SPENCER PIGOT EARNS BEST CAREER INDYCAR FINISH WITH A 7TH PLACE IN MID-OHIO
Josef Newgarden Fights Back From On-Track And Pit Lane Incidents To Finish In The Top 10
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 31, 2016) – Race Notes
– Spencer Pigot used strategy and skill to earn his best career Indy car finish today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. After starting 19th, Pigot took the checkered flag in the 7th position. Teammate Josef Newgarden started 3rd and showed perseverance, fighting back from contact both on-track and pit lane in that were out of his control to finish 10th.
– The first laps of the Honda Indy 200 were clean for Newgarden and Pigot. Both remained in their starting positions until Pigot elected to pit early on Lap 11 when he made a switch to sticker reds. Seven cars pitted in the same window as Pigot.
– The first full course caution came out on Lap 15 after contact between Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud. Three cars did not pit, but Pigot, who has just stopped, vaulted to 9th. Newgarden came into the pits in 3rd with the other leaders of the race.
– Newgarden restarted the race in 14th. He passed Will Power for 13th when Power knocked Newgarden’s left rear bumper pod off. Newgarden had to pit for a new rear wing assembly, dropping back to 21st position and losing a lap to the field. The No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet was quick enough that Newgarden was able to get around the leader and regain his lap.
– Pigot worked his way into the Top 5 and made his second stop on Lap 40. Five laps later, Newgarden came in for a set of sticker black tires.
– A caution on Lap 61 brought all but one car into the pit lane. Pigot left the pit lane in 11th, while Newgarden came in from 19th place. Just as Newgarden was about to enter his pit box, Mikhail Aleshin was released from his box into the side of Newgarden. The crew pulled Newgarden back into his box and completed his stop, then brought him in on the following lap for a splash of fuel.
– Newgarden took the restart on Lap 66 from the 17th position while Pigot restarted 11th. For the first time since the rear wing change, Newgarden was running with other cars for position and began to move his way forward.
– Takuma Sato and Sebastien Bourdais went off-track in Turn 4 in the closing laps of the race, moving Pigot up two positions. Sato re-entered the track in front of Newgarden, but Newgarden was still able to finish in the Top 10.
– Pigot’s 7th place finish tops his previous best result, a 9th place at Road America last month. Pigot, a rookie in the Verizon IndyCar Series, was competing in only his eighth race.
– Newgarden gained a position in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings and now sits 4th, nine points out of 3rd.
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: “I was happy with the amount of cars we were able to jump on strategy and pass on track. We moved up to 7th so I was happy with that. We had a good strategy and also really good pit stops so a big thanks to them. I also have to say thanks to Fuzzy’s Vodka, Rising Star Racing, Mockett and everyone that helped me get here. I think we can keep moving forward. If we can qualify a bit better on Saturday, we won’t have to try and save as much fuel and do these alternate strategies. Today it worked out, but hopefully in Watkins Glen we can start by qualifying a bit higher up.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 21 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: “It was tough day. I feel bad for my guys because I think we had a good car. Pagenaud and Power would have been tough today, but I think we were a podium car for sure which would have been really good points for us. It’s tough having two races in a row where we have our rear bumper taken off. It’s no fault of our own but it ruins our race, it happened in Toronto and now here. I think it’s probably a question for IndyCar of how that’s going to be handled. It’s really hard for us to recover after those incidents. We did everything we could, our guys were lightning fast in the pits to get us back out with a new bumper. We tried to do some damage control and got a Top 10 out of it, we’ll take that and move on to try and win the next one.”
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