Ed Carpenter and PDM Racing's game plan going into Sunday's Delphi Indy 300 was to gain experience, stay clean, and complete all 300 miles. All objectives were met...and then some.

As the first driver to ever attempt an Indy Racing League/Infiniti Pro Series weekend double there was an unusual amount of attention surrounding the #18 PDM Metabolife sponsored Dallara-Chevrolet ahead of Sunday's 200-lap race around the 1.5-mile Chicagoland oval. With the pressure on, Carpenter didn't disappoint.

Carpenter began the day from the sixteenth starting position and quickly settled in to the frantic two and three-wide racing that was the order of the day. Showing maturity way beyond his years, the Freedom 100 winner had the #18 machine as high as seventh overall by the 50-lap mark, a position not enjoyed by the hard-working #18 since a certain Sam Hornish Jr drove for the team in 2000.

The 22 year-old Indianapolis native, to the surprise of some, calmly remained in the top ten for the majority of the race, fighting with title contenders Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan like a seasoned veteran, before falling back after a pit stop just prior to the final caution flag of the race.

Although he was still on the lead lap, and thus automatically involved in the stunning 13-car fight for victory over the final five laps, Carpenter sensibly erred on the side of caution, not wanting to get involved with those who are Championship regulars, and crossed the line in 13th position.

"It was a great race," said Ed, who equalled PDM's best finish of the season. "I didn't know what to expect when the green flag dropped. The PDM Guys did an awesome job. At the start of the race we were just flying. I never thought I'd be passing some of the guys I was passing right away in our first stint. We were right up in the lead pack. I'm happy for Metabolife Ultra and just looking forward to going to the next two races. We can be contenders once I figure out how to do restarts and get in and out of the pits a little better. As far as the car goes, we were capable of running up front. I've just got to polish up some of my skills a little bit."

Team Owner Paul Diatlovich shared in Ed's thoughts of the day. "I think he passed more cars than anyone else on the track," said Paul. "This kid proved that he is the real deal today, and we are very proud to have been apart of his first IndyCar race.

The team made it back to their base in Indy on Sunday night, and will begin preparations for the Toyota Indy 400 at the California Speedway on September 21st.

 

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