News & Multimedia

Carpenter's Dual Role

Ed Carpenter pulled off the helmet and used his balaclava as a towel. Call it sweat equity.

Carpenter had just completed his final stint on the 1.67-mile, 11-turn Sebring International Raceway short course – his initial laps as an IZOD IndyCar Series team owner/driver. Over the two-day Open Test, he totaled 108 laps in the Chevrolet-powered No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car.

Team general manager Derrick Walker greeted Carpenter with a handshake and broad smile – tokens of congratulations for the completed on-track tasks and just getting the new Dallara-Chevy package/team on the track in short order.

There’s a lot more to be accomplished before the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25. To that end, the Ed Carpenter Racing crew will continue its development March 13-14 at Barber Motorsports Park, which is the second stop on the series’ schedule April 1. Fifteen others also are scheduled to get in more laps on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course.

Carpenter might not have been satisfied with all the lap times at Sebring, but then again the four sessions totaling 14 hours weren’t all about overall speed. The 31-year-old manager, who says he’s “not a control freak,” recognizes the program is being built for the long term.

“We just started the team in November so really we have accomplished quite a lot and come a long ways just in a short amount of time,” said Carpenter, who made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut in 2003. “It has been a very busy off-season -- having some more responsibilities other than just getting myself ready to drive -- but it has been a lot of fun. It’s been a learning process and there have been stressful times, but for the most part it has really been enjoyable.

“You worry about the fact that there are a bunch of people you are responsible for, but at the same time I think I have always held myself to a higher standard than a lot of people have anyway. I don’t have to worry about someone else yelling at me. It’s more me disappointing myself even more.

"That is why me knowing that I was still going to be driving and owning the team I felt it necessary to bring someone in like Derek Walker. Derek has owned his own team, he has been a manager and he has done everything.  It allows me to be comfortable to not worry about all the stuff that is going on behind the scenes because I know Derek is on top of it.

“It’s not like things are going to be slipping through the cracks over the course of the weekend when I’m driving.”

Carpenter says the timing was right to venture into team ownership, which will evolve into vacating the driver’s seat ala Sarah Fisher when again the time is right. Since Vision Racing (co-owned by his mother and stepfather, Laura and Tony George, and Patrick Dempsey) closed after the 2009 season, he cobbled a journeyman’s program. Most recently, he was coming off a 10-race season with Sarah Fisher Racing – winning the October race at Kentucky Speedway.

“It’s different but similar to when we had Vision,” said Carpenter, who has 113 IZOD IndyCar Series starts. “At Vision, I didn’t have any actual ownership or make any final decisions but I was there all the time and I did have a voice. It was a lot different when I went from driving for Vision to when I was running for Panther and Sarah (Fisher). It’s not like this is going to be a totally new scenario for me. It’s different than it was with Vision but some of it is the same.

“We had some strong support from sponsors that were encouraging us to go down this road. To be honest, toward the end of last year I was just trying to find a way to stay apart of Sarah Fisher’s race team. I enjoyed racing there, but when we started talking and thinking about it -- me thinking long term and future opportunities for myself and my family -- it just seemed like an opportunity that didn’t make sense to pass up on.

“You don’t get opportunities like this very often. Hopefully, we will make the most of it and Ed Carpenter Racing will be around for a lot longer than my driving career.”

The Fuzzy’s car will be among 11 powered by Chevy on the 26-car starting grid for the eighth St. Pete race on the challenging 1.8-mile temporary street circuit. Ed Carpenter Racing wasn’t among the on-track developers of the 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine through the autumn/winter, but through the manufacturer’s information-sharing concept isn’t left behind. 

“Even though we came late to the table we have still been able to benefit from some things that they have already done,” he said. “With that said, we are still behind. We will definitely have some starting points and we won’t be starting totally at square one.”

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Carpenter's Dual Role
 
Carpenter's Dual Role
Carpenter had just completed his final stint on the 1.67-mile, 11-turn Sebring International Raceway short course – his initial laps as an IZOD IndyCar Series team owner/driver. Over the two-day Open Test, he totaled 108 laps in the Chevrolet-powered No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car.
Read More
Related Media
IMS and Advance Auto Parts
 
Advance Auto Parts Enters Multi-Year Partnership with IMS
Advance Auto Parts, a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, has signed a strategic, multi-year partnership with the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
Read More
Juncos Racing
 
Juncos Racing Announces Entry for 101st Running Indy 500
Juncos, the founder and team principal of Juncos Racing – the highly successful operation in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires developmental ladder – said his team will take the next step to the Verizon IndyCar Series on its biggest stage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. While driver and manufacturer announcements await, the news signals a “dream come true” for the immigrant from Argentina.
Read More
Willy T. Ribbs
 
Ribbs Enjoying Quiet Life After Barrier Breaking Career in Racing
A determined Ribbs made a name for himself in various forms of racing, most notably in 1991 as the first black driver in the Indianapolis 500. As part of Black History Month, Ribbs is remembered for breaking that color barrier with two starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Hulman Terrace Club
 
On-Sale Now, Hulman Terrace Club Offers Premium Seating for IMS Events
The Hulman Terrace Club, located on the outside of the front straightaway of the famed 2.5-mile oval, features some of the best views of the track plus ADA-accessible seating for fans seeking a club option. All tickets to the Hulman Terrace Club were sold in its inaugural season in 2016. Space is limited, so fans interested in tickets should act now.
Read More
Indianapolis Golf Putter
 
PGA Pro Rodgers Ties Family's Indy Legacy to Golf with Putter
Before striking his first golf club at 6 years old and forging a path to the PGA Tour, Patrick Rodgers became enamored with racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,283
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
We are officially 90 days away from the 101st #Indy500! @IndyAllison helped drop off the next bottle to @FOX59 and… https://t.co/GOOveptqLG
about 2 hours ago