Iowa: Vision Racing preview

Vision Racing Ready for IOWA Corn Indy 250 * TAKING THE VISION TO IOWA: Vision Racing returns to Iowa Speedway for the third time. The team's best start at Iowa came in 2007 when Ed Carpenter started fifth. The team's best finish at Iowa came...

Vision Racing Ready for IOWA Corn Indy 250

* TAKING THE VISION TO IOWA: Vision Racing returns to Iowa Speedway for the third time. The team's best start at Iowa came in 2007 when Ed Carpenter started fifth. The team's best finish at Iowa came last season when A.J. Foyt IV finished fifth. Carpenter also recorded a sixth place finish in 2007.

* ON LOAN: Considered a win-win situation for all involved, Vision Racing driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will be taking over piloting duties of A.J. Foyt's ABC Supply entry for the remainder of the 2009 IndyCar season beginning at the Iowa Corn Indy 250. Hunter-Reay, who drove the No. 21 Vision Honda Dallara to a second place podium finish in the 2009 season opener at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida, and is currently tenth in the IndyCar Series Championship driver points standings, will have his driving services transferred to A.J. Foyt Racing as a temporary replacement for the injured Vitor Meira.

* WELLNESS TOUR IN IOWA- The Vision Racing Wellness Tour, supported by team sponsor Lilly USA, will make an important pit stop for a second consecutive year at Iowa Speedway providing racing fans with free diabetes screenings with A1c testing and risk factor assessment, along with cholesterol and blood pressure testing. The Wellness Tour mobile unit (bus) will be located behind the main grandstands and will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 21, race day at the Iowa Speedway.

* HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: After forming and joining the Indy Racing League in 2005, Vision Racing is celebrating its fifth season of competition in 2009. Since the team embarked upon IndyCar Series competition, eight drivers have piloted five (Nos. 2, 20, 21, 22, 90) different team entries. Those drivers have combined for an additional 44 top-10 finishes, plus 10 top-five finishes, three more podium finishes and 42 laps led. Over the previous four years the quest for the team's first victory has been top priority and Vision Racing is confident that year five will be the season where that it happens. The team's best ever finish occurred in the 2009 season opener as Ryan Hunter-Reay drove from 14th to finish second in the race. That podium finish also put Vision second in the championship point standings which was also its' the highest-ever ranking. The Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be the team's 73rd IndyCar Series event since their first season in 2005.

* ON OVALS AND SUPERSPEEDWAYS: The team's best finish on an oval is third scored by Tomas Scheckter at The Milwaukee Mile in 2006 and again in 2007 by A.J. Foyt IV at Kentucky Speedway. However, the team's overall best finish came on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. in the 2009 season-opener when Ryan Hunter-Reay finished in the second position. In the team's most recent oval affair, the Bombardier LearJet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway, Carpenter started 10th, led one lap and finished ninth while Hunter-Reay started 23rd and finished in the 16th spot. The best oval finish this season was recorded by Carpenter in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 when he drove from 17th to finish eighth.

* FIND US ONLINE, ANYTIME: The 2009 season for Vision Racing includes the great social media experiment. Vision Racing has established itself in the realm of online social media and networking via accounts at Twitter.com, Facebook.com and YouTube.com this season; allowing fans, friends, followers and even members of the media the opportunity to closely follow and interact with the five-year IndyCar Series participant. In addition, RACERSITES.com is working on a redesign of VisionRacing.com which is set to launch in June 2009.

* NEW AND OLD FOR 2009: Most recently, team driver Ryan Hunter-Reay's services were transferred to A.J. Foyt Racing for the remainder of the season to drive in the place of Vitor Meira who was injured in the 2009 Indianapolis 500. In May, Lauren George, daughter of team co-owners, Tony and Laura George, was named a team co-owner as well and will have responsibility for directing the team's Firestone Indy Lights effort which also received primary sponsorship from People's Liberation, also in May. Now the team is fielding just one car in the IndyCar Series as Ed Carpenter has returned to pilot the No. 20 car for the fifth straight year. Team sponsors Menards, Johns Manville, and Lilly return with the addition of SONAX and William Rast. Personnel-wise, Keven Kukulewicz returns as team manager while the engineering staff is again headed by Jeff Britton, while engineers Nathan O'Rourke and Robert Gue return to the team as well. IndyCar Series veteran and winner Bryan Herta is again serving as a road-course consultant for the team this season. Herta and his new Firestone Indy Lights (FIL) team, Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) and driver Daniel Herrington has formed a technical partnership with Vision Racing and their new FIL team with driver James Davison. It marks Vision Racing's first FIL effort since 2005.

