Sonoma: Vision Race race report

CARPENTER EARNS TAKES 11TH AT INFINEON RACEWAY SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 23, 2009) - Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter piloted the team's No.20 William Rast Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine to a 11th place finish in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at...

CARPENTER EARNS TAKES 11TH AT INFINEON RACEWAY

SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 23, 2009) - Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter piloted the team's No.20 William Rast Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine to a 11th place finish in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway on Sunday.

The 11th place drive gives Carpenter his best finish at Infineon. Carpenter has made five attempts at Infineon's natural terrain road course, all with Vision Racing, and has been running at the finish in each affair.

After qualifying in the 21st spot, Carpenter actually started 20th in Sunday's event due to a last minute tire change for fellow competitor Justin Wilson. After a first-lap incident which involved eight cars, Carpenter jumped up to the 11th spot and ran between there and the 16th position for the remainder of the race.

After a full course caution in the waning laps for a slide off by Helio Castroneves, Carpenter restarted the race on lap 71 in the 14th spot. He made a pass on Richard Antinucci and took advantage of an incident involving Scott Dixon and Marco Andretti on the final lap, to move up to the 12th position and finish on the lead lap at the checkered flag. Carpenter was awarded another position for an 11th place result after Andretti was penalized for avoidable contact. Carpenter made just two pit stops and overcame fading brakes to soldier on to his fifth consecutive running finish at Infineon.

The perseverance shown in Sunday's race by Carpenter allowed him to move up a spot and back into the 12th position in the IndyCar Series championship point standings. He now has 258 total points after 14 races (239 points behind the leader) and he's eagerly eyeing next weekend's 1.5-mile oval affair at Chicagoland Speedway. At the most recent 1.5-mile oval race, earlier this month at Kentucky Speedway, Carpenter led 34-laps and earned a career-best finish of second place by just 0.0162 seconds behind race winner Ryan Briscoe.

Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing won today's race from the pole and put himself in just four points behind points leader and second place finisher Briscoe of Team Penske, who has 497 total points. Scott Dixon falls to third in points. Rounding out the top-five in the race were Mike Conway, Mario Moraes, and Hideki Mutoh.

Ed Carpenter - No. 20 William Rast/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
Finishing Position: 11th

(On the first lap mayhem) "You couldn't really seem much. There were cars everywhere and the further you went, the more cars you saw go off course. I was really surprised it didn't go yellow. I drove through like it was under yellow until I realized it was still green and started passing people. It was a little hectic. That made the race interesting from the start putting (Scott) Dixon behind and putting guys like me further ahead. There at the end, I was starting to struggle as I was losing the breaks and flat spotted the tires. The last half of the stint I was just limping around and couldn't really push the guys in front of me. I feel like we took a step in the right direction. We made some changes after the morning warm-up but didn't really fix the problems we were having out there. I wish we had had a little better car today so we could have made it into the top-ten."

-credit: vr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , Richard Antinucci , Chip Ganassi , Mike Conway , Mario Moraes , Hideki Mutoh , Ed Carpenter
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing