Homestead: Vision Racing race report

CARPENTER DRIVES TO 12th PLACE AT HOMESTEAD HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2009) - Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter drove the team's No. 20 Menards Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine to a 12th place finish in the IndyCar Series season finale, the Firestone...

CARPENTER DRIVES TO 12th PLACE AT HOMESTEAD

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2009) - Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter drove the team's No. 20 Menards Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine to a 12th place finish in the IndyCar Series season finale, the Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Saturday afternoon. It was the first time in the series' history that the race finished without any cautions.

Carpenter matched his IndyCar Series career-best start by taking the green flag in the fourth position and even moved as high as third in the race by getting around Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske on the opening lap. Briscoe returned the move on lap four and from there the car's handling capabilities and maneuverability deteriorated quickly. By lap 42 Carpenter had fallen all the way back to the 16th position, citing a severe understeer and overall lack of grip.

Making an early stop on lap 48, Carpenter's crew quickly gave him four tires, a full tank of ethanol and one and a half turns of front wing. The change in wing configuration gave Carpenter a bit more stability, but the setup still was not conducive to regaining positions on the track. In each of the next two pit stops, Carpenter would continue to receive front wing adjustments as well.

Running much of the race between the 13th and 15th positions, Carpenter persevered and took advantage of others' mistakes and missed strategies to finish in the 12th position.

Carpenter also ended up 12th in the IndyCar Series Championship point standings with 321 total points (395 behind the leader). Overall this year, Carpenter earned his career best finish of second, matched his career best start of fourth, lead 35 laps and drove to six top-ten finishes.

The IndyCar Series Championship went to the race winner, Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing. He secured the championship by 11 points over teammate Scott Dixon and by 12 points over challenger Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske. Briscoe and Dixon also rounded out the podium for today's race, respectively, and were followed by Tony Kanaan of Andretti Green Racing in fourth and Helio Castroneves of Team Penske in fifth.

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

On Race: "At the start I went by (Ryan) Briscoe and I thought it was going to be a great race, but the tires went away and by lap three I was almost out of adjustments in trying to get the car's understeer under control and then I had to deal with some oversteer and it was just a shame. It's not the race that I wanted to end my season on and it was a heck of a lot like the races earlier in the season before the aero changes. Plus the race was all green so it couldn't have been too excited to watch, but congratulations to Dario (Franchitti). He outlasted those other guys and got it done. So congrats to him. It's just not a good way for us to finish the season. It makes for a long off-season not knowing when we are going to be able to get on track again to try and sort all of this out."

On Season: "Kentucky was an obviously highlight for us. At Indianapolis we didn't have a great car, but I felt like we had a good finish there for the car that we had in the race. But to be honest, outside of Kentucky, nothing else this season went the way I wanted it to go.

-credit: vr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Ed Carpenter
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing