Long Beach: Vision Racing race report

TOUGH DAY AT LONG BEACH FOR VISION RACING LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 19, 2009) - The tight twists and turns that the Long Beach, Calif. streets provide were not too kind to Vision Racing drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ed Carpenter in today's ...

TOUGH DAY AT LONG BEACH FOR VISION RACING

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 19, 2009) - The tight twists and turns that the Long Beach, Calif. streets provide were not too kind to Vision Racing drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ed Carpenter in today's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. In spite of any mishaps, bumps and miscues, both Hunter-Reay and Carpenter advanced from their starting positions and brought their cars to the finish line in one piece with 11th and 18th place finishes, respectively.

From a 12th place starting position on the grid, Hunter-Reay battled a strong push and wild rear-end of the car for the majority of the race. Thanks to solid pit strategy, he ran as high as third in the No. 21 William Rast/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine and remained in the top-ten for a great deal of the race.

While running in ninth with just three laps to go, the ill-handling car became too much for Hunter-Reay as he fought to keep it pointed forward and at full speed. He slipped to 10th and was passed on the last lap by Alex Tagliani to finish in the 11th spot.

Hunter-Reay remains within the top-five in the IndyCar Series championship point standings as he is fifth with 59 points (25 behind the leader).

Vision Racing teammate Ed Carpenter drove his No. 20 Menards Honda/Dallara/Firestone as high as third place as well, but an incident on lap 39 saw Carpenter into the tire barrier. He managed to get restarted and rejoined the field, albeit three laps down.

After a quick pit stop that included a front wing change, Carpenter was back on track and running at speed. Unfortunately Carpenter had a few more brushes with trouble, including getting a little off course after an encounter with a competitor on lap 60, resulting in slight contact with his own teammate Hunter-Reay. Carpenter finished under power and in the 18th spot after starting in the 23rd position.

Carpenter is now 21st in the championship point standings with 24 points (60 behind the leaders).

Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"It was a pretty painful day to be honest. I made a huge mistake in St.Pete and I really wanted to make up for that by running a really smart clean race here in Long Beach. I didn't do that at all and made some terrible mistakes. I'm really disappointed with myself. I'm going to really have to reset my mindset and get ready for Kansas. We ran really well in Kansas last year and we'll head there with some confidence. I have some making up to do to the team."

Ryan Hunter-Reay - No.21 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"It was just a long day. We did some cheap fixes to the car to make it good over new tires, which might have good for qualifying, but it wore the rear tires off of it way too quick so that left us a sitting duck at the end of the stint. It was a long day and one that you've just got to get through and get on with it. We didn't have a good car here. The guys did a great job with the stops and we brought the car home. I should have hit the wall about 35 times and the car is coming back in one piece. We got blocked on a couple of occasions, but it just wasn't our day. We were slow again on the straights and I wasn't getting any kind of run on anybody and we couldn't draft. I don't know why that was the case, but we'll have to look at that before Kansas. It's a big concern."

-credit: vr

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Series INDYCAR