VISION RACING GETS FIFTH TOP-10 FINISH IN A ROW; CARPENTER DRIVES TO 10TH PLACE FINISH WHILE SCHECKTER OUT EARLY IN 15TH SPOT NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vision Racing drivers, Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter, raced under the lights on very warm summer...
VISION RACING GETS FIFTH TOP-10 FINISH IN A ROW; CARPENTER DRIVES TO 10TH PLACE FINISH WHILE SCHECKTER OUT EARLY IN 15TH SPOT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vision Racing drivers, Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter, raced under the lights on very warm summer evening at Nashville Superspeedway for the Firestone Indy 200 where Carpenter gave the team its fifth top-10 finish in a row with a 10th place run and Scheckter fell victim to a driveshaft failure ending his race early in the 15th spot.
Carpenter earned his fourth top-10 finish in five races and gave the team its fifth in a row as he piloted the #20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone this evening. He was disappointed with his car for much of the weekend, but drove a strong race to get back in the top-10 after starting from the 14th position in the 200-lap, 266-mile affair. This marks back to back 10th place finishes at Nashville for Carpenter.
Prior to the previous race at Kansas Speedway, Carpenter had three top-10 finishes in a row, but issues with the car early in that race kept him out of the top-10. Tonight's 10th place finish at Nashville not only gives Carpenter four top-10 finishes on the 2006 IndyCar Series season, but is the sixth race in a row that he's been running at the end. In fact, Carpenter only has one DNF this season which occurred at Japan. The consistent finishes are starting to pay off for Carpenter as he made a jump in points tonight from 16th to 15th.
Unfortunately, Carpenter's teammate didn't fair as well. Driving the #2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone and starting in the ninth position, Scheckter experienced a driveshaft failure upon leaving the pits around lap 122. Scheckter had worked his way through the field and at that point in the race had been running solidly in the fifth spot. Should he have been able to keep the run alive, he just might have recorded his best finish of the season and given Vision Racing their first top-five and best finish ever.
Scheckter's early exit snapped a streak of four top-10 finishes in a row and gave him his third DNF this season. His last DNF occurred at Indianapolis in May with the other occurring at St. Petersburg in April. Tonight's driveshaft failure did not do Scheckter any favors in the point standings either. Coming into tonights event, he was tied for 12th with Danica Patrick, but goes home in the 13th spot.
IndyCar Series Action gets underway again next Sunday, July 23rd at the famous Milwaukee Mile for the ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225. Both Carpenter and Scheckter will try to avenge for the team's sixth top-10 finish in a row when the green flag drops on the 225-lap/225-mile event. Coverage will air Sunday, July 23rd, at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN, IMS Radio Network, XM Satellite Radio channel 145 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.
Ed Carpenter -- #20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"The race was okay. My car was pretty good early. I think we just had a little too much downforce and didn't quite have enough speed. We made the distance and finish in the top-10 so that's good. It wasn't exactly pretty and things could have went a little better. We got caught behind the leader once on the yellow and that hurt us, but all in all it was okay."
"I was really hoping for a better race than what we had here tonight, but at least we got in the top-10 again. Unfortunately for Buddy (Rice) he dropped out so I probably closed up on him a little bit on him in the points. It was good to get in the top-10, but really to be in the top-10 when there aren't that many cars left running doesn't make me that happy. We need to get up in the top-five in situations like that because that is what we are capable of doing."
Tomas Scheckter -- #2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"We had a great run going and everyone on the team did an unbelievable job. I just have to thank Vision Racing, all of our sponsors and thank everybody for giving me a good car. It's just extremely unfortunate for this to happen to us, especially now. In the closing stages we broke a driveshaft while running in the top-five. I had one of the best cars out there, but that's racing. We'll get after it again next week and bounce back from this."