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Ed Carpenter Racing Makes On-Track Debut Friday

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Ed Carpenter, Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Ed Carpenter Racing Makes On-Track Debut Friday

Tom Blattler
Ed Carpenter Racing
March 23, 2012

Ed Carpenter
March 23rd 2012 - Sporting a sparkling new look, Ed Carpenter Racing made its on-track debut Friday in the streets of St. Petersburg as the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series opened with practices for Sunday’s 100-lap Grand Prix.

Not only is Ed Carpenter Racing starting anew in 2012, the IndyCar Series unveiled its new DW 12 Dallara chassis Friday.

The Carpenter operation, led by veteran Derrick Walker, revealed a beautiful green, gold and white (with dimples like a golf ball) livery on the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet car with Carpenter behind the wheel at the 1.8-mile street circuit around the scenic Bayfront of Florida’s west coast.

Carpenter began his learning of his new mount and the tricky track surface in the morning practice session Friday morning. The new IndyCar is now equipped with a hand clutch and many drivers are still gaining confidence in the new application.

In the second practice, Carpenter improved nearly one and half seconds from his morning time with a best lap of 64.603 seconds for an average speed of 100.305 miles per hour around the 14-turn circuit which includes the runway of the Albert Whitted Airport in downtown St. Petersburg. Will Power was quickest at 104.503 m.p.h.

But more important for Carpenter and his Fuzzy’s squad was the coordination of his first-time unit behind and over the pit wall. This weekend marks the team’s first competitive action since the team was formed in November.

“It was an OK day. Obviously, we would like to have a smaller gap to the front guys. We just need more laps and more things to work on. But we have a direction to go which the team feels good about. I think we’ll make some good changes tonight and be ready to go on Saturday. Despite being our first race together, the guys are doing a great job working as a unit. I’m very pleased with the team coordination. We are sorting out the bugs with so much new stuff that has been thrown at them. All in all, I think our program is going really well.”

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