CARPENTER DISPLAYS PERSEVERANCE FOR VISION RACING AT IOWA; FINISHES SIXTH NEWTON, Iowa -- Perseverance was the name of the game at Iowa Speedway this afternoon as the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Ethanol turned out to be a battle of attrition.
CARPENTER DISPLAYS PERSEVERANCE FOR VISION RACING AT IOWA; FINISHES SIXTH
NEWTON, Iowa -- Perseverance was the name of the game at Iowa Speedway this afternoon as the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Ethanol turned out to be a battle of attrition. And while none of the three Vision Racing drivers escaped unscathed, Ed Carpenter was able to persevere and drive to a sixth place finish. Teammates A.J. Foyt IV and Tomas Scheckter were not as fortunate as they both were forced to retire early with crash damage. Foyt finished 12th while Scheckter was 19th.
When the green flag fell on the 7/8-mile oval for the inaugural IndyCar Series event, Carpenter and the No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone was in the fifth position. His qualifying run the previous day was a personal and team high on the season.
Carpenter ran strong and by lap 72 had made his way into the second spot. However, while running fifth in a restart on lap 99, Carpenter got caught in a six car incident on the main straight. The mayhem also collected teammate, Foyt, in the team's No. 22 machine, while Foyt was running in fourth.
The accident ended Foyt's day and relegated him to the 12th spot and his second DNF in a row. However, Foyt showed plenty of speed all weekend as he qualified in 10th and ran as high as second in the race. Unfortunately, the 12th place finished dropped Foyt one spot in the IndyCar Series championship point standings to the 17th position.
Meanwhile, Carpenter's car suffered a broken front wing and right-rear toe link in the incident, but managed to soldier on. After back-to-back pit stops, Carpenter's crew rallied to install a new wing and fix the toe link to get Carpenter back on track, just one lap down from the leaders and in the eighth spot.
Carpenter continued to battle, making his way back up to the fourth spot where he ran until with just three laps to go he slowed due to a loss of fuel pressure. He was unable to bring the car to the checkered flag, but still finished in the sixth position and three laps down.
That matches Carpenter's best finish in 2007 when he took sixth in the season-opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He now has three top-10 finishes this year. Despite the effort, Carpenter slipped two spots in the point standings to 15th.
The only Vision Racing driver to maintain his spot in the point standings was Scheckter who will remain in 10th heading into the ninth of 17th races next Saturday evening at Richmond International Raceway. Scheckter cannot get to the ¾-mile oval soon enough as his race today ended on the first lap.
When the field approached the second turn on the opening lap, Dan Wheldon's car got loose and slid up the track and collected Scheckter in the No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
Ed Carpenter -- No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On race: "Not sure what happened yet there at the end. We had enough fuel to go the distance, but the engine just cut out so either we were wrong with how much fuel we had in the car or the fuel pump drive broke or something like that. I don't think we ran out of fuel, I think there's plenty of fuel in there so something must have happened with the fuel pump or something. You know, we got caught out there in that accident when I think Danica (Patrick) turned down on me on the restart that took out half the field. I did a three-sixty, lost a lap, battled back and the guys did awesome pit stops, fixed a toe-link in the pits, and eventually got our lap back. The Hitachi Power Tools car was fast all weekend. We qualified fifth and until that fuel pump broke we were in fourth and maybe could have given "Sharpie" (Scott Sharp) a run. But it's okay. We finished sixth and I tied my best finish for this season, but it's just frustrating because we had a better car than that. However, we were lucky to not get taken out earlier in the race so we'll take it and get ready for another short track at Richmond."
A.J. Foyt IV -- No. 22 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On accident: "I think it was just too many people at the same spot at the same time. I got a good run on Danica (Patrick), went to the outside of her and Ed (Carpenter) got a good run and went to the inside of her and we were like three or four-wide on the front stretch and there just wasn't enough room for everybody. Then everybody started crashing and I got hit in the side. It's unfortunate for my team and we had a great car all weekend so I hate that it ended so early. But, we know we had a good weekend in spite of everything and we are just ready to go home and get ready for Richmond."
Tomas Scheckter -- No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On accident: "Dan (Wheldon) spun and I had no where to go. I think Marco (Andretti) was lucky to miss him and I was the next guy in line. It's a pity really, but you can't blame anyone for anything. He just got loose and I was behind him. Bad day for us but we will get it together for Richmond."