VISION RACING RETURNS TO IOWA WITH CONFIDENCE
SHORT TRACK AND PLENTY OF CARS TO MAKE FOR BATTLE OF ATTRITION
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 19, 2008) -- Vision Racing will make its first return trip to the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway after a strong, but troubled showing in the inaugural Iowa Corn Indy 250 last season. The team is looking to once again give drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV strong cars for the weekend, but this time around, avoid the type of incidents that short track racing breeds.
When the green flag fell on the first IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway last year, Carpenter started in the fifth position. At the time, his qualifying run the previous day was a personal and team high for the 2007 season.
Carpenter ran a solid race and by lap 72 had made his way into the second spot. However, while running fifth in a restart on lap 99, Carpenter was caught in a six car incident on the main straight. The mayhem also collected Foyt. Carpenter soldiered on and worked his way back up to fourth, but with just three laps to go he slowed due to a loss of fuel pressure. He still managed to finish sixth in the race.
Returning with a strong No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine, Carpenter knows that avoiding trouble on track might just be all he needs for a new personal best finish and perhaps his first IndyCar victory.
"Before I got out of the car after the race at Texas I was already looking forward to coming to Iowa because I know what we are capable of there," Carpenter recalled. "We had good cars there last year and I enjoy the short track racing a lot, so I am hoping we will unload with quick cars there again and qualify well. We had our fair share of trouble in the race last year, but given all of the attrition, we held on and ended up with a decent finish. If we can avoid some of those issues this year, then we'll really give ourselves a shot at a great finish."
Most recently at Texas Motor Speedway, Carpenter started 12th, drove as high as fifth and earned his fifth top-10 finish of the season with a ninth place run. Carpenter had to battle back to finish ninth after a bad pit stop and a worn set of tires. He is currently tied for eighth in the championship point standings.
In Foyt's debut at Iowa last year, he started 10th and ran as high as second in the race. However, during the aforementioned restart on lap 99 while running in the fourth position, Foyt also was caught in the six car accident. The damage ended Foyt's day and relegated him to the 12th spot.
Foyt, who last finished in the top-10 at Kansas Speedway in April, also hopes that he'll have another good race car at Iowa. However, Foyt knows that with more competitors on the small oval, it will be even more difficult to avoid on track trouble.
"I am looking to get back into the top-10 at Iowa this year," Foyt said. "My last few races haven't gone as well as I would have liked so I'm am looking to turn things around at Iowa. We had a fast car there last year and were running well in the race before I got caught up in that accident on one of the restarts. With more cars on track this year, it's going to be that much more difficult to avoid accidents like that, but if we can stay out of trouble, then we should be able to get a good finish this weekend."
In his last race at Texas, Foyt started 15th, ran as high as 10th and finished 12th after overcoming a brush with the wall. He is currently 18th in the championship point standings.
Fellow partners Lilly and CardioChek will also join the team at Iowa for the Vision Racing Wellness Tour, which allows race fans to stop by a mobile marketing unit for an opportunity to receive free cholesterol screenings and diabetes education. The complimentary cholesterol screenings and diabetes information will be made available at the track on Saturday, June 22 from 9 am to 2 pm in the new Vision Racing Wellness Tour Mobile Marketing Unit.
Testing prior to the 228-lap, 342-mile event at Iowa Speedway begins Friday, June 20. Additional practice and qualifying will be held Saturday, June 21 while Sunday's race gets started at 1:00 (EDT) 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.