VISION RACING TO DEBUT NEW THREE-CAR EFFORT AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY GROWTH AND CONTINUITY POISE VISION RACING FOR SUCCESS IN SEASON OPENER INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 21, 2007) -- For the second straight year the IndyCar Series off-season...
VISION RACING TO DEBUT NEW THREE-CAR EFFORT AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
GROWTH AND CONTINUITY POISE VISION RACING FOR SUCCESS IN SEASON OPENER
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 21, 2007) -- For the second straight year the IndyCar Series off-season has yielded much growth for Vision Racing. After adding a car to the effort and several personnel in 2006, the same has occurred in 2007 as the team will add another entry and debut a three-car effort for the season opening XM Satellite Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Joining regular team drivers Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter will be A.J. Foyt IV. The move to add a car to the stable also saw growth in team personnel with a current roster of nearly 50 employees. Not to mention, the team has also welcomed an associate sponsor, CardioChek, for Carpenter and his No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
The new kid on the block to at Vision Racing is no stranger to IndyCar Series competition. Foyt, the grandson of IndyCar legend, A.J. Foyt, will return to full-time to the Series for his fourth full season and will participate in his fifth season overall.
His first season came in 2003 after driving for his grandfather's team, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, where he remained until 2005. Foyt's most recent IndyCar action came last season when he drove in the season finale for Andretti Green Racing in place of the injured, Dario Franchitti. Foyt has started 48 races in his IndyCar career, with three top-10 finishes.
"Anthony is a young driver, with tremendous talent and was on our short list of drivers that we were considering for a possible third seat at Vision", George said. While there were plenty of great options to consider when looking at driver's for the seat, Anthony seemed to surface as the one that embodied youth, experience and potential."
Thrilled by the opportunity to join Vision Racing, Foyt added, "I had been talking to Tony for a while about joining the team so I'm really happy that we could work something out. I'm very thankful to everyone for the opportunity and look forward to achieving some great things."
Rounding out the Vision Racing effort will be the No. 2 and No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machines, which will once again be piloted by Scheckter and Carpenter, respectively. The pair had a breakthrough season for the team in 2006, including 15 top-ten finishes, three top-five finishes and a third place finish.
Scheckter, who is entering his sixth IndyCar Series season, gave the team its best championship points finish last season when he earned the 10th spot. He also scored the team's highest race finish with a third place run at The Milwaukee Mile. Not to mention, he also put a Vision Racing machine in the lead for the first time, leading a total of 20 laps last season; increasing his total career laps lead to 1,351.
Scheckter looks forward to even more success and the team's first win in 2007. He said, "Last season Vision Racing showed a lot of promise. Each race we got better and better and began to challenge for the top spots. We must carry that momentum forward into 2007, and when we do, then I believe we can start winning races."
Responsible for a great deal of the team's late season momentum was Carpenter, who is entering his fourth full season in the Series. In the last race of the season, Carpenter scored his best career finish with a fifth place run at Chicagoland Speedway. In addition, Carpenter earned a career-best qualifying effort of fourth at Michigan International Speedway last season.
Carpenter noted that driving his first leader laps and scoring his first IndyCar Series win are tops on his list for this coming season. "Once we started hitting stride last season, I wasn't ready to stop racing," Carpenter recalled. I'm eager to get back on track and produce even better results this year. We are all ready to start challenging for race wins."
Carpenter and company will start looking for that first team win this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The team has two previous attempts at HMS occurring in 2005 and 2006. In 2005 Carpenter started 20th in the team's IndyCar Series debut and finished 18th after being hit from behind by Danica Patrick of Rahal Letterman Racing upon the initiation of a full-course caution for a previous accident.
The following year, Carpenter missed the event due to injury sustained in the morning warm-up, thus teammate Tomas Scheckter was the only Vision Racing entry in the 2006 event. Scheckter started and finished the race in the ninth spot. Last season Vision Racing put together a strong 1.5-mile oval package, including a fifth place finish at Chicagoland Speedway by Carpenter and several top-ten finishes by both drivers. The team hopes to continue that type of performance at the 1.5-mile oval HMS provides.
George noted, "We have done a lot to grow and improve the team this off-season and we have taken advantage of the opportunities available to continue to develop Vision Racing into the most competitive team it can be."
The 200-lap, 300-mile XM Satellite Indy 300 gets started at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday evening, March 24th.