Some people didn’t know what to think when Verizon IndyCar Series owner/driver Ed Carpenter announced he would only compete in the oval races on the 2014 schedule and hired British veteran Mike Conway to pilot the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in the 12 street and road circuit races on the schedule for Ed Carpenter Racing.
So far, it looks like a good move.
“I had improved quite a bit on the street and road courses but I wanted our team to be in contention every race and I couldn’t do that with myself on the roads,” said Carpenter, who won on the oval at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7th. “I wanted this team to grow and be competitive every time out.”
In addition to Carpenter’s win, Conway added one of his own at Long Beach, and the one-car, two-driver team is proving to be a handful for the likes of Penske, Ganassi and Andretti.
“Mike has been very competitive at the street races with the Fuzzy’s Chevy so far,” said Carpenter, who will be behind the wheel at Pocono and Iowa. “We were running third at St. Pete and had a problem; we won at Long Beach and we had a fast car at Detroit. So I think we can be right in the hunt for the Houston races too.”
After two devastating crashes at Indy in 2010 and 2012, Conway made the decision to walk away from oval racing and stick to the street and road circuits, a plan that fit perfectly into Carpenter’s team strategy as Ed, who came through the USAC oval ranks, concentrated on the oval tracks this year.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better situation at Ed’s team,” said Conway, a three-time IndyCar Series race winner. “Ed wanted to race the ovals and I wanted to compete on the road courses. We felt this combination could be very competitive throughout the 2014 season.”
“We are working extremely hard right now to win more races in 2014,” said Carpenter. “I’m very proud of our team and the people we have put together at ECR. Led by general manager Tim Broyles, our team’s plan is to continue to give the Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka and Chevrolet folks a reason to smile this year. We believe we can win again.”
Qualifying for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston double-header takes place Saturday and Sunday morning at 10 a.m. CT and races go green both days at 2 p.m. CT. Follow the action at www.indycar.com.
Information and quotes in this piece provided by Ed Carpenter Racing.
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