VISION RACING READY FOR RICHMOND; ANOTHER SHORT TRACK OVAL PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY FOR SUCCESS INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 25, 2008) -- If the speed showcased last weekend at Iowa Speedway from both Vision Racing Honda powered Dallara machines were...
VISION RACING READY FOR RICHMOND; ANOTHER SHORT TRACK OVAL PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY FOR SUCCESS
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 25, 2008) -- If the speed showcased last weekend at Iowa Speedway from both Vision Racing Honda powered Dallara machines were any indication of how they will perform this weekend Richmond International Raceway, then expect team drivers A.J. Foyt IV and Ed Carpenter to be mixing it up in the front of the pack again Saturday night for the SunTrust Indy Challenge.
Last weekend at Iowa, rain canceled qualifying and the starting grid for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 was set by entrant point standings. That put Foyt and his No. 2 Lilly Diabetes machine in the 18th position, but by just eight laps into the race, he cracked the top-10 and ultimately charged his way to a fifth place finish.
"After my run at Iowa, I said that I felt like we could have finished even better than fifth so that's what I hope to do at Richmond," Foyt recalled. "I just want to pick up where we left off at Iowa and get another top-five run this weekend too. Richmond is a place that Ed (Carpenter) has run well at so I hope I can benefit from his experience and knowledge at the track. We just need to keep this momentum going now for the rest of the season."
Foyt has four previous attempts at Richmond; one start last year with Vision Racing and the other three with A.J. Foyt Racing. In his debut to the oval in 2003 he started and finished 21st due an accident. The next two years Foyt was running at the finish as he started 21st in 2004 and finished 11th and in 2005 he started 17th and finished 14th. Last year he started 17th and finished in the 13th spot.
He will be looking to earn his first top-10 at Richmond as well as log back-to-back top-five finishes on the season. Foyt is currently 13th (153 points) in the IndyCar Series championship point standings.
Carpenter, who started ninth last Sunday, had worked his way up to eighth and was looking to slice through the lead pack when on lap 39 his car suffered a mechanical failure and sent him into the wall.
The No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine has been fast and running in the top-10 in each of the previous two short track ovals at Iowa and Milwaukee, but incidents out of Carpenter's control have kept him from finishing those races.
"As a team we are usually pretty strong at short tracks and even contending for wins so for me to not be able to finish at both short tracks this season is very frustrating," Carpenter said. "I've got one more shot this Saturday night at Richmond to have a good finish on a short track this year and I intend to have a great race. I had a great car at Iowa before a mechanical failure put me in the wall and I know that guys will have another good car for me this weekend as well. It was encouraging to see A.J. (Foyt IV) perform so well at Iowa. It just shows how far along this team has come and how good we can be, especially in these short track races."
Carpenter has four previous attempts at Richmond International Raceway. In his debut at the track driving for Cheever Racing in 2004, he finished in the 16th spot due to an accident. In 2005 he finished 12th and in 2006 Carpenter recorded his best finish at Richmond when he started 13th and finished eighth. Last year Carpenter started 15th and finished 10th.
He is looking for his third consecutive top-10 finish at Richmond, his third top-five finish of the season and another chance to regain valuable spots in the point standings. As a result of his 23rd place finish at Iowa, Carpenter dropped two spots in the point standings to 10th (166 points).
Fellow partners Lilly and CardioChek will also join the team at Richmond for the Vision Racing Wellness Tour, which allows race fans to stop by a mobile marketing unit for an opportunity to receive free cholesterol screenings and diabetes education. The complimentary cholesterol screenings and diabetes information will be made available at the track on Saturday, June 28 from 4 to 8 pm in the new Vision Racing Wellness Tour Mobile Marketing Unit.