CARPENTER TO START 12th AT CHICAGOLAND VISION RACING QUALIFYING AND PRACTICE REPORT JOLIET, Ill.(August 28, 2009)- Vision Racing driver Ed Carpenter will start 12th in the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine for the PEAK...
CARPENTER TO START 12th AT CHICAGOLAND VISION RACING QUALIFYING AND PRACTICE REPORT
JOLIET, Ill.(August 28, 2009)- Vision Racing driver Ed Carpenter will start 12th in the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 on Saturday night at Chicagoland Raceway. Carpenter's qualifying average came in with an average speed of 213.331 mph.
Overall, The Indy PEAK Indy 300 will be Vision Racing's fifth trip to Chicagoland Speedway. The team's best finish came in 2007 when 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.
Previously at Chicagoland Speedway, Carpenter made history in September 2003 when he became the first driver to compete in a Firestone Indy Lights 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.
Driving for Cheever Racing for the 2004 season at Chicagoland Speedway, he starting 16th again and finished 11th. Moving to 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.
Most recently at Infineon Raceway, Carpenter started 20th in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma and drove to an 11th place finish. As a result, Carpenter managed to move up one spot to 12th in the IndyCar Series championship point standings with 258 total points after 14 races (239 points behind the leader).
After finishing a career-best second place by just 0.0162 of a second and leading 34 laps on the most recent 1.5-mile oval race at Kentucky Speedway earlier this month, Carpenter and the team are eager to see if they can do just one spot better this weekend under the lights on Chicagoland Speedway's 1.5-mile configuration.
Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"People might have high expectations for us after our strong performance Kentucky. We have high expectations for ourselves after that too but places like this can be frustrating because the car handles well but it is hard to go any faster than it already is. It's like putting a car on a dyno. That was everything the car had. Kentucky is much more of a handling track where if you nail the right set up you can do well and you'll find a pack of cars that can run away from the rest. Chicago and Texas on the other hand, is more about the speed in the car. It's hard to beat those guys (Ganassi Penske) when it comes down to just pure speed but the cars are going to handle better here than they did at Kentucky so there will be closer and exciting racing. I don't think you'll have the fielded spread out. We just have to hope that everything goes right for us and others have some trouble. We'll give it our best shot and try to put ourselves in the best position possible to come away with. "