IRL: Phoenix: Patrick Carpentier race report

SECOND CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 FINISH FOR CARPENTIER Avondale, Arizona, Saturday, March 19, 2005 - Under the circumstances, Patrick Carpentier drove a tremendous race to finish ninth in Round Two of the Indy Racing League IndyCar®...

SECOND CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 FINISH FOR CARPENTIER

Avondale, Arizona, Saturday, March 19, 2005 - Under the circumstances, Patrick Carpentier drove a tremendous race to finish ninth in Round Two of the Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series held Saturday on the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona. The Red Bull Cheever Racing driver had to overcome the physical pain caused by his crash on Friday to finish the 200-lap race only one lap behind the winner.

During the second practice session on Friday afternoon, Carpentier's Dallara-Toyota hit the wall in Turn 2 promopting the Canadian driver to visit the local hospital to ensure he had no broken ribs. He missed qualifying and started from 20th place on the grid with the back-up car. His crew worked out a well-planned race strategy that enabled him to cross the finish line one lap ahead of his teammate Alex Barron who ended up 13th overall.

''After what happened to me Friday, I have to be happy with the outcome of the race'', Carpentier said. ''I was so down following the crash but the team came through with a back-up car that was similar to the one I crashed. We did not have the best car out there, but the since I could not battle with the leaders, the team decided to run a fuel strategy race that paid off. I was able to erase a lap deficit near the end of the race to finish only one lap down on the winner. The engineers learned a lot this weekend and improved the car quite a bit, but there we are still a long way from being front runners. We are supposed to get the new Toyota engines for the next race at St. Petersburg. This should erase some of the power gap we have with the fast cars.''

The XM Satellite Radio INDY 200 race was won by Sam Hornish Jr. The American driver took the lead with 10 laps to go, following the final round of pit stops to cross the finish line one second ahead of his teammate Helio Castroneves. The results provided the first one-two finish of the 2005 season for the Dallara-Toyotas of Team Penske. There was plenty of action in the leader's pack with more than nine lead changes among five drivers, but Hornish came through at the end. Brazilian Tony Kanaan ran a brilliant race to take his Dallara-Honda to third place overall. The Andretti-Green driver also missed qualifying due to mechanical problems, and had to start the race from 21st on the grid. The defending series and two times defending race champion was magnificent on the first lap, passing close to 12 cars before settling in. Unfortunately, an extra pit stop probably cost him the race. His teammate Dario Franchitti finished fourth. The Scott was running second when the race was relaunched on lap 190. But his eagerness to win the race cost him as he caught dirty air when he closed in on the leader Hornish. Scott Sharp of the United States finished fifth, the last driver on the lead lap.

Top 10 in the IndyCar Series Point Standings after two races In the point standings, Sam Hornish takes over the lead with 90 points, followed by Dan Wheldon, winner of the season opener, with 84 points. Helio Castroneves is tied for third with Tony Kanaan with 70 points each. Darren Manning is fifth with 52 points, one more than Vitor Meira. Carpentier is still in seventh place with 48 points, followed by Scott Sharp (47), Dario Franchitti (44) and Brian Herta with 42 points.

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Round 3 of the 2005 schedule, will take place April 3 on the 2.9-km (1.8-mile) temporary road course of the Albert Whitted Municipal Airport. This will be the first-ever road course event in the history of the Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series.

-mdo-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Helio Castroneves , Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Sam Hornish Jr. , Brian Herta , Sam Hornis , Vitor Meira
Teams Team Penske