Spencer Pigot. Photo: Photos @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Pigot scores pivotal Indy Lights win, takes points lead

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MONTEREY, Calif. – Spencer Pigot did exactly what he needed to do in his quest for a second consecutive championship on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, with a win in the first of two Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend.

The driver of the No. 12 Juncos Racing Dallara IL-15 Mazda took the lead on Lap 3, after polesitter Max Chilton clipped the tire barrier at corner apex at the Corkscrew.

Pigot then proceeded to lead the remainder of the 30-lap race, with local driver Kyle Kaiser posting a season-best second place to complete a Juncos 1-2.

Pigot was methodical on the day after taking the lead, and introspective heading into tomorrow’s finale.

“Luckily I knew what it felt like to hit those tires because I’ve hit them a few times! Max just turned in early. It’s easy to do there. You’re always trying to get as much apex of curb,” Pigot said. “I got around the outside in Turn 9. Had to keep my head down. Kyle was very quick and put a lot of pressure on me.

“It’s nice to not see any rear wings in front of you. There’s another one tomorrow. These races can go any way. Huge thanks to Juncos Racing. We have cars that can win the race. 1-2 for the team. Mazda, Cooper Tires. It’s a big day but hopefully tomorrow is even bigger.”

Other two title contenders Ed Jones finished third with Jack Harvey fifth, while Sean Rayhall split them in fourth and set the fastest race lap (1:16.715).

Pigot has 326 points (win plus one bonus point for leading the most laps), with prior points leader Harvey now second on 318 and Jones third on 305. RC Enerson, who was mathematically eligible, finished sixth and has been eliminated from title contention.

NBCSN will present ‘Race and Sports in America: Conversations’ Monday

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With motor racing reckoning with its own issues of diversity and equality, “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” will tackle the topics of social justice with several athletes. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET Monday, July 13 on NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic channel and on regional sports networks.

The roundtable discussions will be hosted by Damon Hack and feature Charles Barkley, Steph Curry, Jimmy Rollins and Ozzie Smith in one segment. The other segment will include Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Lynn, Troy Mullins and James Blake.

Race has been a major topic in motorsports this year.

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at its race after lobbying by Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the premier Cup Series. In Formula One, six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton has joined Black Lives Matter marches in London and also formed a panel on diversity. The lone Black driver in F1 also led 14 of 20 drivers taking a knee before the season opener in Austria.