Carpenter Scores Best Ever Starting Position for SFR of 3rd; Scheckter 24th in 34-car Field
Las Vegas, NV (October 14, 2011)-Sarah Fisher Racing (SFR) drivers Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter took to the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) early this afternoon, with a practice session beginning at 1:35pm PDT. Carpenter turned 43 laps during the session, clocking his fastest lap at a speed of 222.397 mph, good enough for 16th place on the speed charts. Carpenter's teammate, Tomas Scheckter, was also on track for practice in his No. 57 Angie's List Special, completing 50 laps, and clocking his fastest lap at a speed of 222.901 mph, placing him 8th on the practice speed charts.
Shortly following the final practice session, qualifications set the field for Sunday's IZOD IndyCar Series World Championship event, the first IndyCar event at LVMS since 1998. Carpenter, in his No. 67 Dollar General machine, wheeled a two-lap average speed of 221.509 mph during the late afternoon qualifying session, which placed him in the 3rd starting position for Sunday's race, the highest ever starting position for SFR. The yellow and black Dollar General Honda powered Dallara will roll from the inside of Row 2 tomorrow, alongside Alex Tagliani.
SFR driver Tomas Scheckter, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, took to the Superspeedway just moments later, completing his qualifying run with a two-lap average speed of 219.816 mph. The Angie's List Special will roll off the grid 24th tomorrow, on the outside of Row 12, alongside Townsend Bell.
Sunday's 300-mile season finale race at LVMS will house the largest starting field on an oval since the 1997 35-car Indianapolis 500, and will play host to one of the most competitive fields of the 2011 season.
Ed Carpenter: "It felt good out there. I was really confident in our race car and qualifying car yesterday in practice, but we had a lot of issues in practice today and really didn't have a good idea of where we were going to be in qualifying. I almost wondered if we'd even be top ten after the first practice session today. I feel pretty good now knowing that the car still does have speed because I was worried we were maybe losing a little speed, but it came back and we ran about what we thought we could run, so that's good."
Tomas Scheckter: "We were great on set-up, so we don't really know what happened. It's a bit of a weak qualifying effort to say the least. But I'm really happy, the Angie's List crew did a great job in practice today...we were P.8, so we've got a great racecar and that's what we've got to look at. I'm so happy for the Dollar General car and Ed qualifying right up front. It's funny because he had problems in practice too and didn't seem very confident for qualifying and now we've swapped around. We're going to go back and take a look over everything. Everything felt fine, and I had good laps. We just didn't have the speed."