VISION RACING SURVIES 'WET 'N WILD' RACE AT ST. PETERSBURG ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Vision Racing drivers A.J. Foyt IV and Ed Carpenter survived a wet and wild Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this afternoon to finish 11th and 18th ...
VISION RACING SURVIES 'WET 'N WILD' RACE AT ST. PETERSBURG
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Vision Racing drivers A.J. Foyt IV and Ed Carpenter survived a wet and wild Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this afternoon to finish 11th and 18th respectively.
Just as the second IndyCar Series event of the 2008 season was about to commence, the skies opened up overhead and rain drenched the 1.8-mile temporary street course. Drivers started the race on rain tires and yellow flag conditions. The race did not see the green flag until lap 11 where Carpenter started from the 21st position in the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone and Foyt started from the 24th spot in the team's No. 2 Honda powered Dallara.
On the next lap, Carpenter endured his first of three spins during the race. To make matters worse for Carpenter, he also lost radio communication with his team shortly after.
Staying out through the first round of pit stops allowed Carpenter and Foyt to move up drastically in the field. After yellow flag conditions, the race restarted on lap 37 with Carpenter in seventh and Foyt in ninth.
Carpenter and Foyt eventually both pitted under green flag conditions on lap 44 and took dry tires and fuel as the track was drying out, but the two were also cycled through the field.
On a restart on lap 65, Carpenter spun again trying to get around slower traffic, but cold tires got the best of him. Other than minor damage to the front wing, no harm was done to the car and he was able to continue on.
Due to the many caution laps, the race became a timed event and the white flag was shown on lap 83 (out of 100), which was about the same time Carpenter experienced his third spin in turn 10.
Again, Carpenter was able to get the car moving and finished in the 18th spot, which places him tied for 10th, with Enrique Bernoldi in the 2008 IndyCar Series championship point standings.
Meanwhile, Foyt went from 13th to finish in the 11th position on the last lap, but did fall to 12th in point standings; just one point behind Carpenter and Bernoldi.
A.J. Foyt IV - No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On race: "It was definitely a new experience for me to drive the Indy cars in the rain and it was actually a fun race for me. I got to learn a lot about the street courses. It's been a long weekend, but to come out of here with an 11th place finish is good all things considered."
Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On race: "It was a rough day. I was actually having a lot of fun in the wet conditions and I kind of wish it would have just stayed raining the whole time because that's when I was doing my best. On one of the restarts, Danica (Patrick) kind of checked-up and I got aggressive and thought I could maybe get by a couple of cars, but I was on cold tires and lit them up. That caused me to spin out. Then I spun out again there at the end just heading into turn 10. St. Pete hasn't been all that friendly to me. I guess you could call this a finish today, barely, but I'm looking forward to getting to Motegi and on with the rest of the season."