RAIN WASHES OUT QUALIFYING FOR INDY JAPAN 300; VISION RACING TO START SEVENTH AND EIGHTH MOTEGI, Japan - After Thursday's practice session for the Indy Japan 300 was ended by rain, the precipitation virtually never stopped and ultimately washed...
RAIN WASHES OUT QUALIFYING FOR INDY JAPAN 300; VISION RACING TO START SEVENTH AND EIGHTH
MOTEGI, Japan - After Thursday's practice session for the Indy Japan 300 was ended by rain, the precipitation virtually never stopped and ultimately washed out practice and qualifying on Friday at Twin Ring Motegi's 1.5-mile egg-shaped oval.
The starting grid for the third race of the 2008 IndyCar Series season was determined by entrant points. As a result, Vision Racing drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV will occupy row four and start seventh and eighth, which will also be their best starting positions this year.
In yesterday's practice sessions, Carpenter was fifth fastest in the No. 20 Menards Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone while Foyt was 11th quick in the team's No. 2 Honda powered Dallara.
Both drivers are optimistic that their top-10 starting spots will lead to unprecedented race results given the strength of their cars and their previous performance to start the season.
In the season-opening race on the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Carpenter and Foyt were forced to start at the back of the field due to a failed post-qualifying technical inspection. In spite of the setback, they still managed to finish the race in the fifth and ninth positions, respectively.
Carpenter, will be driving in his fifth race at Twin Ring Motegi. Last year Carpenter earned his first running finish at the track when he started 16th and finished 15th. The year prior, in 2006, he finished 20th due to an accident. In 2005 he finished 16th also as a result of an accident and was 22nd in 2004 due to mechanical failure.
Carpenter has been running at the finish in both races this season as has Foyt who will also be making his fifth attempt at Twin Ring Motegi.
Foyt started 14th in 2007 at the Twin Ring and drove to a 14th place finish for Vision Racing. In 2003 and 2004 he was running at the finish as well and finished 14h and 15th respectively. In 2005 he finished 18th due to an accident.
Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On practice: "It's unfortunate that we did not get to practice and qualify today. I felt like we had a car that could have performed well in qualifying and we probably could have started higher than what we will tomorrow, but I know we have a good car for the race too so I think that we'll be able to drive to the front when the green flag drops. We worked on our race setup a lot yesterday so I am confident the car and what we can do in the race. I just hope the rain finally holds off on Saturday so we can get the race started and completed."
A.J. Foyt IV - No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On practice: "I really would have liked to have had more time to practice today just to get the car dialed in a little more, but the rain took care of that. We have a pretty good car, but I know that we probably could have made it better too. Even though we couldn't qualify today, we are still going to be starting higher than we have all season so hopefully we can take advantage of that and come out of here with a great finish."