Watkins Glen: Vision Racing preview

* TAKING THE VISION TO WATKINS GLEN: Vision Racing returns to Watkins Glen International for the fifth time. The team's best finish at Watkins Glen came in 2006 when Ed Carpenter took sixth place. That same year Tomas Scheckter also finished in...

* TAKING THE VISION TO WATKINS GLEN: Vision Racing returns to Watkins Glen International for the fifth time. The team's best finish at Watkins Glen came in 2006 when Ed Carpenter took sixth place. That same year Tomas Scheckter also finished in the tenth spot.

* BIRDS-EYE VIEW: Fans watching the Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen on Sunday's ABC TV coverage beginning at 1 p.m. (ET), will get the opportunity to see the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing machine from a birds-eye view. The day-glow Dallara will carry an in-car camera this weekend giving viewers a unique perspective as Carpenter pilots the car around the 3.37-mile natural terrain road course.

* HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: After forming and joining the Indy Racing League in 2005, Vision Racing is celebrating its fifth season of competition in 2009. Since the team embarked upon IndyCar Series competition, eight drivers have piloted five (Nos. 2, 20, 21, 22, 90) different team entries. Those drivers have combined for an additional 45 top-10 finishes, plus 10 top-five finishes, three more podium finishes and 42 laps led. Over the previous four years the quest for the team's first victory has been top priority and Vision Racing is confident that year five will be the season where that it happens. The team's best ever finish occurred in the 2009 season opener as Ryan Hunter-Reay drove from 14th to finish second in the race. That podium finish also put Vision second in the championship point standings which was also its' the highest-ever ranking. The Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen will be the team's 75th IndyCar Series event since their first season in 2005.

* ON ROAD/STREET COURSES: The team's best finishes on a road or street course is second, recently scored in the 2009 season-opener at St. Petersburg by Ryan Hunter-Reay in his debut with the team. It's is also the team's highest finish overall. Prior to Hunter-Reay's podium finish, the previous best road and street course drives include a fourth place finish scored by Paul Tracy in 2008 at Edmonton, and a pair of sixth place drives; one captured by Tomas Scheckter on the streets of St. Petersburg in 2007 and the other by Ed Carpenter in 2006 at Watkins Glen International

* FIND US ONLINE, ANYTIME: Just last weekend, the team launched the newly remodeled www.VisionRacing.com. The site not only features great design and features, but also boasts its own fan site with additional content just for fans. The site is also the hub of the team's social media experiment for the 2009 season. Vision Racing has established itself in the realm of online social media and networking via accounts at Twitter, Facebook and YouTube this season; allowing fans, friends, followers and even members of the media the opportunity to closely follow and interact with the five-year IndyCar Series participant. The team's new site was designed by RACERSITES.COM.

* ON LOAN: Considered a win-win situation for all involved, Vision Racing driver Ryan Hunter-Reay has taken over piloting duties of A.J. Foyt's No. 14 ABC Supply entry for the remainder of the 2009 IndyCar season in a deal that began at Iowa. Hunter-Reay, who drove the No. 21 Vision Honda Dallara to a second place podium finish in the 2009 season opener at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida, and has transferred his driving services to A.J. Foyt Racing as a temporary replacement for the injured Vitor Meira.

* 2009 TEAM HIGHLIGHTS: This season's highlight to date came in the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Fla. when Ryan Hunter-Reay started 14th and drove all the way to finish in second place. Since then, Carpenter has added four top-ten finishes at Kansas, Indianapolis, Texas and Iowa.

* AS SEEN ON TV: Patrick Dempsey joined Vision Racing prior to the 2006 season, taking on a new role that has been making hearts race in a literal way as a team co-owner. Known for his scene-stealing turns in such '80s nostalgia classics such as Can't Buy Me Love and Loverboy, Patrick Dempsey continues to please America with his explosive charisma and versatile talent. Dempsey is the star of the ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy." Dempsey's no stranger to the racetrack when he's not in front of the camera. A true racer at heart, he's currently driving professionally in Grand American Cup class sports car racing with Dempsey Racing, formerly Hypersport. He raced a Ferrari F430 GT with Team Seattle in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans and also competed in the 2009 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

* A TEAM WITH A VISION: Vision Racing is owned and operated by Tony and Laura George, their daughter Lauren George and actor Patrick Dempsey of ABC's Grey's Anatomy and is based in Indianapolis, Indiana in a 32,000 square foot facility. The team competes full-time in the IndyCar Series and is entering its fifth season of IndyCar Series competition and second year of Firestone Indy Lights racing. Vision Racing continues to proudly perpetuate the legacy of the Hulman-George family through motorsports excellence, by demonstrating the traditions and heritage of the Indianapolis 500 and Indy car racing.

Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
Has the team's best finish at Watkins Glen with a sixth place drive in 2006.

* AT WATKINS GLEN: The IndyCar Series visited the 3.37-mile road course at Watkins Glen International for the first time in 2005 where Carpenter started in the 20th spot and worked his way up to 14th to finish the race. In 2006 he had an even better outing as he drove from 18th, all the way up to fifth, and finished sixth in what is currently tied for the team's best road course finish. In 2007, Carpenter led Vision Racing's three-car effort at Watkins Glen when he started 17th, ran as high as fifth and finished 12th. Just last season Carpenter started 21st and finished 17th.

