CARPENTER BATTLES TO FINISH SIXTH IN JAPAN
MOTEGI, Japan - After much anticipation due to weather and "weepers," the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi finally took the green flag on Sunday. Vision Racing drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV started seventh and eighth respectively.
Qualifying for the event was rained out so the starting grid was established based on IndyCar Series Championship point standings.
Carpenter earned his best finish on the 1.5-mile egg-shaped oval at Twin Ring Motegi in five starts at the track as he took sixth in the No. 20 Menards Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine. This also marks Carpenter's second top-10 finish in three races.
Carpenter ran as high as fourth where he remained until pitting for a splash of fuel with just six laps remaining. To finish sixth Carpenter overcame several obstacles including cold and windy conditions, less than ideal car handling and contact with his teammate in the pits which eventually caused him to fall to 12th place.
On lap 93 Foyt pitted in the No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone and upon leaving the pits made contact with Carpenter. No damage was done to Carpenter's car, but Foyt's front wing had to be replaced and work was done on the outside front tire.
Foyt returned to the race, however contact with the turn four wall on lap 110 ended his race early. He is credited with a 15th place finish.
Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On race: "Unfortunately we could have had a better result as I was able to run with the leaders when this race got going, but that contact we had with A.J. (Foyt IV) in the pits just cost us and we had to fight our way back up through the field after that. We had a good car today so it's just a shame that we got in our own way there early on. I just have to focus on preparing for Kansas now because I know we can have a strong car there as well and we need to take full advantage of that next time."
A.J. Foyt IV - No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On race: "We had a good car today so to hurt ourselves in the pits like that is just so disappointing. I am just upset that things went they way the did and we couldn't finish this race today. At this point we just have to regroup ourselves, learn from our mistakes and get ready for Kansas."