By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
PORTLAND, Oregon — Spencer Pigot represented the Chevrolet camp, bringing home fourth in Sunday’s Portland Grand Prix at Portland International Raceway in Oregon for his second career top-five finish.
Coming from the 17th starting position, he survived the drama on Lap 1 and put himself in an excellent position of scoring his first ever top-five on a road course. He entered with his previous best taking place at Mid-Ohio in 2016 when he finished seventh.
After hanging onto critical track position on the final restart on Lap 81, and being able to hold off championship leader Scott Dixon after having an unpolished run in Turn 7, Pigot excelled in that category.
The Ed Carpenter Racing driver said he had good pace and made the right moves when needed to improve from 14th to 13th in the championship standings, 48 points behind 10th place James Hinchcliffe heading into the finale at Sonoma Raceway on Sept. 16.
“It was a good day today. I think we had really good pace throughout the race. We were able to pass quite a few cars and moved up when we needed to,” Pigot said.
“Then we were just kind of able to hang in the top-five for the last third of the race. It’s nice to come away with a top-five after last week finishing sixth, it’s definitely some good momentum heading into the last race.”
Pigot added the final full course caution involving a non-powered Santino Ferrucci on the 76th lap, it hurt his strategy of having an advantage on fuel economy, but was proud of his No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Direct Supply Chevrolet crew of getting the job done when it counted.
“I think we made some really calls on the stops and when to come in. The last yellow or so might not have been the best thing for us,” said Pigot.
“I thought we were better on fuel for the rest of the race compared to a few other guys. In the end it worked out well for us, we can’t complained with a fourth place.”
With two straight top-10 efforts, Pigot believes it has a lot to do with his team becoming stronger as the season winds down, regardless on the variety of circuits INDYCAR competes in, and hopes at some point they’ll become contenders for victories.
“We’re getting stronger and stronger. The second half of the season we’ve been pretty strong at most tracks. No matter if it’s a road course, street course or ovals, so I think that’s encouraging,” said Pigot.
“Obviously, there’s still a ways to go for us to be up there fighting for wins consistently. That’s where we want to be.”
Pigot will look to improve on his 13th place finish at Sonoma last year to cap off his first full-season in the Verizon IndyCar Series.