ALL THREE ED CARPENTER RACING CARS ADVANCE TO FAST NINE SHOOTOUT
Spencer Pigot Sets Fastest Time in Day 1 Qualifying; Pigot, Ed Jones and Ed Carpenter Will Each Compete for the Indianapolis 500 Pole Position During Tomorrow’s Qualifications
INDIANAPOLIS (May 18, 2019) – Indianapolis 500 Day 1 Qualifying Notes
– On May 26, three of the top nine starting positions in the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 will be filled by Ed Carpenter Racing’s Chevrolets. Team owner Ed Carpenter, full-time driver Spencer Pigot and team newcomer Ed Jones were amongst the nine fastest qualifiers today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As such, each secured themselves the opportunity to make a run for the coveted first starting spot in tomorrow’s Pole Day qualifications. None will start lower than ninth.
– Pigot was the first of ECR’s three cars to make a qualification attempt after last night’s blind draw set the qualification order. Pigot was only the second car to take to the 2.5-mile oval. Pigot’s laps of 230.800, 230.078, 229.798, and 229.659 gave the 24-year-old a four-lap average of 230.083 miles per hour. At the end of the day, the speed of his No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet was the fastest of the day, giving him his second opportunity to take a shot at an Indianapolis 500 pole position.
– Carpenter rolled out just two positions behind Pigot as the fourth car to make an attempt. His four laps of 230.028, 229.529, 229.072 and 228.772 gave him a solid-four lap average of 229.349 miles per hour. His time held in the Top Nine for over six more hours of qualifying and he ended the day with the 7th fastest time. Carpenter, a three-time Indianapolis 500 pole sitter, will have a chance for another tomorrow.
– Jones had to wait until the middle of the day to make his run as he was the 16th car out to qualify. His first lap was a blistering 231.015 miles per hour, followed by laps of 230.070, 229.110 and 227.595. His four lap average of 229.440 also held in the Top Nine spots of today, putting him 6th at the end of the day. This will be his first Fast Nine Shootout for the Indianapolis 500 pole position.
– Times from today are erased going into tomorrow’s qualifications. Drivers in the Fast Nine Shootout must make one four-lap attempt, in an order based on slowest to fastest from today’s qualifying times. Carpenter will be the third out, Jones will hit the track fourth, and Pigot will be the last car to make a run at the 2019 Indy 500 pole position. The Fast Nine Shootout will take place from 1:15-2:15 p.m. ET.
– Carpenter solidified his status as a hometown favorite when he won back-to-back pole positions for the “500” in 2013 and 2014. Proving his prowess on the 2.5-mile oval, he earned himself another front row starting position in 2017 when he qualified second. Last year, he became only the 10th driver in the century-plus history of the race to win three or more pole positions. His four lap average of 229.618 mph was nearly a mile an hour faster than his closest competitor. Ed Carpenter Racing has had a car qualify on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 five of the past six years.
– Pigot began Indy 500 practice on Tuesday only three days after recording his best finish of the year. In last weekend’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Pigot finished 5th. The 25-year-old is in his fourth year as an NTT IndyCar Series driver and fourth season with Ed Carpenter Racing. All but four of Pigot’s 44 Indy car starts have come with ECR, though the 2018 Indianapolis 500 was his first with the team. He made the prestigious Fast Nine Shootout for the pole position last year, earning the 6th starting position.
– Jones burst onto the scene with a third-place finish in his Indianapolis 500 debut in 2017. In addition to being the highest finishing rookie in the field, he went on to win the NTT IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year title. Last year, Jones collected two more podium finishes with Chip Ganassi Racing before joining Ed Carpenter Racing with Scuderia Corsa. The 24-year-old is also coming off of his best finish of the year as he took the checkered flag 6th in last weekend’s INDYCAR Grand Prix.
– Carpenter returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the heels of his career-best finish. After starting from the coveted first starting position, he led 65 laps – the most of all drivers. At the end of the 500 miles, Carpenter finished 2nd. This year’s Indianapolis 500 will be Carpenter’s 16th, making the 38-year-old one of the most experienced drivers in the field. It will also be his first race of the 2019 season as he competes exclusively on oval events.
– Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 qualifications will air on NBC from noon – 3 p.m. ET. Positions 31-36 from today will battle for the final three starting positions in the Last Row Shootout from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. The Fast Nine Shootout for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 pole position will take place from 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. Indy 500 practice will resume from 3:15 – 6:15 p.m. with coverage switching over to NBC Sports Network.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet: “All things considered, it was a really good day. The driver part of me always wants to be the best but at the same time I’m happy to see Spencer (Pigot) up there. Tomorrow is a new day and we’ll see what happens. Hopefully we get to go out but I know Spencer wants rain. The Fast Nine is a different type of pressure but it is also one of the coolest parts about qualifying process because we may be better or we may not be, but you already know the worst place you can get. I’m really proud of the team effort to get all of our cars into the Fast Nine for the second year in a row. I’m especially looking forward to the race. I think relative to last year, I feel better about our race prep during the week. Hopefully, we have more in store for tomorrow but wherever we end up, we are still in a really good place for the race.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet: “It was obviously a really good run and we put up a good time early then got watch and see if anyone could beat it. Fortunately for us, no one could so it’s really cool to end the first day of qualifying on top of the pylon. Great job to everyone at Ed Carpenter Racing for getting all three of our cars in the Fast Nine Shootout for the second year in a row. Really proud of our efforts. We will see what tomorrow brings. There is going to be a lot of competition as always, but I think we have a great shot at pole position.”
ED JONES, No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet: ”It was a positive day to end up in the Fast Nine. I think we were a little bit unlucky in the qualifying draw and the time of day we went out on track, but you can’t control everything. We did pretty well with what we had. I’m really hoping we get another chance to qualify tomorrow because I think we have a really good shot at the pole.”
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