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Carpenter ready to play spoiler at Pocono Indycar

Oval specialist Ed Carpenter is preparing to throw a spanner in the works of the IndyCar title contenders as he seeks a second win of 2014.

While Verizon IndyCar Series frontrunners keep talking about how important this weekend's double points Pocono 500 could be in the title chase, Ed Carpenter is quietly preparing to play the role of spoiler in Pennsylvania.

The only owner/driver in the IndyCar Series isn't a championship contender, but he has already shown that he can make it tough on the boys in the battle. In Carpenter's first two of six oval races he'll run in 2014, he has claimed one pole – at the Indy 500 - and one win – in Texas – at the wheel of the #20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet, and expects to be a factor at 'The Tricky Triangle'.

“I think we actually had a good chance at only both races at the ovals this year,” said Carpenter, who finished ninth last year at Pocono, “We were in position to challenge Ryan [Hunter-Reay] at Indy, but the incident on lap 175 cost us that possibility. Now I really want to go after that Pocono win.”

The incident involving Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe with 25 laps to go at Indy was a tough pill to swallow for the Butler University marketing graduate, but the Texas victory softened the blow somewhat.

Carpenter's first racing appearance at Pocono had a similar twist, running in the top five in last year's race before a late pit-stop hurt his challenge for a podium finish. Now, the 33-year-old father of three wants to continue his team's winning ways this Sunday in the 500-mile classic.

“I really love racing at Pocono,” he admits, “It is so unique and challenging. I'm not sure there is another corner in our IndyCar Series like turn one at Pocono. It's flat out on the throttle and very tricky - just like the track's nickname applies.

“The race is 100 miles longer than last year, and that could create more opportunities for the teams and their strategies. I feel like our ECR/Fuzzy's team has a good foundation for the ovals right now, and we will need that during the long race at Pocono, as conditions will change throughout the race.”

Carpenter's decision to concentrate only in oval racing this year has made off in the first half of the 2014 campaign. Having decided to put road racing veteran Mike Conway in the Fuzzy's Vodka Chevy for the twelve street and road courses races was rewarded when the Briton won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April and Carpenter captured the Firestone 600K at Texas in June.

“It was a decision that I felt would be good for the team from a business standpoint,” the team boss explains, “I wanted to give our team and our partners a chance to run up front at all of the 18 races this year. This series is so competitive that we needed an opportunity to race for wins every weekend.”

A highly-competitive series in 2014 might be an understatement right now. Seven different drivers have won in the first nine races with five different teams, but the shocking point so far is that the defending series champions Target Chip Ganassi and 2013 Pocono winner Scott Dixon have not won yet.

“Believe me, I wouldn't count out the Scott and the entire Ganassi team just yet,” Carpenter said, “They haven't won this year, but they could string several wins together quickly. The Pocono 500 will be another sensational race, with many drivers right there at the end of the 200 laps. I just want to be the one in front at the chequered flag again.”


Related Pictures

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Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, raises his arm as he crosses the finish line Sunday, April 13, 2014 to win the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ed Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter adds his name to the wall of Firestone 600 champions (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory during the IndyCar Firestone 600 Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. (Photo by Harry E. Walker/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden leads his CFH Racing team mate (and team co-owner) Ed Carpenter during practice at The Milwaukee Mile. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Ed Carpenter, and Tony Kanaan go three-wide during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a second-place finish Sunday, June 14, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fillip`s teammate, Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, won the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, takes the chequered flag Sunday, June 14, 2015 to win the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi (rear), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ed Carpenter. Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter gets ready on pit lane. Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 17 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter`s car on the flat bed. Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 17 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter`s car on the flat bed. Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 17 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Sunday May 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ed Jones set for Indy Lights with Carlin
Ed Jones set for Indy Lights with Carlin
Ed Jones set for Indy Lights with Carlin

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