CARPENTIER RETIRES FROM THE INDY 500 ON LAP 154 Montreal, Sunday, May 29, 2005 - Starting 25th on the grid, Red Bull Cheever Racing driver Patrick Carpentier was classified 21st at the 89th running of the Indy 500 held Sunday at the Indianapolis...
CARPENTIER RETIRES FROM THE INDY 500 ON LAP 154
Montreal, Sunday, May 29, 2005 - Starting 25th on the grid, Red Bull Cheever Racing driver Patrick Carpentier was classified 21st at the 89th running of the Indy 500 held Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Round 5 of the 2005 IndyCar Series schedule. Carpentier's day came to an end on the race leader lap 154 of 200 when debris entered the engine air box during a multiple car incident prior to the race restart. The incident happened when a car checked out early creating an accordion effect in Turn 4. There were also anxious moments for Carpentier on the grid as his car refused to start. The crew finally got the engine going and he was sent on his way.
''Several drivers were warming up their tires prior to the restart when the field suddenly slowed down causing an accident,'' Carpentier said. ''I was glad to avoid the cars but with debris flying all over the place, one piece got stuck in the air box and damaged the engine. It's was a tremendous feeling running in front of so many people. I had never experienced something like it before. I was a bit fearful for the start because when you are so far back in the field there is a lot of dirty air. But, everything went well. Before the incident, the car was understeering a bit, but our biggest problem was top speed. Our sixth gear was too short and the engine was cutting out halfway through the straights. So, it was impossible to pass any cars. I'm glad it's over because it has been a long, difficult month of May due to the fact that we lacked the speed needed to be up front.''
Dan Wheldon won his fourth race of the season to take a commanding lead in the point standings. Starting from 16th place, the Andretti-Green Racing driver slowly clawed his way up the field to take the lead after coming out of the pits on lap 150. The British driver led the race four times for 30 of the last 51 laps. He crossed the finish line under a yellow caution, ahead of Brazilian Vitor Meira and Bryan Herta of the United States. Danica Patrick, whose spin caused the incident that retired Carpentier on lap 154, finished fourth ahead of Buddy Lazier. The first nine cars finished on the lead lap. 15 of the 33 starters were still running at the finish.
The next IndyCar Series race will be held Saturday night June 11 at the Texas Motor Speedway.