Spencer Pigot’s season set to continue at Ed Carpenter Racing

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2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Spencer Pigot will have a chance to continue his maiden Verizon IndyCar Series season in seven of the remaining 10 races.

Pigot will switch from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, where he started the guaranteed three races as a result of the Mazda Scholarship awarded after winning the third and final rung on the Andersen Promotions-operated Mazda Road to Indy ladder, to Ed Carpenter Racing for the remaining road and street course races this year. It was announced on Thursday.

The move is a natural one for the young American, who is one of the drivers Rising Star Racing principal Art Wilmes has sought to support the last few years.

He’ll team with Josef Newgarden, who’s Rising Star Racing’s ambassador and driver mentor. This also means the No. 20 Chevrolet – which Ed Carpenter will drive at the three remaining ovals at Texas, Iowa and Pocono – will be in action for the final 10 races of the season.

“I’m very excited to be joining Ed Carpenter Racing for the remainder of the season on road and street courses,” Pigot said.

“ECR has been very strong in 2016 and I hope we can continue to build on the success they’ve already had.

“I have to thank Fuzzy’s Vodka and Rising Star Racing for the opportunity to continue my IndyCar career this season.

“This weekend in Detroit will be the first time we work together, they have a lot of talented people within the team and we will try to hit the ground running.”

“We are really excited to be able to add Spencer to the ECR lineup and finish out the year with the 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka car at all of the races,” team owner Ed Carpenter added.

“Spencer is a definite young talent who came through the Road to Indy and we look forward to finishing the year strong with him.”

Pigot’s three races with RLL netted results of 14th, 11th and 25th at St. Petersburg, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

At the last race, Pigot rebounded from an accident in practice during the week to drive a new chassis in the race. The team was caught out when a yellow flag came out and the pits were closed, which dropped him back a bit.

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.

Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome during the inaugural season of 1974 on a 250, which was the premiere class at the time. Houston was one of three races held that year along with events at Daytona International Speedway and the Los Angeles Coliseum. All three venues return in 2023 with the first SuperMotocross championship finale returning to the famed LA Coliseum in September.

Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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