Final Preparations Complete; Focus Shifts to Tomorrow’s 500-Mile Race

(SPEEDWAY, Ind.) May 27, 2016 – Race Preview

– With all pre-race preparations complete, Ed Carpenter Racing has turned it’s focus to tomorrow’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The 500-mile race is truly the home race for the Speedway, Ind.-based team, who’s race shop sits in the shadow of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, four blocks south on Main Street.

– ECR’s three-car effort is headed by the only owner and driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Ed Carpenter. Carpenter will pilot the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet in his 13th Indianapolis 500. The 35-year-old qualified in the middle of Row 7 and will roll of the grid in the 20th position. He is one of only six drivers in the 33-car qualification lineup that has competed in more than 10 Indianapolis 500s.

– For the third year in a row, J.R. Hildebrand has joined ECR for the Month of May. He competed in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis earlier in the month but when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened for practice on May 16, it was his first time back on an oval since the 2015 Indianapolis 500. The 28-year-old has five starts in the 500-mile race and was the highest-placing ECR driver last year, finishing 8th. This year, he will start the No. 6 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet from the 15th position, on the outside of Row 5.

– After a dramatic Pole Day last Sunday, 25-year-old Josef Newgarden was bumped from the first starting position during the day’s final qualification attempt by eventual pole sitter James Hinchcliffe. Newgarden will have the best view in the house for the start of the race when the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet starts in the middle of the front row. He will be joined by Hinchcliffe on the inside and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the outside.

– Newgarden’s second-place qualifying effort has given Ed Carpenter Racing it’s third front row start in the past four years. Carpenter himself won the pole position in 2013 and 2014. In 100 years of the Indianapolis 500, only 10 drivers have won back to back pole positions.

– ECR has returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a driver lineup identical to that of 2015. The trio of drivers earned the nickname “Team America” last year when ECR was the only multi-car team with an all-American lineup in the Indianapolis 500. Hildebrand hails from Sausalito, Calif.; Newgarden is a native of Hendersonville, Tenn.; Carpenter, from Indianapolis, is a hometown favorite.

– The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast live on ABC, beginning at 11 a.m. ET.