- Spirits and expectations are high at Ed Carpenter Racing as the Indianapolis-based team returns to the site of two of the team’s seven wins to date, the streets of Toronto. Last weekend, ECR picked up the team’s second second-place finish in six races. The podium run by Spencer Pigot was not only the best result of his 2018 season, but also the highest of his career. Road and street course driver Jordan King also earned his highest result of the year in his most recent race.
- Pigot enters the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend with momentum on his side. Prior to last weekend’s event, Pigot had not yet raced at Iowa Speedway in an Indy car. He started in 18th, even falling one lap down to the leader in the early stages of the 300-lap race. However, Pigot would flip the script and race his way through the entire field, climbing up to a second-place finish. It was the 24-year-old’s first podium finish in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
- Not only will the 2018 Honda Indy Toronto be King’s first race at the street circuit, he will also be racing Canada for the first time. Though just 24 years old, King has raced in over 25 countries across the world but not yet Canada. New to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018, King will drive the 11-turn, 1.786-mile track for the first time during Friday morning’s practice session. The Brit takes over the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet during the road and street course events from team owner and oval driver Ed Carpenter.
- Ed Carpenter Racing is familiar with victory in the streets of Toronto, winning back-to-back races in 2014 and 2015. The team’s first 1-2 finish occurred at the conclusion of the 2015 Honda Indy Toronto, when Josef Newgarden held off teammate Luca Filippi to take the win. Mike Conway brought home the win in 2014 for ECR.
- Pigot has also enjoyed success in Toronto. In 2015, he won both races of the Indy Lights doubleheader at the Exhibition Place street circuit. Pigot led flag-to-flag in the second event, the same day as ECR’s 1-2 finish. The victories were two of the six he collected on his march towards capturing the 2015 Indy Lights championship.
- As road and street course driver of the No. 20 in 2016 and 2017, this year’s Honda Indy Toronto will be Pigot’s third. Last year, Pigot passed seven cars in the first 15 green flag laps. After carving his way up through the field, he was running fourth when an unfortunate yellow flag thwarted the team’s strategy. Drivers who had already made their pit stops cycled to the front of the field while Pigot would be trapped on lap down and finish 18th.
- In the season-opening street course race in St. Petersburg, Fla., King set the track record in qualifying, made the Firestone Fast 6 and took the lead of the race on only the fifth lap. He has advanced out of the first round of qualifications in over half of the possible races this year, also making the Firestone Fast 6 at the INDYCAR Grand Prix. A myriad of unfortunate circumstances have prevented King from having results that match the speed he has shown throughout his first seven races. However, King had a smooth weekend and finished a season-best 12th at Road America, in his most recent race.
- The No. 21 of Pigot will return to the familiar blue and white colors of Preferred Freezer Services for the Honda Indy Toronto. This year, Pigot has raced with the PFS livery at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the INDYCAR Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500. 2018 marks the fifth consecutive year that an Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet has competed in PFS colors. Just last month, the global leader in advanced design and engineered temperature-controlled warehouses opened their 38th United States facility, Big Bear Los Angeles.
- All practice Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions in the streets of Toronto will be streamed live on IndyCar.com. Qualifications may also be watched live via the online stream on Saturday, July 14, then later on a tape-delayed broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. ET. Live NBC Sports Network coverage of the 85-lap Honda Indy Toronto will begin at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 15.
JORDAN KING, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: “I haven’t been to Canada in a very long time so I am actually quite looking forward to going to Toronto. I’ve got some good support from my family coming over so that will be nice! I’ve been on the simulator but it’s really difficult to say what the track will be like until I get in the car. It seems quite tight and twisty and seems very bumpy, but I’ve also been told it’s been resurfaced in a couple of areas. Learning the circuit as a whole might be a bit easier just because it’s a short one, but it seems to be a very niche track. It will be quite tough to learn all of the small characteristics, where the bumps are, how much curb you can use, how close you can get to the walls. It will be an interesting challenge!”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet: “Toronto is always a great event! I really enjoy both the city and the track. It’s one of the most challenging street courses that we go to. It’s very unique in the amount of surface changes we encounter during a lap. In some cases, you drive over three different surfaces in one corner so it’s difficult to find a setup that is compliant around the entire circuit. I’m also excited to be back in the blue Preferred Freezer Services car this weekend! Ed Carpenter Racing and I have both had success at Toronto in the past so we are all really looking forward to this event.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK