INDIANAPOLIS – A calm and confident Ed Carpenter jumped from his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet Friday in “Carb Day” with the look that the Indy 500 pole winner is ready for Sunday’s 200-lap “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Carpenter, winner of the last 500-mile IZOD IndyCar Series race last September in Fontana, Calif., posted an early speed of 223.794 miles per hour, made a couple of pit stops for his crew and decided to roll the machine back to the ECR garage.
“We were going to run 20 to 25 laps today,” said Carpenter, the only team owner/driver in the 33-driver field. “But the car felt good so we did a couple of pit stops and parked the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet after 18 laps.
It would have been fun to go out and play longer but it isn’t necessary. The smart thing to do is just put the car away and prepare for Sunday. We will continue to go with our plan right now.”
The ECR Indy 500 game plan constructed by engineers Matt Barnes, Brent Harvey, Ben Siegel, Ed Delporte and Joe Howard was been spot on throughout the month of May thus far.
“Our plan worked last week for us,” Ed said. “We ran race setup all week until Friday when we trimmed out the car for qualifying. I feel we have a fast car today. We think conditions will be similar on Sunday too.”
Actually Carpenter was glad to get back in the cockpit today after a whirlwind schedule from Monday through Thursday off the track.
“This week has been pretty crazy but fun,” Carpenter admitted. “We had 16 appearances Thursday, so it was busy. But you have to enjoy it. You never know when this situation will happen again.
I feel super confident that we have the tools and the team to win this race. We won the last 500-miler in Fontana so we know we can do it. We just have to execute and go with the game plan. It’s easy to get excited with this kind of car. I just need to remain calm and be ready to run a strong race.”