* 2009 TEAM HIGHLIGHTS: This season's highlight to date came in the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Fla. when Ryan Hunter-Reay started 14th and drove all the way to finish in second place. Since then, Carpenter has added three top-ten finishes at Kansas, Indianapolis and Texas.

* AS SEEN ON TV: Patrick Dempsey joined Vision Racing prior to the 2006 season, taking on a new role that has been making hearts race in a literal way as a team co-owner. Known for his scene-stealing turns in such '80s nostalgia classics such as Can't Buy Me Love and Loverboy, Patrick Dempsey continues to please America with his explosive charisma and versatile talent. Dempsey is the star of the ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy." Dempsey's no stranger to the racetrack when he's not in front of the camera. A true racer at heart, he's currently driving professionally in Grand American Cup class sports car racing with Dempsey Racing, formerly Hypersport. He raced a Ferrari F430 GT with Team Seattle in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans and also competed in the 2009 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

* A TEAM WITH A VISION: Vision Racing is owned and operated by Tony and Laura George, their daughter Lauren George and actor Patrick Dempsey of ABC's Grey's Anatomy and is based in Indianapolis, Indiana in a 32,000 square foot facility. The team competes full-time in the IndyCar Series and is entering its fifth season of IndyCar Series competition and second year of Firestone Indy Lights racing. Vision Racing continues to proudly perpetuate the legacy of the Hulman-George family through motorsports excellence, by demonstrating the traditions and heritage of the Indianapolis 500 and Indy car racing.

Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

Birthday: March 3, 1980; Hometown: Marshall, Ill.; Residence: Indianapolis, Ind.

Finished in top-ten at Texas and earned another career-leader lap.

* AT IOWA: When the green flag fell on the 7/8-mile oval for the inaugural IndyCar Series event, Carpenter started in the fifth position. His qualifying run the previous day was a personal and team high on the season. Carpenter ran strong and by lap 72 had made his way into the second spot. However, while running fifth in a restart on lap 99, Carpenter got caught in a six car incident on the main straight. The mayhem also collected teammate, A.J. Foyt IV. Meanwhile, Carpenter's car suffered a broken front wing and right-rear toe link in the incident, but managed to soldier on. After back-to-back pit stops, Carpenter's crew rallied to install a new wing and fix the toe link to get Carpenter back on track, just one lap down from the leaders and in the eighth spot. He continued to battle, making his way back up to the fourth spot where he ran until with just three laps to go he slowed due to a loss of fuel pressure. He was unable to bring the car to the checkered flag, but still finished in the sixth position and three laps down. In 2008, Carpenter started in the ninth spot, and was running in eighth when a mechanical failure on lap 39 crashed him out of the race and left him in the 23rd spot.

* BABY ON BOARD: Just as planned, Carpenter and wife Heather (Pettigrew) welcomed their second child into the world on June 1st as the 8 lb. 1 oz., 20 inch long Ryder Carpenter arrived on his due date. Big sister, Makenna was born in October 2007, while the couple was married November 8, 2005 on the Island of St. Thomas.

* TWEET, TWEET: With the birth of his second child, son Ryder, Carpenter decided it would be the perfect time to make his debut on Twitter.com as well; joining Vision Racing's twitter efforts. You can view Carpenter's Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/edcarpenter20 and follow the team at www.twitter.com/visionracing.

* MOST RECENTLY: Making his eighth IndyCar Series start at Texas, Carpenter drove the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone from the tenth spot to the head of the field as he was credited leading lap 59, and eventually to a ninth place finish. It was Carpenter's fourth career-leader lap in the IndyCar Series and his third ninth place finish at Texas. Carpenter has finished a career-best ninth at Texas for a third time ('06,'08,'09) in spite of an ill-handling racecar, lapped traffic woes, and a one-groove race. He was able to move from 16th up to 14th in the championship point standings as a result of his efforts with 106 points (93 points behind leader).

