VISION RACING HEADS TO WATKINS GLEN ROAD COURSE SETS STAGE FOR FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND SHOWDOWN INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 2, 2008) -- Heading to the 3.37-mile road course at Watkins Glen International for the Camping World Indy Grand Prix will...
VISION RACING HEADS TO WATKINS GLEN
ROAD COURSE SETS STAGE FOR FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND SHOWDOWN
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 2, 2008) -- Heading to the 3.37-mile road course at Watkins Glen International for the Camping World Indy Grand Prix will be a welcomed change of pace for Vision Racing and the IndyCar Series after last weekend's trying race at Richmond International Raceway.
While the twists and turns of The Glen provide their own set of challenges, if nothing else, it's a fresh start for Vision Racing drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV; both of which endured misfortune at Richmond last Saturday.
At Richmond Foyt sustained contact with John Andretti and was done for the evening on lap 30. Meanwhile Carpenter became an unfortunate bystander when debris from Foyt's accident collapsed his front right suspension. The team was able to repair Carpenter's car and get him back into the race to salvage an 11th place finish.
They'll put all of that behind them and head to Watkins Glen where the team's best finish is sixth by Carpenter in 2006. That also matches the team's best finish on a road or street course. Other top-10 finishes at The Glen include Tomas Scheckter's 10th place finish, also in 2006.
"Watkins Glen is definitely a challenging track and I like that," Carpenter said. "A.J. and I continue to get better on these types of tracks and I think we can continue to improve this weekend. Regardless of what happens, we need to make sure the Menards car is running at the finish. We saw just how important that was in the last race at Richmond, so we need to work on getting a good car for the race, develop a good strategy and just be smart during the race."
When the IndyCar Series came to Watkins Glen for the first time in 2005, Carpenter started in the 20th spot and worked his way up to 14th to finish the race. In 2006 he had an even better outing as he drove from 18th, all the way up to fifth, and finished sixth in what is currently tied for the team's best road course finish. Last year Carpenter led Vision Racing's three-car effort at Watkins Glen when he started 17th, ran as high as fifth and finished 12th.
Driving the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine, Carpenter will be looking for his sixth finish in the top-10 this weekend and a chance to move up in the championship driver point standings where he remains in the 10th spot with 185 points.
Teammate Foyt made his debut at Watkins Glen just last year when he started 16th, ran as high as 10th, suffered a spin in the first half of the race in turn eight, and drove to a 15th place finish. His best road or street course finish is ninth at The Raceway at Belle Isle last season.
"I just started racing on road courses in an Indy car last year and I feel like every time we go to another road or street course, I seem to get just a little bit better and more comfortable," Foyt noted. "I hope the same will be the case again at Watkins Glen this weekend. Unfortunately Richmond was another missed opportunity for us to get a good finish. I know the guys will have the Lilly car ready for Sunday, so we really have to take advantage of that and do our best to run a clean race and get a solid finish."
Foyt will be looking to capture his fourth top-10 finish of the year in the No. 2 Lilly Diabetes/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone. He is currently 14th in the driver point standings with 165 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 Sunday, July 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the new Vision Racing Wellness Tour Mobile Marketing Unit.
Practice and qualifying for the 60-lap, 204-mile event at Watkins Glen International is set for Friday, July 4 with qualifying and additional practice to take place on Saturday, July 5. Sunday's race will begin at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on ABC, as well as IMS Radio Network, XM IndyCar Series Racing Channel 145, XM Sports Nation Channel 144 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.