May 17th 2012 - INDIANAPOLIS – The evolution of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet machine continued Thursday in the sixth day of practice runs for the 96th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and owner/driver Ed Carpenter walked away pleased with his team’s progress.
The 31-year-old Butler University graduate drove his most laps (64) in a practice day thus far as the ECR crew worked primarily on race settings in the bright sunny day at the 2.5-mile oval. Carpenter’s best speed was 219.095 miles per hour but the Kentucky Speedway winner recorded many 218 m.p.h. laps in heavy traffic which could prove important in the May 27 Brickyard Classic.
Carpenter worked closely with engineers Michael Cannon, Matt Barnes and Brent Harvey in developing a consistent grip level in the hot track conditions. The team has been on a bit of a “roller coaster” ride with the car’s tricky handling characteristics during the early days of Indy 500 practice. Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, clocked the best speed Thursday at 223.088 m.p.h.
Now, Carpenter seems confident with the Fuzzy’s Vodka car’s progression through Thursday’s six-hour practice. All teams will gain additional turbocharger boost for the “Fast Friday” practice and Saturday’s qualifications runs.
The popular “Fast Friday” practice runs from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday practice opens at 8 a.m. followed by 11 am to 4 p.m. time trials. Saturday’s Pole and Fast Nine Shootout begins at 4:30 p.m.
“We definitely made progress with the car today and found some more grip,” said Carpenter. “I think we improved our race setup a lot from where we were previously. So that is encouraging as we got a lot done today. With some of the things that helped the race car, we felt it would be better for our qualifying setup. But it wasn’t the case. But we are definitely within the speed that we want for the race. We’ll work on the qualifying setup tomorrow with the extra boost for the turbo and be ready for the Saturday time trials.”