TAKING THE VISION TO CHICAGOLAND: The Indy PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 will be Vision Racing's fifth trip to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, and it's first under the lights on Saturday night. The team's best finish came in 2007...
TAKING THE VISION TO CHICAGOLAND: The Indy PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 will be Vision Racing's fifth trip to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, and it's first under the lights on Saturday night. The team's best finish came in 2007 when driver Ed Carpenter finished fifth. Last year Vision looked to have a breakthrough run on the 1.5-mile oval at Chicagoland as both Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV ran as high as fourth in the 2008 season-finale, but their efforts were foiled by a mechanical failure for Carpenter while running in fifth, and a loss of grip for Foyt while running in sixth. The team is eagerly anticipating this year's race at Chicagoland after Carpenter led 34 laps and finished in second place by 0.0162 of a second at the most recent 1.5-mile oval at Kentucky Speedway, held at the start of August. The PEAK Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway will be the team's 81st IndyCar Series event since their first season in 2005.
OH SO CLOSE: Earlier this month at Kentucky Speedway, Carpenter earned a career-best finish of second, led 34 laps, was the most improved driver (started 14th) had the fastest lap of the race for the second consecutive season and put on an impressive display that stole the show as by crossing the finish line just 0.0162 of a second behind Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske. Not only was it Carpenter's career-best finish in 93 starts over six seasons, it was also Vision Racing's best oval finish and matched Ryan Hunter-Reay's second place finish for the team earlier this season on the streets of St. Petersburg. Hunter-Reay finished runner-up to Briscoe in that race as well. It was the closest finish in the history of Kentucky Speedway and the 11th closest finish in IndyCar Series history.
"OUR LADY OF ACCELERATION, DON"T FAIL US NOW": A race in Joliet, Illinois wouldn't be complete without at least one quote from the movie "The Blues Brothers" famous in part for it's incredible car chase sequences much like IndyCar Series is know for it's close racing on ovals. The team is looking to improve on their own car chase at the last oval they visited; The team's best finish on an oval is second by Carpenter who scored the podium finish at the beginning of August at Kentucky Speedway by just 0.0162 of a second after leading 34 laps. The team also has a pair of third place drives scored by Tomas Scheckter at The Milwaukee Mile in 2006 and again in 2007 by A.J. Foyt IV at Kentucky Speedway. Overall, Carpenter shares the team's best finish of second with fellow driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, when he, like Carpenter, started 14th and finished second, only Hunter-Reay did the feat on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. in the 2009 season-opener.
Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
* AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY: Ed Carpenter made history in September 2003 at Chicagoland Speedway when he became the first driver to compete in a Menards Infiniti Pro Series event and an IndyCar Series event on the same weekend. It was also Carpenter's first career IndyCar Series start and driving for PDM Racing he put in a respectable rookie run starting 16th and finishing 13th. In 2004 with Cheever Racing, he starting 16th again and finished 11th. With Vision Racing in 2005, he started 19th and finished 17th. In 2006 he started 12th and drove all the way to fifth which is the team's best finish at Chicagoland. In 2007 Carpenter started 14th and finished 16th as a result of a power failure mid-way through the race. Just last year, Carpenter started 13th and also made a hard charge through the field from the moment the green flag was waved to sit solidly in fourth position by lap 12. While still running in the fourth spot on lap 36, Carpenter suffered a right front suspension failure and made heavy contact with the wall which ended his race early.