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
Gasoline Alley
Month of May Bronze Badges Now On Sale
One of the most treasured pieces of racing memorabilia and among the greatest entertainment values in sports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Month of May Bronze Badges are on sale now just in time for the holiday season. Visit for purchasing information.
Read More
Miller Lite Carb day
Legendary Band Journey to Rock Miller Lite Carb Day over Historic 100th Running Indianapolis 500 Weekend
The historic 2016 Indianapolis 500 weekend, culminating with the 100th Running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, will kick off on Friday, May 27, with the legendary rock band Journey on Miller Lite Carb Day.
Read More
Hulman Terrace Club
New 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 past the exit of Turn 4, will feature more than 1,000 seats plus ADA-accessible seating for fans seeking a club option similar to what is offered at many other major U.S. stadiums. It’s the first new seating option at IMS in more than a decade and a key piece of the ongoing Project 100 initiative. Pre-sale registration is available here with tickets officially going on sale Dec. 1.
Read More
Stanley Cup and Borg-Warner Trophy
Borg-Warner Trophy and Stanley Cup Meet at Yard of Bricks
Two of the most iconic symbols of victory in sports - the Borg-Warner Trophy and the Stanley Cup - appeared together Thursday night for a photo session on the world famous Yard of Bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Stanley Cup appeared at IMS courtesy of the Indy Fuel, the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Read More
Tony Hulman and Wilbur Shaw
How Tony Hulman and Wilbur Shaw Rejuvenated IMS, 70 Years Ago
During the World War II years, the Shelbyville, Indiana-born three-time winner of the Indianapolis “500” had temporarily relocated to Akron, Ohio, for the purpose of heading up Firestone Tire and Rubber Company’s new aircraft division. He, along with all of the other race drivers, looked forward to the time when the war would end so that they could return to their first love: driving in the “500.”
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,037
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
Latest Tweets
Win a VIP experience and ride the first 2 seater @IndyCar ride in 2016 at Indy New Year’s Eve celebration!
November 27