Clutch woes forces Carpenter out early Sunday in Houston

Carpenter ready to concentrate on Fontana finale after his two tough weeks

HOUSTON (Oct. 6, 2013) – Ed Carpenter looked to have a better race going Sunday in the weekend’s second IZOD IndyCar Series event at the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.

Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Emily Rogers

While the series’ only team owner/driver drove twice as many laps as Saturday, the driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet was forced to park his machine at lap 61 due to clutch trouble.

Starting 18th in the 24-car field, Carpenter enjoyed a better standing start than Saturday when his mount clipped the stalled car of James Hinchcliffe, forcing the ECR/Fuzzy’s Vodka crew to replace the entire right rear suspension of his car. Carpenter was able to complete 30 laps in Saturday’s 90-lap feature.

On Sunday, Carpenter moved up to 15th by lap eight and Ed ran 17th before the team’s first pit stop. The rough track surface forced Carpenter to pit on lap 53 for a new nose on his car.

Finally, the ECR/Fuzzy’s car began to experience clutch trouble by lap 60 and the team decided to call it a day after the car would not start in the pit lane. Will Power won the 90-lap race that ended with a horrific crash for four-time IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti. The popular Scotsman was talking to safety workers after the crash but was transported to a Houston hospital for observation.

While the Houston doubleheader proved to a rough weekend for the ECR/Fuzzy’s Vodka team, the Indianapolis-based operation is now focused on defending its race victory from last year on the fast, high-banked two-mile oval track east of Los Angeles.

Tom Blattler

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Race reports
Tags carpenter, chevrolet, houston, indycar