IndyCar » 26 June 2009
Q&A: Ed Carpenter (Vision Racing)
Ed Carpenter is coming off four top ten finishes in his last five IndyCar Series races, but the #20 Vision Racing entry still ranks only twelfth in points as the series prepares to visit Richmond International Raceway.
Ranking twelfth in points, which if you can maintain or improve upon that, that would mark your highest finish in the season standing. Give us your take on the season so far, and has it met your expectations or things like that?
It has not quite met my expectations. I made a couple of mistakes at St Pete, Long Beach, where we could have had higher finishes. And then as far as our performance on the ovals, finally in Texas we had a little bit better run that we are happy about. But the other ovals really we have not been that happy with the performance we put out there; especially compared to last year, I don't feel like we have done quite as good of a job.
So we have been working really hard to try to turn that around and get things going in the right direction again. Like you said, we are twelfth in points, which my goal is definitely to be inside the top ten. So hopefully we can go to Richmond this weekend and have the run that we are planning on running and get ourselves back up in the top ten. The points are definitely very tight, and you're still able to make a pretty good move in the points if you have a good run or a bad run. So it's important to go out and try to score some points at Richmond before we get back to road courses.
This will be your fifth start at Richmond, last three years you've been right around tenth, eighth, a tenth and eleventh. What does it take to put together a top ten run at Richmond?
To put together a top ten run, you just kind of have to persevere and stay out of trouble, but to be in the top five, you have to have a really good car. Last year there, I had my hands full and just had to worry more about surviving than really trying to race anybody. And we have put a lot of work into the set-up we are going there with this year, so hopefully we'll have a car that I can be competitive and aggressive and try to run up front with.
The short tracks, with such quick lap times and stuff like that can be pretty tough to stay on the lead lap. Is there any type of strategy to do that, or is it kind of just really a mix of being a fast car and maybe sometimes being helped out by some timely cautions?
Yeah, you definitely... first and foremost, if you have a fast car, you'll stay on the lead lap; if you can just run with the leaders and be the leader or be in the lead pack, that will take care of itself. Other than that, when you are running 15-, 16-second lap times, if you don't get through traffic and keep moving forward, you're going to end up being last. That's just the way the racing is on those tracks. Like I said, it's important to go there and have a really good handling car so you can run hard the entire stint of your fuel run and stay with the lead back.
After Richmond, we go to a string of three consecutive road and street courses: Watkins Glen, Toronto and Edmonton. How do you feel you've developed as a driver on those types of circuits?
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