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Vision Teams Up With Panther For Indy 500 Entry For Carpenter

Watch Ed Carpenter In Action at Kentucky 2009

Vision Racing and Panther Racing will collaborate on Panther entries for drivers Dan Wheldon and Ed Carpenter for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, team officials announced April 7.

2005 Indianapolis 500 winner Wheldon will drive the No. 4 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone that he races full time in the IZOD IndyCar Series for Panther. Carpenter will drive the No. 20 Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

The 2010 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I am very pleased that we have this opportunity to partner with an excellent organization," Vision Racing Owner Tony George said. "This collaboration with Panther Racing will allow two teams that want nothing else but to compete and strive for success in the upcoming Indianapolis 500 the opportunity to do so to the best of their abilities. With this partnership between teams and drivers, we will also be able to maximize the potential of both parties and field what I am sure will be a very formidable two-car effort. There are close personal and professional relationships within our two organizations that should allow us to put forth a cohesive effort we will all be proud of and have high expectations for achieving results."

Said John Barnes, CEO and co-owner of Panther Racing: "We looked at a lot of opportunities for the Month of May, and as strong as Vision Racing has run the last few years, we felt like partnering with them made a lot of sense for us. I feel that Ed is a threat to win at any race he runs, and he's proved that to this league in the last two or three years. His addition to the National Guard team along with Dan Wheldon is going to make our entire team stronger. I honestly hope this isn't a one-and-done deal, and we very much look forward to the opportunity of expanding this and running more IZOD IndyCar Series races together this season."

Six-year IZOD IndyCar Series veteran Ed Carpenter will make a return behind the wheel of the No. 20 that he has driven since Vision Racing's inception in 2005. Carpenter, 29, from Indianapolis, finished the 2009 season by earning his career best finish of second, matched his career best start of fourth, led 35 laps and drove to six top-10 finishes. He has made six Indianapolis 500 starts, with four top-11 finishes. He finished fifth and eighth in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

"I am very excited not only to be returning to the Indianapolis 500, but also working with Panther Racing," Carpenter said. "John Barnes has been a family friend for a long time, and I very grateful for this opportunity. I feel that with my experience, Vision Racing's experience and Panther Racing's experience and success at Indianapolis that we will be a very competitive duo. It has been very hard watching from the sidelines so far this season, and I am very motivated to compete for my first win."

Panther Racing, who boasts 15 IZOD IndyCar Series victories and two series championships, has finished second in the last two Indianapolis 500's, in 2008 with Vitor Meira and in 2009 with Wheldon.

"I believe the addition of Ed Carpenter and Vision Racing to the National Guard Panther Racing group is phenomenal," Wheldon said. "Ed's always been very quick, especially around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I'm very much looking forward to being able to have a teammate of his caliber. I know we'll work together well and be able to move the team forward, which will give us both a chance to win the Indianapolis 500.

"And it's also very positive to have Vision's involvement in the Panther program. I'm excited about being able to use some of their expertise and it's great to see them back on track - they're a team that was very close to their first IZOD IndyCar Series victory in Kentucky last year, and this partnership will get all of us one step close to victory lane."

Vision Racing returns to IZOD IndyCar Series competition for the Indianapolis 500 as a result of this partnership with Panther Racing after suspending racing operations in January 2010.

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2010 Indy 500 tickets: Tickets for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 30, are on sale now. Race Day ticket prices start at just $20.

Fans can order tickets online at www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

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