Ed Carpenter Racing, you broke my heart when you moved from Speedway. You absolutely broke my heart. This was the team with the great history, the mixing of Sarah Fisher racing, that they were located a stone’s throw from the IMS…then you had to up and leave Speedway.
I’ve written on Ed Carpenter before. In 2017, Ed had one top-ten finish. He qualified well for the Indy 500 (2nd), but then again he always qualifies very well for the 500. The 500 is Ed’s white whale, every person who has even a marginal interest in IndyCar knows that. If Ed wins the 500, Ed probably will step down. I just….I’ve said a lot about Ed already.
MRTI ladder champion (and as I recently realized – owner of Ken doll hair), Spencer Pigot advances up yet another rung to move from the road-course driver to the ECR full-time driver. He had a fair year last year, two top-ten finishes, and in the other races, he would come close until something happens (aka St. Pete). So in 2018 – welcome to the big time Spencer Pigot. I think it’s going to be a good year for Spencer. I can’t put my finger on it, but seeing some pictures of him in the most recent months it looks like he matured. He just looks “older” and that’s not a bad thing. He had a fantastically solid progression up the MRTI, and I think that progression is going to continue on now that he’s fulltime.
So for 2018, Ed Carpenter Racing has brought on Jordan King to take over the rideshare from Spencer, or as I’m hoping to trademark the position: the Ed Carpenter Road BuddyTM. They have called themselves now #TeamAllies. It’s cute, but the history nerd in me would like to point out that the Allies were not just USA and Great Britain. Jordan’s experience comes from the world of Formula 1 where he spent some years in the ladder series, including many teams with 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi. King also has ties with Chilton, both with Manor Marussia in F1 and that King drove for Carlin racing in 2013. Time in F1 and the ladder series prepares drivers for Road/Street courses, which is what he’ll be doing for ECR. Right now there’s no discussion about King’s participation in the Indy500, but if he can put together the money – he should. It’ll be fine, I mean a solid showing but the problem with the Ed Carpenter Road BuddyTM is that you don’t have that week after week “in the car” session since you’re splitting the ride with the “oval expert” of the team.
I would be remiss without mentioning the other teammate in ECR – Danica Patrick who “let it slip” that she would be driving for ECR during her #DanicaDouble at the Indy 500. Like her – or hate her – Danica had a solid time in IndyCar. She is going to put on a show at the 500.
Catch up on the other teams here: Andretti Autosport, Team Penske, Carlin Racing, Harding Racing, AJ Foyt Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, Michael Shank Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing