IRL: Indy 500: Cheever Racing preview

The Rookie and the Veteran Patrick Carpentier has previous high-speed racing experience, which disqualifies him from rookie status in most IndyCar Series events. However, he has yet to drive a car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which makes...

The Rookie and the Veteran

Patrick Carpentier has previous high-speed racing experience, which disqualifies him from rookie status in most IndyCar Series events. However, he has yet to drive a car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which makes him a rookie in the Indianapolis 500. Carpentier hasn't even tested a car at the track. When he hits the track on Sunday, May 8 during rookie orientation practice, he will be fulfilling a dream of driving on the famed 2.5-mile oval.

Carpentier's Red Bull Cheever Racing teammate, Alex Barron, hopes to learn a thing or two from his "rookie" teammate during rookie practice. Barron will be paying close attention to the early track action to try to pick up some information that will put him ahead when he hits the track on Tuesday.

Barron has raced in the Indianapolis 500 for the last three years. He has recorded two top-10 finishes and shared "Rookie of the Year" honors with Tomas Scheckter in 2002. That year, Barron finished a career best, fourth.

As the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series embarks on its tenth year of operation, Red Bull Cheever Racing stands as one of only two original IRL teams competing in the series. The Indianapolis-based team won the Indianapolis 500 in 1998, when team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. took the checkered flag. The team also has captured "Rookie of the Year" honors twice. Former drivers Jeff Ward (1997) and Tomas Scheckter (2002) both earned the title while racing for the team.

The Team's Take on Indy

"Having three years of experience at the track will change my outlook going into the first day of practice. With Patrick out on the track a couple of days before me, it will hopefully give us a competitive advantage when I'm able to run on Tuesday. I'm also looking forward to the new qualification system, which will make things more exciting for all of the drivers and definitely the fans." -- Alex Barron

"Driving at Indy has been a life-long dream of mine. I really enjoy ovals, so Indy is the pinnacle of this style of racing. When I hit the track on Sunday, I'm definitely going to be excited, but I feel as though I'm ready for the challenge." -- Patrick Capentier

"We have had limited testing since switching to the Toyota engine, so we all look forward to the number of test days and miles we are able to do at Indy. We have a detailed list of what we want to accomplish and I think you will see a lot of improvement. In addition, having the entire team in one place for an entire month will definitely help us with interaction between the drivers and our engineers, which will hopefully translate into improved results on the track." -- Eddie Cheever

The "Inside Scoop"

The Red Bull Cheever Racing Web site (www.redbullcheeverracing.com) provides an inside look at the team at each race courtesy of former IndyCar driver and spotter for Patrick Carpentier, Davey Hamilton. At each track, Hamilton tapes "Inside Scoop" segments for the Web site, giving site visitors video of driver perspectives as well as a glimpse of the atmosphere at each track. Recent segments taped in Japan show Hamilton interviewing Japanese race fans about the team and Barron talking about the upcoming race while behind the wheel of a unique automobile at the track. The segments bring out the team personalities, and they're available for viewing under the "Inside Scoop" link found on the home page.

Looking to Rebound

Red Bull Cheever Racing is looking to rebound from a difficult trip to Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, which saw Barron brush the wall during an early restart and Carpentier break his string of three consecutive top-10's with a 14th place finish. Carpentier is currently 10th in IndyCar Series point standings, while Barron is 14th.

See and Hear Red Bull Cheever Racing Action

Barron and Carpentier will be guests on the "Indy Live" radio show on Tuesday, May 10 from 8:30 -- 9 p.m. The show will be broadcast live on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network from the Brickyard Crossing Inn.

-cr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Eddie Cheever , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron