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ECR Already Working On 2013 Season

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

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

ECR Already Working On 2013 Season

Tom Blattler
Ed Carpenter Racing
October 31, 2012

Ed Carpenter RacingECR Already Working On The 2013 Season
October 31st 2012 - INDIANAPOLIS – The celebration in the Fuzzy’s Vodka 19th Hole Victory Lane was a perfect finish for the rookie season at Ed Carpenter Racing.

Carpenter, the only owner/driver in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, had driven a sensational race for a last-lap win in the 500-mile MAVTV500 at Auto Club Speedway in California on Sept. 15.

Even golf legend and “Fuzzy’s” founder Fuzzy Zoeller was on hand to commemorate the team’s initial IndyCar Series win. But the celebrations have long since passed for the Indianapolis-based racing squad and preparations for the 2013 racing campaign are already in high gear. And that includes the prepping of the driver and his crew for the upcoming 19-race circuit.

So, Carpenter and his racing team have worked hard in the shop as well as in the gym.

“We have the crew working in the gym at St. Vincent Sports Performance almost as hard as Ed is training for the 2013 season,” said Tim Broyles, team manager for Ed Carpenter Racing. “Ed is working out four days a week and so is the crew. We were fast on our pit stops this year but we want to be quicker. So a strong workout program is very important for the entire crew.”

Carpenter, a regular at the famed St. Vincent Sports Performance facility in West Indianapolis for the past four years, trains 90 minutes a day and four times a week with trainer Aaron Feldman. Carpenter is one of the many athletes at St. Vincent which includes NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA and NCAA as well as motorsports competitors.

“I have worked with Ed for several years now,” said Feldman. “With Ed, it is all about strength and endurance. Ed’s training is completely different than what I do with the crew guys. They use much different movement patterns.”

Carpenter’s off-season training is very intense compared to his in-season conditioning.

“Oh yeah,” said Carpenter. “It is much different than during the race season. Aaron really wears me out during this new workout program. And I’m very happy that he is working with the team too. We’ll be ready for the racing season in March.”

Feldman says a driver’s fitness is different from what most believe would the case.

“Everybody thinks a driver’s fitness is about cardiovascular endurance,” said Feldman. “But it is not. It’s about a driver’s strength and his strength endurance to last the race. We work Ed much harder during the off season than during the racing season. We try to maintain the fitness program during the season with assisting what he does in the car. Ed works extremely hard on his fitness program. He is always in excellent shape. He doesn’t mistake activity for achievement as we say. In season, we are looking to maintain fitness and, if we can get better, that is great too.”

While Carpenter keeps a high level of fitness throughout the year, his team works towards a different form of strength for the particular pit positions needed.

“Ed does a 90-minute session with us four times a week right now,” Feldman explains. “Then the pit crew comes in and works for 60 minutes for four days. When it comes to pit crew, it is very explosive. A pit stop lasts less than seven seconds, so everything is explosion to the task. You still use strength but, different than Ed’s endurance, you use it for power. It is a completely opposite spectrum but it is fun for me. I get to change up the programs and I get to work with the entire team for its conditioning.”

Feldman consults with each ECR team member before beginning their training. Then he guides with the team as a unit rather than the individual involvement like Carpenter’s workout.

“With the team, we do a screening with each guy to form a fitness plan for them,” he said. “Each guy has a different level of fitness and we try to work them at their own pace. So, before we even hit the weight room, we were on the field working on stabilization and mobilization type work. Everyone gets a different score on the functional movements and works to their capabilities. The group is actually too big to work individually for an hour so we work together as a whole team on a variety of things.”

According to Feldman, the pit crew for ECR uses similar muscles to those use by athletes in other sports.

“What is interesting for the tire changers is that they still use similar body parts and muscles but they are just not on their feet,” said Aaron. “So we still work with the same body motions as many other athletes. They need to rotate their hips just like a pitcher would in throwing a baseball or similar movements. In addition, we have a whole program with tires and air guns that we use with the team as we get closer to the racing season. So they can work on their power and speed. We get out team’s strength first and we teach them how to use that strength in their stops. We do specific drills with the tires as the season approaches. These guys were fast on their stops last season and we want to make them better when the first race hits.”

Carpenter and his team hope success at the track comes from the off-season training.

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