Spencer Pigot Earns Career-Best Verizon IndyCar Series Starting Position; Advances To Round 2 of Qualifications

INDIANAPOLIS (May 11, 2018) – Qualifying Notes

– Ed Carpenter Racing’s pair of 24-year-olds both put forth one of the best qualifying performances of their careers today in preparation for the INDYCAR Grand Prix. Jordan King will start his first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway tomorrow from the 5th position after making it to the Firestone Fast 6 in only his fourth Verizon IndyCar Series start. Teammate Spencer Pigot broke through the first round of qualifying for the first time in his Indy car career and will start a career-best 4th in the road course race which winds through the infield and incorporates portions of the famed IMS oval.

– Both King and Pigot got their weekends off to a solid start with two productive practice sessions. King, aided by a test day in late March when he learned the track, finished Practice 1 with the 3rd fastest lap and the 2nd fastest lap of Practice 2. Pigot finished just behind with 8th quickest time in both sessions. Because of their even-numbered finishing positions in the second session, both were assigned to Group 1 of qualifying.

– Just after green flag for qualifying, King radioed back to the crew on his out lap that he was without brakes. He immediately brought the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet into the pit lane and the crew went to work to rectify the issue. The rookie was able to head out on a set of sticker reds with only three minutes remaining. On his very first lap at speed, he shot to second with a lap of 125.661 miles per hour. The lap held and he finished the session in the fourth position. With the fastest six cars advancing, King moved on to Round 2. Today marked the third time in his four Indy car starts that he has made it out of the first round of qualifying.

– Pigot was also in Round 1, heading out immediately on a set of sticker blacks. Sitting fourth after three laps, he came into the pits for a set of sticker red tires. Pigot’s best lap of 125.677 miles per hour landed him in third, a position that held until the end of the 10-minute session. For the first time in his Verizon IndyCar Series career, Pigot advanced out of the first round of qualifications and guaranteed himself his highest starting position to date.

– Round 2 saw Pigot and King both start on black tires, switching to another set of sticker reds to finish out the session. Pigot turned a quick lap of 125.148 miles per hour in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet, securing himself the 9th starting position for the INDYCAR Grand Prix. Pigot’s previous best start was 13th, where he qualified three times in 2017. Meanwhile, King earned a position in the Firestone Fast 6 with a lap of 125.635 miles per hour, the second fastest of Round 2.

– King turned two laps in the six-minute shootout for the pole position, both on a set of scuffed red tires. His best lap of 125.197 miles per hour will have him starting 5th in his first career race at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tomorrow’s INDYCAR Grand Prix will be only the fourth Indy car race for King.

– Pigot was one of the fastest drivers during the 2017 edition of the INDYCAR Grand Prix. He passed six cars on the first lap alone, moving into the Top 10 before crossing the Yard of Bricks for the first time. After making his first pit stop from the 6th position, car misfired and stalled on the launch, dropping him to 15th. He worked his way back up to 9th before his second stop, a stint that had to be spent on black tires. Though he ran the entire second stint in the 11th position, Pigot had saved a set of sticker reds for the end of the race and quickly gained back the position he had lost while on the black tires. A late race penalty to another car helped Pigot claim the 9th position at the checkered flag.

– British newcomer King immediately turned heads in his Indy car debut in March. He set the track record during qualifying for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and went on to secure the fourth starting position. Within the first five laps of the event, King had raced to the front and taken the lead. King’s results have not yet matched his speed as a myriad of unfortunate circumstances have limited his finishing positions, including broken suspension later in the race in St. Petersburg, a brake malfunction in the Streets of Long Beach and heavy rains that interrupted the No. 20’s strategy at Barber Motorsports Park.

– King and Pigot will have a final half an hour of practice in tomorrow’s morning warm up to perfect the set up of their Chevrolets. The green flag for the 2018 INDYCAR Grand Prix will wave at 3:50 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, May 12. ABC will carry a live broadcast of the 85-lap race beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.

JORDAN KING, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Qualified 5th: “The added time I got to practice here before the INDYCAR Grand Prix definitely helped me. We did a whole day of testing beforehand and the first lap this morning, I was straight up to speed where normally it takes a couple of runs to really get into the circuit and learns it’s characteristics. I didn’t need to do that today! It was a good start, really. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised on where we qualified. I’ve been focusing on doing my job and doing it at my own speed!”

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet, Qualified 9th: “Starting inside the Top 10 is nice! We can definitely race from there, hopefully staying clean throughout the first lap and pick up a few positions. I’m happy with the Preferred Freezer Services Chevy. We had a good first round of qualifying. Once we got to Round 2, it felt like we picked up a bit too much understeer. That cost us, but overall, the car is good and we should have a good race!”