FAST FRIDAY PRACTICE COMPLETE FOR ED CARPENTER RACING; INDY 500 QUALIFICATIONS BEGIN TOMORROW
Two Day Qualifying Format Begins at 11 A.M. ET Saturday
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 18, 2018) – Qualifying Preview
– With four days of practice complete, Ed Carpenter Racing is prepared for qualifications for the 2018 Indianapolis 500. Beginning with Bump Day tomorrow, May 19, and concluding with a Fast Nine Shootout for the pole position on Sunday, May 20, the starting positions of ECR’s three cars for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing will be decided over the next two days.
– After focusing on a two-car program in 2017, Ed Carpenter Racing has expanded back to a three-car effort for the 2018 Indianapolis 500. The team’s 2018 lineup features oval expert and team owner Ed Carpenter, full-time driver Spencer Pigot and one of the most successful female racing drivers in history, Danica Patrick.
– The trio put in the work over the course of the past four days. Carpenter has turned 292 laps this week, setting his fastest today at a speed of 231.066 miles per hour. Pigot made his way around the 2.5-oval a total of 262 times with a best lap of 229.069 miles per hour. Patrick turned 205 laps and also set her lap during Fast Friday practice 228.284 miles per hour.
– The order for tomorrow’s qualifications was chosen tonight, May 18, in a blind draw. The No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet of Patrick drew the 23rd position, the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet of Pigot drew 10th and Carpenter will be the last car to make an attempt in the No. 20 after drawing the 70th position.
– At the conclusion of tomorrow’s qualifications, the starting drivers for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 will be decided. The fastest nine drivers will be locked into the field and advance to Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout. Positions 10-33 are also locked into the field and advance to Group 1 qualifying to determine the starting order for next weekend’s 500-mile race.
– Ed Carpenter Racing earned the nickname “Team America” in 2015 when ECR was the only multi-car team with an all-American driver line up in the Indianapolis 500. The trend continues through 2018 as Team America’s Indy 500 roster features Pigot (Orlando, Fla.), Patrick (Roscoe, Ill.) and hometown favorite, Carpenter (Indianapolis).
– Carpenter will be attempting to qualify for his 15th Indianapolis 500. He is a back-to-back pole winner for the Indianapolis 500, capturing the coveted first starting position in both 2013 and 2014. He earned the team’s fourth front row start in five years when he qualified second in 2017. Carpenter managed an 11th place finish in last year’s race despite contact that required an additional pit stop to change a front wing.
– Patrick announced her intentions to finish her racing career by competing in two final 500-mile races. Dubbed the “Danica Double,” she participated in the 2018 Daytona 500 in February and is now prepared to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 with ECR. The 500-mile classic will also mark her return to the Verizon IndyCar Series, where she scored 63 top-10 finishes over a seven-year career before transitioning to stock car racing in 2012. Driving the lucky No. 13, Patrick’s final Indianapolis 500 will take place 13 years after her 2005 debut where she was awarded Rookie of the Year honors.
– After two seasons as road and street course driver of ECR’s No. 20, Pigot has been elevated to the season-long driver of ECR’s No. 21 for the 2018 season. After winning the Indy Lights championship in 2015, Pigot’s rookie Indianapolis 500 was contested with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2016 as part of a three-race scholarship. As ECR only entered two cars in 2017, Pigot joined Juncos Racing for last year’s race. This year’s 102nd Running will mark his third shot at the Borg-Warner Trophy and his first attempt with ECR.
– Tomorrow’s first day of qualifying streams live on WatchESPN from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. ET before ABC broadcasts the final two hours live from 4-6 p.m. The starting order of the field is determined in Sunday qualifying, which streams on WatchESPN from 2:30-4 p.m. before ABC picks up the dramatic end from 4-6 p.m. The 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 airs live at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 27 on ABC.
DANICA PATRICK, No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet: “We started off the day with a mechanical issue so we got a little delayed taking off. It wasn’t really the worst thing because the car was really good on the first run. We did a step of trim and it was a little bit loose the second run, but still pretty good and definitely fast. To go to the next step, we had to make some changes back in the garage. At that point in time, the track had slowed down and we just decided to sit for a while. We ended up coming to the conclusion that the car was pretty good and there was no reason to go out there and get lost, angry or confused because the speed was not in the track anymore. We just decided to make a couple tweaks, put a cover on it and go out tomorrow.”
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: “Today was a good day. Fast Fridays have a way of being odd so we just had to be smart. The team has done a really good job of getting us to this point. All three of us have good cars that we are happy with. The speeds are a little all over the place today, but I feel like all the ECR cars have a chance to be in the shootout come Sunday. The focus is getting it right for tomorrow and make all the right decisions so we have a chance at it on Sunday.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet: “We didn’t do much running today, but what we did was really productive. We seem to have pretty good pace on the no-tow list, which was the focus. I’m looking forward to qualifying weekend and hopefully we can put our Preferred Freezer Services car up towards the front!”
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