Chicagoland: Vision Racing preview

CARPENTER, VISION RACING BACK ON TRACK AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 25, 2010) - Veteran driver Ed Carpenter made his first career IZOD IndyCar Series start on the 1.5-mile of Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 7, 2003; driving for...

CARPENTER, VISION RACING BACK ON TRACK AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 25, 2010) - Veteran driver Ed Carpenter made his first career IZOD IndyCar Series start on the 1.5-mile of Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 7, 2003; driving for PDM Racing. Now 100 races later, Carpenter is making 101st career start and 82nd with his current team, Vision Racing.

The 29-year-old Carpenter is participating in just his second IZOD IndyCar Series race this season given sponsorship difficulties, but it was a partnership with Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka and Panther Racing that put him back in the No. 20 Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine in May for the Indianapolis 500. Now the partnership has been extended for three more races this season.

Chicagoland Speedway is the first of three ovals, including Kentucky Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, which Carpenter will race in each of the next three months. It's no coincidence that Carpenter's best finishes have some on these ovals and he looks to continue on that precedent.

Since that first start in 2003 at Chicagoland, Carpenter has made seven starts on the 1.5 mile speedway and gave Vision Racing its best finish in five trips with a fifth place run in 2007 and last season drove to a sixth place finish. The team is anticipating a return to the track given that 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 in 2009.

Partnering again with Panther Racing should serve both Carpenter and Vision Racing well as Panther has collected victories at each of the tracks where Carpenter will join the team this season, including two thrilling victories at Chicagoland with Sam Hornish Jr. (2002-2003). Carpenter's teammate will be a strong asset as well, as Dan Wheldon was victorious at Chicagoland in consecutive years (2005-2006).

The No. 20 Vision Racing/Panther Racing partnership will feature the same core of personnel responsible for Carpenter's Indianapolis effort, with Al Bodey returning as race engineer and Brian Franzosi continuing chief mechanic duties. In addition, longtime Vision Racing team manager Keven Kaye will oversee operations of the Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka entry.

Carpenter and the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka special will join his teammate, Wheldon and the No. 4 National Guard machine on Friday, Aug. 27th as practice begins at 9:15 a.m. for the 200-lap, 300-mile event. The Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, will be broadcast live on VERSUS at 7 p.m. (ET) with additional coverage on IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com, XM Channel 145 and Sirius Channel 211.

Ed Carpenter: "I'm excited to be going back to Chicago and picking up where we left off at the Indianapolis 500. Obviously we didn't get the result we were looking with a 19th place finish in May but we had a strong showing the rest of that month and had a really fast car. Coming off that effort and the test we did a few weeks ago at Kentucky has us really confident about where we are with the car for Chicago. It was a great race there last year especially for the fans and I expect it'll be a great race again this year especially with 29 car entries. It should be a lot of fun and hopefully we'll put the Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car and ourselves on the podium when it's all said and done."

-source: panther racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Sam Hornish Jr. , Ed Carpenter
Teams Panther Racing