STARTING FIELD SET FOR IOWA 300; ED CARPENTER RACING FOCUSING ON TONIGHT’S FINAL PRACTICE
Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot Will Spend Evening Session Dialing in Race Setups
(NEWTON, Iowa) July 19, 2019 – Qualifying Notes
– Qualifications are complete at Iowa Speedway and Ed Carpenter Racing is now focused on this evening’s final practice as preparations continue for the Iowa 300. Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot will start one row apart tomorrow as Carpenter will roll off 17th and Pigot in 19th. The pair of Autogeek drivers will have one final hour of practice tonight to dial in their race setups with the session streaming live on INDYCAR Pass via NBC Sports Gold from 7-8 p.m. ET (6-7 p.m. local).
– The weekend’s on-track activity began this morning with a one-hour practice session at 10 a.m. local. Both drivers saved a set of sticker Firestone Firehawk tires for the last 10 minutes in order to run a qualification simulation. Carpenter’s best lap came in at 174.167 miles per hour (mph) while Pigot was just 0.0074 of a second behind at 174.097 mph. During the 60 minute practice, Carpenter turned 39 laps while Pigot made 45 circuits.
– The qualification order for oval events is set in reverse order of entrant points, placing Pigot’s No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet 8th in line out of the 22 cars. His two-lap average speed of 171.791 mph will give him the 19th starting position for tomorrow’s 300-lap race. Carpenter took to the .875-mile oval just two cars after Pigot. Carpenter will start the No. 20 Autogeek Chevrolet from the 17th position after a two-lap average of 173.540 mph. ECR’s team owner will start from the inside of Row 9; Pigot will be just behind as he rolls off from the inside of Row 10.
– Pigot started 18th and raced all the way up to the second position in 2018, which was the fourth year in a row that an ECR driver has stood on the first or second step of the podium at Iowa Speedway. It was Pigot’s first career podium finish in the NTT IndyCar Series. ECR earned two additional second place finishes with Josef Newgarden in 2015 and JR Hildebrand in 2017. In 2016, Newgarden qualified second, took the lead on the first lap and led a total of 282 laps on his way to the team’s most recent victory.
– Though Iowa is the 12th round of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, it will only be Carpenter’s 3rd race this year as he competes exclusively in the oval events. At this year’s Indianapolis 500, the team owner qualified on the front row for the fifth time in seven years. After starting second, he brought home one of his best finishes in the 500-mile race with a sixth-place result. Carpenter managed a 13th place finish in a 248-lap battle of perseverance at Texas Motor Speedway in early June.
– Pigot competed in his 50th career NTT IndyCar Series race last Sunday in the streets of Toronto. All but four of Pigot’s starts have come with Ed Carpenter Racing and he is the team’s longest-tenured driver aside from his team owner. Pigot’s top finish of the year is currently a 5th place in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The following weekend, he qualified on the outside of the front row for the Indianapolis 500 and started 3rd alongside Carpenter. With last weekend’s qualifying effort in Toronto, Pigot has earned career-best starting positions this year at each type of track the series races on – ovals, road courses and street circuits.
– Carpenter is in the midst of his 17th season of NTT IndyCar Series competition, making him one of the most experienced drivers in the field. Five of Carpenter’s last seven races at Iowa have concluded in Top 10 finishes. His highest result occurred in 2013, when he finished 4th after qualifying in the same position. With his 10th place finish last year, nine of ECR’s 11 starts at Iowa Speedway have concluded in a Top 10.
– For the first time in four years, the Iowa 300 will finish under the lights as the event has moved back to an evening race. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the 300-lap race with coverage beginning at 7:10 p.m. ET (6:10 p.m. local) tomorrow night, Saturday, July 20..
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 Autogeek Chevrolet, Qualified 17th: “We expected the track to be a little more free than what it was. We tightened up our car for qualifying having expected the conditions and the rubber from the previous series to free us up. It was the wrong way; we were way too tight and had way too much understeer, so it was hard to attack like you want to in qualifying. A little frustrating because I was happy with the Autogeek Chevrolet in practice, especially on race runs. I thought we had better pace than what we showed. Our qual sim in practice wasn’t that good, so I thought we were going to have a lot better showing in qualifying. The beauty of this racetrack is it has multiple lanes, so you can get to the front if you have a good car. We’ll just have to get it right tonight in this next practice and have a strong first stint tomorrow to protect ourselves and stay on the lead lap.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet, Qualified 19th: “We definitely need to see where we can improve. The car has been a bit of a handful so far. We had a great race here last year, so we know what we need from the car. We just have to try and find it. Hopefully, we can have a good session this evening and get the Autogeek Chevy back up front.”
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