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Carpenter Teams with O'Rourke For Sunday's Robo Pong 200 at New Castle Motorsports Park

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Ed Carpenter, Nathan O’Rourke, Robo Pong 200

Carpenter Teams with O'Rourke For Sunday's Robo Pong 200 at New Castle Motorsports Park

Tom Blattler
Ed Carpenter Racing
October 12, 2012

Ed Carpenter Racing
October 12th 2012 - INDIANAPOLIS – Ed Carpenter plans to continue his winning ways this weekend in the ninth annual Robo Pong 200-lap karting classic set for this Sunday (Oct. 14) at New Castle Motorsports Park, east of Indianapolis.

Carpenter, the owner/driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet IndyCar, returns to the racing action for the first time since his sensational last-lap win in the MAVTV 500, the IZOD IndyCar Series season finale last month at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

It was Carpenter’s second career IndyCar Series win and completed his first season in a dual role with Ed Carpenter Racing.

Now, the 31-year-old Butler University grad moves to the smaller machines in the popular 200-lap feature over the one-mile karting track developed by former IndyCar racer Mark Dismore. Carpenter is no stranger to the New Castle layout, having captured the Robo Pong 200 in 2009.

Carpenter will again team up with his 2009-winning co-driver Nathan O’Rourke, who has been key person in another of Carpenter’s victories.

O’Rourke was Carpenter’s race engineer at Sarah Fisher Racing when Ed took his first IndyCar Series checkered flag in 2011 at Kentucky Speedway. When Carpenter started his own racing team in 2012, O’Rourke remained with the Fisher Hardman Racing team and worked with IndyCar Series rookie Josef Newgarden this season.

“Nate and I go back some time in racing,” said Carpenter, who first competed in the Robo Pong 200 in 2008. “He raced karts when he was younger. He then went to Purdue and got his engineering degree and began another racing career. He and I won the race in 2009 and then we won together at Kentucky. We have a good friendship both on and off the track. It will be fun to race with Nate again.”

Newgarden and Dismore won the Robo Pong 200 last year at New Castle and will also be among the contenders for the Dan Wheldon Cup Sunday when the green flag drops at 1 p.m. EDT.

A strong field of karting challengers has entered Sunday’s RoboPong 200 with some 50 teams scheduled to compete in the event that featured pit stops with refueling and tire changes.

“There are a lot of really good race drivers in this event and Ed, Josef and others will tell you that karting will wear you out, especially a long race like this,” said Dismore, a former race winner in the IndyCar Series.

The winning team will receive a $10,000 first prize as well as its name engraved on the prestigious Dan Wheldon Cup.

New Castle Motorsports Park is located 30 miles east of Indianapolis on I-70 at exit 123.

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