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Carpenter Fights Back for 3rd Saturday in MAVTV 500 Season Finale

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Ed Carpenter, MavTV500

Carpenter Fights Back for 3rd Saturday in MAVTV 500 Season Finale

Tom Blattler
Ed Carpenter Racing
August 30, 2014

Ed Carpenter RacingThe ECR crew was sensational at their pit stops Saturday. Ed Carpenter Racing Ed Carpenter Racing
August 30th 2014 - FONTANA, Calif. – Ed Carpenter drove through the Verizon IndyCar Series twice Saturday night in the MAVTV 500 season finale to finish third at Auto Club Speedway in the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing/Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet.

Saturday’s 250-lapper was the final race for the Ed Carpenter Racing name as the organization will now merge with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team for the 2015 season, known as CFH Racing. The ECR unit will move into the SFHR headquarters in Speedway, Ind., next month.

Carpenter, the 2012 MAVTV 500 champion started 13th and took the lead on lap 100 in the 18th round and final round of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series campaign before a pit speeding violation forced Carpenter to return to the pits for a drive-through penalty on lap 106.

The 2014 Firestone 600 winner then fought his way to the front of the field again and ran as third in the last 47 laps Saturday at the high-banked two-mile oval east of Los Angeles.

But, some of the lapped cars may have cost Carpenter a shot at running down race winner Tony Kanaan and second place Scott Dixon. In the final 40 laps, Carpenter couldn’t mount a charge to challenge Chevy drivers Kanaan and Dixon at the finish line. However, it marked the third consecutive year Carpenter was standing in the Fuzzy’s Vodka 19th Hole Victory Lane podium. Ed won in 2012 race and was 2nd in 2013. In 2014,

Carpenter decided to only drive in the six oval races with veteran Mike Conway piloting the Fuzzy’s Chevy in the 12 road and street events. The result was two wins for Conway (Long Beach and Toronto) and one win (Texas) and one pole (Indy 500) for Carpenter.

CFH Racing team will make several announcements in the near future.

Chevy driver Will Power captured the Verizon IndyCar Series driver point championship Saturday with his ninth place finish in the 500-mile race.

There was only one caution period Saturday for 12 laps when Ryan Hunter Reay spun in turn four on lap 175 and the race average speed was 196.111 miles per hour.

"I was pretty upset with the lapped guys tonight,” said Carpenter after his third place finish. "We were trying to race for the win and they just wouldn’t move even when they are several laps down. On the final restart, I got a good start and I got in the hunt with Helio (Castroneves), Will (Power) and Scott (Dixon). But as the laps went on and we had traffic, it was very tough to pass the lapped traffic. I know they are racing too. But we talk about having some courtesy on the track in the meetings.”

Despite his disappointment of a chance to run for the victory, Carpenter was pleased with his squad’s 2014 performance as a one-car effort going against the four-car teams of Ganassi and Andretti and the three-car operation of Penske.

"Oh well, we got back on the Fuzzy’s Vodka 19th Hole Victory Lane for the third straight year in the Fuzzy’s Chevy,” Ed said. "It’s a good way to finish the season. That penalty hurt us too. The pit speed limiter didn’t work on the third stop and we were too fast I guess. And the limiter didn’t work the rest of the race and I had to read the speed into the pit until the end. It was a hard race tonight and I feel like we fought back from a lot of stuff. The Ganassi guys were fast at the end. We had a better pace in the end of the stints though. But I couldn’t get to them in that last stint. Overall, ECR team was just sensational throughout the year. I’m very proud of them.”

The three Verizon IndyCar Series wins by Ed Carpenter Racing marked the first time since 2004 (Fernandez Racing) that a one-car team had scored that many victories in a season.

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