CARPENTER MATCHES HIS INDY BEST FOR SECOND YEAR FINISHING 11TH FOR VISION RACING; SCHECKTER AND BELL STRONG BUT FAIL TO FINISH SPEEDWAY, Indiana -- Ed Carpenter led the way for the Vision Racing's Rock & Republic sponsored, Honda powered...
CARPENTER MATCHES HIS INDY BEST FOR SECOND YEAR FINISHING 11TH FOR VISION RACING; SCHECKTER AND BELL STRONG BUT FAIL TO FINISH
SPEEDWAY, Indiana -- Ed Carpenter led the way for the Vision Racing's Rock & Republic sponsored, Honda powered Dallaras in the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 with an 11th place finish, his second in row at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Carpenter drove his #20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone from the 12th spot, his highest starting position at Indianapolis, to the top 10 for much of the latter part of the race until an untimely caution forced him to pit when he was running in the ninth position. Taking the green flag for the last five laps, Carpenter jumped from 12th to 11th where he finished. Carpenter ran as high as eighth in the race.
Townsend Bell in the #90 Rock & Republic Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone also ran in the top 10 for much of his race until an ill-fated move forced him to retire on lap 161, leaving him in the 22nd position. Bell ran as high as eighth and was in the 13th spot when he tried to avoid race victor, Sam Hornish Jr. in pit lane and struck a cone that bent his left front suspension. Bell was competing in his first Indianapolis 500.
Tomas Scheckter in the #2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone ran the highest of any Vision Racing driver today by capturing the fourth spot on lap 52. He ran in the top six for much of his race until he went low in turn four on lap 67 and spun out, striking the turn four wall and attenuator on pit lane.
Heading into the next race, the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International, Scheckter is 14th in the entrant point standings while Carpenter is in the 19th spot. The race will air at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on ABC Sports, IMS Radio Network, XM Satellite Radio channel 145 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.
Ed Carpenter -- #20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On the race:
"I'm happy. It was a hard day, really. The first pit stop I somehow hit the ignition switch and turned it off and we lost some ground there. In the second stint, the car just went really loose and we had to pit early and I lost a lot of ground. But then, from there we kind of battled back and used a good pit strategy. I had a top 10 finish going, but that last yellow (flag) caught us out and we had to pit and that let the other guys make it on fuel. We had a better car than an 11th place car, but it was a good day and a hard day. I think race was a lot harder than the 11th that I got last year."
On track conditions:
"It was slick and you could see a lot of guys sliding around, but it was the same for everybody. It was just one of those things where towards the end of a run on tires, the car would start to change quite a bit. It wasn't that bad as during the last two stints, my car was really good. Really the only time I wasn't happy with the car was during that second stint. We lost a lot of track position then and we were able to battle back with strategy. We just got hung out on that last yellow flag and there wasn't any time to make it up after that."
On heading to Watkins Glen next week:
"I'm still not a road racer by any means, but I was actually picking it quite a bit there last year and I was able to run some good lap times. I'm excited about it and I'm excited to finish a race again. The start of this season has been a nightmare so to come to Indy and make it the distance that's an achievement. I just wish we could have cracked the top 10."
Townsend Bell -- #90 Rock & Republic Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On the race:
"We were having such a good day before things went wrong. We were a little too conservative on the start and I ended up going a lap down there just before the first yellow (flag) came out and that hurt us a bit. Then we just hung in there and figured out how to get our lap back and I think we showed that we were quick enough to run with the leaders for a while there. Our car just came alive and I kept making adjustments in the car and got it perfect. Then we had a drive-thru penalty to serve after the pit stop problem with the fuel hose ripping out. It was just so stupid. I was coming in and braked late just trying to close the gap up to Hornish, but the brakes were cold and I couldn't get slowed up enough. So I ducked to the inside to avoid hitting him and it was between him and the cone at the start of pit lane and I opted to make sure that I didn't hit him and I nicked the cone. I expected the cone to just kick out of the way, but instead it bent my left front suspension and that's the end of the day. It's such a bizarre way to end a race like this, but it was my mistake and one to learn from.
On the month of May:
"It's been an incredible month. I think that we've shown that we can be competitive at this race and everything seemed to go as planned up until the end. Rock & Republic has been such a great partner to have. It seems like the whole paddock has really come alive with rooting on for a good looking car and everything about what they do. That's cool and hopefully it will continue. I've watched this race for so many years and I've seen a lot of times how little mistakes can turn into big problems and it seems like that's what got us today. Overall though, I'm still pretty pleased."
Tomas Scheckter -- #2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On the race:
"I was pushing hard behind Kanaan and I was trying to get some air down low and just got loose. I hate it for the crew, for our team and for Rock & Republic. We had a great car and we were doing well up until that point."