Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ed Carpenter Delivers Surprise Pole Run for IZOD IndyCar's Kentucky Race

Photo Credit: Ron McQueeney

Competing in the second Saturday night race in a row, the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers are belting into their Dallara-Hondas for a high-speed battle at the Kentucky Speedway. At last week's race at Chicagoland Speedway, Target/Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti rose late in the Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil 300 to win the event scoring maximum points in closing on Penske's Will Power for the overall 2010 IZOD IndyCar championship. As important as the points race is to those two racers, many of the fans enjoyed the close finish at Chicagoland with the #4 Panther Racing car of Dan Wheldon almost able to steal a win on the run to the checkered flag. Perhaps appearing as the ovals could provide a equalization for IZOD IndyCar competition, teams eager flood south to Sparta, Kentucky.

When IZOD IndyCar qualifying concluded for the Kentucky Indy 300, a lesser known face to the 2010 IZOD IndyCar campaign prevailed. Driving his #20 Vision Racing in partnership with Panther Racing, Ed Carpenter used a 217.933 mile per hour run to take the pole position for the Saturday night Kentucky Indy 300. Having run only two races this season due to funding troubles, Carpenter's qualifying run around this 1.5 mile oval is by no means a fluke. This Kentucky Speedway also the scene of Ed Carpenter's best career IZOD IndyCar Series finish of 2nd place last year. In post race, a highly satisfied Carpenter commented on his approach to the limited schedule he was relegated to running after Vision Racing loss of full season funding for 2010. "I'm just having a lot of fun right now; the Panther team is going a great job in addition with the Vision Racing part of it. It's just a lot of fun." he said.

For what will be understood as an interesting top-10 from qualifying led by Ed Carpenter, the #20 car narrowly beat Penske Racing's Will Power by a recordedly slim 23/1000th of a second margin. Fighting low and windy conditions, Power was pleased to start the #12 Verizon Penske Racing car on the front row. Complementing the #20 car, the teammate #4 vehicle will also start well in front of the field. Second place finisher at the Chicagoland Speedway event Dan Wheldon rotated the Kentucky oval for a third fastest effort through the Friday session.

While the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car of Scott Dixon returned some IZOD IndyCar season-long norminality to the oval time trial session, 5th for Hideki Mutoh, 6th for Berthard Baguette, 7th for KV Racing Technology's Mario Moraes and 10th for Tomas Scheckter will continue to set a somewhat bizarre tone for the Kentucky Indy 300 race start. Driving for Conquest Racing, Baguette and Scheckter have brought some much needed excitement to the tightly-funded race effort.

Being a beneficial session for some smaller IZOD IndyCar teams, the Friday qualifying would see some normally pace-worthy cars of Andretti Autosport searching for speed. Marco Andretti accomplished the best effort for the team with a 15th best timed lap with Danica Patrick two spots lower. Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay will be starting from the tail end of the pack at Kentucky having the worst time finding competitive lap times. Planning to fight an uphill battle once the green flag drops, Ryan Hunter-Reay will be set last on the starting lineup in the #37 Andretti Autosport after crashing his primary car in a qualifying run.

With the Kentucky Indy 300 presenting another strong field consisting of 27 cars, it's fair to assume the action at Chicagoland Speedway should be replicated for the Kentucky Indy 300 set for television telecast at 8 P.M. Saturday night with the green coming around 8:30.

2010 IZOD IndyCar Series

Kentucky Indy 300
Kentucky Speedway
Starting Lineup

1. 20 Ed Carpenter/United States/ Panther/Vision Racing
2. 12 Will Power/Australia/ Penske Racing
3. 4 Dan Wheldon/England/ Panther Racing
4. 9 Scott Dixon/New Zealand/ Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
5. 06 Hideki Mutoh/ Japan/ Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
6. 36 Bertrand Baguette/Belgium/ Conquest Racing
7. 32 Mario Moraes/Brazil/ KV Racing Technology
8. 3 Helio Castroneves/Brazil/ Penske Racing
9. 6 Ryan Briscoe/Australia/ Penske Racing
10. 34 Tomas Scheckter/South Africa/ Conquest Racing
11. 10 Dario Franchitti/Scotland/ Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
12. 14 Vitor Meira/Brazil/ AJ Foyt Racing Enterprises
13. 77 Alex Tagliani/Canada/ FAZZT Race Team
14. 5 Takuma Sato/Japan/ KV Racing Technology
15. 26 Marco Andretti/United States/ Andretti Autosport
16. 22 Justin Wilson/England/ Dreyer and Reinbold Racing
17. 7 Danica Patrick/United States/ Andretti Autosport
18. 19 Alex Lloyd/England/ Dale Coyne Racing
19. 78 Simona De Silvestro/Switzerland HVM Racing
20. 2 Raphael Matos/Brazil/ de Ferran Dragon Racing
21. 67 Sarah Fisher/United States/ Sarah Fisher Racing
22. 8 EJ Viso/Venezuela/ KV Racing Technology
23. 24 Paul Tracy/Canada/ Dreyer and Reinbold Racing
24. 18 Milka Duno/Venezuela/ Dale Coyne Racing
25. 02 Graham Rahal/United States/ Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
26. 11 Tony Kanaan/Brazil/ Andretti Autosport
27. 37 Ryan Hunter-Reay/United States/ Andretti Autosport

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