IRL: Watkins Glen: Vision Friday report

WATKINS GLEN, New York -- Completing the day's laundry list of objectives was no easy task for Vision Racing and driver Ed Carpenter. As rain, mist, and fog settled in for the morning practice, the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series officials were...

WATKINS GLEN, New York -- Completing the day's laundry list of objectives was no easy task for Vision Racing and driver Ed Carpenter. As rain, mist, and fog settled in for the morning practice, the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series officials were forced to sideline the cars for much of the session. However, when the green flag flew, speeds were at the mercy of a wet track causing teams to record times that were 20 seconds slower than during dry conditions.

Lack of track time wasn't the only thing hampering the team for the first session. Carpenter ran wide heading into turn one and put a tire on the painted surface of the track. Given the wet conditions, the car slid off track and suffered damage to the front and rear wings. After a quick check, Carpenter was back on track with new front and rear wing assemblies. The mishap forced the team to only complete seven laps and finish at the bottom of the speed chart.

The second practice session lasted only a half an hour, but saw mostly cloudy skies, a glimpse of the sun, and a dry track. With better conditions the team was able to get a better handle on setup, but yellow flags still kept the team from getting in as much track time as they desired. Carpenter was able to set his fastest lap of the day in the second session as well as complete 12 laps, giving the team 19 laps on the day. Carpenter and crew will be back on track tomorrow for more practice and qualifying.

Ed Carpenter --m #20 Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

On first practice session:
"It started out rough. It was the first time I had driven in the rain and I was looking forward to it with all of my dirt racing. I went out and I was doing okay right off the bat, but then I made a little mistake when I touched the paint where I knew I shouldn't have touched it. I ended up bashing up the front and rear wings on the car. That ended up costing us a lot of time in that first practice session and when we got back out there I was just being overly cautious in trying not to make that same mistake again. So, I hurt myself a lot by not learning everything I could have in that session, but I did end up learning a lot, because it was more rain racing than I ever had in my life. So I still learned come things."

On second practice session:
"The second session we went out and the track was dry for the most part. There were still some wet spots that I tip-toed around. We weren't able to get down to the times we were running during the tests and I'm a little disappointed about that. But, I think we found some things in the car that are going to be better now than they were in the test and if we can get things right then we'll be able to show better lap times. So, hopefully at this point we'll get some more sunshine and track time as those would be the best things for me right now."

-VR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Ed Carpenter