IPS: USAC stars in MIPS Indy field

DRAKE, CARTER MAKE UP FREEDOM 100 SECOND ROW Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calif. and Cole Carter of Brownsburg, Ind. will have the opportunity of a lifetime Friday when they roll their cars around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The two USAC ...

DRAKE, CARTER MAKE UP FREEDOM 100 SECOND ROW

Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calif. and Cole Carter of Brownsburg, Ind. will have the opportunity of a lifetime Friday when they roll their cars around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The two USAC standouts make up Row 2 of tomorrow's Futaba "Freedom 100" IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event at the 2.5-mile track in search of winning the top race on the IPS schedule.

Drake will drive the No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Infiniti, while Carter will pilot the No. 77 American Revolution Racing Dallara/Infiniti, both equipped with Firestone tires.

Drake already has racing experience at the track. The 2004 USAC Valvoline National Sprint Car Series champion drove a steady race to finish fourth in last year's edition, and tested an Indycar at the track a few years before. The Californian has teamed with Larry Curry -- his sprint car team manager in 2004 -- for a full slate in the Infiniti Pro Series race in 2005.

Drake said he wished he could have secured the pole but is content nonetheless.

"We keep getting better every time we go on the track, as it has been all year," Drake said. "Every time we are on the track it's better than before, and that's promising. Honestly, we wanted to be on the pole and win every race so anything less than that is a little disappointing but being here at the Speedway and having a great starting spot so it can make for a great race."

Carter will be making his Infiniti Pro Series debut. He placed a series career best third in a USAC National Midget Car Series event May 7 at Beaver Dam, Wis. The Brownsburg, Ind. native is the youngest son of USAC "Triple Crown" winner and 1985 Indianapolis 500 polesitter Pancho Carter. Other members of his family to compete were Carl Forsberg, Duane Carter and Johnny Parsons.

"I've been staying pretty calm," Carter said. "I'm just trying to take it all in, and I'm just doing what I can out there. We're just going to try to stay out of trouble and stay at the front tomorrow."

Carter hopes the Indianapolis experience isn't his only racing adventure of the weekend. He is entered to drive a midget Saturday at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Drake is pre-entered for Friday's "Hoosier Hundred" Weld Racing Silver Crown Series at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds and Sunday's National Sprint Car event at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

"It's a lot of late nights and early mornings, and you forget to sleep sometimes, and that's the hardest part," Drake said. "But getting back and forth in the racecars, well, that's what I love to do. If I could spend every moment I was awake in a racecar, I would do it. This is the closest time of the year that I get to do that."

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About this article
Series Indy Lights , USAC
Drivers Jay Drake , Pancho Carter , Cole Carter