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JOSEF NEWGARDEN REBOUNDS TO FINISH 4TH AFTER TOUGH DOUBLEHEADER WEEKEND IN DETROIT

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Newgarden Gains 13 Positions; Pigot Fights To End, Finishes 18th

(DETROIT) June 5, 2016 – Race Notes

– After a weekend that had been tough on Ed Carpenter Racing, things finally began to look up at the midpoint of today’s Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. Both Josef Newgarden and Spencer Pigot had moved solidly into the Top 10 and were charging forward. Though a brush with the wall dropped Pigot back, Newgarden continued his push towards the front and finished 4th.

– After running in a full, points-paying race yesterday, ECR crews worked late into the evening to prepare the No. 20 and 21 for today’s portion of the Detroit doubleheader. In yesterday’s race, Newgarden started and finished 14th after an electrical issue dropped him out of the Top 10 and nearly sidelined him in the closing laps. Pigot started 21st and managed a 17th place finish after a drive through penalty for hitting his own equipment dropped him a lap behind the leaders.

– An issue unrelated to yesterday’s problem caused Newgarden to lose drive in his No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services/Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet during his qualification attempt for today’s Dual. As was the case with Friday’s qualifying for Dual 1 when he brushed the wall, Newgarden was unable to set an optimum lap on the preferred red Firestone Firehawk tires. The lap he set on the primary black tires was good enough for the 17th starting position. Rain interrupted Pigot’s qualification attempt, but it was intermittent enough that a move to rain tires was not necessary. Pigot set a lap that would have him start 20th.

– At the start of today’s 70-lap race, an accident in Turn 1 on Lap 1 saw three cars get together in front of Newgarden and Pigot. Both got through cleanly and had moved up to 11th and 15th after the ensuing Lap 5 restart.

– Both drivers steadily worked their way up through the field. Newgarden made his first stop from the 9th position for scuffed reds on Lap 24, but came out of the pit lane in the middle of traffic and was shuffled back to 13th. Pigot, who stopped under the first caution, made his stop one lap later and exited the pits in 14th.

– While battling for 9th on Lap 40, Pigot brushed the wall with his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. He immediately came into the pit lane for a new front wing. The team also changed the left rear toe link before sending him back out. He fell two laps behind the leader and dropped to 19th.

– Newgarden made his final pit stop on Lap 48. A caution came out two laps later, robbing Newgarden of the chance to overtake cars that pitted after him as his tires were already up to temperature. He sat 12th with seven cars ahead of him on a different strategy. Three utilized the caution to pit, moving Newgarden to 9th.

– The No. 20 crew knew Pigot had to pit for a splash of fuel, so they elected to have him pit on Lap 57. They also changed the rear wing as a precaution as it had a loose left bumper pod. Pigot lost no positions and remained in 18th, where he would ultimately finish.

– The cars in front of Newgarden on a different fuel strategy were forced to pit for fuel, advancing Newgarden forward. He was able to pass Scott Dixon for the fourth spot with 10 laps to go. Though he had his sights set on Hunter-Reay for third, Hunter-Reay used his overtakes to close in on Simon Pagenaud and pulled away from Newgarden. Newgarden finished 4th, 13 positions above where he started the race.
Newgarden retains his standing in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship, breaking his tie with Carlos Munoz and taking sole possession of 4th. He is only 18 points out of 2nd place.

– ECR will return to their Speedway, Ind. workshop and resume work tomorrow in preparation for the next race at Texas Motor Speedway. Team owner Ed Carpenter will step back into the No. 20 and join Newgarden at the oval track. Practice and qualifying take place on Friday, June 10 with the 248 lap race beginning at 7:45 p.m. CT on Saturday, June 11.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 21 PREFERRED FREEZER SERVICES CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: “It was a good day. I love being here in Detroit and racing at this track, it’s a challenging place with all the bumps. It’s a lot of fun to wrestle Indy cars here, they’re hard to keep off the walls! We had a great car with Preferred Freezer and Fuzzy’s Vodka, ECR worked really hard this weekend. I’m happy with what we did, I would have liked to have had a win but you can’t get them all!”

SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18TH: “It was another tough race. The guys made some good calls to gain me positions through a good strategy. I made a mistake battling for position and brushed the wall. Some things got bent in the left rear and I had to come in to get that fixed. By the time we did that, we were a few laps down. I made a mistake that cost us a pretty good result, but I think overall we made a lot of improvements throughout the weekend. I’m just really happy to be part of ECR and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

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