By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Spencer Pigot came into Sunday’s second dual of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Park with confidence after scoring his first top-10 of the season Saturday.
That all changed after the opening lap.
Pigot was hit from behind by Santino Ferrucci in Turn 5 shortly after the green flag flew, sending the third-year veteran into the wall. The other Verizon IndyCar Series competitors were able to dodge Pigot’s helpless No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, but the accident brought out the only full-course caution of the afternoon.
Once the track was cleared, the 24-year-old limped his car back into the pits with severe front wing damage. His crew were able to fix the issue and get him back into the fight.
Pigot’s day got worse shortly thereafter, as he dealt with mechanical issues which proved to be terminal. The Mazda Road to Indy graduate finished last in 23rd, completing just 21 of 70 laps.
The result was Pigot’s first last-place finish since Sonoma in 2016, and his first retirement of the season.
Ferrucci was only making his second-career start, but that didn’t stop Pigot from feeling unappreciative of the newcomer’s driving antics.
“It wasn’t just a spin, I got hit from behind,” Pigot said. “First, we banged wheels, then he just kind of punted me in Turn 5. It is very disappointing to end the race this way.
“The Fuzzy’s Vodka was strong yesterday and we were hoping to move forward in today’s race. It’s unfortunate when drivers come into the series and do silly things like that because they don’t respect that all of us are out here racing every weekend for the championship.”
Ferrucci, who finished a lap down in 20th, admitted he made a rookie mistake when battling with Pigot.
“I’m just upset, being a rookie, that I made a rookie mistake coming out of the pits and spinning the car,” Ferrucci said. “Despite that, we showed incredible pace throughout the race. I just wish I had a better result to show for it.”
Pigot’s retirement consequently dropped him from 14th to 16th, 60 points behind tenth-place points man Simon Pagenaud.
He and the rest of the IndyCar field will now shift their mindset towards the ‘Lone Star State’ for the Texas Indy 600 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas on June 9th. The frantic 248-lap contest will be Pigot’s first start at an oval over a mile in length outside of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.