Indy 500: Vision Racing race preview

VISION RACING MAKES FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR 2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500 INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Vision Racing drivers Ed Carpenter and Ryan Hunter-Reay took to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway one last time Friday in preparation for Sunday's running of the...

VISION RACING MAKES FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR 2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Vision Racing drivers Ed Carpenter and Ryan Hunter-Reay took to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway one last time Friday in preparation for Sunday's running of the Indianapolis 500 as a part of Miller Lite Carb Day activities.

Not only was Friday morning's one hour practice a final opportunity for race preparations, but conversely it was an initial opportunity for the team to display their race day liveries. Specifically, Hunter-Reay's No. 21T Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine featured a new look as IZOD will serve as the primary sponsor for the race.

Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation [NYSE: PVH] announced earlier in the week that its IZOD brand will be the primary sponsor of Vision Racing's No. 21 car for the Indianapolis 500 and the Milwaukee Mile during the 2009 IndyCar Series season.

In addition, Hunter-Reay's front wing will carry the TDS company logo which was transferred over from Conquest Racing's No. 34 entry which was bumped out of the field on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Carpenter's No. 20 Menards Special will also carry the William Rast moniker for race day and feature Forte Healthy Energy Shot which was also formerly featured on the No. 34 Conquest Racing machine.

With the sponsor decals affixed and the race looming ahead, Carpenter and Hunter-Reay made the most of their final opportunity to shake down their cars. Carpenter was 21st fastest amongst the field of 33 with a best lap of 219.602 mph, while Hunter-Reay was 27th fastest with best lap at 218.593 mph.

Carpenter's four lap qualifying average of 222.780 mph will put him in the 17th position, the middle of row six, for the start his sixth Indianapolis 500. Just last season he started a career-best 10th at Indy, drove his first career IndyCar Series leader laps (3) and finished a team and career-best fifth place at the Brickyard.

Hunter-Reay entered the field of 33 for Sunday's race in much more dramatic fashion as he bumped his way back into the field; qualifying the car as the final gun sounded representing the end of qualifications this past Sunday.

Even more, his four lap average of 220.597 mph was literally just enough to get back in as it bumped out driver Alex Tagliani by only 0.085 seconds. He will start from the 32nd spot in his second attempt at Indianapolis on Sunday.

Just last season Hunter-Reay started 20th at Indy and ran an impressive race finishing behind current teammate, Ed Carpenter, in the sixth spot and earning Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honors.

This year Hunter-Reay will be looking to earn a spot in history by winning the race from the highest starting position. The farthest back anyone has started the Indianapolis 500 and won is the 28th spot, which has been done twice.

-credit: vr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Ed Carpenter
Teams Conquest Racing