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Arrow Schmidt Peterson, Ericsson Break Through with First Pit Stop Challenge Win

After three consecutive years as runner-up, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports won the 2019 MotoGator Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge on Friday during Miller Lite Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Arrow Schmidt Peterson crew shared $50,000 for the victory. Marcus Ericsson became the first rookie driver on the winning team since Buddy Rice in 2003.

“I think we had some good starts, for sure, but what won this competition was pit stops,” Ericsson said. “Every single pit stop was amazing, and that’s why we won this today. It’s a great reward because these guys have worked so hard all year. I’ve had a couple incidents during the season, and they’ve always worked so hard to get me out there on track again.”

In the best-of-three finals, Ericsson’s No. 7 team defeated the defending winners, Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 9 team driven by Scott Dixon.

The first run of simulated fuel fills and four tire changes was claimed by the No. 7 team, and Dixon’s No. 9 team claimed the second run. That set up an exciting side-by-side finale. Ericsson’s No. 7 team finished in 11.794 seconds to beat Dixon’s No. 9 team, which finished in 13.132 seconds, and an excited Ericsson hopped out of his car and ran down pit road to celebrate with his crew.

“We’ve been in second place the last three years, so it was a big motivator for us to get over that hump, and we’re glad to finally be on top,” No. 7 crew chief Bob Jansen said. “Everybody gave great stops today, and I can’t say enough about how well they did.”

Ericsson became the fifth rookie driver as part of a winning team. He also is the second Swedish driver to win, following rookie Kenny Brack in 1997.

To make it to the finals, Ericsson and Arrow SPM defeated 17-time competition winners Team Penske twice, toppling Josef Newgarden and Will Power. Dixon defeated Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Sage Karam, and Arrow SPM teammate James Hinchcliffe.

Dixon said his team did their job and thought lane choice might have played a bigger role in the winner.

“I forgot we did the best-of-three and get the lane choice,” Dixon said. “The lane choice is a big deal. It was definitely pretty interesting how that plays out. Huge credit to Schmidt Peterson. They did a hell of a job. That was good."

Nine teams qualified for the competition based on their recorded pit stop times since the Indianapolis 500 last year. Other competitors in this year’s field included Chip Ganassi Racing with driver Felix Rosenqvist, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with Takuma Sato and MotoGator Team Stange Racing with Arrow SPM and Oriol Servia.

Visit IMS.com to purchase tickets for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 26 and for more information on the complete Race Weekend schedule at IMS.

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