekend in a row of on-track activity for the NTT IndyCar Series. The stretch kicked off with the INDYCAR Grand Prix, contested on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 11. Ed Carpenter Racing concentrated on using May’s opening race as a way to build strong momentum heading into the Indianapolis 500 and did just that. Pigot and Jones both turned in their best results of the year so far with Pigot finishing fifth, his first Top 5 of the 2019 season, and Jones just behind in sixth.
– Once Indianapolis 500 practice began just three days after the INDYCAR Grand Prix, all three Ed Carpenter Racing drivers were near the top of the charts every day. ECR became the only multi-car team in the field to have their entire lineup able to make a run for the pole position during the Fast Nine Shootout. Team owner Ed Carpenter, in the No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet, narrowly missed out on adding another Indianapolis 500 pole position as he was edged out by Simon Pagenaud by .700 of a second. Carpenter would start second, while Pigot turned in a career-best qualifying effort and landed himself on the outside of the front row. He started 3rd in the No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet; Jones matched his highest Indy car qualifying position and was 4th in the No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet.
– In Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, Carpenter was strong, only falling out of the Top 5 during pit stop sequences. For the final restart of the race on Lap 186, he was sitting comfortably in the 3rd position. However, he struggled with the balance of the car in the closing laps and fell three positions to finish 6th. Between Jones and Carpenter’s sixth place finishes in the two Indianapolis Motor Speedway races, the No. 20 Chevrolet now sits 9th in entrant points.
– Pigot maintained his position in the Top 10 for the first half of the Indianapolis 500. Battling understeer after his third pit stop, Pigot slid back to 14th. When the race was red flagged on Lap 178, Pigot found himself at the front of the field as he had not yet made his final stop. Pigot led the Indianapolis 500 for four laps before being forced to take service in a closed pit lane for a splash of fuel. As a penalty, he was ordered to take the ensuing restart from the back of the field. Pigot still managed to pick up two positions on the restart to finish in the 14th position. His performance during the Month of May has vaulted him to 9th in the driver championship standings.
– Jones, too, stayed inside the Top 10 of the Indianapolis 500 until his second pit stop, when an issue with a tire change dropped him back to 17th. On his last scheduled stop, Jones was given a drive-through penalty for a pit lane speed violation. Before the race resumed green flag conditions with less than 15 laps to go, Jones ducked into the pit lane for a top off on fuel and fresh tires. He was able to make up four positions on the closing laps to finish 13th
– The 2016 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix was Pigot’s first weekend with Ed Carpenter Racing. After contesting the 2016 Indianapolis 500 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Pigot joined ECR the following week as the road and street course driver for the No. 20 for the remainder of the season. It was a role he retained for the 2017 season before being elevated to the team’s full-time driver in 2018. Pigot has scored Top 10 finishes in each Race 1 the past two years.
– In his debut at Belle Isle in Race 1 of 2017, Jones also scored a Top 10 finish. Last year, he put a strong showing in both races of the doubleheader. He finished sixth in Race 1 on Saturday, but it was on Sunday when one of his best career results came. Earning his highest starting position of 4th, Jones battled with then-teammate Scott Dixon until the final laps to score his second podium finish of 2018. It was Jones’s second 3rd place finish of the year and third of his career.
– Both races of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be broadcast live on NBC. Dual 1 will air at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 1, and Dual 2 will air at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 2 with both of their respective green flags flying at 3:50 p.m. ET.
ED JONES, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet: “Looking ahead to Detroit this weekend, I’m excited to get back there! I had two really good results there last year and hope to do the same this year. Although the result from the 500 wasn’t what we would have liked, as a team we have shown really good form the past month. Hopefully we can carry that on and keep moving forward!”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet: “Detroit was my first race with Ed Carpenter Racing back in 2016, so it’s almost an anniversary to go back there! I enjoy the challenges of Belle Isle and I’m excited to have the chance to race there again, especially as it’s Chevrolet’s home track. No doubt it’s going to be a tough weekend with two races coming off a busy month of May, but Ed Carpenter Racing is up for the challenge. Our Indianapolis 500 did not finish quite as we were hoping for, so it will be good to be back in the car this weekend and get back after it!”
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