IRL: Michigan: Cheever Racing preview

Staying on track Patrick Carpentier is currently the IndyCar Series leader in laps completed this season, having run 97 percent of the possible laps. The next closest driver is more than 50 laps behind. In addition, Red Bull Cheever Racing leads...

Staying on track

Patrick Carpentier is currently the IndyCar Series leader in laps completed this season, having run 97 percent of the possible laps. The next closest driver is more than 50 laps behind. In addition, Red Bull Cheever Racing leads the league in team percentage of laps completed. Combined, Carpentier and Alex Barron have completed 94.15 percent of the possible laps this season. These stats are a testament to the skill of both drivers and the team's ability to prepare dependable cars.

Keeping the cars on the track has translated into success as of late for both Carpentier and Alex Barron. Last week at The Milwaukee Mile, both drivers brought home top 10 finishes with a seventh and eighth. Heading into Michigan, the team has placed in the top 10 three times in the last four races with podium finishes for Carpentier at Richmond (third) and Nashville (third).

Team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. credits the recent success to the team's hard work and assistance from Toyota, having switched engine manufacturers after last season. Cheever also has increased his role with the team by relocating his office to the race shop and involving himself in more of the day-to-day team operations.

"For the first part of the season, we were just learning how to work with Toyota. But, we've really come a long way, and we're very happy with the assistance we're receiving from them. Obviously, the hard work is starting to pay off, and we've been improving on track moving up in the standings every week," Cheever said.

The team's take on Michigan International Speedway

"Michigan is a high-speed track, and its one of the longest races we run all year (400 miles), so it requires a lot of patience to be in contention at the end to go for the win. This is one of the biggest races of the year because of all of the history at Michigan International Speedway, so it's always exciting to race there. Having won the race in 2003 only adds to this excitement for me. We've been working really hard with Toyota over the past couple of months to be consistently quick on the big ovals like Michigan, so we're hoping it will pay off for us. "-- Alex Barron

"Michigan is a long track, but it's really fun to run on because we 're able to run at pretty high speeds there. During the race, drafting will be very important, so you have to be able to stick with the packs. I'm really looking forward to it (the race) because we're really making improvements in our engine and chassis, so hopefully we'll keep moving along in the right direction like we have in the last couple of races. Michigan also is where I got my first big-time win, so it will always be a special place for me."-- Patrick Carpentier

Two former winners

Both Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier have won races at Michigan International Speedway. Barron's "Spin and Win" in 2003 earned him his second IndyCar Series victory when he spun on lap 164 (of 200) and brought his car back to make a pass on the final lap before taking the checkered flag. Carpentier earned his first career victory at the speedway in 2001 while participating in the CART series.

-rbcr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron