VISION RACING AIMING FOR STRONG FINISH IN SEASON FINALE INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2006) -- The IndyCar Series rolls on to Chicagoland Speedway for its 14th and final race of the 2006 season, the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300, and Vision Racing's...
VISION RACING AIMING FOR STRONG FINISH IN SEASON FINALE
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2006) -- The IndyCar Series rolls on to Chicagoland Speedway for its 14th and final race of the 2006 season, the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300, and Vision Racing's sights are set on a pair of top-five finishes. Team drivers, Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter, would like nothing more than to give the team plenty of momentum heading into the off-season and strong drives on Sunday will do just that.
Carpenter, who has had his career-best start (fourth) and finish (sixth) this season is ready to improve on those numbers this weekend at the 1.5-mile oval. He said, "I really want to finish the year off strong. If I leave Chicago without finishing in the top-five, I will be disappointed."
A top-five finish for the No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone would be a first for the entry and Carpenter, but the feat is well within reach. While racing on the last oval at Kentucky Speedway, Carpenter jumped out to the top-five right away and led the rest of the field until a spin leaving the pits hampered his run.
"In the past couple speedway races, the team has been very strong," Carpenter noted. "I made a mistake at Kentucky that cost me a top-five, so I feel that barring no mistakes, the top-five is where we can be."
Carpenter has three attempts, including his IndyCar Series debut, at Chicagoland. His best start is 16th, occurring in 2003 and 2004, and his best finish came in 2004 when he ended up just outside the top-ten in eleventh. Last season he started 19th and finished in the 17th position.
Scheckter knows that the top-five is attainable as he has been there twice this season in the No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone. He gave the team back-to-back top-five finishes with a season-high and team-high third place run at The Milwaukee Mile, and a fifth place finish a week later at Michigan Speedway.
He has also has had his fair share of strong runs at Chicagoland. In three previous starts at the track, Scheckter has finished in the top-five twice and started in the top-three twice. In 2003 he had his best start at the track with a second place start and finished fifth. In 2005 he started 22nd, but finished 19th due to an accident. Last season he started from the third spot and drove to a fourth place finish.
Scheckter said, "The team has been working hard all season and I think we can really show our potential this weekend at Chicago. I've had some good races there so I think that will add to it as well. It's the last race of the year and everyone wants to end on a positive note and that's what we'll be trying to do on Sunday."
Scheckter is also looking to finish the top-ten in the driver championship point standings for 2006, which would be a team-high. He currently is in the 10th spot with 278 total points. Just ahead of him with 284 points is Danica Patrick. Scheckter's career-best championship point finish is seventh in 2003.