Chris Hagan, the sports anchor for Fox 59 in Indianapolis, has reported via his Twitter page that Ed Carpenter and Vision Racing will rejoin the IZOD IndyCar Series for the final three races of the season at Chicagoland, Kentucky, and Homestead.
The No. 20 Dallara-Honda will once again be sponsored by Fuzzy's Premium Vodka, who backed the team in this year's Indianapolis 500. That car, run in partnership with Panther Racing, finished a respectable 17th, only the third car a lap down. Professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, the founder of Fuzzy's Vodka, confirmed the news in an interview with Hagan at a charity golf tournament.
Carpenter has always been an oval specialist, the kind of driver that Vision Racing owner (and IndyCar founder) Tony George had in mind when he first founded his open-wheel series in 1994. Carpenter especially excels at short tracks, where his career average finish is 12.1, and mid-size speedways, where that number is 13.7.
It's no surprise, then, that Kentucky and Homestead are Carpenter's two best tracks, with average finishes of 9.3 and 10.6, respectively. Meanwhile, at Chicago, his average finish is a respectable 13.7, making that track his fourth-best oval, out of the ovals that IndyCar still races. In a combined 18 starts at the three tracks, Carpenter has three of his four career top five finishes and eight of his 27 career top 10s.
Last year, Carpenter scored respectable finishes at both Chicago and Homestead, coming home 6th and 12th, respectably. But Kentucky was the highlight of the small team's season, as the team came within .016 seconds of its first win, only to be nipped at the line by Ryan Briscoe.