Latest Interview: IndyCar's Only Team Owner/Driver, Ed Carpenter, Talks MAVTv 500 Challenge
IndyCar's Only Team Owner/Driver, Ed Carpenter, Talks MAVTv 500 Challenge
After enjoying their first weekend off since early April, CFH Racing drivers Josef Newgarden and Ed Carpenter, along with their mechanics and engineers, are rested and ready for Saturday's 500-mile race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
CFH Racing is coming off the highest of highs after a spectacular 1-2 finish at the last race in the streets of Toronto. Newgarden, driver of the No. 67 Hartman Oil Chevrolet, claimed the victory 1.4 seconds ahead of teammate Luca Filippi in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka Car. A strategy call to pit early to switch from rain tires to slicks vaulted Newgarden to the front of the field, where he battled the rest of the race. Meanwhile, Filippi raced forward from his career-best starting position of 6th and was Newgarden's biggest challenger at the end of the event.
Auto Club Speedway has been the backdrop of much success for CFH Racing, with team co-owner Carpenter finishing on the podium each of the last three years. Newgarden earned one of his best starting positions last year at the 2-mile oval, starting on the front row after qualifying third.
In the previous three events at Auto Club Speedway, Carpenter has led 65 laps. Newgarden led his first career Verizon IndyCar Series lap at the track during his rookie year in 2012. Carpenter has six previous starts on the oval track located outside of Los Angeles; Newgarden has three.
The 24-year-old Newgarden is having a career-best season since joining the Verizon IndyCar Series four years ago, capturing two wins in the past seven races. His victory at Barber Motorsports Park in late April was the first of his IndyCar career. The Hendersonville, Tenn.-native has finished in the Top 10 of half of the events this year.
With his win two weeks ago in Toronto, Newgarden joined Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Dixon as two-time winners through 10 races this season. CFH Racing is now ranked with Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing as the only teams with multiple victories in so far in 2015.
The 2015 MAVTV 500 will feature 250 laps and is one of three 500-mile events on this year's schedule. The race be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 27.
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY'S VODKA CHEVROLET: "It is always exciting to go back to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. It has been a track that we have had a great history at the past three years with a podium each year. We have really been struggling on the ovals so far this year, but I feel like Fontana is a great track to get things turned around. We have been working very hard to make sure we go there with a good plan to address some of the struggles that we have had. I can't wait to get on track and get back up to speed."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CHEVROLET: "I am really excited to get to Auto Club Speedway. We've had a lot of work to do since Texas and have put a lot of effort in at the shop to be as prepared as we can going into Fontana. Hopefully we can keep the good results rolling after Toronto! I have a lot of faith in all of our guys. We have a lot of good, smart people on the team and I am looking forward to a solid weekend in California."
(ht: CFH Racing)
<<< IndyCar's Only Team Owner/Driver, Ed Carpenter, Talks MAVTv 500 Challenge >>>
-- I N T E R V I E W --
Ed Carpenter is a two-time Indianapolis 500 pole position holder, this earned, on his home track.
Known to be an oval-track driving specialist, who has three IndyCar career wins, all on ovals, he won his second race at the inaugural MAVTv500 at Auto Club Speedway in 2012. He accomplished this win as a first-time team owner, and driver, of Ed Carpenter Racing.
In 2014, as team owner, Ed hired Mike Conway to drive the #20 Fuzzy's Vodka Dallara DW12 in all street/road course races. This bold move allowed the team to garner three wins for the season and gather enough single car combined points, if allowed to be shown against single driver/single car standings, to break into the top 10 at P8 – good for sponsorships.
This season, Ed Carpenter is co-owner of CFH Racing team that combined efforts of Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing in the off-season.
After 10 races, CFH Racing driver, Josef Newgarden, has two wins, and holds down 8th in the current season’s championship points standings, ahead of recognizable drivers as Tony Kanaan, Simon Pagenaud, and Charlie Kimball.
As the only owner/driver in the series, Ed has placed himself to drive all six ovals on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.
A huge basketball fan of his alma mater, Butler University, Ed also follows the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.
Welcome team owner and IndyCar driver, Ed Carpenter ...
2015 has been a crazy year, with the cancellation of the first race of the season, the introduction aerodynamic body work to the seasons tested DW12 chassis, then the merger of two teams. What has it meant to you as a owner/driver to share ownership responsibilities with someone who is as big an independent supporter of American Open-Wheel racing as yourself, Sarah Fisher?
As a driver, how does it feel to be a part of a team owned, by an owner, that you had driven for in the past, before becoming an owner/driver, and what lessons has this imparted to you along the way?
Josef Newgarden, after winning his second race sits at P8 in the driver's championship points race, Josef has done well here in qualifications - in 2014 qualified P3 and finished P10, even though he is a team-mate, what counsel will you be giving him as team owner on how to survive the race and achieve maximum points?
The Auto Club Speedway has been an excellent venue to showcase your driving skills - As mentioned, you won the first MAVTv500 in 2012, started 7th and finished 2nd in 2013, and last year, you started in 14th and finished in 3rd ... All of the previous races started in the sunlight of early evening and finished well after sundown and were the season finale.
What will change, with a track that will be run, for the first time, in this Verizon IndyCar Series modern era, in the afternoon 90 degree plus sun, 500 miles, 200 laps, and comes with another 5 races to be tackled before seasons end?
Further, all of the previous at Auto Club Speedway races were run without the new aerodynamics body work, that has some concerned about the increased levels in trailing turbulence, keeping drivers from being able to charge toward the front - I think this view was shared by Scott Dixon post INDY500 with other drivers chiming in after Texas.
Have you experienced this and will you have to change or adjust your driving style at all?
As an owner, or a driver, what else do you anticipate for this next Verizon IndyCar Series Saturday afternoon race?
Thank you, Ed Carpenter ... good luck to you, Josef Newgarden, and the rest of the crew at CFH Racing to maintaining the good results at Auto Club Speedway's MAVTv500.
MAVTV 500 Returns to Auto Club Speedway - Sat. June 27.
Now into its fourth year commitment, MAVTV Motorsports Network will sponsor the MAVTV 500 Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana Ca., on Saturday, June 27. The MAVTV 500 is round 11 of the IndyCar Series championship and the points' battle is heating up with some of the world's fastest drivers in the field including 2015 Indy 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya and reigning IndyCar series champion Will Power.
Grand Marshal for the 2015 MAVTV 500 will be motorsports broadcast legend Dave Despain.
Programming Note: The Dave Despain Show returns to the MAVTV Network on Sunday, July 12 at 8pm ET. Following the premier, each weekly episode will air 30 minutes later on Sundays at 8:30pm ET.
Monster Jam Truck World Champion and off road racing star, Todd LeDuc is Honorary Starter and will drop the MAVTV 500 Green Flag at 1:30pm PT.
... notes from The EDJE
TAGS: Auto Club Speedway, MAVTv500, #MAVTv500, MAVTv 500, ACS 2015, Verizon IndyCar Series, IndyCar, Ed Carpenter, Owner/Driver, CFH Racing, INDY 500, Sarah Fisher, Race 11, The EDJE