SEASON FINALE IS ONLY THE BEGINNING FOR VISION RACING The Last Race Presents its Challenges For Vision Racing, but that's Only the Beginning for this First-Year Team INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 12, 2005) -- Only one race stands between Vision ...
SEASON FINALE IS ONLY THE BEGINNING FOR VISION RACING
The Last Race Presents its Challenges For Vision Racing, but that's Only the Beginning for this First-Year Team
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 12, 2005) -- Only one race stands between Vision Racing and their sophomore Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season, and while they are looking forward to it, they aren't looking past the task at hand. A few items of business remain as team and driver, Ed Carpenter, prepare for the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway this weekend.
First on the "to-do" list is to finish the race and keep a streak alive. Twice this season the team has finished four races in a row and this race they have the opportunity to finish their fifth in row, which would give them 11 finishes out of a total 16 races. The team's best finish was 10th at Nashville Speedway, providing them their second objective of the weekend: a second top 10 finish.
Carpenter is confident that his previous experience at California Speedway will allow him to achieve these tasks. In the past two year's Carpenter has finished 12th and 13th, respectively, at this track and this year he hopes to continue to improve. He said, "This will be my third visit to Fontana, and I have finished the previous two, so I am looking to keep that streak alive."
Keeping that streak alive will also help Carpenter and crew achieve their third objective of the weekend in capitalizing on their position in the drivers' points standings. Currently Carpenter shares a three-way tie for the 17th spot with fellow drivers, Ryan Briscoe and Roger Yasukawa. However, a season-ending injury at Chicagoland Speedway has sidelined Briscoe leaving Yasukawa as Carpenter's only competition for the 17th spot. Not to mention that Carpenter also sits five points out of acquiring 16th place.
"I look at is an opportunity to move up," Carpenter said of the situation. "Obviously Briscoe is out of the equation, but it is very important for me to beat Yasukawa to take control of 17th position, and Tomas Enge is only five points in front of me, so with a good race, and a little luck I could move up to 16th. That would tie where I finished last season in points. I am not saying I would be happy with that position in the standings, but I will accept it at the end of Vision Racing's first season, and hope to move that up to a Top 10 in points for next season."
The thought of next season isn't lost on Vision Racing as the team has already begun preparing for the drop of the green flag in 2006. Despite getting a late start and entering the 2005 season without ideal preparation, the team still made great strides which has positioned them well for a productive off-season.
With regard to preparing for next season, Carpenter noted, "We are really just looking to what areas we need to improve, and working on improving them. This season we could not have been much smaller than we were personnel wise, so we are looking to grow in a couple areas. We have a lot of work to do on the cars to make them better for next year, and some things to do around the shop that we just haven't had time to do."
While preparations for next season are well underway, setting the tone the off-season begins this weekend and Carpenter plans on getting the team's down-time on the right foot. "I really want to end the season on a good note," he said. "There is a chance to gain some positions in the points standings still, so that would be great. The biggest thing is just to end the season on a strong note. Not only does it make you feel better, but it leaves the team morale at a good level to carry them through the off-season."
About Ed Carpenter: Ed Carpenter is participating in his sophomore season in the IRL IndyCar® Series, and is with his second team in Vision Racing. The 24-year-old made his IndyCar debut at Chicagoland Speedway in 2003 for PDM Racing, which made him the first driver to compete in a IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù event and an IndyCar Series event on the same weekend. Carpenter's rookie season with Red Bull Cheever Racing also saw his best start (7th at Texas Motor Speedway) and his best finish (7th at Kentucky Speedway). The 2003 graduate of Butler University IN Indianapolis, Ind., is engaged and currently resides in Speedway, Ind.
About Vision Racing: Vision Racing was formed in February 2005 when Indy Racing League founder Tony George and his wife Laura purchased the assets of Kelley Racing from Tom Kelley. In May 2005, actor Patrick Dempsey, the star of the ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy," joined the Vision team, further strengthening Vision Racing's leadership and support. Dempsey's personal racing endeavors and his passion for motorsports led him to partner with Tony and Laura George. The team is the only Indy Racing League team fielding full-time efforts in both the IRL IndyCar ® Series, the premier open-wheel racing series, and the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series, an essential stepping stone in the development of IndyCar Series drivers. The team's driver lineup consists of promising IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter, veteran short-track standout Jay Drake, and rising talent, Nick Bussell.
About Toyota Indy 400: Held at the California Speedway, the Toyota Indy 400 begins Saturday, Oct. 15 for practice and qualifying. The 200-lap, 400-mile race starts at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, Oct. 16 and will be broadcast on ABC, IMS Radio Network, Extreme XM (Channel 152) and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.