FOYT OVERCOMES MICHIGAN MAYHEM TO FINISH EIGHTH; SCHECKTER AND CARPENTER KNOCKED OUT EARLY BROOKLYN, Mich. -- While A.J. Foyt IV's eighth place run in the rain-delayed Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) was his best...
FOYT OVERCOMES MICHIGAN MAYHEM TO FINISH EIGHTH; SCHECKTER AND CARPENTER KNOCKED OUT EARLY
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- While A.J. Foyt IV's eighth place run in the rain-delayed Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) was his best finish of the 2007 IndyCar Series season, it most assuredly was not his easiest drive this year.
With all three Vision Racing machines running in the top-10 on lap 143, a crash of giant proportions developed on the backstretch and collected Foyt and his teammates, Tomas Scheckter and Ed Carpenter. Initially started by Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, the mayhem collected a total of seven cars, including the Vision Racing trio.
After watching a potential victory for Scheckter and three top-10 finishes for the team vanish as a result of the crash, Vision Racing was down, but not out. Members of all three crews, including team owner, Tony George, and team manager, Larry Curry, thrashed on the No. 22 Dallara/Honda/Firestone to get Foyt back on track.
The team effort paid off as Foyt reentered the race on lap 161, turned laps as quick as the leaders and moved up to eighth, finishing on his own accord early on lap 187. Foyt retired early so as to not get in the way of the rest of his competitors. He started the race in 15th and was in ninth at the time of the incident.
Ultimately, Foyt scored his highest finish of the season, earned his best finish at MIS, captured his 10th running finish out of 13 races so far, and jumped two spots in the IndyCar Series championship points to the 15th position.
Scheckter and the No. 2 Vision Racing Honda powered Dallara was putting together a memorable drive up until the big crash. Starting from sixth, the 2002 race winner at MIS lead two laps under yellow and ran in second and third for much of the race.
When the accident occurred, Scheckter was in fifth and charging once again at the leaders. With nowhere to go, he was caught up in the incident and was unable to soldier on. He was scored with an 11th place finish and just his third DNF of the season. Unfortunately, he also dropped two spots in the point standings to the 11th position.
Carpenter, who started 10th, was also putting together a nice race. He and the No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools special drove as high as sixth in the race and were in eighth when the accident collected him as well.
Credited with a 14th place finish, Carpenter suffered his fifth DNF of the season. He remains 14th in the point standings.
A.J. Foyt IV -- No. 22 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"We were putting together a pretty good race when that happened, but thank God everybody is okay that was involved. It's unfortunate for our team. We worked hard all weekend and we've got a couple of tore up cars to take to Kentucky. So we'll just get everything fixed for next weekend and hopefully leave Kentucky with a better result."
"It's unfortunate we got caught up in that stuff, but the whole Vision Racing operation did a great job of fixing my car and getting me back out there. The car was still pretty quick after we got it back out and I radioed to my guys to tell them I had the best seat in the house. I was still enjoying it, but we decided to stop before the end because we were able to move up as high as we could and we didn't want to get in anyone else's way. So, it was a better ending than I thought we would have after that accident, but I still wish we could have avoided that crash."
Tomas Scheckter -- No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"That was some of the scariest stuff I've seen out there. When Dario (Franchitti) and (Scott) Dixon touched, Dario just got airborne. I think they were both going for the same spot and then I saw Dario backwards and upside down in the air coming at me and I just stood on the brakes. I even saw his helmet coming at me. Honestly it was one of the scariest things I've seen. I don't even know who I hit, I just brought the car back in and it had a piece of someone's driveshaft stuck in it. I'm just lucky to make it out and glad nobody is seriously hurt. Unfortunately we were having a really good race and were getting ourselves in position for a good finish."
Ed Carpenter -- No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"To be honest, I didn't even get to see what happened. I just saw smoke and a car up in the air. I just tried to slow down, but my brakes weren't working right and I couldn't slow down as quick I would have liked. You could see people start to go through the grass and I stayed low because it looked like most of the activity was up high, but I still got caught up in it. But, everybody looked to be okay in there and that's a testament to the IndyCar Series. The Series does a great job building safety into these cars and we should all be thankful for that."