CARPENTER EARNS PERSONAL BEST FINISH OF FIFTH FOR VISION RACING IN SEASON FINALE AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY JOLIET, Ill. -- Ed Carpenter earned his best-ever IndyCar Series finish of fifth place for Vision Racing in the season finale Peak ...
CARPENTER EARNS PERSONAL BEST FINISH OF FIFTH FOR VISION RACING IN SEASON FINALE AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
JOLIET, Ill. -- Ed Carpenter earned his best-ever IndyCar Series finish of fifth place for Vision Racing in the season finale Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean at Chicagoland Speedway today. Scheckter finished 10th, making it the fifth time that both Vision Racing entries have finished in the top-ten.
Starting 12th on the 1.5-mile oval that also saw his first ever IndyCar start in 2003, Carpenter ran as high as fourth on lap 67, but fell back to the middle of the pack due to green flag pit stops. However, after the final caution of the race, Carpenter took the green flag on lap 156 while in 11th place and roared through the field to earn his first top-five and Vision Racing's third top-five.
Carpenter's previous best IndyCar finish also occurred this season when he finished sixth at Watkins Glen International. Today's top-five finish for Carpenter concludes a solid season for the 25-year-old as he also saw his best start of fourth at Michigan International Speedway.
Not to mention, Carpenter's 14th place championship points finish is the best thus far in his three full IndyCar seasons. In 2004 Carpenter finished 16th in points and last year he ended the season in the 18th spot. Carpenter expects more top-five race finishes and a top-ten in points for 2007.
Scheckter started today's affair in seventh, battled understeer for much of the race and hung on to round out the top-ten. It was Sheckter's ninth top-ten finish of the season; a year that also saw him score back-to-back top fives and the team's best ever finish of third at The Milwaukee Mile.
His 10th place finish in championship points gives Vision Racing its best ever points finish in the team's second year. Scheckter's best points finish in five seasons of IndyCar competition is seventh in 2003.
Vision Racing's sights are set on more improvement this off-season heading into the 2007 IndyCar Series season.
Ed Carpenter -- No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On race: "It was fun, but it was a long day. In the middle of the race we dropped back pretty far in the middle of the pack, but we made a lot of good changes in the first pit stop. After that, the car was really good, but we just lost touch with the leaders. We struggled a little bit with the green flag pit stops and lost track position, but when we got that last yellow, I knew we were going to have a shot at fifth (place). I got a really go restart and got up to fifth for the finish. Before the start of this race I said that I wouldn't have been happy unless we came out of here with at least a fifth place finish and we did that so this is a really good way to end the season. I just have to thank all of my guys. They put a lot of hard work into this speedway car. It was an awesome set up. Anyone watching this race could see that I could go anywhere that I wanted."
Wanting to race more: "Yeah, this makes me want to keep racing, for sure. It wasn't a long enough season for me, especially since I missed the first two races. So, really, it was only a 12 race season for me. That's a lot shorter than what I like, but we are testing next week at Mid-Ohio (Sports Car Course) so I'm not going to be out of the car for too long. It's always good to end the season on a good note because it keeps the guys happy and gives them a lot of motivation to improve next year just as much as we did in the last off-season."
On best-ever IndyCar Series finish: "Like I said before we started racing this weekend, I expected to come out of the last race with a top-five finish. We've had cars that are capable of doing that all year, especially on the speedways. There were a couple of times where I made mistakes and that costs us so I knew I had to come to Chicago and not make mistakes. The team gave me an awesome car and thanks to that last yellow flag, we had a good pit stop, the cars got bunched back up and I was able to have a great restart and drive back up to fifth. It was a lot of fun today. We ended the season on a high note. The whole team should really be proud of themselves for what they accomplished this year. I'm really proud of them."
Tomas Scheckter -- No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On race: "Today was pretty good. It was a good job on the part of everyone. We finished in the top-ten in championship points and I'm happy with that. I just have to thank everybody on the crew and Ed (Carpenter) as well. We really worked well together and you can see that our cars really got better and better as the season went on. Hopefully we can keep this situation for next year and keep improving from there."