IRL: Nashville: Vision Racing preview

VISION RACING HEADS TO MUSIC CITY, USA LOOKING TO RECORD BEST FINISH OF 2006 INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 12, 2006) -- Vision Racing is eager to get back to racing after a much-deserved weekend off from the intense IndyCar Series Season. Entering...

VISION RACING HEADS TO MUSIC CITY, USA LOOKING TO RECORD BEST FINISH OF 2006

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 12, 2006) -- Vision Racing is eager to get back to racing after a much-deserved weekend off from the intense IndyCar Series Season. Entering race number nine of fourteen, the team heads south to Nashville, Tenn. for the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway looking for their fifth top-10 finish in a row and a new team-best finish.

The team is celebrating four top-10 finishes in a row scored by Tomas Scheckter and seven top ten finishes between both Scheckter and Ed Carpenter in the last four races. On Saturday night, Scheckter will vie for his fifth top-10 finish in a row and Carpenter will look to start a new streak after issues with the car kept him out of the top-10 at Kansas Speedway after grabbing three straight.

In the most recent race at Kansas, Scheckter was seventh and Carpenter finished in the 16th spot, but at Richmond the team had their collective best finish when each driver earned their third straight top-10 finish; taking the checkered flag in seventh and eighth respectively. Not to mention, Carpenter recorded a personal and team-best finish of sixth at Watkins Glen International on June 4th. Needless the say, the team has been on a bit of a roll as of late and keeping the momentum alive at Nashville is top priority.

Scheckter, driver of the Vision Racing #2 Dallara/Honda/Firestone, held the pole at Nashville Superspeedway last season for Panther Racing and his best finish in four attempts at the track is 10th, which he scored in 2003 with Target Chip Ganassi Racing. He'll look to start up front under the lights on Saturday night as his average starting position at Nashville is fifth and if his last four races are any indication of how he'll finish the race, then expect Scheckter to get his fifth top-10 in a row.

Scheckter drove to a solid seventh place finish at Kansas, which also happened to be the same place he finished the week prior at Richmond. That pair of sevens are also Scheckter's highest two finishes of the season and Vision Racing's highest oval finishes. Prior to that, Scheckter scored a pair of 10th place finishes at Watkins Glen and Texas.

"I'm looking forward to going to Nashville and hopefully we can get another top-10 finish there" Scheckter said. "We are getting closer and closer to getting a top-five finish as we've been able to run higher up in the field, so I hope we can maybe break into the top-five at Nashville. If we can keep running consistently like we have, then it will only be a matter of time before we do start bringing home some top-fives and start battling for a win."

If it was not for issues during the race at Kansas Speedway, Carpenter might be looking for his fifth top-10 in a row at Nashville. However, the streak ended at three after he finished 16th at Kansas. Carpenter was well on his way to earning his best IndyCar Series finish thus far after passing nine cars in the opening 10 laps, but issues with the car sent him to the pits early. Carpenter rebounded nicely to overcome the adversity and finish the race, but another top-10 was out of his reach.

He said, "We had a good streak of top-10 finishes heading into Kansas and if we wouldn't have had trouble, we for sure could have had another. I'm disappointed with how Kansas went, but that's racing. Now we get to come back after a week off and refocus our attention on Nashville."

In spite of his woes at Kansas, Carpenter has had the best drives of his young IndyCar Series career in the #20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone as of late with three straight top-10 finishes already this season and five finishes in the six races that he has competed in. Keen on returning to the top-10, Carpenter is ready to get back on track in Nashville. In two previous attempts on the 1.3-mile concrete oval, he started in the 21st spot in 2004 and fell victim to an accident, leaving him in 22nd when he drove for Cheever Racing. Last year with Vision Racing, Carpenter started from the 22nd position and finished in what was the team's highest finish of 2005 in the 10th spot.

Carpenter recalled, "I had my best race of 2005 at Nashville so I'm hoping I can go back there and perform even better this year. In the last few races the team has really been consistent so I'm confident that we'll continue to improve. I think it's only a matter of time before we get our first top-five and I hope we can do it this weekend at Nashville."

The 200-lap, 266-mile Firestone Indy 200 gets started at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday evening, July 15th. The race will air at 9:00 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN, IMS Radio Network, XM Satellite Radio channel 145 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.

-VR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Chip Ganassi , Ed Carpenter
Teams Panther Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing