Justin R. Noe/INDYCAR
Photo: Justin R. Noe/ASP, Inc.

King Rolls Off 12th at Portland After Consistent Practice Pace

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

PORTLAND, Oregon — The two-car team of Ed Carpenter Racing showed promising speeds before qualifying for Sunday’s Portland Grand Prix, notably rookie and road course driver Jordan King.

The 24-year-old from Warwick, England, had a solid result in the two Friday practice sessions, ending up sixth and ninth quickest, respectively, outpacing full-time driver Spencer Pigot. Then on final practice, King continued to show solid speed and ended up 12th. With those positive runs, he saw himself being a possible contender of making the Firestone Fast Six for the third time, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Although King was third quickest in his group to advance into the next round, he was the slowest in 12th, failing to make Fast Six. Adding to the grid is that no driver has ever won at Portland from that position or further, with the furthest being fellow countryman Mark Blundell, winning in 1997 from the 11th position.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get the best out of what we have in qualifying. So personally, I’m a little bit disappointed, but still 12th. So we can race in there and do some good,” King told Motorsports Tribune.

King said he’s been enjoying the 1.964-mile circuit because of its extraordinary characteristics that has even bit some of the established veterans, not just on the car, but on their bodies, making it an ultimate challenge for everyone.

“I’ve been enjoying driving the circuit. It’s good fun, and fast flowing. I think it’s going to be quite physical,” said King.

“From a car point of view, it’s been quite challenging to get a good balance because there’s a lot of different types of corners. One corner you have a good balance, but in the other corner you have over steer, and then the next corner you have under steer. It’s been quite tricky for the engineers and the guys. We got a good hold in it.”

Similar Pigot in the past, King runs the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet on road and street courses, where at times can be a learning curve for part-time INDYCAR drivers. However, King and his ECR crew have worked well all season, trusting him to get the most out of his car.

“Right from Day 1, we’ve been working really well together. They trusted what I’m saying to them, and they’re also trusting. I believe what they’re telling me, so really we are making small steps,” said King.

“It’s a bit harder compared to the four-car teams because they got twice as much data to go off. I think we’re doing well, and we definitely could’ve challenged for a top six.”

King believes if he can get the most out of his car, more opportunities of advancing into the Fast Six is possible. For now, he’ll look to score his first career top-10 in his 10th career IndyCar Series start, improving his 11th place result at Toronto in June being his best thus far.

“It’s not so much focusing on the smaller things, but just focusing on my own job,” said King.

“If we can extract the most out of ourselves on the car, we’ll definitely be challenging on the front of the grid.”

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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 and a two-time National Motorsports Press Association award winner in photography. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. Over the years, Luis has focused on writing, video and photography with ambitions of having his work recognized.