Photo: Walter G. Arce, Sr./ASP, Inc.

A Tale of Two Qualifying Outcomes for ECR at Texas

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

FORT WORTH, Texas — When it comes to ovals, Ed Carpenter Racing tend to have stronger qualifying efforts. It was modestly the case for Spencer Pigot, but not so much for driver/owner Ed Carpenter.

Carpenter has to work his way from the field in Saturday’s DXC Technology 600 after qualifying 13th on the grid, feeling that his No. 20 Autogeek Chevrolet was slow despite having a positive balance.

“My balance was good. I was flat and the car was good, but not very quick for some reason. So I’m frustrated,” Carpenter explained. “I’m just annoyed because my car was slow. I had a really good balance. I don’t know why the cars aren’t quick here. It should’ve been good enough for the front row. At least as it stood based on what guys trim levels are and the way the car drove. I’m a little confused.”

Meanwhile Pigot’s No. 21 Autogeek entry ended sixth and he too felt a bit disappointed how his two-lap run went. Notably the first lap where he had to make sudden adjustments to improve on his qualifying effort.

“It was alright. Unfortunately, I think we had a discrepancy between our two laps. The second one felt a lot better,” said Pigot. “I had quite a lot of understeer on the first lap, which caused the speed not to be there. So we made some adjustments with the tools for the second lap, and that kind of brought the car where I needed it to be. We’ll settle with what we got and just have to wait and see how it all plays out.”

Carpenter had little to say about the difference between his and Pigot’s run before walking away, shifting his focus on the 248-lap race.

“I was trimmed out more than him,” said Carpenter. “He was lifting and I was flat, so I’m not sure what to say.”

With tire degradation being one of the main topics over the past few seasons at Texas, Pigot hasn’t thought it’s been a concern, and it’ll come down to who can manage the adversity better. A task he’s confident the top NTT IndyCar Series teams can do, and hopes ECR will be one of them.

“Hopefully, we’re one of the better cars that can mange them,” said Pigot. “I think Firestone doesn’t make it easy on us and that’s a good thing. They brought a tire that’s going to degrade that the good cars and good teams are going to be able to figure out hopefully better than some of the others. We just want to be one of those good cars.”

Green flag for the DXC Technology 600 will be waved at 8:45 pm EST. The race is 248 laps.

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. He's also covered Idaho Athletics and high school football as both a writer and videographer. Additionally, he spent 2017 writing several racing columns as an independent journalist. Luis does video and photography, and is a fan of Seattle sports, a music critic and a motivator who wants to impact people's lives.