By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
INDIANAPOLIS – Spencer Pigot is preparing for his third career Verizon IndyCar Series start and first in the Indianapolis 500, but the focus for racing’s top prize remains the same.
The reigning Indy Lights champion is taking everything in for his first Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finally realizing the dream of a lifelong goal.
“Yeah, the Indy 500 is the one race I’ve always wanted to be a part of,” Pigot told Motorsports Tribune.“I know I share that with pretty much every driver. It’s the race I’ve always watched and wanted to be in. You know, to finally be here and be in the event is just incredibly special. For it to be the 100th running just makes it that much sweeter. The historic moment of it, the excitement from the fans and the media is just something you don’t get very often, so just very happy to be a part of it.”
The goal to win always being of the utmost importance, the reality doesn’t always turn out that way for rookies at the Brickyard. This year the field is set with six former Indy 500 champions with several others being viewed as favorites on Sunday, including Pigot’s teammate, Graham Rahal.
The next goal for the 22-year-old is Rookie of the Year honors for the milestone race, but even with so many quality drivers and teams in the field, Pigot believes his No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda team needs to just focus on themselves, citing how unpredictable the Indy 500 can be.
“Rookie of the Year is a big honor,” said Pigot, who will make his Indy 500 debut in a backup car following a practice crash last week. “If you can’t win the race, the next goal is Rookie of the Year. So, we’ll be trying hard. There are a lot of good rookies this year and a lot of very good teams, so it’s going to be tough. I think we just have to focus on our race and see what happens.
“You never know what’s going to happen in this race. That’s one thing that’s so great about it is it’s so unpredictable. So, even though we’re starting towards the back, I think we can just as easily be the top rookie at the end of it.”
Image: Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR