Sears Point: Vision Racing preview

Vision Racing Fast Facts: *TAKING THE VISION TO SONOMA: The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County will be the fourth trip to the natural terrain road course at Infineon Raceway for Vision Racing and driver Ed Carpenter, while teammate and A.J....

Vision Racing Fast Facts:

*TAKING THE VISION TO SONOMA: The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County will be the fourth trip to the natural terrain road course at Infineon Raceway for Vision Racing and driver Ed Carpenter, while teammate and A.J. Foyt IV will be making just his second start at the track. The team's best finish at Infineon came last season when Tomas Scheckter finished eighth. Carpenter, Foyt and team road-course consultant Bryan Herta all tested Vision Racing machines at Infineon last week in preparation for this weekend's event.

*DRIVERS JOIN COLTS QB IN CHARITY: IndyCar Series drivers Scott Dixon, Sarah Fisher and A.J. Foyt IV are among more than 40 athletes and celebrities who participated in Peyton Manning's "PeyBack Bowl 2008" on Aug. 18. Each fall, the PeyBack Foundation, founded by Manning, quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, presents the PeyBack Bowl in Indianapolis, an annual event to raise money for at-risk youth in Indiana. Manning and local and national celebrities hit the bowling lanes and enjoy great food, prizes and competition. Last year's outing raised more than $440,000.

*CARPENTER QUICK AT KENTUCKY: In the most recent race at Kentucky Speedway, Vision Racing driver Ed Carpenter earned his seventh top-10 finish of the season after he took sixth in the Meijer Indy 300. In his fifth attempt at Kentucky, Carpenter earned a new best finish at the track as well as his third top-ten there. He also set the fastest lap of the race. Meanwhile, teammate A.J. Foyt IV started 10th and ran as high as eighth, but was finished early after his third pit stop when he had to bring the car back in on lap 136 due to a mechanical failure originally attributed to the gearbox. He finished 20th.

*4th SEASON: Vision Racing is maintaining a two-car operation for the 2008 season, returning drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV. They also welcomed back Davey Hamilton for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 and hired veteran Paul Tracy for the Rexall Edmonton Indy affair at Edmonton. The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County will be the team's 63rd IndyCar Series event since their first season in 2005.

*ON ROAD/STREET COURSES: The team's best finishes on a road or street course is fourth scored by Paul Tracy this season at Edmonton. Prior to that a pair of sixth place drives by Tomas Scheckter on the streets of St. Petersburg last year and Ed Carpenter's in 2006 at Watkins Glen International remained the team's best road and street drives. Overall the team's highest finishes ever are third place drives by Scheckter in 2006 at the Milwaukee Mile (oval) and by A.J. Foyt IV last year at Kentucky Speedway (oval).

*2008 TEAM HIGHLIGHTS: After 14 races, team drivers Carpenter, Foyt and Tracy have combined to give Vision Racing four top-five finishes and seven additional top-10 finishes. The team's best finish this season is fourth scored by Tracy. Carpenter (Homestead and Indianapolis) and Foyt (Iowa) have each logged fifth place finishes as well. The team's best starting position for 2008 is fifth at Kansas by Foyt while Carpenter's best start also came at Kansas in the sixth spot.

*SIGHTS SET ON GOOD HEALTH: In May the team announced the launch of the Vision Racing Wellness Tour which will allow race fans to receive free cholesterol screenings and diabetes education at IndyCar Series events nationwide. Lilly -- a worldwide leader in diabetes treatment, research and education based in Indianapolis,-- will be providing the diabetes education component of the Wellness Tour, while team partner Polymer Technology Systems, Inc. will provide its revolutionary CardioChek® home cholesterol test system to complete the cholesterol screening. The Vision Racing Wellness Tour will featured at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Co., and will be offering free cholesterol screenings and diabetes for fans in the IndyCar merchandise tent (Indy Fan Zone Area, IndyCar merchandise tent, next to the paddock) from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Aug. 24. In addition, Vision Racing team drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV will be at the Wellness Tour location starting at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday for media interviews and autographs for those fans being screened.

