13TH PLACE FINISH FOR VISION RACING IN JAPAN MOTEGI, JAPAN (Sept. 19, 2009) - Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter took the checkered flag at Twin Ring Motegi in 13th spot aboard the team's No. 20 William Rast Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine at the...
13TH PLACE FINISH FOR VISION RACING IN JAPAN
MOTEGI, JAPAN (Sept. 19, 2009) - Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter took the checkered flag at Twin Ring Motegi in 13th spot aboard the team's No. 20 William Rast Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine at the Indy Japan 300 after a frustrating weekend of battling the car more than his Indycar Series competitors.
A notoriously challenging track, atypical of the other 1.5 mile ovals on the circuit, Ed Carpenter and the team struggled from the first practice to find the right balance and set-up to be able to take on the treacherous Turn 3 and 4 combination which would claim a handful of victims before the end of the weekend. Positive strides were made by the start of the qualifying session and the team felt they had finally made the adjustments they needed, enabling their driver to qualify 11th for the staring grid. However, as the green flag waved on Saturday afternoon in Japan, it was evident that the race and handling of the No.20 car was going to be more of a challenge than expected.
Carpenter did his best to counter understeer and lack of grip but fell back in the opening laps. He battled his way back in the second half of the race but having fallen two laps down was unable to crack the top-ten, but kept the car off the wall and crossed the finish with a hard earned but disappointing 13th place position finish for Vision Racing.
Carpenter's result in Japan keeps him in 12th place in the IndyCar Series championship point standings with 303 total points (267 points behind the leader).
Winner of the Indy Japan 300 from the pole position, Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi retakes the lead in the IndyCar Series championship battle with just one race remaining. Previously atop the points standings, Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske made an unforced error in the pits as race leader, making contact with the wall at the pit exit, necessitating another stop to replace damaged tires and a front wing, dropping him back for 18th place finish. Dixon's teammate Dario Franchitti and Newman Haas Lanigan's Graham Rahal joined him on the podium, with Oriol Servia and Mario Moraes completing the top-five.
With just five points now separating Dixon from Franchitti in the championship standings, and just eight points ahead of Briscoe, and Vision Racing still working to earn their first IndyCar series victory, the upcoming IndyCar Series finale will no doubt be a no-holds-barred flat out battle. Don't miss the final chapter in the fight for the IndyCar Series Championship title at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida. The qualifying show will air Friday, September 9th, at 6 p.m. (ET) while the late afternoon race broadcast will air live on Saturday, October 10th, at 4 p.m. (ET) on VERSUS.