* BABY ON BOARD: Just as planned, Carpenter and wife Heather (Pettigrew) welcomed their second child into the world on June 1st as the 8 lb. 1 oz., 20 inch long Ryder Carpenter arrived on his due date. Big sister, Makenna was born in October 2007, while the couple was married November 8, 2005 on the Island of St. Thomas.

* TWEET, TWEET: With the birth of his second child, son Ryder, Carpenter decided it would be the perfect time to make his debut on Twitter.com as well; joining Vision Racing's Twitter efforts. You can view Carpenter's Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/edcarpenter20 and follow the team at www.twitter.com/visionracing.

* MOST RECENTLY: Carpenter started from the 14th position and ran as high as eighth in the race, but was caught out twice by yellow flags immediately after making his second and third pit stops. Those cautions caused by on-track accidents impeded any progress and advancement Carpenter could have made via pit stop cycles and fuel saving strategies. He finished the race running in the 13th spot which dropped Carpenter one point in the IndyCar Series championship point standings to the 13th position with 143 points (136 points behind the leaders).

* 2009 SEASON: This is the sixth full season in IndyCar Series competition for Carpenter and the seventh season that he has participated in overall. Carpenter is looking to build off of four top-ten finishes earned in the last six consecutive oval races. His top-ten finishes came on the ovals of Kansas, Indianapolis, Texas and Iowa. The Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen will be Carpenter's ninth event of the 2009 IndyCar Series season.

* LEADER LAPS: In his fifth IndyCar Series start in at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2008, Carpenter recorded his first laps led in an IndyCar. He led the field for three laps under caution and finished an Indianapolis 500 career-best, fifth. His most recent leader lap came this season at Texas Motor Speedway when Carpenter was credited for leading one lap. He has a total of four (4) career-leader laps.

* BACK WITH MENARDS: The No. 20 Vision Racing machine again features the most recognizable car on track as it carries the day-glow yellow color of Menards for the second consecutive season. Menards returned as the primary sponsor of the No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, driven by Ed Carpenter. The Menards sponsorship also continues a long-lasting relationship between the home store retailer with Carpenter. The 28-year-old driver carried the Menards livery in 2002, with Sinden Racing in Firestone Indy Lights competition and well before that his days of dirt track racing behind the wheel of quarter midgets.

* NEW VIEW FROM THE COCKPIT: Carpenter still has the same view from the cockpit that he's always had, but fans of the driver will notice a different look coming from his cockpit this season as his helmet is carrying the distinct colors and logos of the premium jean and clothing retailer, William Rast, for the 2009 season.

* ED "CARPENTER": Carpenter and his arsenal of power tools have been busy again this past off-season as he has been knee deep in a house flipping project with a long time friend as well as occupied with rehab projects around his own home. Of course, Menards has been an essential part of Carpenter's home repair ventures. Prior to his current real estate investment, Carpenter and his "do-it-yourself" mentality crafted his home repair skills with his first home and family heirloom. The home is located in Speedway, Ind. was purchased as new in 1955 by stepfather Tony George's parents, Elmer and Mari George. Tony grew up in the home as a boy and for a time, drivers A.J. Foyt and Roger McCluskey lived in the basement.

* DOUBLE DUTY: Ed Carpenter made history in September 2003 at Chicagoland Speedway when he became the first driver to compete in a Firestone Indy Lights event and an IndyCar Series event on the same weekend.

* INAUGURAL BRICKYARD WINNER: Carpenter won the inaugural Firestone Indy Lights Firestone Freedom 100 in 2003 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Making him an inaugural winner at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway along with Ray Haroun (Indianapolis 500), Jeff Gordon (Brickyard 400), and Michael Schumacher (United States Grand Prix).

* BIG MAN ON CAMPUS: Carpenter graduated from 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament qualifying Butler University, Indianapolis, Ind., with a marketing degree in May 2003.

* DID YOU KNOW? Carpenter enjoys water skiing, snowboarding, hunting and cycling. His racing heroes include Al Unser Jr., A.J. Foyt, and Lance Armstrong and he has two dogs; a Rottweiler named Bentley and a Chihuahua named Rosco.

* ED AT-A-GLANCE: Carpenter is participating in his sixth season in the IndyCar Series, and his fifth with his second team in Vision Racing. The 28-year-old made his IndyCar debut at Chicagoland Speedway in 2003 for PDM Racing, which made him the first driver to compete in an IRL Indy Pro Series event and an IndyCar Series event on the same weekend. Carpenter, who has been with the team since it's inception in 2005, is determined to make his sixth season overall, the best for both he and the team. Last year Carpenter recorded seven top-10 finishes, two top-fives and his first leader laps.

About the Camping World Grand Prix: The 60 lap/ 204 mile Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen will air live on Sunday, July 5th at 1:00 p.m. ET on ABC, as well as IMS Radio Network, XM IndyCar Series Racing Channel 145, XM Sports Nation Channel 144 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.

-credit: www.VisionRacing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tomas Scheckter , Michael Schumacher , Al Unser Jr. , Paul Tracy , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Tony George , Patrick Dempsey , A.J. Foyt , Ed Carpenter , Vitor Meira