Long Beach: Vision Racing Friday report

HUNTER-REAY SEVENTH AS VISION RACING COMPLETES FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT LONG BEACH LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 17, 2009)- Vision Racing drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ed Carpenter completed the first day of practice on the streets of Long Beach...

HUNTER-REAY SEVENTH AS VISION RACING COMPLETES FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT LONG BEACH

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 17, 2009)- Vision Racing drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ed Carpenter completed the first day of practice on the streets of Long Beach in preparation for Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, finishing seventh and 21st respectively.

Running seventh quick today in the No. 21 William Rast/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine, Hunter-Reay is coming off a second place finish in the IndyCar Series season-opener at St. Petersburg and his debut with the team.

He will be making his fourth attempt at Long Beach, only this time will be his first in an Indy car Previously, Hunter-Reay has driven the streets of Long Beach three times for three different teams in the Champ Car World Series. His best finish here is seventh, scored two times in 2003 and 2004. His best start came in 2004 when he qualified sixth. His debut at Long Beach came in 2003 with American Spirit Team Johansson where he started 12th and finished seventh. The next year he drove for Herdez Competition, started sixth, and finished seventh.

Hunter-Reay's No. 21 machine is featuring a new look this weekend as sponsor William Rast has stepped up to be the car's primary sponsor for Sunday's race. The Los Angeles, Calif. based clothing company known for their premium jeans will ride along with Hunter-Reay as he looks to score back-to-back podium finishes to start the 2009 season in style.

Carpenter, who is making his debut on the streets of Long Beach this weekend was 21st on the speed charts. His previous best road/street course finish in the IndyCar Series is a sixth place finish at Watkins Glen International in 2006.

In the first race of the season at St. Petersburg, Carpenter started 22nd and drove as high as third place on lap 70 as the leaders cycled through pit stops and was running in 15th spot when he came in for his final pit stop on lap 71. Leaving the pits on cold tires, an uncharacteristic mistake put him off line and into the marbles in Turn three, ending his day in the tire barrier. Carpenter was credited with an 18th place finish.

Like Carpenter, Vision Racing will also be making the team's first attempt on the streets of Long Beach.

IndyCar Series practice resumes tomorrow morning at 10:25 a.m. with qualifying set to commence at 2:10 p.m. local time.

Sunday's 85 lap/167.28 mile Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will air live on Sunday, April 19 at 3:30 p.m. ET on VERSUS, as well as IMS Radio Network, XM IndyCar Series Racing Channel 145, XM Sports Nation Channel 144 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com. VERSUS will also air a live qualifying show on Saturday at 6:00 pm EST.

-credit: vr

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Series INDYCAR