RAINY HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA COMES TO A CONCLUSION AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot and Jordan King Miss Out Top 10 Finishes After Rains Plague Road Course Race For A Second Day
LEEDS, Ala. (April 23, 2018) – Race Notes
– The 2018 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama became an event that spanned two days, beginning in rainy conditions on Sunday afternoon and finishing in the same vein a day later. On strategies that favored the race staying dry, Ed Carpenter Racing drivers Jordan King and Spencer Pigot did not have luck on their side today. King finished the timed event in the 14th position and Pigot took the checkered flag in 15th.
– As anticipated, rains arrived prior to yesterday’s pre-race ceremonies at Barber Motorsports Park. By the time the race started, heavy rain was falling and the race was declared a wet start, requiring all competitors to start on wet condition Firestone Firehawks tires. After one lap under caution, the green flag flew on Lap 2. King, from England, grew up racing in the rain and wasted no time in moving up through the field. In the first lap alone, he gained four positions. Though Pigot lost two positions, he made them up immediately, before the conclusion of the next lap.
– When the stopped car of Charlie Kimball brought out the first yellow on Lap 12, King was already up to 13th while Pigot was 15th. On the Lap 17 restart, Will Power spun and made contact with the wall. From there, driver visibility was too compromised and a red flag condition began. When officials decided to suspend the race until today, King had gained eight positions to run 11th and Pigot was up five to 12th.
– The race resumed just after the noon hour today with 23 laps completed and approximately 75 minutes remaining. Now a dry start, King passed two cars before Turn 2 and moved into the Top 10. By the fourth green flag lap, King began battling technical issues. A suspected after effect of yesterday’s rain, the timing stand for the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka engineering staff was left briefly without telemetry, while King lost all information on the dash of his steering wheel. While the timing stand came back up quickly, King did not regain information on his dash until the latter portion of the race. He fell to 12th but managed to not to pit until his first scheduled stop.
– While Pigot was making his way around the lapped car of Zachary Claman De Melo on Lap 27, the two made contact and became entangled at speed. Both managed to continue, though Pigot dropped from 12th to 17th. The No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka crew readied spare suspension pieces in the event repairs were needed. However, when Pigot made his first stop on Lap 37, the crew looked over the car and deemed there was no damage. No longer needing to save fuel, Pigot was given the go-ahead to make maximum lap time and began working to regain the positions he had lost.
– With the field on split strategies, King and Pigot cycled toward the Top 10. The pair of 24-year-olds were running 10th and 11th, respectively, when Pigot made his second stop on Lap 57. King moved all the way up to the sixth position prior to pitting on Lap 67. With the combination of their strategies and a dry race track, both were looking at the potential of securing their first Top 10 finishes of the season.
– However, heavy rains came to the 2.3-mile permanent road course for the second day in a row. Hoping for a late race caution that would have the event end under yellow, King and Pigot stayed on slicks as long as possible. King had to pit on the 75th of the 82 laps completed in the two-hour time limit. With only five minutes left in the race, Pigot had to come in as well for wet condition tires after spinning on Lap 77. King would finish the race in 14th while Pigot would take the checkered flag in 15th.
– Ed Carpenter Racing will be back on track next week for testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval with Pigot in his No. 21, No. 20 oval driver and team owner Ed Carpenter in the No. 20, and their Indianapolis 500 teammate Danica Patrick in the No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet. Pigot and King’s next race will be the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 12.
JORDAN KING, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Finished 14th: “I had a really good restart. I did exactly what I wanted to do, I wanted to dispatch a couple of cars quite quickly. I managed to get past both Ed (Jones) and Scott (Dixon) before Turn 2, so that was really good actually. That gave me good track position, we were then in the Top 5. Unfortunately, the rain yesterday may have caused an electrical problem that took quite a while to clear. Once we got going, it was then alright. Our strategy was then compromised with the rain and we were caught out. Overall slightly annoying, we really would have been fine for a Top 5 finish quite comfortably I think.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Finished 15th: “It was definitely a difficult race out there. We thought we were making up some ground by pitting early and running hard, which seemed to be working. We tried to gamble at the end to stay on slicks. We were hoping for a yellow that the race would end under and we could stay up where we were. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and I just tried to keep it on the road the best I could. Eventually, it just got too wet and we had to come in at the end. There are some positives to take away from this weekend, we’re going to take those into the INDYCAR Grand Prix and hopefully be back up front!”
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