Race 2 starting lineup and Race 1 results
MONTEREY, Calif. – Much like 2014, Jack Harvey is in a must-win situation heading into the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires finale to claim the championship.
Harvey, who tied Gabby Chaves on points with a sweep of the doubleheader at Sonoma Raceway in August 2014, lost out on the title in a tiebreaker. He returned with seven-time series entrant champion Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian with the stated goal of winning the championship and turning the $1 million Mazda scholarship into a drive in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Harvey entered the doubleheader race weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a six-point cushion on Spencer Pigot of Juncos Racing, and he enters Race 2 on Sept. 13 with an eight-point deficit. Watch streaming video, augmented by real-time Timing & Scoring and track audio, of the race at 2:40 p.m. (local/Pacific) on racecontrol.indycar.com.
Pigot won his series-high fifth race of the season while Harvey started and finished fifth. If Pigot, who starts second in the the 38-lap/60-minute Race 2, wins or finishes second, he claims the title. Conversely, if Harvey wins, Pigot must finish fourth or lower. There are multiple other scenarios.
Harvey will start on the outside of Row 2 in Race 2. Harvey again would fall short of his goal if he and Pigot tie on points; the tiebreaker going to the Orlando, Fla., resident.
"It was a big day today, but hopefully tomorrow is even bigger," Pigot said. "These races can go any way, which we've seen this year."
Pigot, who qualified third for Race 1, moved to the front early in the 30-lap race on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course. Teammate Kyle Kaiser of nearby Santa Clara, finished 1.1984 seconds back for the first 1-2 Juncos Racing finish of the season. Ed Jones of Carlin, who is the third driver still in contention for the title, placed third.
Pigot, who turns 22 on Sept. 29, last stood atop the standings following the second race at Barber Motorsports Park in late April.
"The first goal is to get through the first corner without any incidents. I think we have good pace over the other guys in the championship so it's nice to know that I don't have to beat him or win the race to get the championship," he said. "But you never want it to go down to that last lap wondering what's going to happen.
"We'll just keep doing what we've been doing, which is focus forward, put in good laps and see what happens."
Pigot won the 2009 Skip Barber Shoot-Out for his first Mazda scholarship into the Skip Barber National Series as an official Mazda Development Driver. He won the title with three wins, five poles and 12 top-three finishes and moved to the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system -- the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda -- where he placed second in 2011 and '12.
Pigot entered the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in 2013 and earned the 2014 title and corresponding scholarship to Indy Lights with Juncos Racing, his former karting team.
Max Chilton of Carlin set the pace in qualifying by breaking Tony Kanaan’s 18-year-old record with a lap of 1 minute, 14.2329 seconds. He placed 11th after clipping a tire stack at the apex of the "Corkscrew" on the third lap and having to pit.