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Carpenter's Impressive Oval Runs Set to Continue
Author: Tom Blattler
The results next to Ed Carpenter’s name at Indy and Texas don’t reveal the real story of the Indianapolis driver’s performances.
Carpenter, the only owner/driver in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, has been lightning fast in the two oval races so far in the 16-race open-wheel schedule. But little things have halted his charges to the front. Now, the former sprint car and midget racing star comes to the famed Milwaukee Mile this Saturday (June 16) in an effort to finish the job in the 225-lap Milwaukee IndyFest.
Carpenter’s “come from behind” runs at Indy May 27 (from 28th to 3rd) and Texas last Saturday (from 19th to 2nd) have shown that his newly-formed Ed Carpenter Racing team can race his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet with the leaders.
“It has been a couple of little things that have hurt us in the first two oval races,” said Carpenter, who makes his eighth IndyCar Series start at Wisconsin State Fair Park one-mile oval Saturday when the green drops at 12:30 p.m. CDT. “At Indy, we were able to move through the field despite a front wing adjuster problem. The problem kept getting worse and I finally spun with 20 laps to go. At Texas, we charged through the field pretty well, but we had a vibration that caused us to pit under the green flag. We then lost a lap when the yellow flag came out three laps later. It was just bad timing.”
But Carpenter, who tested at Milwaukee May 29, believes his new team and his Fuzzy’s Vodka DW 12 Dallara chassis should be contenders when practice begins Friday morning.
“We’ve run up front and had chances to be there at the end,” Ed said. “But we haven’t finished well. Everyone on the team feels we’re going to be strong again this weekend in Milwaukee.”
Carpenter, a Butler University graduate, likes the racing history at the Milwaukee Mile and knows what it would mean to win at the legendary track.
“I’m a fan of racing history,” he said. “That’s why I love racing at the Mile. It’s older than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and you can feel the past when you’re there. It’s always fun to go to places like that. You look at the past winners at Milwaukee and know it has so much history. Guys likes A.J. (Foyt), Mario (Andretti), Rick (Mears), the Unsers (Bobby, Al and Al Jr.) and others including Michael (Andretti). Michael and his promotions company have done a great job of reviving the race, and I think the new (car) package will perform well there. Hopefully we can start winning this weekend.”
Winning at an oval track is nothing new to Carpenter, who captured the Kentucky Speedway event last October for team owner Sarah Fisher. Carpenter has won in USAC sprint cars and midgets as well as Firestone Indy Lights.
“We started our new team in November and we have been a little behind the bigger teams in the new car and engine combination,” said Carpenter. “But I feel we have been strong enough at Indy and Texas to compete with the established teams. We hope that will continue at Milwaukee this weekend.”
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