IRL: Indy 500: Cheever Racing race report

Barron battles to twelfth; Carpenter taken out early Speedway, IN (May 30, 2004) -- Rain may have attempted to wash out the 88th Indianapolis 500, but it didn't prevent Red Bull Cheever Racing's Alex Barron from bringing home a twelfth place ...

Barron battles to twelfth; Carpenter taken out early

Speedway, IN (May 30, 2004) -- Rain may have attempted to wash out the 88th Indianapolis 500, but it didn't prevent Red Bull Cheever Racing's Alex Barron from bringing home a twelfth place finish.

Alex Barron, 2002 Indy 500 Co-Rookie of the Year, started the race from the 24th position and took the lead on Lap 13. This is the earliest a driver has led the race starting from the 24th position.

"We're pretty pleased with our result, especially since we had an up and down month," Barron said. "My car was good all day, but I only had one good restart. I just didn't have the timing down, but when we were running we had no problem overtaking."

Barron with the help of his No. 51 crew fought his way through the 33-car field to finish in 12th position when the checkered flag waved on lap 180 putting an early end to the race. The 33-year old American was proud to give Chevy their top-finishing entry in this year's Indy 500.

"The Chevy engine was good to me and I was really pleased with its performance," Barron said. "The Red Bull Cheever Racing crew performed solid pit stops all day and really toughed it out through the entire month. They've been great and I'm glad I could give them a good finish."

Teammate Ed Carpenter was not so lucky. Carpenter was running with the steady help of his spotter Davey Hamilton, when his day ended on lap 64 after making contact with fellow rookie Mark Taylor in Turn 3.

"I had a really good start and a really good car," said frustrated Carpenter. "I was going by Mark (Taylor) into Turn 3 and he wouldn't give way. The guy on the outside has to respect the inside driver and give him some room. It was not part of my plan to go out early."

Managing Director Max Jones was pleased with Barron's finish and disappointed that Carpenter's day ended early.

"Alex raced really hard, the No. 51 crew had good pit stops, the team planned a good strategy, and we ran as hard as we could have," said Jones. "I haven't seen the tapes from Ed's incident yet, but it's unfortunate because Ed had a great month and a very good car to work with."

The American duo ran the 88th Indianapolis 500 wearing special edition white firesuits, instead of their traditional blue firesuits used for the other 15 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series races. Rupert from ABC's Survivor, was present on the grid with Red Bull Cheever Racing, and watched the start of the race from Ed Carpenter's No. 52 pits.

Turnaround time for Texas Motor Speedway, home of the fifth IndyCar race, is only a short two weeks away until race day. The Red Bull Cheever Racing crew will be hard at work to prepare the cars for the 1.5-mile oval speedway.

-rbcr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mark Taylor , Davey Hamilton , Alex Barron , Max Jones , Ed Carpenter