*NEW AND OLD FOR 2008: New sponsors Menards and DIRECTV joined returning sponsor CardioChek to grace the No. 20 machine driven by Ed Carpenter for the 2008 season. The Menards sponsorship also brings the likes of Johns Manville, Energizer, Moen, Peak Antifreeze, Pittsburgh Paints, Sylvania, SuperClean and Quaker State. Continuing the new sponsor lineup on the No. 20 are MUUD Coffee and NÜSSLI Group. Starting at Indianapolis, Lilly Diabetes joined the team on the No. 2 car piloted by A.J. Foyt IV for the balance of the season. This season the team has also undergone some personnel changes. Former crew chief, Keven Kukulewicz was appointed to the team manager in May. In addition, returning engineers Nathan O'Rourke and Al Bodey have been joined by newcomer and lead race engineer, Jeff Britton. Overseeing the race strategy for Carpenter will be Britton and Foyt will be directed by team owner Tony George while Britton will be lead engineer on Carpenter's car and Foyt will take technical direction from O'Rourke. Starting at Mid-Ohio, IndyCar Series veteran and winner Bryan Herta will serve as a road-course consultant for the team for the remainder of the season. At Edmonton, Canadian driver Paul Tracy joined the team in the team's No. 22 machine, sponsored by Subway.

*AS SEEN ON TV: Patrick Dempsey joined Vision Racing prior to the 2006 season, taking on a new role that has been making hearts race in a literal way as a team co-owner. Known for his scene-stealing turns in such '80s nostalgia classics such as Can't Buy Me Love and Loverboy, Patrick Dempsey continues to please America with his explosive charisma and versatile talent. Dempsey is the star of the ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy." Dempsey's no stranger to the racetrack when he's not in front of the camera. A true racer at heart, he's currently driving professionally in "Grand American Cup" class sports car racing with Hypersport. Patrick also attended the Skip Barber and Panoz Racing Schools and began racing in the Panoz GT Series in 2004. Dempsey finished an impressive third at the Panoz GT race in Road Atlanta in early May 2005.He also competed in the April 2005 Toyota Celebrity Race at Long Beach and the 2005 Baja 1000 with drivers Boris Said and Oriol Servia.

*A TEAM WITH A VISION: Vision Racing is owned and operated by Tony and Laura George as well as actor Patrick Dempsey of ABC's Grey's Anatomy and is based in Indianapolis, Indiana in a 32,000 square foot facility. The team competes full-time in the 16-race IndyCar Series schedule, and competed in the Rolex 24-Hour endurance race in Daytona, Florida for the second time. Entering its fourth season of IndyCar Series competition the team features returning drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV for 2008. Vision Racing continues to proudly perpetuate the legacy of the Hulman-George family through motorsports excellence, by demonstrating the traditions and heritage of the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Racing.

A.J. Foyt IV - No. 2 Lilly Diabetes/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

*AT INFINEON RACEWAY: Foyt started in 15th, in his first start at Infineon Raceway last season and was running in 14th on lap 73 when Scott Sharp drove underneath him in turn 11 and then spun out in front of him, causing Foyt to crash. He finished in the 15th spot.

*MOST RECENTLY: Foyt was poised to earn his fourth top-10 finish of the season in the last race at Kentucky Speedway until a mechanical failure ended his race early while running in the eighth spot. Foyt started 10th and ran as high as eighth, but finished early after his third pit stop when he had to bring the car back in on lap 136 due to a mechanical failure originally attributed to the gearbox. He finished 20th. As a result he dropped a spot in the point standings; moving to the 19th position.

