Spencer Pigot scored a career-best finish of ninth in only his sixth start as the Verizon IndyCar Series returned to Road America.
The IndyCar rookie reigning Indy Lights champion kept the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet out of trouble early, until a late caution bunched the field back up and allowed him to set his sights on the top 10.
Pigot powered past series championship leader Simon Pagenaud in the late stages and finished behind his Ed Carpenter Racing teammate, Josef Newgarden, to put an exclamation point on the banner day.
“I had a lot of fun out there today – it was a really fun race,” Pigot said. “For the first half of the race we were kind of by ourselves, but towards the end – after the restart – to be around (Juan) Montoya and Simon (Pagenaud) and guys I’ve been watching for so many years. To be racing against them so close was really cool.
“I just can’t thank this team enough for having me, Fuzzy’s Vodka and Chevrolet and Rising Star Racing, and we’re looking forward to building on this next time out. I think having raced here in the past definitely helped getting up to speed with the car and the track here throughout the race.
Pigot, who had a previous best finish of 11th in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, noted his exciting drive didn’t come without its share of intense drama.
“Knowing where to pass and if you overshoot a corner where you can kind of get away with it and where it’s going to bite you,” Pigot said.
“At the end there it was pretty wild. You have to fight so hard for every position. A couple of times going into Turn 5, Carlos (Munoz) and Simon (Pagenaud) and I braked way too late I thought and somehow came out the other end. It was just cool to be racing against these guys.”