Judging from the witty banter that he and James Hinchcliffe fired at each other one day after the two got tangled in a crash at the Indianapolis 500, Ed Carpenter has moved on from that disappointment.
Still, the visible frustration from Carpenter in the crash’s immediate aftermath was worth noting considering that he’s easily one of the most even-keeled competitors in the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock.
“You saw how badly I wanted to win that race,” he said recently. “I have been dreaming of racing in and winning the Indy 500 since I was eight years old. I felt we were in position to contend for the win. And then ‘boom,’ it was over.”
“Even though we won the pole for a second straight year, people don’t realize how much we worked on the race setups. We put in a ton of miles to get a feel for the car in various conditions.
“We felt we put ourselves in position to challenge for the win. And it all went away quickly.”
That display of emotion also showed that his spirit as a racer has not ebbed, even as he’s chosen to stick to ovals and let Mike Conway drive his No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy on road/street courses.
But this weekend’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra) marks an opportunity for Carpenter to bounce back from his ‘500’ wreck; last year, he finished fourth in Fort Worth.
“I have always liked racing at Texas Motor Speedway,” said Carpenter. “We have had fast cars the last two years there. We tested there earlier this year and we feel confident that the Fuzzy’s Chevy can race for the win.
“After Indy, I know the whole ECR team is very determined to pull this one off and shoot those pistols in the winner’s circle. I’m anxious to get back there now.”