Ed Carpenter was part of the IZOD IndyCar Series’ test session Tuesday at Auto Club Speedway, the track where he took his single-car Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing team to victory lane a year ago.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a smooth trip back to base in Indianapolis ahead of the series’ next race in Houston. Carpenter’s truck caught fire on the drive back in Arizona, and the team is assessing the damage. No one was injured.
A statement from Carpenter released Wednesday reads:
“Our ECR/Fuzzy’s Vodka trailer caught fire early this morning in Arizona, on I-40 near Flagstaff, after Tuesday’s test session at Fontana. Our truck drivers, Matt Giese and Jeff Hughes, are okay. The No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet race car and some equipment are also okay. We are still evaluating the damage at this time. We would like to thank the Andretti Autosport teams and their truck drivers who stopped to assist Matt and Jeff with the incident. We hope to have additional information on the trailer and equipment as soon as it is available.”
Carpenter currently sits 17th in the series standings.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.