Texas: Vision Racing preview

VISION RACING AIMING FOR SPOT ON PODIUM AT TEXAS; 1.5-MILE OVAL PROVIDES FAMILIAR SETTING FOR MORE SUCCESS INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 4, 2008) - For Vision Racing, the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) offers an opportunity ...

VISION RACING AIMING FOR SPOT ON PODIUM AT TEXAS; 1.5-MILE OVAL PROVIDES FAMILIAR SETTING FOR MORE SUCCESS

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 4, 2008) - For Vision Racing, the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) offers an opportunity for renewed success, redemption and perhaps a spot or two on the podium. Chalk it up to prior success this season, the team's strong 1.5-mile oval track record and sheer confidence; team drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV are both optimistic and hungry for positive results this weekend in the Lone Star State.

Driving the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone for the fourth consecutive season, Carpenter has been enjoying some of the best racing of his young IndyCar Series career this year. In the first five races of the season, Carpenter has racked up two career-high matching fifth place finishes and an additional two more top-10 drives. Not to mention, one of his top-five finishes came in the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 where he also recorded his first career laps led.

Carpenter ultimately saw his season-long streak of running finishes snapped in last weekend's ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 at the historic Milwaukee Mile. Starting 17th, Carpenter steadily moved his way up through the field, ran as high as fifth and was well on his way to his fifth top-10 finish of the season until contact with Marco Andretti three laps from the finish ended his race. Carpenter was running in the seventh position at the time of the incident and was relegated to a 20th place finish.

The spoiled top-10 run at Milwaukee has Carpenter's sights set on a strong recovery at Texas, including his first career-trip to the post-race podium.

"Texas really brings out the best in Indy cars and I always like the racing we do there," Carpenter said. "It's fun, competitive and very challenging, but for whatever reason, I just haven't had the best of luck there. Being a 1.5-mile oval, I'm confident that we can be successful, but we also have to be on top of our game. As we saw in Milwaukee, the competition just keeps getting better week-in and week-out so we really have be prepared. Vision has had some of its most consistent success on this type of track and I just hope we can add to that on Saturday night. It would be great to get our first podium finish of the season there."

The 2006 race at TMS has been Carpenter's best outing there as he started 11th and drove to his first finish on the 1.5-mile oval; coming in ninth. His best start at Texas came in 2004, his rookie season at Cheever Racing, when he started seventh. In 2003 he finished 21st due to a mechanical problem and in 2004 and 2005 he finished 21st and 20th, respectively, due to accidents. Carpenter has six career IndyCar Series starts at Texas with a best start of seventh and a best and only running finish of ninth.

Teammate and Texas native, Foyt is anxious to try to improve both his career record at TMS and his season results this weekend. In spite of being born in Louisville, Kentucky and currently residing in Indianapolis, Ind., Foyt claims Hockley, Texas as home and hopes that the familiar territory well serve him well.

Driving the No. 2 Lilly Diabetes/Vision Racing Honda powered Dallara, Foyt's best start and finish so far this season came on a similar 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway. There, Foyt started a career-best fifth and finished eighth. In a similar vein, Foyt's career-best finish came on a mile and a half oval last season at Kentucky Speedway when he finished third and led 13 laps. The 24-year old is eager to turn his season around at Texas and is confident that the 1.5-mile oval is just what he needs to do just that.

"It's good to go home to Texas and get back on a 1.5-mile oval," Foyt stated. "Unfortunately we didn't have the best outing at Milwaukee so I've been looking forward to racing at Texas. I know that we can put together a good car for the race there so we just have to stay out of trouble and run a clean race. If we do that, then we can put ourselves in a position for a much-needed good finish."

Foyt has six starts over five seasons at TMS where his best finish came in the second Texas race of 2004 when he started 11th and finished 10th. In 2005 he was running at the finish as well when he started 22nd and finished 18th. He finished 21st and 22nd in both of the 2003 Texas events due to an accident and engine trouble, respectively. His first Texas affair in 2004 also ended in an accident after starting 17th and finishing 22nd. Last year with Vision Racing, Foyt started and finished 17th after an accident due to losing a tire on lap 197.

Foyt has six career IndyCar Series attempts at Texas with a best start of 11th and a best finish of 10th. He's been running at the finish twice and has just one top-10 finish on the 1.5-mile oval.

Fellow partners Lilly and CardioChek will also join the team at TMS 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 7 from 4 pm to 9 pm in the new Vision Racing Wellness Tour Mobile Marketing Unit.

-credit: vr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Marco Andretti , A.J. Foyt , Ed Carpenter