IRL: Chicagoland: Vision Racing preview

VISION RACING TARGETS TOP TEN FINISH AT CHICAGOLAND; THIRD TIME'S A CHARM FOR CARPENTER Carpenter Made His IndyCar Debut at Chicagoland Speedway and Hopes to get His First Top Ten Finish There in Vision Racing's First Attempt INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.


Carpenter Made His IndyCar Debut at Chicagoland Speedway and Hopes to get His First Top Ten Finish There in Vision Racing's First Attempt

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 7, 2005) -- Three Indy Racing League IndyCar Seasons ago, Vision Racing driver, Ed Carpenter, made his IndyCar debut at the Chicagoland Speedway for PDM Racing. Not only that, but Carpenter made history that day by being the first driver to compete in a Menards Infiniti Pro Series event and an IndyCar Series event on the same weekend. He finished a solid 13th that weekend in what would be the start to his IndyCar career.

The following year, Carpenter finished in the 11th spot for Red Bull Cheever Racing, making his average finish at Chicagoland Speedway 12th. In addition, Carpenter has been running at the end of each visit to the track, all of which give him adequate experience that will allow him to notch his second-top ten finish of the season, and first top ten at Chicagoland Speedway for the PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean.

"I am definitely excited about returning to Chicago," Carpenter said. "It does mean a lot to me going back to the track that I raced my first Indy Car Series event. Chicagoland was also the first place I tested an Infiniti Pro Series Car. I also feel as though I have had some of my best races at that track. On top of that, it is close to home, and I have a lot of college friends that can attend that event, so that always makes it fun also."

Adding to the fun is a one-race sponsorship package for Vision Racing made possible by United Auto Insurance. For the race, the Vision Racing #20 Dallara/Toyota/Firestone will feature the United Auto Insurance logo and Carpenter will be donning a special driver's suit showcasing the company's logo. Carpenter said, "I am very exited to finally have a sponsor on the car, even though it is only a one-race deal at this point it is a good feeling."

He went on to say, "We are looking forward to doing a great job for United Auto Insurance. We have been working very hard on sponsorship programs, and it feels good to finally get something, it's a good reward for our hard work, and we will reward UAI for their support by giving them a strong finish."

With a 13th and 11th place finishes, respectively, at Chicagoland Speedway, Carpenter plans to break into that top ten this weekend and give himself, his team, and his new sponsor that strong finish. He hopes that his third time will be a charm and he'll finally break into the top ten at this track.

"I would definitely like to continue that trend of finishing better each year," Carpenter commented. "Our goal has been to be consistently in the top 10, and I feel that we will have the car to be in the top ten at the end of the day on Sunday. We were not exactly happy about our performance at Pikes Peak, so we are looking to redeem ourselves on the oval, and get back into our midseason form of top 10 finishes."

Vision Racing's runs at Pikes Peak International Raceway and Infineon Raceway were full of frustration and difficulty, but the team was still able to finish both events putting them in a position to finish their third race in a row this weekend. The team's previous best in their debut season was a finish of four races in a row, ending at Michigan International Speedway with an engine failure.

In 15 of 17 races in the 2005 IndyCar Series Indy Racing League season, Vision Racing has finished eight races with a top ten finish at the Nashville Superspeedway. There are only three races remaining including this one and Carpenter plans to make the most of it heading into the off-season.

He said, "You always want to finish the season off on a high point. Off seasons can be too long if you finish on a down note, so I want to just build some momentum to end the season. There are still some people in front of me in points that are within reach, so I would love to gain some points positions and cap off our first season on a strong note. A strong finish will definitely help in our sponsorship search as well."

After Chicagoland Speedway, a road course at Watkins Glen International Raceway and an oval at California Speedway remain, and currently sitting 18th in the Indy Racing League points standings, Carpenter hopes to track down and surpass Tomas Enge who's just five points ahead and Ryan Briscoe who is 17 points ahead. Making the most of these last three races will allow Carpenter complete his checklist, which includes a jump in points, three strong finishes, and signed sponsorship deal.

This sets the stage for Carpenter and Vision Racing to not only bring the 2005 season to a close, but to forge ahead with their second season as a team. One that they hope will help them realize their "vision" of great success.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Enge , Ryan Briscoe , Ed Carpenter