Photo: IndyCar

Spencer Pigot scored season-best finish at Road America

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With an eighth in the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Spencer Pigot scored his best finish of 2018 and the second-best of his career.

A top-10 finish was never seriously in question. Pigot started 10th, but was in the line affected by Will Power’s loss of power during the opening lap. He dropped to 15th, but climbed back into 10th by lap three. From there, it was a matter of maintaining the best track position possible as Pigot moved up and down the order slightly during pit stops and as a result of tire strategy.

“We had a frustrating start,” Pigot said. “Getting boxed it and not having anywhere to go when Will (Power) had his issue. We fell back quite a lot, but made up those positions and more throughout the first stint. The car was working really well for me.”

Pigot came within one lap of tying his career best Verizon IndyCar Series finish of seventh. He took the white flag in seventh, but Simon Pagenaud had the advantage of sticker red Firestone Firehawks.

Spencer Pigot had his best finish of 2018 at the KOHLER Grand Prix. Photo: IndyCar

“We just tried to hit our fuel number and have clean stops, which we did. The Direct Supply crew did a great job for me. I would have like to have stayed seventh, but Simon had a good pass on me there at the end. Overall, it was a pretty solid weekend.”

Pigot’s first career top-10 came on this track in 2016 when he finished ninth after starting 17th. A 12th on this track last year gives Pigot a perfect record of top-10s.

Pigot’s top-10 at Road America, along with an 11th at Texas Motor Speedway, has solidified his position 15th in the points standings – 16 points ahead of Zach Veach, but only two behind Tony Kanaan.

Pigot’s teammate Jordan King also scored his best finish of the season. He brought Ed Carpenter’s No. 20 home 12th, which was his second top-15 of the season in seven races.

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Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).