- Ed Carpenter earned a 10th place result today with his finish in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Teammate Spencer Pigot, in his Pocono Raceway debut, was hit from behind by another driver coming to the green flag and dropped to last before even turning a lap. However, Pigot’s car was repaired and he was able to manage a 16th place finish by rejoining the race. Carpenter has earned a Top 10 finish in each race he has taken the checkered flag in this year.
- The Fuzzy’s Vodka teammates qualified side-by-side in Row 8, with Carpenter starting 15th and Pigot in 16th. It was a messy start to the 200-lap race as Pigot was hit from behind by Graham Rahal before they reached the start/finish line. The contact sent Pigot spinning across the track, tapping the inside wall with the rear of his car. Because he was not able to drive the car back to his pit box, Pigot was taken to the medical center but immediately released. He returned to pit lane where his No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka crew were already working to repair the damage.
- Carpenter dove into the pit lane under the yellow to top off on fuel on Lap 5. A multi-car accident broke out after a restart the following lap. Carpenter avoided any contact and made it through the debris field with no damage to the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. The red flag flew on Lap 8 and Carpenter stopped in the 10th position. Since Pigot was already several laps down and would lose no additional positions, the No. 21 crew continued their repairs. When the race resumed, Pigot would be assessed a two-lap penalty for unapproved work under a red flag.
- Engines were re-fired following the lengthy red flag period while repairs were made to the Turn 2 fencing. Three cars in front of Carpenter came into the pit lane once it opened and Carpenter moved to 7th for the restart. Pigot was held in his pit box for two laps and rejoined the field in time for the Lap 12 restart.
- Carpenter and Tony Kanaan engaged in a side-by-side battle for the 7th position at the green flag, but Carpenter held the position. Pigot dropped to the rear of the field as to not impede any other competitors. By completing six laps, Pigot moved ahead of all cars involved in the Lap 7 incident and moved up to 17th. Only four laps later, Kanaan exited the event, handing Pigot the 16th position. The team then made the decision to retire the No. 21 from the race, feeling maximum points had been gained given the circumstances.
- As one of the last cars to come in under the first round of green flag pit stops, Carpenter cycled from 7th to 1st. On Lap 40, Carpenter pitted from the lead of the ABC Supply 500. In addition to regular service, he also took a front wing adjustment. After all stops, Carpenter regained the 7th position and continued there for the duration of the stint.
- On Lap 71, Carpenter made his second green flag stop. This time, a rear wing adjustment was made to the No. 20. An issue with a tire during the stop caused Carpenter to fall back to 9th. The rear wing adjustment did not help the handling of the car and the team elected to pit Carpenter on the early side of the next pit window. On Lap 98, Carpenter made his third green flag stop and the rear wing adjustment was reversed. He continued to maintain the 9th position.
- With a goal to finish the race in only two more pit stops, Carpenter spent his next stint focusing on hitting his fuel number. Even with saving fuel, Carpenter kept the 9th position. He stopped again in Lap 131 and took another front wing adjustment, remaining 9th until his final pit stop on the 166th lap. He asked for no changes to the car and following all stops, he sat 10th. His challenger for the position, Matheus Leist, had to pit for fuel with 10 laps to go. The gap between Carpenter and Leist was then extended to over 25 seconds, giving Carpenter a comfortable margin to maintain his position. Carpenter would finish 10th, his fourth Top 10 finish in the four oval races he has taken the checkered flag in this year.
- Pocono was the first in a string of three back-to-back race weekends as the Verizon IndyCar Series embarks on a cross-country stretch to wind down the 2018 season. Next weekend, Carpenter and Pigot will race at Gateway Motorsports Park, a 1.25-mile oval just outside of St. Louis. The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will take place on Saturday, August 25 with a live broadcast on NBC Sports Network beginning at 7 p.m. local (8 p.m. ET).
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet), Finished 10th: “It was a very long day! Early in the race, I thought we were going to be okay. We had the speed to run with the cars in front of us and were even close to leader pace. We lost some track position in the pits which didn’t put us in a great spot. We tried to go off-strategy and pit outside of a fuel window, but with it staying green, we ended up having to run slow to save fuel the rest of the day. I don’t think we had a winning car but I feel we had a borderline Top 5 car instead of just a Top 10 car. Unfortunately, it was just a long second half of the race riding around to save fuel and try and stay out of the leaders’ way.”
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet), Finished 16th: “The guys did a great job getting the Fuzzy’s Vodka car fixed. At the end of the day, there was really nothing else we could do in terms of improving our position and there was no need to risk anything else. That was always the plan, to go out and do a few laps and gain the positions we could. Unfortunately, our race was over before it began. The car had a lot of damage to the right rear and never felt quite right when we went back out. It’s extremely disappointing, you come here wanting to continue some good momentum we’ve had the last handful of races, but we never got that shot. We’ll have to look forward to Gateway next weekend and try to rebound there.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!