*2008 SEASON: This is the sixth season of participation in the IndyCar Series competition for Foyt and is actually his fifth full season as he only participated in one race in 2006. After 14 races, Foyt has a best finish of 5th at Iowa and two other top-10 drives. His best start this year is fifth at Kansas. He's been running at the finish in nine events. He is currently 19th in the point standings after dropping one spot following the race at Kentucky.

*NEW SPONSOR: In May, Eli Lilly & Co. announced that it will become a strategic partner in the team's recently announced Vision Racing Wellness Tour, which is bringing free cholesterol screening and diabetes education to IndyCar Series fans for the remainder of the season, as well as the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition, the uniform of team driver A.J. Foyt IV and his No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine will display the branding of Lilly, including Lilly Diabetes.

*FIRST LEADER LAPS: In his only IndyCar Series start in 2006 with Andretti-Green Racing at Chicagoland Speedway, Foyt led his first race for three laps and ended up finishing in the 12th spot. He added 13 leader laps to his IndyCar Series career tally at Kentucky Speedway last season where he also finished a career-high third.

*FROM CREW TO DRIVER: Despite his famous name, Foyt earned his way up the racing ladder. His first job was working at the race shop as a parts washer and he served on the crew and changed right-front tire for A.J. Foyt Racing IndyCar Series driver Airton Dare during 2002 season.

*INDY'S YOUNGEST: Foyt is the youngest driver to race in the Indianapolis 500. His rookie attempt at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing occurred on his 19th birthday, May 25, 2003. Prior to moving to the IndyCar Series, Foyt won Firestone Indy Lights Championship in 2002 with four wins in seven events.

*INDY LIGHTS CHAMPION: Foyt also won the inaugural Firestone Indy Lights title in 2002 before stepping up to the IndyCar Series the following season as an 18-year-old.

*DID YOU KNOW?: A.J. Foyt IV appeared in the 2005 Warner Brothers movie release, The Dukes of Hazzard, which also starred Jessica Simpson, Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Burt Reynolds and Willie Nelson.

*A.J. AT-A-GLANCE: Joining Vision Racing in 2007, A.J. Foyt IV is entering his fifth full IndyCar Series season and will participate in his sixth season overall. His first full season came in 2003 after driving for grandfather and legendary driver, A.J. Foyt. He drove for Foyt Enterprises from 2003 to 2005. In 2006 he drove in the season finale for Andretti Green Racing in place of the injured, Dario Franchitti. o Highest Career Start: 5th - Kansas Speedway, 2008/Vision Racing o Highest Career Finish: 3rd - Kentucky Speedway, 2007/Vision Racing o Laps Led: 21 o Top-5's: 2 o Top-10's: 10 o Starts: 79 o Running at Finish: 49

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

*AT INFINEON RACEWAY: In his first attempt at Infineon Raceway in 2005, Carpenter started 20th and finished 15th with Vision Racing. In 2006 season he started 16th and finished 12th and last year he started the race from the 14th spot, ran as high as 12th and ultimately finished 13th. He's been running at the finish at Infineon in all three attempts.

*MOST RECENTLY: In the most recent race at Kentucky Speedway, Carpenter earned his seventh top-10 finish of the season after he took sixth in the Meijer Indy 300. In his fifth attempt at Kentucky, Carpenter earned a new best finish at the track as well as his third top-ten there. He also set the fastest lap of the race. He was able to jump up two spots in the point standings as a result; moving from 13th to the 11th position.

*2008 SEASON: This is the fifth full season in IndyCar Series competition for Carpenter and the sixth season that he has participated in overall. After 14 races, Carpenter has a best finish of fifth at Homestead and Indianapolis and five other top-10 drives. His best start this year is sixth at Kansas. He's been running at the finish in 12 events. He is currently 11th in the point standings after moving up two spots following the race at Kentucky.

*FIRST LEADER LAPS: In his fifth IndyCar Series start in at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500, Carpenter recorded his first laps lead in an Indy car. He lead the field for three laps under caution and finished fifth.

