Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, CA (April 17, 2018) – Rising Star Racing (RSR) drivers Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) and Spencer Pigot (Ed Carpenter Racing) competed in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend as the race celebrated its 35th year of hosting the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Newgarden made it into the Fast-6 Saturday afternoon, qualifying in sixth position. He finished the race in seventh – leading three of 85 laps on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit.
“I think we had a good day working,” Newgarden said. “Certainly at least a podium, but we kept getting bit by yellows a couple times today and had to fight our way back from them. It didn’t work in our favor. It is disappointing I think when you look at the speed of our car. I think we had a capable performance of challenging for a podium, but it didn’t work out. Thanks to Verizon and Team Chevy for making some of this happen and all of our other partners. We will just go to Barber and try and have a smooth weekend and try to get back to the top step of the podium.”
“Josef just couldn’t get track position today,” RSR’s founder and CEO Art Wilmes said. “He was fast – setting a track record Sunday, but he just couldn’t move up.”
Following the weekend’s results, Newgarden fell from first to second in points with 104 points total.
Meanwhile, Pigot qualified in 18th position and finished 15th in the field of 24 drivers.
“That was a disappointing race,” Pigot said. “Pretty much from the first stint, we were having gearbox issues. It got a lot worse at certain points of the race which ruined our day. We never really got a shot to fight for any positions or move up through the field. The Preferred Freezer Services guys worked hard this weekend and we made some good improvements over the three days, but we came away with not much to show for it. Disappointing, but hopefully we can turn it around at Barber.”
Wilmes understood Pigot’s disappointment but is confident in his ability to improve this coming weekend.
“Spencer had to fight through some mechanical gremlins that hindered his day,” Wilmes said. “Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) will bounce back and be strong at Barber next week.”
Pigot is now ranked 15th in points and has 46 total points this season.
RSR’s Newgarden and Pigot will compete for the third week in a row this coming weekend in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama.
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