Ed Carpenter Racing might not have got off the ground without Derrick Walker’s support, and the eponymous team owner/driver made sure to note that Monday when it was confirmed Walker would leave the team after this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Carpenter enters Indianapolis as the winner of IndyCar’s most recent oval and 500-mile race, in last year’s season finale at Auto Club Speedway.
“While we will miss Derrick being a part of Ed Carpenter Racing, we are excited about his new opportunity to join the leadership team at IndyCar,” said Carpenter. “Derrick has done a phenomenal job for ECR. He really was the architect of our team, and helped us establish a very strong foundation that will continue to lead to future successes.
“I am confident that he will do an outstanding job at IndyCar. He will be an asset there that will also help the race teams within the series.
“Although we wish him well, we will enjoy our last month working together, and if all goes according to plan, we will drink milk together at the end of the month before he moves on to his new responsibilities.”
Carpenter’s other drinking-related commitments – supporting sponsor Fuzzy’s Vodka – will occur in part on Monday evening when a special Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Limited Edition “Checkered Flag” bottle is unveiled at IMS at 6:20 p.m. local time.