INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Jan. 13, 2003 -- Open-wheel standout Ed Carpenter will drive for four-time Indianapolis 500 champion A.J. Foyt in the 2003 IRL Infiniti Pro Series, team officials announced Jan. 13. Carpenter, 21, will drive the No. 14 ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Jan. 13, 2003 -- Open-wheel standout Ed Carpenter will drive for four-time Indianapolis 500 champion A.J. Foyt in the 2003 IRL Infiniti Pro Series, team officials announced Jan. 13.
Carpenter, 21, will drive the No. 14 Futaba/Delphi/Zippo/Jack K. Elrod Co. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone for A.J. Foyt Enterprises, which won the inaugural Infiniti Pro Series title with A.J. Foyt IV in 2002. Foyt IV is climbing to the IRL IndyCar Series this year.
"I wanted to stay in the Infiniti Pro Series as a team owner, and I thought Ed did a good job last year, so I called him to see if he'd drive for me," Foyt said. "I think Ed has a lot of potential, and I think I can teach him some things to make him an even better driver."
For 2001 USAC Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Carpenter, the chance to drive for the legendary Foyt is a dream come true.
"I'm looking forward to it a lot," said Carpenter, who finished third in the 2002 Infiniti Pro Series championship driving for Sinden Racing Service. "I felt like it was a big opportunity when A.J. called me and offered me a chance to drive for him and his team."
Carpenter, from Indianapolis, has modeled his racing career on Foyt's. Carpenter also has raced on asphalt and dirt short tracks in USAC Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget competition.
"He has been one of my heroes for my whole career," Carpenter said. "In his career, he was the type of guy that could get in any type of car and drive anything, and that's kind of what I've been trying to do the last couple of years. I've been racing in so many different series. I'm just looking forward to working with him and trying to get as much knowledge out of him as I can."
After a strong rookie season in which he earned six top-five and three top-three finishes in seven events, Carpenter aims for even greater success in 2003.
"My ultimate goal is to win the Infiniti Pro Series championship, but what we didn't do last year was win any races," Carpenter said. "Winning races and qualifying on the pole are the two things I didn't do, and those are things I'm going to need to do to win a championship. I think we'll be able to get that done with Foyt."
The second Infiniti Pro Series season starts March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.