RACE 1 IN DETROIT YIELDS TOP TEN FINISH FOR SPENCER PIGOT
Pigot Finishes 10th in First Race of Detroit Doubleheader; Rookie Jordan King Has Clean Race, Finishes 16th
(DETROIT) June 2, 2018 – Race 1 Notes
– After putting forth his best street course qualifying effort to date this morning, Spencer Pigot earned his first Top 10 finish of 2018 in this afternoon’s Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit. His Ed Carpenter Racing teammate Jordan King would bring home a 16th place finish in his first issue-free race of his rookie year.
– Unlike knockout qualifying at other street courses, qualifying for the Duals would see the field split in half with both groups getting a 12-minute session. The fastest driver overall would be awarded the pole position, while the rest of the drivers from that group would fill out the odd-number spots. Pigot and King were both in Group 1, finishing the 12 minutes with the 6th and 10th positions, respectively. Marco Andretti from Group 2 would win the pole, assigning Pigot to 12th on the starting grid for Race 1 while King would roll off 20th.
– Both Pigot and King elected to start the 70-lap race on Firestone’s red alternate Firehawk tires. Pigot gained two positions on the opening lap, moving from 12th to 10th. King moved up one spot to 19th but elected to pit three laps later for a splash of fuel and black Firehawks. As the first car to choose to go to a three-stop strategy, King rejoined the race in 23rd.
– Pigot stayed on the same strategy as the leaders, thus being a two-stop race. He had cycled up to 6th before making his first stop on Lap 23. After struggling for grip on the red tires, he switched to black Firehawks for his second stint. As Pigot went to leave the pit box, the engine on the No. 21 stalled. The Fuzzy’s Vodka crew immediately re-fired the car and Pigot was away. Even with the stall, Pigot would only lose one position and cycled back into 11th place.
– King would bring his No. 20 Allegiant International Chevrolet in for his second pit stop just three laps later from 19th position. As the pit stop timing fell, King found himself back on track just ahead of the leader and eventual race winner Scott Dixon. Though faster than the cars around him, King, running 21st, was unable to make up any ground and had to remain cognizant of the leader mere seconds behind him.
– A much-needed caution fell on Lap 47, allowing King to pack up with the field and no longer be in danger of going one lap down. Pigot had already entered the pit lane to make his second and final stop before the yellow flag came out and was allowed to complete a full-service pit stop. He re-entered the pack in the 11th position, moving up to 9th as two cars ahead of him stopped when the pits opened on Lap 49.
– King was one of the cars to make his final stop on Lap 49. He found himself in 18th after the pit stop, moving up two more positions during the closing laps of the race. King would finish 16th in Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit. It was the first race of the year where the Verizon IndyCar Series rookie did not suffer from a mechanical issue or contact and was able to have a clean, steady race.
– A hard-charging Robert Wickens was able to get by Pigot and several other cars after the Lap 53 restart, dropping Pigot to 10th. Another caution came out for Laps 56-59, setting the stage for another restart on Lap 60. Wickens’ teammate, James Hinchcliffe, was directly behind Pigot for the restart. However, Pigot had used his push-to-pass conservatively throughout the race and had more than enough to be able to stay solidly ahead of Hinchcliffe in the closing laps. Pigot would finish 10th, his first Top 10 of 2018.
– Ed Carpenter Racing will return to Belle Isle race course tomorrow morning to prepare for Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit. Tomorrow’s race will be an entirely new event, with another qualifying session taking place at 10:45 a.m. ET and the green flag for Race 2 falling at 3:50 p.m. ET. ABC will broadcast the event beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.
JORDAN KING, No. 20 Allegiant International Chevrolet, Finished 16th: “The second half of our race was quite good, we were quite strong the second half pace-wise. I am a bit confused as to why I couldn’t get much of pace out of it at the start of the race, we were just kind of holding on to everybody but not able to do anything. After that, we got into quite a good rhythm and made some good progress. Starting at the back just made it difficult, we overtook a few people but I think our pace was a little better than where we ended up. It’s tough out there, the field is quite close which makes strategy calls difficult as well. It was good to get a first full race with no issues in! That’s quite nice, but it’s annoying in that we’re further down the field than we want to be.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Finished 10th: “Overall, it was a pretty solid race for us. We made improvements throughout the weekend we were able to move up during the race. Unfortunately, we had a stall on our first pit stop which cost us a little bit of time, but I don’t think it had a huge effect on the finishing position. It was nice to get our first top ten finish of the season. I feel like it should have come a lot earlier, but hopefully this can be the start of a good string of results for us. Thanks to all of the Fuzzy’s Vodka guys in the pit lane for another day of hard work!”
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