Pigot to Start 13th; Hildebrand Qualifies 19th for Tomorrow’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 11, 2017) – Qualifying Notes

– Spencer Pigot earned the best starting position of his young Verizon IndyCar Series career as he qualified 13th for tomorrow’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. JR Hildebrand will start 19th in his first street circuit race since 2013.

– In the three practice sessions leading up to qualifications, Hildebrand set a lap that was the 16th fastest of the weekend in his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. Pigot was 18th quick in the sister No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. With even-numbered positions on the combined time sheets, both were assigned to Round 1, Group 1.

– At the drop of the green, both Hildebrand and Pigot took to the circuit on sticker red Firestone Firehawks. After three timed laps, both came in for another set of sticker reds with the goal of making it to the second round of qualifications. Hildebrand’s fast lap of 104.776 miles per hour was 10th in the session and will have him starting 19th tomorrow.

– Pigot was in position to advance, but was bumped down during his final lap and ended the session with the 7th fastest time. He missed out on advancing to Round 2 by 0.0482 seconds.

– Pigot’s fast lap of 105.212 miles per hour earned him the 13th position on tomorrow’s starting grid. It is his highest starting position so far in his Indy car career, besting a 17th at Road America last season. For the first time, Pigot entered the weekend as a veteran driver. He made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in 2016.

– Both Hildebrand and Pigot have previously competed in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Hildebrand has raced on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit three times (2011, 2012, and 2013), with a best finish of 11th in 2011. In 2016, Pigot climbed seven spots from his qualifying position to finish 14th.

– The 2017 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be broadcast live on ABC, beginning at noon ET. The 110-lap race is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET.