IndyCar

IndyCar: Spencer Pigot to remain with Ed Carpenter Racing for 2019

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Spencer Pigot will remain behind the wheel of the Ed Carpenter Racing No. 21 Chevrolet for the 2019 IndyCar season, the team announced Thursday.

Pigot will enter his second full-time season with and fourth season overall of racing for ECR next year, as well as mark his fourth season in the IndyCar Series.

The 2018 season was a transitional period for Pigot, who went from a part-time role with ECR in 2016 and 2017 to a full-time campaign this year.

That move has paid marked dividends for Pigot in 2018. He earned career bests in qualifying and finishing positions on street courses, road courses and ovals, including his first IndyCar career podium finish, a runner-up showing at Iowa Speedway in July.

“I’m extremely happy to be returning to Ed Carpenter Racing for the 2019 season,” Pigot said in a statement. “I have to thank Ed Carpenter, Stuart Reed and Tony George for giving me the opportunity to race for their team once again.

“It’s been great to compete in my first full season of IndyCar racing this year and I look forward to building on that next year. We have a lot to look back on and learn from; we will be working hard over the offseason and will be able to hit the ground running when we get to next season’s opener in St. Petersburg.”

In addition to his second-place finish at Iowa, Pigot also set new career marks in road course qualifying (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), best start (6th) in his third career Indianapolis 500 (his first with ECR) and best road course finish (4th nearly two weeks ago at Portland International Raceway).

The Orlando, Florida native and 2015 Indy Lights series champion enters this weekend’s season-ending Grand Prix of Sonoma having strong back-to-back finishes of sixth at Gateway Motorsports Park and fourth at Portland. All but four of his 38 career IndyCar starts have been with ECR.

“I am really happy to have Spencer back in the No. 21 for the 2019 season,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a statement. “We have always believed that Spencer has the potential to compete for race wins and championships and he has really showed that in the back half of this season.

“Hopefully we can break through this weekend at the season finale and get ECR back in the win column.”

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Sprint Car driver Greg Hodnett killed in Pennsylvania race crash

Photo: World of Outlaws
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YORK HAVEN, Pa. (AP) — Sprint Car driver Greg Hodnett died after a crash Thursday night at BAPS Motor Speedway.

The 49-year-old Hodnett, from Spring Grove, Pa., was the World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year in 1993 and went on to win 20 World of Outlaws races. He won the opening night this year at the Knoxville Nationals.

“Greg represented the true gentleman competitor in the pit area,” World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter said.

A statement was posted on Hodnett’s racing website, saying: “Please keep (wife) Sherry, the entire Hodnett family, and the Heffner racing team in your thoughts and prayers.

“Greg was a professional in every sense of the word, and will be desperately missed!”

Several NASCAR drivers took to Twitter to express their condolences: