Former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge, 60, passes away from cancer

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The NASCAR world is mourning the death of former Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series Billy Standridge, who passed away early Saturday morning.

Standridge, 60, passed away after a brief battle with cancer.

Standridge competed in 84 races in the Nationwide Series, taking part in two full seasons in 1988 and 1989, with a career-best five top-10 finishes across both campaigns.

The Shelby, N.C. native moved to the Sprint Cup Series on a part-time basis and competed in 23 races from 1993 through 1999. His best finish in the Cup ranks was 14th in the 1995 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. His last race was the 1998 Pepsi 400 at Daytona. He attempted to enter two races at the start of 1999 but failed to qualify for both.

During Friday night’s Nationwide Series race at Darlington, JD Motorsports drivers Landon Cassill, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Kevin Lepage paid tribute to Standridge with decals honoring him on their cars.

According to Jayski.com, team owner Johnny Davis previously worked for Standridge as a crew chief, engine truck driver and mechanic.

Davis said the decal will be on his cars in other upcoming races, as well.

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IndyCar 2017 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.

While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.

Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.

Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.

In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.