LONG POND, Pa. – Ed Carpenter looked to be making a strong come-from-behind drive Sunday in the IZOD IndyCar Series’ return to the popular Pocono International Raceway for the Pocono Indy 400.
Carpenter was disappointed after his qualifying performance Saturday but returned for Sunday’s feature with a solid setup in his No. 20 ECR/Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. In the first 50 laps, Ed fought the tough track conditions in attempting to make a charge into the top-ten. By lap 98, the Butler University graduate moved into fifth.
After a quick pit stop, Carpenter continued his battle in the top-ten. Unfortunately, the ECR/Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy’s handling wasn’t as good in the early portions of the fuel stints Sunday, and Ed had to wait for the tire temperatures to come into proper range. But, on the latter stages, Carpenter proved to be strong with his Fuzzy’s Chevy.
“It was a tough race for us,” said Carpenter. “I felt we had a better car than that result. We didn’t have a fast car in the beginning of the stints, but we came on strong at the end of them. We made the car a lot better for the race. We were just missing a little something. We were a little inconsistent with the tires.
They felt a little different with each run. I guess we shouldn’t be down about a top-ten finish, but I felt we had a shot for a top-five. I thought we were charging in some portions of the race. But then the car didn’t react as quickly after a pit stop. We might have run a little too much downforce, but we need to look at it back at the shop.”
Carpenter was impressed with the IndyCar Series’ return to Pocono and the enthusiasm of the promoters at the “Tricky Triangle.”
“It was fun to race at Pocono,” he said. “It is hard to pass but you can do it. I hope the crowd liked the Indy cars here. I loved coming to this track. The track does a great job promoting the race too. It is great to have it as part of the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown. We’ll have to defend our title at Fontana and stop Tony (Kanaan) and Scott (Dixon) from taking the $250,000 from Fuzzy’s Vodka.”
Dixon won Sunday’s Pocono Indy 400 and the second leg of the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown. He now joins Indy 500 winner Kanaan with a chance to capture $250,000 with a victory in the season finale at MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Fuzzy’s Triple Crown includes three long distance races at the Indy 500, Pocono Indy 400 and the MAVTV 500.
The IZOD IndyCar Series now travels to the streets of Toronto last weekend for another doubleheader with races Saturday and Sunday.