ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Spencer Pigot had some past track experience in an IndyCar from a one-day test at Road America earlier this month, and the talented 22-year-old American parlayed that into his best race to date on Sunday in the KOHLER Grand Prix.
The driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing started 17th and made his way forward to ninth in his sixth Verizon IndyCar Series start of the year (three apiece with Carpenter and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing).
The 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion and winningest driver in Mazda Road to Indy history mixed it up with plenty of series veterans in arguably his best drive to date that resulted in his best career finish thus far.
“It was great. It was a really fun race!” Pigot told NBC Sports post-race. “We spent most of it a little off strategy trying to get a clear track. I had to save fuel.
“The guys gave me an awesome car. I really enjoyed it. Pushed hard throughout most of the race. It was kind of interesting to see who I came out with, and how much time I gained or lost. It got wild at the end, because you have to fight so hard for every position. There were a couple times going into Turn 5, where it was me and Carlos (Munoz), then me and Simon (Pagenaud), where one of us braked way too late but we somehow came out the other end.
“I can’t thank this team and Rising Star Racing enough for the opportunity.”
Pigot also did a good job of managing both his Firestone black primary and red alternate tires over the course of the race.
“It was pretty good actually,” he said. “We started the race on used reds. I was in a lot of traffic. But the blacks held up. We didn’t have much tire deg over the course of a lap time.”
Team owner Carpenter, who will return to the wheel of the No. 20 car at the Iowa Corn 300 on July 10 before Pigot is back in at Toronto, hailed Pigot’s performance.
“It’s Spencer’s first top-10 I think in an IndyCar race. So that’s awesome, and we’re really happy for him,” Carpenter told NBC Sports. “He’s getting better quick. We don’t show it all the time, but from the team we’re seeing the potential he has. He’s going to get better and better and better.”