WEST ALLIS, Wis. (June 11, 2013) – Ed Carpenter understands the history of the famed Milwaukee Mile.
Now Carpenter and the IZOD IndyCar Series come to the legendary fairgrounds oval this Saturday for the Milwaukee IndyFest 250-mile race. And Carpenter is hoping to add his name to the long list of racing greats in the Milwaukee Mile victory lane.
Ironically, Carpenter is the only IZOD IndyCar Series driver to begin his racing training in the USAC midgets, sprint cars and Silver Crown cars. But the Butler University graduate never raced at Milwaukee during his younger USAC years.
“I have always liked the Milwaukee Mile,” said Carpenter, who placed fourth last Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway in the Firestone 550K. “What is funny is that I never raced in USAC there, even with my USAC midget, sprint car and Silver Crown experience. The schedule never went to Milwaukee. We raced sprint cars at Angel Park in Sun Prairie near Madison. That was the closest.”
Carpenter put on a stellar comeback performance last year at the Mile with his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. The 32-year-old father of three came from a lap behind in the middle of the 225-lap feature and challenged for a top-five position before claiming eighth.
“Last year, we didn’t qualify well at the Mile and I had to get a lap back on a restart in the middle of the race,” said the only team owner/driver in the IndyCar Series. “Then the Fuzzy’s Chevy was good and we drove up through the field. We had a chance for a top-five but a late caution period ended the race. We had to settle for eighth.”
This time around Carpenter believes his Ed Carpenter Racing contingent will be in the mix from the start of the event.
“We have done a lot of off-track testing this winter with various applications including the wind tunnel, the seven-post shaker rig, the gearbox testing rig and even the Dallara Simulator in Italy,” said Carpenter. “I think a lot of that information has helped us for Indy and Texas already. I feel good about going to a great track like Milwaukee.”
Carpenter grew up around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and understands the history of open-wheel racing. He also knows the importance of the Milwaukee Mile’s legacy too.
“The Mile is so legendary with all of the great drivers battling there for over 100 years,” he said. “That track is older than Indy. Like IMS, it has tradition and the racing is usually good there. Coming off a fourth last Saturday night at Texas, I think we have a good opportunity to challenge for a win at Milwaukee.”
And Ed would like nothing more than to add his name to the Milwaukee Mile record book and join his heroes Foyt and Unser Jr. in the winner’s list this Saturday afternoon.
Qualifying is set for 4:15 p.m. CDT Friday with the IndyFest 250-lap race schedule to get underway at 3:30 p.m. CDT. NBC Sports Network will begin live coverage at 3 p.m. CDT.