INDIANAPOLIS (August 22, 2020) – Indianapolis 500 Preview
The next time Ed Carpenter Racing’s three Chevrolet-powered NTT INDYCAR SERIES cars take to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, it will be for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Rinus VeeKay, the fastest rookie in the field, claimed the 4th starting position for his first 500-mile race. Team owner Ed Carpenter is one of the most experienced drivers in Sunday’s field as he will start his 17th Indy from the inside of Row 6. ECR has expanded to three cars for the Indianapolis 500 and Conor Daly will roll off from the outside of Row 6.
The 2020 Indianapolis 500 was originally scheduled to run on May 24 in the traditional Memorial Weekend date. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be run this Sunday, August 23. Following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership, the decision was made to hold the race without spectators. NBC will carry the race day broadcast, beginning with a 90-minute pre-race show at 1 p.m. ET., followed by race coverage from 2:30-6 p.m. ET. Additionally, the television blackout for Indianapolis-area residents has been lifted and local fans will be able to watch live on WTHR-13.
ED CARPENTER, No. 20 U.S. Space Force Chevrolet, Starting 16th: “It’s finally here! It’s time to race. We definitely have some work cut out for us with where we are starting. It’s going to take a lot of hard work with a balance of aggression and patience. Passing is possible, but it is a lot harder in the past. We’re going to have to be opportunistic. I am still confident that we’ll find our way to the front, but it’s going to be a battle out there. I am looking forward to the drop of the green, getting everyone on equal footing, on the same tires and running full stints. We’ll see where we are in the U.S. Space Force Chevrolet!”
Qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 were held last weekend. On Saturday, Carpenter had to wait until the middle of the day to make his first run. His first four-lap average of 229.811 mph had him provisionally 20th on the grid. A few hours later, the 39-year-old returned to the track for a second attempt. He improved to 230.211 mph, which will have him starting tomorrow’s 500-mile race from the 16th position. Carpenter has turned 400 laps of practice, exactly twice the race distance.
Earlier this week, Carpenter had the opportunity to fly with the world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Thursday morning, Carpenter took to the skies over central Indiana with Thunderbird 8 Advanced Pilot and Narrator, Major Jason Markzon. Officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the F-16 Fighting Falcons are in Indianapolis to perform the pre-race flyover on Sunday.
Carpenter is the only individual in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES who handles both the responsibility of driving and owning his own team. He will be one of the most experienced drivers in the field as he has qualified for his 17th Indy 500. The Indianapolis native solidified his status as a hometown favorite by winning the pole position in 2013 and 2014; in 2018, he became just the 10th driver to collect three or more Indy 500 poles in the century-plus history of the race. Two of his strongest results have come the past two years, including a runner-up after leading the most laps in 2018. Carpenter now competes exclusively in the oval events, beginning his 18th season of Indy car competition with a Top 5 finish at Texas Motor Speedway in June.
The No. 20 Chevrolet features the U.S. Space Force, the newest branch of the United States military. Earlier this month, Carpenter joined Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, live on FOX and Friends to announce the partnership. The U.S. Space Force became the sixth branch of the Department of Defense when it was signed into law on December 20, 2019. Its mission is to protect the interests of the United States in space; deter aggression in, from and to space; and conduct space operations. Similar to the branches of the military which are dedicated to protecting and securing the air, land, and sea, the U.S. Space Force focuses singularly on space.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!