ED CARPENTER RACING TURNS ATTENTION MID-OHIO RACE FOLLOWING TODAY’S QUALIFICATIONS
Rookie Jordan King Will Start 16th in Tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200; Spencer Pigot Qualifies 18th
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 28, 2018) – Qualifying Notes
– After today’s qualification session, Ed Carpenter Racing has shifted their focus to tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200. A red flag abbreviated Spencer Pigot and Jordan King’s qualification group, leaving them with limited time to set a fast lap. Neither were able to advance to Round 2, giving King the 16th starting position tomorrow while Pigot will roll off one row behind in 18th.
– The weekend was off to a solid start for Pigot. His best lap had him fifth in Practice 1, followed by a lap that slotted him into fourth in Practice 2. Even after this morning’s session, Pigot’s lap of 124.234 mph continued to hold as the sixth-fastest lap leading into qualifying. Without having the benefit of testing at Mid-Ohio, King saw the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit for the first time during yesterday’s opening practice. Over the course of the three sessions, he turned 42 laps with his fastest coming this morning at 123.285 mph.
– The pair of Fuzzy’s Vodka drivers had only turned one lap when the red flag came out for Sebastien Bourdais off course in Turn 2. By the time the session went back green, Pigot and King were left with less than four minutes to build a gap and set a fast lap on sticker red tires. Pigot struggled to maintain a gap, having to lift on two fast laps as he approached another competitor. His final lap was his fastest at 123.513 mph, but only good enough for 18th on tomorrow’s starting grid. King continued on an upward trend, turning a lap of 123.595 mph. Though he was only mere tenths of a second away from advancing to Round 2, he will start 16th tomorrow.
– King is a newcomer to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018 and will be making only his ninth start tomorrow. The Brit takes over the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet during the road and street course events from team owner and oval driver Ed Carpenter. Prior to joining ECR, King ascended through the European ranks and is competing on each Indy car track for the first time this year. In addition to leading the most recent race in Toronto, King also paced the field during the Firestone Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, Fla. At the season opening event, he set the track record in qualifying, made the Firestone Fast 6 and took the lead of the race on only the fifth lap. By reaching the Top 12 of qualifying in Toronto, he has advanced out of the first round of qualifications in over half of the possible races this year. He made his second Firestone Fast 6 appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during qualifications for the INDYCAR Grand Prix.
– Pigot’s first full-time Indy car season has been full of accomplishments. Just three weeks ago, the 24-year-old earned the first podium finish of his Verizon IndyCar Series career at Iowa Speedway. As Ed Carpenter Racing’s road and street course driver in 2016 and 2017, he had not yet competed at the .875-mile oval. Though he qualified 18th, he drove through the field to finish second, extending ECR’s streak of podium finishes at Iowa to four years in a row. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course race, Pigot broke through the first round of qualifications for the first time his career. He followed that up at the next road course event at Road America, again advancing to Round 2. He put forth a career-best qualifying effort for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500, making the Fast Nine and ultimately earning himself the 6th starting position. Pigot has led the field at the Indianapolis 500 and the Honda Indy Toronto.
– In a change from previous years, there will be no warm-up session tomorrow morning. The 90-lap Honda Indy 200 will be broadcast live on CNBC with coverage beginning at 3 p.m. ET and a same-day encore will air on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. ET. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 3:42 p.m. ET.
JORDAN KING, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: “It’s a little bit frustrating, only being two-tenths away from advancing! Right from the start of the weekend, I’ve been playing catch up. I’ve not driven here before, some of the other teams have been here testing, so it’s been quite a steep learning curve to get into the car and get fast. Spencer’s been down a good job this weekend so I’ve been learning from him. We put it together in qualifying, maybe there was a little bit of the time left on the table from me just not knowing the circuit that well. It’s a but annoying, but it is what it is!”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: “I had some difficulty with traffic, having to kind of abort a few laps early in the run. I had to try and get it done on the third lap, which is not ideal on reds. At the end of the day, I think we just had too much understeer to get a solid lap time out of it anyway. We were quick yesterday, so hopefully the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet can be fast again tomorrow.”
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