Chicagoland: Vision Racing race report

CARPENTER DRIVES TO SIXTH PLACE FINISH AT CHICAGOLAND JOLIET, Ill. (Aug. 29, 2009) - Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter drove the team's No. 20 Menards Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine to a sixth place finish in an exciting PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil...

CARPENTER DRIVES TO SIXTH PLACE FINISH AT CHICAGOLAND

JOLIET, Ill. (Aug. 29, 2009) - Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter drove the team's No. 20 Menards Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine to a sixth place finish in an exciting PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway in which the top 13 cars were separated by just 0.8269 seconds at the finishline.

Starting from the 12th position, Carpenter made quick work of moving through the field as he maneuvered to the fifth position by lap seven and made his way to fourth by lap 17. He ran as high as third in the race on a restart on lap 101. From there, Carpenter ran a strong clean race, his crew gave him efficient pit stops and he remained in the top-ten for the remainder of the event.

In the final stint however, Carpenter found himself behind a three-wide pack, running in the eighth spot with no way to get by. Thanks to a yellow flag on lap 184 as a result of Helio Castroneves making contact with the wall, the field regrouped and lined up for a restart, allowing Carpenter to make a final push to the front.

Taking the green flag for the final time on the lap 191 restart, Carpenter went from seventh and up to sixth on lap 195, but then fell as far as ninth when the white flag appeared on lap 199. In the remaining mile and a half, Carpenter made up three positions to take sixth overall.

Carpenter earned his sixth top-ten of the season and remains 12th in the IndyCar Series championship point standings with 284 total points (264 points behind the leader).

IndyCar Series championship point leader Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske won the Staurday night race by just 0.0077 of a second over Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Rounding out the top-five in the race were Mario Moraes, Dario Franchitti and Graham Rahal.

Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

(On the race) The balance had just kind of gotten more understeer late in the race. It kind of seemed like we were better in the first half of the race and then others got better in the second half of the race than what we did. I don't know. We still had a good car at the end, but we just kept getting land-locked with guys running two and three-wide and then I would be sitting there with nowhere to go. I would rather be able to race like that, but it gets frustrating at times just because you have a good car and you get held back. The last lap was interesting because we started in ninth and got back up to sixth so it was still a good day. Obviously, we wanted to be on the podium again, so that's frustrating, but points-wise it was probably good with (Hideki) Mutoh dropping out and (Dan) Wheldon having trouble. Those are some of the guys that are in front of us so hopefully we closed up a little bit with some of those guys in points. I've got two more ovals now to try and do better.

(On the finish) It was pretty close. I was deciding whether or not I was going to lift ahead of the line if guys started touching, but it all worked out. It was close. It's a good thing we have timing and scoring, because in the old days they did the scoring by hand and if that was still the case, we would be trying to decide that finish a couple of days later.

-credit: vr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Graham Rahal , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Mario Moraes , Ed Carpenter
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing