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

IndyCar
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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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Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”