With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.
P16 was your Indianapolis 500 polesitter, Ed Carpenter…
- Team: Ed Carpenter Racing
- 2012: 18th Place, 1 Win, Best Start 5th
- 2013: 16th Place, Best Finish 2nd, 1 Pole, 1 Podium, 3 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 56 Laps Led, 17.6 Avg. Start, 15.1 Avg. Finish
DiZinno says: Carpenter’s season highlight of course is the dramatic Indianapolis 500 pole, and a second place at Fontana was a deserved result after a great drive. Other than that it was more of the same for the series’ lone owner/driver on track, a true contender on ovals and a consistent improver on the road and street courses, save for a couple mistakes at Toronto and Houston. He had to fight through adversity off track with Derrick Walker leaving the team for a post at INDYCAR directly, and also with a transporter fire after a Fontana test in September. On both occasions, though, the team pressed ahead.
Estrada says: In what proved to be his final full-time campaign for the time being (he’s brought in Mike Conway to do the road races in his No. 20 machine next year), Carpenter kept rolling along on the ovals with five Top-10s in six speedway races, including a runner-up in the season finale at Fontana. But any time you can beat Team Penske and Andretti Autosport for the Indy 500 pole in front of your fellow Hoosiers, that’s your major highlight of the year. The former USAC product also continued his development on the twisty tracks, but while he closed the gap somewhat to his rivals, any gap at all is magnified in a field this tough. Perhaps he had that in mind when he decided to bring Conway on for 2014…