CARPENTER - Indy 500 Qualifying Notes
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.
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet: "Overall, it was a positive day. We did quite a few runs and made some solid improvements over the course of the day. It was challenging at times to get a clean track. For the most part, we feel really good about what we have and I’m looking forward to day one of qualifying tomorrow!”
ED JONES, No. 63 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet: "The conditions have been really difficult today, including the temperatures and the wind, but car seems to be running really well. We just have to keep on top of how the conditions change, as tomorrow looks to be even hotter. Temperature will definitely play a big part in how qualifying goes. In the end, we just have to finalize a few small things and get ready for tomorrow.”
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet: "Today didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but the good thing is we have a fast car. We lost the balance of it through the middle of the day and had a couple technical glitches that made it hard to get a run in. When we got it sorted, the balance wasn’t really where it needed to be so I had to bear down a little bit at the end. The guys did a good job – with an hour to go, I wasn’t really happy but we finished up with a balance I feel good about. I think we’ll be in good shape going into tomorrow! All in all, it was a little bit more of a roller coaster of a day than I had hoped for, but at the end of the day, I think we’re in a good spot for tomorrow.”
About Ed Carpenter Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) first entered the NTT IndyCar Series in 2012. The Indianapolis-based race team has proven its versatility by collecting seven wins on each type of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. ECR is led by IndyCar’s only owner/driver, Ed Carpenter, three-time pole winner for the Indianapolis 500 (2013, 2014 and 2018). In 2019, Carpenter will race at all oval events in the No. 20 Chevrolet while Ed Jones will take over for the road and street courses. Both will be entered in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 alongside Spencer Pigot, who will compete for the NTT IndyCar Series championship as he races the No. 21 Chevrolet throughout the entire season. More information on Ed Carpenter Racing may be found at http://www.edcarpenterracing.com/.
Read More on Indy Car press releases
Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.
Volume 2019, Issue 5, Posted 3:10 PM, 05.19.2019