* 2009 SEASON: This is the sixth full season in IndyCar Series competition for Carpenter and the seventh season that he has participated in overall. Carpenter is looking to build off top-ten finishes earned on the ovals of Kansas, Indianapolis and Texas. The Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be Carpenter's seventh event of the 2009 IndyCar Series season and fifth consecutive oval.

* LEADER LAPS: In his fifth IndyCar Series start in at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2008, Carpenter recorded his first laps led in an IndyCar. He led the field for three laps under caution and finished an Indianapolis 500 career-best, fifth. His most recent leader lap came this season at Texas Motor Speedway when carpenter was credited for leading one lap. He has a total of four (4) career-leader laps.

* BACK WITH MENARDS: The No. 20 Vision Racing machine again features the most recognizable car on track as it carries the day-glow yellow color of Menards for the second consecutive season. Menards returned as the primary sponsor of the No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, driven by Ed Carpenter. The Menards sponsorship also continues a long-lasting relationship between the home store retailer with Carpenter. The 28-year-old driver carried the Menards livery in 2002, with Sinden Racing in Firestone Indy Lights competition and well before that his days of dirt track racing behind the wheel of quarter midgets.

* NEW VIEW FROM THE COCKPIT: Carpenter still has the same view from the cockpit that he's always had, but fans of the driver will notice a different look coming from his cockpit this season as his helmet is carrying the distinct colors and logos of the premium jean and clothing retailer, William Rast, for the 2009 season.

* ED "CARPENTER": Carpenter and his arsenal of power tools have been busy again this past off-season as he has been knee deep in a house flipping project with a long time friend as well as occupied with rehab projects around his own home. Of course, Menards has been an essential part of Carpenter's home repair ventures. Prior to his current real estate investment, Carpenter and his "do-it-yourself" mentality crafted his home repair skills with his first home and family heirloom. The home is located in Speedway, Ind. was purchased as new in 1955 by stepfather Tony George's parents, Elmer and Mari George. Tony grew up in the home as a boy and for a time, drivers A.J. Foyt and Roger McCluskey lived in the basement.

* DOUBLE DUTY: Ed Carpenter made history in September 2003 at Chicagoland Speedway when he became the first driver to compete in a Firestone Indy Lights event and an IndyCar Series event on the same weekend.

* INAUGURAL BRICKYARD WINNER: Carpenter won the inaugural Firestone Indy Lights Firestone Freedom 100 in 2003 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Making him an inaugural winner at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway along with Ray Haroun (Indianapolis 500), Jeff Gordon (Brickyard 400), and Michael Schumacher (United States Grand Prix).

* BIG MAN ON CAMPUS: Carpenter graduated from 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament qualifying Butler University, Indianapolis, Ind., with a marketing degree in May 2003.

* DID YOU KNOW? Carpenter enjoys water skiing, snowboarding, hunting and cycling. His racing heroes include Al Unser Jr., A.J. Foyt, and Lance Armstrong and he has two dogs; a Rottweiler named Bentley and a Chihuahua named Rosco.

* ED AT-A-GLANCE: Carpenter is participating in his sixth season in the IndyCar Series, and his fifth with his second team in Vision Racing. The 28-year-old made his IndyCar debut at Chicagoland Speedway in 2003 for PDM Racing, which made him the first driver to compete in an IRL Indy Pro Series event and an IndyCar Series event on the same weekend. Carpenter, who has been with the team since it's inception in 2005, is determined to make his sixth season overall, the best for both he and the team. Last year Carpenter recorded seven top-10 finishes, two top-fives and his first leader laps.

About the Iowa Corn Indy 250: The 250 lap/218.75 mile Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway will air live on Sunday, June 21 at 1:00 p.m. on ABC, as well as IMS Radio Network, XM IndyCar Series Racing Channel 145, XM Sports Nation Channel 144 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.

-credit: vr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tomas Scheckter , Michael Schumacher , Al Unser Jr. , A.J. Foyt IV , Bryan Herta , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Tony George , James Davison , Daniel Herrington , Patrick Dempsey , A.J. Foyt , Ed Carpenter , Vitor Meira
Teams Bryan Herta Autosport