Despite practice crash, Juncos Racing still intends to make Indy 500 qualifying

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Perhaps no team has had a more stressful month of May at the Indianapolis 500 than Juncos Racing.

After losing their sponsorship prior to the start of Indy 500 practice, the team suffered another blow Friday morning, when the team’s primary car was destroyed after Kyle Kaiser made heavy contact with the turn 3 wall.

Such a massive crash would be a setback for any team on the Friday before Indy 500 qualifying, but for a small, part-time team like Juncos, accidents like what happened on Friday morning can eliminate any chances of making the field.

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However, Juncos Racing is refusing to give up. Team owner Ricardo Juncos stated that the team “will not stop working until we get [the] #32 back on track”.

“As everyone knows this has been a very intense month for our NTT IndyCar Series program,” Juncos said in a press release issued by the team.

“Despite off track set backs, that has not stopped this team from going out and performing during practice this week. We have been up to the Top-5 in no tow speeds and have consistently improved our times each day. Now we are faced with the challenge of getting our back-up car on track and set for qualifying tomorrow, but I am completely confident in this amazing group we have here at Juncos Racing to make it happen.”

Juncos may have a long night of work ahead of them, but in the spirit of good sportsmanship, fellow competitors have lent parts and tools to the team in attempt to help them meet their qualifying deadline.

“We want to thank all of the teams who are willing to help out with parts, Chevrolet, and the fans who have stopped by to express their well wishes. We will be working hard all day and night,” Juncos said.

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Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.