Season finish: 2nd
2014 Season Stats: 0 wins, 5 top-5, 16 top-10, 0 Poles.
What went right: Newman made no apologies for playing the new Chase format to his advantage, and nearly captured the championship as a result. When it counted, he made the bump-and-run on Kyle Larson at Phoenix to advance to Homestead with a chance. Gelled well with crew chief Luke Lambert and the entire Richard Childress Racing team as a steady presence in a transitional year for the team, even though it was his first year.
What went wrong: The driver once known as “Rocket Man” didn’t score a single pole, and the driver who won eight races and finished sixth in points in 2003 went winless this year. Little else needs be said about what didn’t go according to plan for the 31 crew this year.
2015 Prospectus: No changes expected on the team front, and with Newman now integrated into RCR, he should be able to tick off the win/pole boxes in 2015. The only problem he might run into is the traditional “runner-up curse” that seems to plague the second-place finisher the next year – he oughta talk to Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin about that.
Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.
The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.
“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”
In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.
VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.
A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.
NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.