IRL: Michigan: Vision Racing preview

RESTED AND READY VISION RACING HEADS TO MICHIGAN TEAM TO RACE MIS ONE MORE TIME FOLLOWING WEEKEND OFF INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 1, 2007) -- The IndyCar Series recently announced that the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) will not be...

RESTED AND READY VISION RACING HEADS TO MICHIGAN

TEAM TO RACE MIS ONE MORE TIME FOLLOWING WEEKEND OFF

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 1, 2007) -- The IndyCar Series recently announced that the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) will not be on the 2008 schedule so Vision Racing hopes to make their last time around the track in the foreseeable future, a good one. Perhaps another run at MIS like the team had last year when Tomas Scheckter started eighth, led four laps and finished fifth while Ed Carpenter started a career-high fourth and took seventh is in order after a much needed weekend off.

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The team certainly has the personnel to have a great run at MIS this weekend for the Firestone Indy 400. In addition to scoring his first IndyCar Series victory at Michigan during his rookie season in 2002, Scheckter is also the only two-time pole sitter (2002 and 2003) amongst the starting field this weekend and he hopes to become the first two-time winner in the field at MIS on Sunday as well.

"For sure, I am glad to give it one more run at Michigan," Scheckter said. "I'm sad to see that track leave the schedule next season since that's where I earned my first win in the Series, but I'm happy to have another shot to race there yet this season. It's a fast track and I'm really looking forward to going there. We've struggled a bit as a team in the last few races, so hopefully we can turn it around there. We had a good run at Michigan last year so we'll see what happens."

Scheckter has seven top-10 finishes in 12 races so far this season with his most recent coming in the last race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He and the No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone are currently ninth in the Series championship point standings.

His teammate, Carpenter, is also eager to head back to the two-mile oval in Irish Hills given his success there last year. Carpenter has three previous attempts at MIS, but it wasn't until last season when he experienced some good fortune at the track.

In 2006, Carpenter earned a career-best start at Michigan when he took the green flag in fourth, ran as high as second in the race and finished seventh. Prior to that, Carpenter finished 23rd in 2005 due to a mechanical failure and was 14th in his rookie year.

Carpenter noted, "We really need some good finishes this weekend and I'm glad we are headed to Michigan because that's a place where we've had success and have shown some speed, so I'm hoping we can do it again. I had my best start there last year and ran pretty well in the race so to do that again would be exactly what we need right now. Qualifying well will be our first focus, then we just need to continue to develop a good race car and really get our pit stops right. We've struggled with putting together the entire package this season so it's important to get it all together this weekend at Michigan."

Driving the No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools machine, Carpenter is looking for his fifth top-10 finish on the season and he his currently 14th in the point standings.

A.J. Foyt IV has three prior starts at MIS with a best finish of 12th coming in 2005 when he started 21st. He was running at the finish in 2004 when ended up 15th and in 2003 he fell victim to a gearbox failure and retired early in 14th.

He said, "I'm happy to get back on an oval and head back to Michigan one more time. Ed and Tomas were both quick at Michigan last year so hopefully the team can run well there again this year. I've had some decent drives at Michigan and I like the track, I'd just like to make my way into the top-10 there so we'll be ready to go this weekend and give it our best shot."

Foyt has been running at the finish in all but three races this season and he intends to be taking the checkered flag at MIS this weekend as well. Driving the No. 22 Honda powered Dallara, Foyt is 17th in the point standings and will be vying for his second top-10 finish of the season.

The 200-lap, 400-mile Firestone Indy 400 will air live on Sunday, August 5th, at noon (EDT) on ESPN2, IMS Radio Network, XM Satellite Radio channel 145 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.

-credit: vr

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