Ed Carpenter drives Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy around some late race carnage.
BALTIMORE, Md. – Ed Carpenter survived Sunday’s “street fight” at the Inner Harbor of Baltimore by taking his ECR/Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet to a 14th place finish in one of the wildest IZOD Indy Car Series races in the last five years.
By the race’s checkered flag, top stars such as Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan were not factors in the top-five positions, In fact, several of the early contenders failed to finish.
For Carpenter, it was a “come from behind” performance after an early slide into the turn five tire barrier on lap 11. Ed was able to restart and dive into the pit area for a quick change of a front nose as well as fuel and four Firestone tires.
When he returned to action, the Butler University grad was back in 20th position. Carpenter moved up to as high as 13th as he dodged a variety of incidents in turns one and three.
With the track blocked due to spins in the corners, Carpenter maneuvered his way around some of the contenders to gain valuable positions late in Sunday’s race. Unfortunately, Ed also got caught in a blockage situation in turn three and he lost three spots on lap 66.
In the end, the Indianapolis racer took the checkered flag for the 15th consecutive time in 2013 as Ed is one of a handful of drivers to complete every race this year.
Detroit winner Simon Pagenaud captured his second 2013 IndyCar Series win and moved into third in the IndyCar Series point standings with three races remaining. Following Pagenaud Sunday was second-year driver Josef Newgarden, Sebastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson and Simona de Silvestro.
The next event in the IZOD IndyCar Series is a doubleheader weekend at the temporary road circuit near Reliant Stadium (home of the NFL Texans) in Houston on October 5 and 6. Similar to the two-race weekends in Detroit and Toronto this year, the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston could result in another wild, contact affair. The season finale, MAVTV 500, is again at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Oct. 19. Carpenter won the Fontana event in 2012.
“Unfortunately, I made a dumb mistake early on when I slid into the turn five tire barrier,” said Carpenter, currently 17th in the IndyCar Series. “That put us a lap down. We had a good pace after that but we could not get the lap back. We put on a new front wing that helped.
But that mistake hurt us throughout the race. We stayed out a long time on some older Red Firestones at the end and I was just holding on. I couldn’t fight (E.J.) Viso for the position due to the tires being down to the cords. It was really crazy out there today.
People were just taking every chance that they could. We kind of knew there could be carnage on those restarts and that’s what happened. Overall, we’ll take the points and work towards the final three races.”