Panther Rolls into Chicagoland Speedway for PEAK Indy 300 National Guard Team and Wheldon Combine for Four Victories at Chicago; Carpenter Makes Return INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (August 26, 2010) -- Panther Racing makes a welcome return this weekend...
Panther Rolls into Chicagoland Speedway for PEAK Indy 300
National Guard Team and Wheldon Combine for Four Victories at Chicago; Carpenter Makes Return
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (August 26, 2010) -- Panther Racing makes a welcome return this weekend to Chicagoland Speedway and the high-speed oval racetracks that will comprise the final four races of the IZOD IndyCar Series season. The team expands to run two entries this weekend, as Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka driver Ed Carpenter will join National Guard mainstay Dan Wheldon for the 200-lap event this weekend on Chicagoland's 1.5-mile oval.
It was at Chicagoland Speedway in 2002 that Wheldon made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut with Panther, and now the team and driver have combined for a total of four victories in Joliet. The team captured back-to-back wins with Sam Hornish Jr. (2002, 2003) and Wheldon pulled off a repeat performance in 2005 and 2006. The team and its driver have combined to make a total of 17 starts here, with eight Top Five and 11 Top Ten finishes while leading a combined total of 513 laps. Wheldon started 11th and had moved to just outside the Top Five in 2009 when he suffered a broken half-shaft during the team's second pit stop and was relegated to a 22nd-place finish.
The 29-year-old Carpenter is participating in just his second IZOD IndyCar Series race this season, but it was a partnership with Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka and Vision Racing that put him back in the No. 20 car in May for the Indianapolis 500. Carpenter was impressive at Indy, where he qualified in the eighth position and ran as high as fourth before finishing in the 17th position.
Carpenter has made seven starts on the 1.5-mile speedway and gave Vision Racing its best finish in five trips with a fifth place run in 2007 and last season drove to a sixth place finish. He will also compete at Kentucky Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway as part of the collaboration between Panther and Vision later this year.
The IZOD IndyCar Series will now travel to Chicagoland Speedway and the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 will be broadcast live on VERSUS at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, August 28th with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 121.
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"Chicagoland Speedway is a track that I really enjoy and it's always an extremely exciting race for IZOD IndyCar Series fans. This weekend especially there's going to be a huge number of cars out there and I think that says a lot about how strong and competitive our series is right now. It's always a challenge out there, both as a driver and from an engineering standpoint, but it's a challenge that all of us in the National Guard Panther Racing team are excited to accept. Both myself and the team have a great deal of experience here and it's great to see the mood and confidence that we have going right now."
Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka
"I'm excited to be going back to Chicago and picking up where we left off at the Indianapolis 500. Obviously we didn't get the result we were looking with a 17th place finish in May but we had a strong showing the rest of that month and had a really fast car. Coming off that effort and the test we did a few weeks ago at Kentucky has us really confident about where we are with the car for Chicago. It was a great race there last year especially for the fans and I expect it'll be a great race again this year especially with 29 car entries. It should be a lot of fun and hopefully we'll put the Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car and ourselves on the podium when it's all said and done."
-source: panther racing