IRL: Ed Carpenter passes ROP for Indy 500

Ed Carpenter Tops the Speed Charts at the Rookie Orientation Program Speedway, IN (April 26, 2004) -- Red Bull Cheever Racing's Ed Carpenter topped the speed charts at the Rookie Orientation Program for this year's 88th running of the...

Ed Carpenter Tops the Speed Charts at the Rookie Orientation Program

Speedway, IN (April 26, 2004) -- Red Bull Cheever Racing's Ed Carpenter topped the speed charts at the Rookie Orientation Program for this year's 88th running of the Indianapolis 500.

"It's really nice to get the initial anxiety of being at the Speedway out of the way," Carpenter said. "We had a smooth run and are really happy with the Chevy engine. It feels good to put the Chevy engine at the top of the speed charts."

Carpenter was the first to complete all four phases of the Rookie Orientation Program and turned the fastest rookie lap of the day at 215.584 mph, while former Indy 500 winner and team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. looked on.

"When you have an uneventful day and you are the fastest on the track, then you can't ask for a better run," said Cheever. "Ed was full of confidence and demonstrated in his driving style how he was so successful in winning the Freedom 100 last year. It was a very clean rookie test."

This is the second time Red Bull Cheever Racing has tested the 3.0 liter engine in preparation for the Indianapolis 500. Testing results from today's Rookie Orientation Program showed significant improvements over last month's initial run.

In the Rookie Orientation Program, drivers must complete four 10-lap speed phases based on the day's weather and track conditions. They are set at: Phase 1, 195-200 mph, Phase 2, 200-205 mph, Phase 3, 205-210 mph, and Phase 4, 210 mph plus.

A driver must complete three phases during the program, and the fourth may be completed on opening day of practice for the Indianapolis 500. In addition, a driver must complete three phases to participate in the IndyCar Series Open Test which has been rescheduled for April 28-29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway due to forecasted cold temperatures.

Carpenter has previous experience running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) with his 2003 win in the inaugural Menards Infiniti Pro Series Freedom 100, but is a rookie at IMS in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series. Today he was one of six rookies participating in the program designed to give first-year drivers an opportunity to get acquainted with the high speeds at the 2.5-mile oval.

Teammate Alex Barron, 2002 Indianapolis 500 Co-Rookie of the Year, will join Carpenter in Wednesday's Open Test which begins at 9am (CDT).

-rbcr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Alex Barron , Ed Carpenter