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Baltimore Excitement Hits ECR This Weekend

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Ed Carpenter, Grand Prix of Baltimore

Baltimore Excitement Hits ECR This Weekend

Tom Blattler
Ed Carpenter Racing
August 29, 2012

Ed CarpenterBaltimore Excitement Hits ECR This Weekend
August 29th 2012 - BALTIMORE, Md. – Veteran racing personnel can be a little jaded after 13 races into the IZOD IndyCar Series campaign.

But the excitement of this weekend’s Baltimore Grand Prix even brings a smile to the faces of the most experienced race mechanics as the race weekend approaches (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) for the roar through the streets of the picturesque Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

“I think, even though it’s the 14th round of the season, our team guys seem excited about going to Baltimore and the Grand Prix,” said Ed Carpenter, the only team owner/driver in the IndyCar Series. “The event was very good last year and we expect it again this week. Long Beach has always been the benchmark for street races in this country and, after just one year, the racing community started mentioning Baltimore as ‘Long Beach East.’ That’s a pretty strong statement.”

Carpenter and his team’s No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet car will be one of the 25 driver/car combinations set to hit the two-mile, 12-turn temporary race circuit around the famed Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Baltimore Convention Center on Friday at 12:05 p.m.

The Baltimore Grand Prix is scheduled to start Sunday at 2:45 p.m. EDT and will be televised on NBC Sports.

“I really loved last year’s Baltimore Grand Prix,” said Carpenter. “What an atmosphere! Such a great crowd with enthusiasm! The city was really buzzing from the race. Bringing the racing to the city, many people, who don’t normally go to the races, get an opportunity to see the race cars and the events around the weekend.”

Carpenter also brings his first-year squad to Baltimore with a superb finish record in 2012. The Ed Carpenter Racing/Fuzzy’s Vodka organization is the only IndyCar Series team to have finished each of the first 13 races in the 15-event trail. It is an outstanding mark for a team that began operation less than ten months ago. Carpenter and ECR general manager Derrick Walker comprised an excellent combination of veteran mechanics and engineers for the one-car operation in 2012.

“It is very difficult to construct a team in just a few months and try to compete against the likes of Penske, Ganassi and Andretti,” Carpenter explained. “We have a solid team with Derrick and Tim Broyles (team manager) leading the way. I have been able to concentrate on the driving side as well. I am proud of the way the team has come together and finishing every race this year shows the effort the Fuzzy’s Vodka team has produced this season.”

Coming from the USAC dirt and pavement oval tracks as a youngster, the 31-year-old Butler University marketing graduate isn’t as experienced on the road circuits as other IndyCar Series drivers who began their careers in karting. But Carpenter has been working hard with his “rookie” team to improve his road racing results.

“My background started in quarter-midgets when others came from the karting ranks,” said Carpenter. “That isn’t an excuse for me. But I didn’t really start road racing until I got to IndyCar racing. So it is a process for me to continue to improve on the road circuits. I feel like we have made some good progress on the street circuit this year. I hope that continues in Baltimore this weekend.”

Carpenter feels the new adjustments to the second-year Baltimore Grand Prix course will be good for both the drivers and the fans.

“This year’s track should be a little better with the adjustments on the long straight, no chicane; and the widening in turn one,” said Carpenter. “It should help for passing zones in several areas. That is something I think the fans will like too. I’m excited to go back to Baltimore and the Grand Prix.”

And all of the members on Carpenter’s team are looking forward to coming back to the Charm City.

“The Baltimore Grand Prix has already turned into one of the most popular races in the series,” said Carpenter.

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