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2018 Barber Park: Ed Carpenter Racing IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: ASkyler on Apr 18, 2018 - 06:35 PM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2018 Barber Park: Ed Carpenter Racing IndyCar Race Preview

For the third time in three weeks, Ed Carpenter Racing is back to the track. This weekend, ECR will head to the 2.38-mile permanent road course of Barber Motorsports Park outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Spencer Pigot and Jordan King will pilot a pair of Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolets in the fourth round of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

King, who is new to the Verizon IndyCar Series, will race at Barber for the first time this weekend. King joined Pigot in an open test at Barber last month, but the day was abbreviated by rain. The 24-year-old rookie will be competing in his first Indy car road course race for Ed Carpenter Racing after two street races in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. In King’s Indy car debut last month in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, he set the track record, made the Firestone Fast 6 during qualifying and took the lead of the race in only the fifth lap.

Pigot has an impressive history at Barber Motorsports Park. On his way to becoming the winningest driver in the history of the Mazda Road to Indy, Pigot swept both Pro Mazda races at Barber in 2014. The following year, Pigot repeated his performance by scoring back-to-back victories in the two Indy Lights races. The 24-year-old will compete his second Indy car race at Barber in his first season as the full-time driver of the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.

Also in 2015, Ed Carpenter Racing won the marquee event of the weekend, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. With a commanding performance, Josef Newgarden scored the victory for ECR after leading a field-high 46 of 90 laps. The next year, ECR netted another podium at Barber with Newgarden’s 3rd place finish.

ECR’s 2017 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama lineup featured two drivers who had not yet competed in a Verizon IndyCar Series event at the track. Though he was in his second year as road and street course driver of the No. 20, Barber Motorsports Park was one of two venues in 2017 that Pigot raced at in an Indy car for the first time. Zach Veach made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the No. 21 while filling in for the injured JR Hildebrand. During the race, Pigot was consistently running in the Top 10 and working his way up through the field when a spin relegated him to a 20th place finish. Veach brought the car home cleanly his his first race and finished 19th.

Most recently, Pigot and King tackled the streets of Long Beach last Sunday. King advanced again in Long Beach qualifications and started 12th. Pigot started 18th but climbed to 10th before his first pit stop, even while saving fuel. Just before pitting, he began battling a gearbox issue that ranged from being unable to downshift to the car skipping gears. The problem eventually rectified itself, but Pigot had already fallen one lap behind the leaders. King raced his way up to fourth in only his second Indy car race, but an unscheduled pit stop to repair malfunctioning brakes also caused him to fall off the lead lap. Despite the promising start to their day, Pigot finished 15th and King finished 18th.

All Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama practice sessions will be shown via a live stream on IndyCar.com. NBC Sports Network will carry qualifications from 4-5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 21. The 90-lap race will be broadcast live on NBCSN, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. on Sunday, April 22.

JORDAN KING, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: “Hopefully, I can carry over the speed we’ve had so far this year but convert it into a solid result in Barber! We’ve been fast in both of my races so far, but unfortunately don’t have much to show for it. We had a test at Barber last month, though we didn’t get much running in. There will be a lot to learn on both my side and the engineering side that will take a lot of time and energy, but we’re up for the challenge.”

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet: “It’s been a tough start to the season so far, our results don’t show the quality of the cars that we have had. We’re ready to turn that around and no better place than Barber Motorsports Park! Barber is definitely one of my favorite tracks, the fast corners and steep elevation changes are pretty unique and a lot of fun to drive. The track has been very good to me in the past, so I hope that trend will pick back up this weekend!”

Last week in Long Beach, Jordan King raced his way all the way up to fourth before being a brake failure relegated him to an 18th place finish. This weekend's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be his first road course race in the Verizon IndyCar Series as his previous two starts have been street courses.

Spencer Pigot's No. 21 will return to the bright green Fuzzy's Vodka paint scheme for Barber Motorsports Park. Pigot won four races in two years at Barber Motorsports Park while ascending the Mazda Road to Indy ladder. Sunday's race will be his second in an Indy car at the the 17-turn road course.

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