VISION RACING, PANTHER RACING DUO OPTIMISTIC ABOUT KENTUCKY RESULTS CARPENTER AND WHELDON AIM FOR WINNER'S CIRCLE WITH FUZZY'S VODKA AND NATIONAL GUARD CARS INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 2, 2010) - This Saturday's Kentucky Indy 300 at Kentucky ...
VISION RACING, PANTHER RACING DUO OPTIMISTIC ABOUT KENTUCKY RESULTS
CARPENTER AND WHELDON AIM FOR WINNER'S CIRCLE WITH FUZZY'S VODKA AND NATIONAL GUARD CARS
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 2, 2010) - This Saturday's Kentucky Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway will be celebrated as the IZOD IndyCar Series' 200th race. Vision Racing and driver Ed Carpenter have plans to take part in the festivities with an achievement of their own; a first IZOD IndyCar Series victory.
Carpenter's early performance last weekend on the 1.5-mile oval of Chicagoland Speedway in Vision Racing's No. 20 Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, sponsored by Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka, coupled with his second place finish in the No. 20 machine last year on the mile and a half oval at Kentucky Speedway has both he and the team poised to meet their objective of securing that first victory this weekend.
Starting in just their second race of the IZOD IndyCar Series season last Saturday at Chicagoland, Vision Racing and Carpenter made yet another big impression after starting from the 11th spot and quickly putting the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka special in the lead for three laps.
Carpenter ran in the top-five for much of the race with a podium finish in sight until the team attempted its third pit stop on lap 139 of 200. A setup issue with the fuel rig and hose did not allow fuel to enter the car during that stop; thus foiling the team's race. Carpenter eventually parked the car on lap 177 and was relegated with a 20th place finish. The focus immediately became this weekend's Kentucky Indy 300 for Carpenter and his team.
The 29-year-old Carpenter put together his best IZOD IndyCar Series race in his seven-year career at Kentucky just last year. Starting from the 14th spot, Carpenter passed seven cars in the first eight laps, led a total of 34 laps and earned a career-best finish of second; finishing just behind Penske Racing's Ryan Briscoe by a margin of 0.0162 of a second in the Series' closest finish at Kentucky.
At the finish, Carpenter earned most-improved driver honors by advancing his position 12 spots from a 14th place start on the grid to his second place podium finish. He also set the fastest lap of the race for the second consecutive time at Kentucky with a 218.498 mph lap average (24.3847 seconds) on lap eight. From there, he continued to slice his way through the field in dominant fashion.
Needless to say, Carpenter is highly anticipating his seventh trip to the 1.5-mile oval at Kentucky Speedway and sixth trip with Vision Racing. He has finished in the top-10 at Kentucky in five of his previous six trips.
The team has additional previous success at Kentucky, including when driver A.J. Foyt IV led 13 laps in a Vision Racing machine and finished a career-best third. In addition, that same year all three Vision team entries finished in the top-10 at Kentucky with Foyt IV, Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter behind the wheel.
Partnering again with Panther Racing should serve both Carpenter and Vision Racing well as Panther has collected victories at each of the remaining tracks where Carpenter will join the team this season, including a 2003 win at Kentucky with driver Sam Hornish Jr. The team also has two pole positions at Kentucky (2000 and 2003) and has led 277 laps in seven different races at the 1.5-mile oval. They also have two wins and two poles in Firestone Indy Lights competition at Kentucky.
In addition to Panther Racing's past success at Kentucky, just last weekend at Chicagoland their No. 4 National Guard car with driver Dan Wheldon started seventh and finished on the podium, in second place. Panther and Vision have the cars and the drivers to not just finish on the podium this weekend, but take the victory as well.
Carpenter and the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka special will join his teammate, Wheldon and the No. 4 National Guard machine on Friday, Sept. 3rd as practice begins at 10:15 a.m. for the 200-lap, 300-mile event. The Kentucky Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway, will be broadcast live on VERSUS at 8 p.m. (ET) with additional coverage on IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com, XM Channel 145 and Sirius Channel 211.
Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka:
"I was happy to be back with Panther, Vision and Fuzzy's Vodka last weekend in Chicago. We had a great racecar, but unfortunately a different problem to Indy, but a similar issue with fuel. We're expecting good race here in Kentucky this weekend. It's special with this being the 200th IZOD IndyCar Series race, I remember the 100th race, so I'm starting to feel a little old. Last year at Kentucky was a big point in my career and my best finish, but I'm not trying to live in the past, I live in the now and I'm focused on this year. We had a good test there a couple weeks ago; the track might be a little more bumpy, but it didn't feel like it had changed much. The series is so competitive it's hard to think that because I was good here last year that I'll be good again, but as a team if we're able to work together and have a good car like we did at Indianapolis and Chicago, then we'll be good."
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda:
" Obviously coming off our strong performance last week, myself in the National Guard car and Ed (Carpenter) in the Fuzzy's Vodka car, we're extremely excited for the weekend. We were very quick last year at Kentucky, and obviously Ed had a great finish, so combining that information and working together as a unit, which we do very well, will be great for the team. All the boys from Panther and Vision have come together very well and we're going to have very competitive racecars. The Kentucky track is one that bodes for great racing for the fans and it's challenging for the drivers. Turns one and two are bumpy on the high line, but Ed tested there a few weeks ago so we're confident that we're coming in this weekend with a great package."
-source: vision racing