IRL: Indy 500: Patrick Carpentier opening day notes

Indianapolis Practice Report -- Rookie Orientation While not quite a rookie, Red Bull Cheever Racing driver, Patrick Carpentier participated in rookie orientation practice Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was his first time on the...

Indianapolis Practice Report -- Rookie Orientation

While not quite a rookie, Red Bull Cheever Racing driver, Patrick Carpentier participated in rookie orientation practice Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was his first time on the famed 2.5-mile oval.

Practice began at noon, and Carpentier was required to pass four phases of his rookie orientation, each requiring an increased speed level. He breezed through the test and took advantage of ideal track conditions to log 111 laps, recording a top lap of 219.010 mph, which ranked third among nine drivers participating in the rookie-only practice.

"I really enjoyed today. It's a beautiful track, and we couldn't have asked for a better day to run. We worked all day, and we did 219, which isn't the fastest, but we still have a few things to work out. We've made progress, and I'm starting to understand the track and how the car reacts. For my first day, I'm very pleased," he said.

Team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. was happy that the team was able to get out on the track and get some laps under Carpentier's belt.

"We were able to work out some issues we were having in Motegi, so getting out today and running helped us. We ran more laps than we wanted to, but we took advantage of the good weather. You never know what it's going to be like," Cheever said.

Carpentier will be competing for Indianapolis 500 "Rookie of the Year" honors, attempting to become the third Red Bull Cheever Racing driver to earn the award behind Jeff Ward (1997) and Tomas Scheckter (2002). The award typically goes the highest finishing rookie driver in the race.

"I think Patrick has a very strong chance at winning 'Rookie of the Year' here. It will be a tough one, though. There are a lot of competitive drivers," Cheever said.

The Red Bull Cheever Racing team will take a break from practice on Monday, and return to action on Tuesday at noon, when practice for all drivers will begin.

-rbcr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Jeff Ward , Patrick Carpentier