2010 and 2011 Team USA Scholarship Winner - 2012 USF2000 Winterfest Champion - 2014 Pro Mazda Winterfest Champion
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Milwaukee - Setup is key on Oval Tracks

June 23, 2011

Headline Photo
Spencer finishes sixth at the Milwaukee Mile

Hi Everyone,

Last weekend I was at the Milwaukee Mile for round six of the Cooper Tire Presents USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda.

We struggled to find a good set up during the first practice session on Thursday and only managed 4th place. Unfortunately this trend continued in the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. We stayed in the top 5 and were slowly closing the gap to the front. After each session I went over data and video with my engineer for hours trying to pinpoint where we could improve. The car had a big oversteer throughout both corners and we couldnít find a way to cure it completely. On an oval getting the back end to be stable is key and we werenít getting the results we expected from the changes we made. I qualified fourth, the car was getting better but still wasnít as competitive as we wanted.

I got to the track at around 8:00am on Sunday with the race scheduled to start at around 10:00am. Right as I started to put my helmet on it started to pour with rain! Obviously we cannot race on an oval in the wet so the race was delayed. We were told that the USF2000 race would run just before the Indy Lights race at about 1:00pm. As I started to put my gear on for the second time we were told that our race was moved to the very end of the day so that they could fit the Indy Lights and IndyCar race in because of the television schedule. At about 7:00pm my race finally got underway.

I made it up to 3rd on the start and pulled a decent gap to 4th. We had definitely closed the gap to the leaders in terms of lap times, the car still wasnít perfect but we were running comfortably in third in the early stages of the race. After about twenty laps we started to pass lap traffic. Going into turn three I went to the inside to overtake a car but he didnít see me and didnít leave enough room for me to get by. This really hurt my momentum and the pack behind me got a huge run. Within a few laps I had fallen back to 6th because my momentum was hurt so badly by the traffic. By the end of the race I caught back up to the 5th place car but didnít have enough time to make a pass. Overall I learned a lot over the past two races on ovals. It was my first experience racing on ovals and it is very different than what I expected and much more difficult! There is a very fine line on getting the car set up just right, if youíre off just a little bit on the set up it can make a big difference on the track.

My next race is at Mid-Ohio, August 5-7. Iím really looking forward to getting back to the road courses and I know we will be fighting for the win.

Special Thanks to all of my sponsors: MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development, Skip Barber, Andretti Autosport, California Scents, Parathyroid.com, Sparco, RaceLite Protection, Illinos Anesthesia, Silver Knight Racing and Eye Health Partners of Middle, TN.

Spencer Pigot