The following story first appeared on the INDYCAR Mobile powered by NTT DATA app. For more information,visit www.indycar.com/mobile-app
Spencer Pigot has been part of IndyCar’s “Next” generation of drivers ever since he showed his promise and potential in the Road to Indy program. Pigot won the 2015 Indy Lights championship with six wins in 16 races and that earned him a part-time NTT IndyCar Series ride in2016 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing.
After serving as the street and road course driver in 2017 while Carpenter drove the No. 20 Chevrolet on the ovals, Pigot earned full-time status in 2018 in the No. 21 Chevrolet.
Since that time, Pigot has shown flashes of promise and potential. He finished second at Iowa Speedway last year and was fourth at Portland.
The improvement continued this season with a fifth-place finish in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a front-row qualifying effort for the 103rd Indianapolis 500. He led four laps at Indy before finishing 14th.
He had two more 14th-place finishes at Texas and Road America and a 15th at Toronto, but the young driver from Orlando always shown calmness and patience in heated situations.
In the Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway, Pigot’s promise was on display with a fifth-place finish after starting 19th. He advanced the most positions in the race with his 14-position improvement in a race that featured 579 total passes including 263 passes for position.
“It was a fun race,” Pigot told NTT INDYCAR Mobile. “Iowa provides good, hard racing and side-by-side action. Even though it was a little cooler (as a night race), there was more grip with the conditions and there a lot of passing going on. We had a really good car and were able to make some moves.
“Thanks to the guys; thanks to the team. They made a lot of really good calls not only on the setup, but on the strategy. It was a fun race. I would have liked to have been a few spots higher up but to come from where we started to a top-five finish is a strong result.”
Pigot and his boss, Carpenter, raced each other side-by-side at one portion of the race on the .875-mile short oval.
“Ed was a bit ahead of me and later on, we had some side-by-side action,” Pigot recalled. “It’s always a lot of fun racing with Ed. He has been around a few years. He races hard and clean and it’s fun to race against your teammates like that.
“We both had really good cars and were able to make our way through the field.”
Pigot continues to show promise and improvement on his oval racing game, considering that earlier in his career he was the street and road course driver on the No. 20.
By getting a chance to run the full season, it has helped Pigot develop as a total race driver.
“I’m trying to,” he admitted. “We were strong at Iowa last year and carried that over. We need to focus on it a little bit more. There is still a lot for me to learn and it’s still somewhat new for me to race Indy cars on the ovals, but this team has a lot of experience and I’m looking forward to making more progress.”
Pigot believes once he wins a race, he can emulate a driver like NTT IndyCar points leader and Iowa race winner Josef Newgarden by being a contender in nearly every race.
“That’s what we want to do,” Pigot said. “We go to the track every week wanting to win. Unfortunately, this year has been frustrating with the races but overall, we have made steps forward. Tonight’s like this are great to put it all together and another step toward our ultimate goal of winning.
“It’s great to be in the car full time. If you aren’t in the car for every race, you aren’t going to improve. Now, we have a chance to compete against these guys every race.
“Hopefully, we can take this result into Mid-Ohio and continue to improve.”
This weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will air Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.