Newgarden and Carpenter rue missed opportunities
Both driver/team-owner Ed Carpenter and teammate Josef Newgarden were left disappointed with the end result of a race weekend where Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet demonstrated its pace throughout.
The ECR pair beat Penske and Ganassi to top of the timesheets in Friday morning practice, and went on to qualify fifth and seventh. However, their race results were a sixth place finish for Newgarden and a DNF and crashed car for Carpenter.
Josef Newgarden’s crew appeared to have an equipment malfunction during the first round of pitstops that saw the team struggling to get the fuel in, dropping him to the back of the field. At half distance, he suffered a broken front wing endplate in a coming together with Charlie Kimball’s Ganassi-Chevrolet (which Race Control decreed was Kimball’s fault) and forced Newgarden to make an extra stop for a replacement nose/wing section.
Following a near collision with Sebastien Bourdais that forced him down onto the dogleg on the back straight, and a severe squeeze from Ganassi’s Tony Kanaan as he attempted a pass, Newgarden crossed the finish line in sixth.
“The weekend went a little tougher than we wanted, overall,” said the Tennessee native. “We got great performance out of the car, we just didn’t get the results we probably could have achieved.
“If we could have stayed up front all night without having problems, it could have been different. We just kept going to the back of the field, first with the pitstop mishap and then with the broken front wing.
"We kept charging forward, which speaks volumes for the performance of the car and what the team produced. It was a shame we couldn’t get a little higher than 6th, but it's good points.”
Carpenter was running fourth when he took a half look down the inside of Will Power’s Penske-Chevrolet at Turn 3 on Lap 196 of the 250-lap race. After thinking better of the maneuver, and backing off, Carpenter drifted up into the Turn 4 marbles and into the wall.
Carpenter, who races only the five oval races on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, explained: “The team put Josef and I in a great position all weekend. It’s been really hard to pass out there, which is surprising. After the warmup, I thought it was going to be a really 'racey' race, but everyone just kind of equalized tonight.
“I got a run on Will [Power] out of Turn 2, thought I was maybe going to be able to get inside in Turn 3… but it wasn’t going to happen. He raced me hard but clean. When I backed out to fall back in line, I picked up a little bit of understeer and got the marbles.
“It is a shame. We were a couple of laps away from pitting there and we should have been out there fighting for the win. I feel like I let the team down."
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