VISION RACING LOOKING FOR ANOTHER TOP THREE FINISH AT MILWAUKEE
TEAM HEADS BACK TO FAMED MILE TO REPEAT SCHECKTER'S INSPIRING RUN LAST SEASON
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 31, 2007) -- Tomas Scheckter's run at the Milwaukee Mile in the No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone last season was nothing short of impressive. The South African earned the team's top finish to date with a third place run, but how he got to the third position was as equally impressive as the actual top three finish.
During much of last year's ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Indy 225, Scheckter persevered through no radio communication, a lost lap, worn tires and an eighth place start to eventually charge through the field from seventh place with 16 laps to go, and finish third for the second straight time at Milwaukee. He also recorded the fastest lap of the race and even led a lap.
"I've had two great runs at Milwaukee over the past couple of years so I'm ready to give another go at it," he noted. "Last year we really had to work hard to take third place, but it was so rewarding. That was the team's highest finish and it was a great run for us. No question, I'd like to return this year and battle for the team's first win."
Scheckter is poised to repeat his third place run at Milwaukee and if nothing else, secure a top 10 finish. In the first five races of the season, he has finished in the top 10 each time. His top finish of the season occurred at Kansas when he took fifth and most recently in the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 he led the team with a seventh place run.
He said, "For sure, we've been really fortunate to have had some great finishes so far this season. It's really a testament to my guys and the team and how hard they've been working in the off season and recently to make sure we put our best effort on track. The team has the capability of running in the top 10 every race so now we've got to raise the bar to top fives and race wins."
Teammate Ed Carpenter started last year's race from seventh and ran in the top 10 most of the day until being taken out of the race by Helio Castroneves on lap 108. He finished in the 16th spot. Needless to say, Carpenter has a bit of unfinished business on the mile oval.
Not to mention, Carpenter will be driving with a heightened sense of determination this weekend after early finishes at the last two IndyCar Series events in the No. 20 machine. At Kansas Speedway in April, Carpenter charged from the 13th spot to fifth where he was running before an incident in turn four, mid-race caused him to hit the turn four wall. He finished 17th at Kansas.
"I have to finish this race and I really won't be happy unless we are at least in the top 10," Carpenter said. "The guys have been working hard to give me good racecars and they have so I want to reward them with a good finish this weekend. We qualified and ran well at Milwaukee last year before my run-in with Helio (Castroneves) so I think we can go back there and be competitive. We just have to capitalize on our good setups and equipment and turn this season around a bit."
Most recently at Indianapolis, Carpenter started 14th, drove as high as fifth and was tracking down a top 10 finish after overcoming a lost lap when he was collected in an accident caused by Marco Andretti which relegated him to 17th position.
He said, "It was a strange race and one that I wish we left with better results. The Hitachi Power Tools car was great all day, we just experienced some bad luck and got caught up in that incident where Marco (Andretti) was upside down right at the end. I turned to avoid Marco and got into Buddy (Rice), and I did like a 360 and drove away. I mean, the car was broke bad, but I was still driving and we knew it was going to rain, so I was trying to make it to the checkered. Coming off (Turn) 2 under yellow and the left suspension broke and broke the brake line, and everything started scaling down and hitting the inside wall."
Carpenter continued, "Like I said, it's just unfortunate because we had a car capable of a top 10 finish and I hate it for the team that Kansas and Indy didn't go our way, but really we just got caught up in some things that we couldn't control."
It's been over a year since A.J. Foyt IV has driven the Milwaukee Mile in an IndyCar and his best start and finish actually came his rookie season in 2004 when he started 18th and finished in the 16th spot.
Foyt and the No. 22 Dallara/Honda are on a roll this season. The Texan has a season-high finish of ninth at Kansas and has finished all four of the last four races. He's looking to extend that streak in the race named for his legendary grandfather this weekend.
"Since I missed last season, I haven't been to Milwaukee in a while so I'm looking forward to going back," Foyt noted. "It's a track with a lot of history so it's cool to go up there. It's going to be a lot different than Indy in many ways so the change of pace will be good. It's a tight track with plenty of traffic so the goal is to run a clean race and continue my streak of finishing races this year."
Most recently, Foyt is coming of a career-high 14th place finish at Indianapolis with plenty of motivation to improve at each of the remaining 12 IndyCar Series circuits.
He said, "We definitely had a car that was better than 14th so I'm disappointed that we didn't finish any higher, but I am happy for the team that we finished the race and brought the car home in one piece. It was my first Indy 500 together with the team, so I think we got off to a good start and I'm looking forward to coming back next year and to continue improving each race until then."