2012 WRAP: Carpenter’s oval prowess emerged once again in the season finale at Auto Club Speedway, as he managed to sneak past Dario Franchitti for the win just before Takuma Sato froze the field with his final-lap crash. He also collected top-10s on the short ovals at Milwaukee and Iowa, and was threatening a possible Indy 500 upset until a late spin and crash. As for the road/street circuits, however, Carpenter remained a work in progress (average finish on those tracks: 19.4).
2013 OUTLOOK: Carpenter’s bread-and-butter are the speedways; for IndyCar’s lone owner/driver, they always have been and always will be. His top priority will be improving his road/street performances and, of course, keeping his race team humming along in Season Two. Said Carpenter on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park: “What is good about our team now is that we know the direction we are headed. That wasn’t the case last year.”
Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.