*BACK WITH MENARDS: The team's expanded sponsorship portfolio for the 2008 IndyCar Series season included the addition of Menards as the primary sponsor of the No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, driven by Ed Carpenter. Not only does this mark the return of the recognizable Menards sponsorship in the IndyCar Series, but also reunites the home store retailer with Carpenter. The 27-year-old driver carried the Menards livery in 2002, with Sinden Racing in the Indy Pro Series.

*ED "CARPENTER": Carpenter and his arsenal of power tools have been busy this past off-season as he has been knee deep in a house flipping project with a long time friend. Of course, Menards has been an essential part of Carpenter's home repair ventures. Prior to his current real estate investment, Carpenter and his "do-it-yourself" mentality crafted his home repair skills with his first home and family heirloom. The home, which he still owns, is located in Speedway, Ind. was purchased as new in 1955 by stepfather Tony George's parents, Elmer and Mari George. Tony grew up in the home as a boy and for a time, drivers A.J. Foyt and Roger McCluskey lived in the basement.

*DOUBLE DUTY: Ed Carpenter Made history in September 2003 at Chicagoland Speedway when he became the first driver to compete in a Firestone Indy Lights event and an IndyCar Series event on the same weekend.

*INAGURAL BRICKYARD WINNER: Carpenter won the inaugural Firestone Indy Lights Firestone Freedom 100 in 2003 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Making him an inaugural winner at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway along with Ray Haroun (Indianapolis 500), Jeff Gordon (Brickyard 400), and Michael Schumacher (United States Grand Prix).

*BIG MAN ON CAMPUS: Carpenter graduated from 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament qualifying Butler University, Indianapolis, Ind., with a marketing degree in May 2003.

*BIG DADDY: Carpenter and wife Heather (Pettigrew) celebrated the birth of their first child (Makenna) in October of 2007. The couple were married November 8, 2005 on the island of St. Thomas.

*DID YOU KNOW?: Carpenter enjoys water skiing, snowboarding, and cycling , his racing heroes include Al Unser Jr., A.J. Foyt, and Lance Armstrong and he has two dogs; a Rottweiller named Bentley and a Chihuahua named Rosco.

*ED AT-A-GLANCE: Carpenter is participating in his fifth season in the IndyCar Series, and is with his second team in Vision Racing. The 27-year-old made his IndyCar debut at Chicagoland Speedway in 2003 for PDM Racing, which made him the first driver to compete in an IRL Indy Pro Series event and an IndyCar Series event on the same weekend. Carpenter, who has been with the team since it's inception in 2005, is determined to make his fifth season overall, the best for both he and the team. Last year Carpenter recorded six top-10 finishes.

The Driver's Thoughts On/About.

A.J. FOYT IV - NO. 2 Lilly Diabetes/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

On race at Infineon... "I'm feeling better about going to Infineon after being able to test there last weekend, but it is still going to be a tough race for us. After not finishing our last race at Kentucky and being knocked out so close to the finish in this race last year, I really just want to run a clean race and give myself a chance to get a good finish and earn some more points. It's been a fairly difficult season and I'd like to end on a positive note these last few races starting at Infineon."

ED CARPENTER - NO. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

On race at Infineon ... "I always enjoy racing this track and visiting northern California so it will be good to go back here. Fortunately we got to test there last week so that will help, but we've still got our work cut out for us. I've been able to run all the laps at Infineon over the last three years and that's helped me gain more experience there. Hopefully this weekend I'll have my best race there yet and really give myself a chance to keep moving back up in the points. We've just have to put our best effort forward, be patient and run a solid race."

-credit: vr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tomas Scheckter , Michael Schumacher , Boris Said , Sarah Fisher , Al Unser Jr. , Davey Hamilton , Airton Daré , A.J. Foyt IV , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Oriol Servia , Bryan Herta , Skip Barber , Tony George , Patrick Dempsey , A.J. Foyt , Ed Carpenter