ED CARPENTER FINISHES CAREER AND TEAM-HIGH SIXTH AS BOTH VISION RACING ENTRIES FINISH IN TOP TEN AT WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL WATKINS GLEN, New York -- Vision Racing driver Ed Carpenter had his career best and team best IndyCar Series finish of...
ED CARPENTER FINISHES CAREER AND TEAM-HIGH SIXTH AS BOTH VISION RACING ENTRIES FINISH IN TOP TEN AT WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL
WATKINS GLEN, New York -- Vision Racing driver Ed Carpenter had his career best and team best IndyCar Series finish of sixth today at Watkins Glen International. Carpenter's teammate, Tomas Scheckter, ran as high as first during the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix and rounded out the top ten, giving Vision Racing its first top ten finish by both entries.
Overcast, cool and wet conditions not only plagued the day's race, but much of the entire race weekend, thus canceling qualifying and leaving teams to start the race based on the combined practice speeds from Friday's practice sessions. That put Carpenter and the Vision Racing #20 Dallara/Honda/Firestone in the 18th spot out of 19 cars, but a good race strategy and a smooth run advanced Carpenter steadily through the race and as high as the fifth position with one lap remaining.
Carpenter actually pitted and switched from slick tires to wet tires with just a few laps remaining as the skies opened up and mist began to blanket the track. The move proved to be rewarding as Carpenter quickly maneuvered his way from ninth to the fifth spot. Carpenter's career-high came in what was only his fourth road course race in an IndyCar. Carpenter's previous best finish came his rookie season with Cheever Racing when he finished seventh at Kentucky Speedway in 2004.
Scheckter started the race from the 15th spot and pitted quickly on lap four to become the first driver in the race to change from wet tires to dry slick tires. By the 10th lap, Scheckter was in the top spot and led a total of 12 laps. Scheckter raced in the top 10 for much of the race, but a couple of slide offs late in the race dropped him back to 11th. He was actually in the 4th spot when the small amount of rain fell again briefly for the end, causing him to slide off and fall back to the 11th position on lap 53. Scheckter rebounded well to finish the race in 10th.
Leaving the scenic Finger Lakes region of New York, the IndyCar Series now heads southwest to the Texas Motor Speedway for the Bombardier Learjet 500. Scheckter is 15th in the entrant point standings while Carpenter is in the 18th spot. Round six of the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, the Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas Motor Speedway will air next Saturday evening at 8:00 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
"It was a long day. It wasn't a pretty sixth place, but I worked hard for it. I wasn't very quick and when we put the slicks on when it was sort of wet at the beginning of the deal, I knew it was going to be tough. I actually spun once, but saved it and moved on. At the end we came in got our wet tires on before some other people so we picked up some track position there and just ran hard the last couple laps to pull something out of it."
Tomas Scheckter -- #2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"It was tough with the weather and the slicks gave us an advantage at the beginning. I was able to run well for most of it and then towards the end I got caught up in some of those yellows. I lost it and by that point the race was nearly over so that hurt us after we ran so well all day. We had a great car and while we didn't come away with what we wanted, in the end it was a good job for all of us on the team."
Larry Curry -- Vision Racing Team Manager
"All the work we put in yesterday when the conditions were like they are today, when nobody thought it was worthwhile to run, really paid off for us today. We were right where we needed to be, but unfortunately we didn't get the desired result. However, we did get both cars in the top 10, Ed had and outstanding day and it was just an outstanding day for all of us."