CARPENTER QUALIFIES 10th FOR 92ND RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 SPEEDWAY, Indiana - Vision Racing driver Ed Carpenter qualified his No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone in the top-10 for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500...
CARPENTER QUALIFIES 10th FOR 92ND RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
SPEEDWAY, Indiana - Vision Racing driver Ed Carpenter qualified his No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone in the top-10 for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 today. The 10th place start will be the highest starting position at Indianapolis for Carpenter.
Pole Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway finally brought about sunny skies to the 2.5-mile oval in the first round of qualifying for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500. The top-11 spots, including the PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award presented by AutoZone, were up for grabs.
Carpenter was actually the last of his teammates to take to the track for qualifying, but his one and only attempt early in the afternoon proved to be enough to withstand the "bumping" that took place. His four-lap average of 223.835 mph put him on the inside of row four and in the 10th place starting position.
Returning for his fifth Indianapolis 500 in the eye-catching Menards machine, Carpenter has two 11th place finishes at Indianapolis and ran as high as fourth last year, but finished 17th when a heavy accident just ahead of him in the closing laps resulted in damage to his car, thus causing him to crash a lap just before race officials called the race due to rain. Carpenter led his Vision Racing teammates at Indy in 2006 with an 11th place finish, matching his finish from the year before.
While Carpenter was able to solidify his starting position for the race, teammates A.J. Foyt IV and Davey Hamilton were unable make today's top 11, despite their efforts.
Hamilton was the first Vision Racing driver to complete a full qualifying attempt today. In his run behind the wheel of the No. 22 Vision Racing machine sponsored by HP and Kingdom Racing, Hamilton logged a four-lap average of 223.287 mph which at the time was fast enough for the top-11, but eventually was "bumped."
Foyt's first attempt at qualifying came to an abrupt end as he spun in turn three, but fortunately saved the car and avoided contact with the wall. Foyt did not make another qualifying attempt on the day as practice speeds for the No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone did not appear to be enough to break into the top-11.
Foyt, Hamilton and the remaining two Vision Racing entries will vie for spots 12 through 22 in tomorrow's second round of qualifying. Sunday begins with IndyCar Series practice from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. (ET). Qualifying resumes at noon and will again last until 6:00 p.m.
92nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Qualifying/Practice Results (May 10, 2008) and Quotes:
A.J. Foyt IV - No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
Qualifying Average Speed: (Did not qualify. Spun in only qualifying
Qualifying Rank: (Did not qualify. Spun in only qualifying attempt)
"Unfortunately things did not go near as well as we would have liked today. I thought we had a good car when we went out to qualify earlier today, but after I spun on my first attempt, we weren't happy with the speed of the car to take it back out and try and qualify again. Weather permitting, we'll try and go out tomorrow and get the car safely in the show so that next week we can just concentrate on getting the car ready for the race."
Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
Qualifying Average Speed: 223.835 mph
Qualifying Rank: 10th
"The Menard's Vision car is good. I tried to get all the speed out of it that I could and I really wanted to get up about 224 mph because I felt like that would be enough to keep us in the top-11. The team guys have worked hard and I have a good car. I used all three attempts in past two years to get in on the first day and I ended up starting 12th and 14th. This was a big goal for me to get in on the first day of qualifying and not have to worry about it. We haven't really been very high on the speed charts so far, but we knew that the speed would come but we just needed some time on the track to get it out. I thought we could be in the top-five but we just got off to a slow start and fell behind a little. The thing that we do have at Vision Racing is a bunch of rally good people and professionals and I don't think anyone can be distracted from what the goal is this month of May."
Davey Hamilton - No. 22 The Computer is Personal Again/HP/Kingdom Racing Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
Qualifying Average Speed: 223.287 mph
Qualifying Rank: (Did not qualify in top-11.)
"These Vision Racing guys surprised me, I'll be honest with you. I ran some 222 mph laps this morning by myself and then the team said there were a few things they'd change for qualifying and it really helped. It was a bit on edge, but I'm really happy with the time. I didn't doubt that it wouldn't hold up today to assure our spot but we now know we have a good car to qualifying in the next round and we've posted the kind of lap times we need to get into the show. We just didn't have enough time to prepare with all the rain this week. To get that qualifying run in today still made me very happy. I'm just having such a great time here. There's no one on pit lane that is having more fun than I am this year. Last year I maybe felt like I had something to prove, but this year I'm here because I want to do well and I want to try and win this race. But I am a realist as well and when you go up against these great teams and drivers that are qualifying faster than you are out there, and are in these cars week in and week out, it's hard to compete with that. But it can be done. The Vision team has given me a great racecar. We'll just have to play the race smart, not over drive the car, be patient and work hard to get another top-10 finish."
-credit: vision racing