ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Spencer Pigot has raced in nearly every vehicle that competes on the streets that make up the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg's temporary circuit, but he received an up-close look at another pro sport that calls downtown St. Pete home Thursday when the Ed Carpenter Racing driver visited the Tampa Bay Rowdies, whose soccer stadium is located inside the racetrack complex.
Pigot met defender Darnell King and midfielder Martin Vingaard for a brief kick-around at Al Lang Field, before taking the players to the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock to show off some of the tools he will use to race around the 1.8-mile circuit beginning today.
"They were super interested in everything we had going here," Pigot said. "They were interested about the car, the steering wheel and all sorts of stuff. It's always fun to talk to other athletes and I'm a soccer fan, so I was really interested in what they do. I got to ask them questions about where they played and how they got started. They had cool stories for me. It was just as interesting for me as it was for them.”
Pigot received a pair of gifts from the team, a signed game-used jersey from Rowdies star midfielder Joe Cole and his own customized Rowdies jersey with the No. 20 to match the number on the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet he will drive in Sunday’s 110-lap race.
"It was fun," Pigot said. "They were fooling around with me and I was doing my best to keep up with them (playing soccer). I'd like to come to a training session with them and see how they really prepare for a game."