Carpenter, SFHR top single-car teams in year before fusion into CFH

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You wouldn’t know it from the final driver standings with Ed Carpenter in 22nd (262 points) and Mike Conway 23rd (252), but as a combined unit, the drivers of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet had the eighth most points in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season with 514 and was the best overall single-car team.

On their own, Conway had a best finish of 17th in (2009, 2011) and Carpenter a best of 12th (2009).

My colleague Chris Estrada touched on this the other night, but Carpenter could afford to be frustrated with third in Saturday’s MAVTV 500 given his pit lane speed limiter went out and he incurred a pit lane speeding violation. Without the time lost, he could well have captured his second win at the track in three years.

Still, Carpenter’s Texas win and Conway’s two left the Ed Carpenter Racing team with three wins this year, which tied Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport for the second most wins by a team this season. Team Penske had a series-high five.

In the driver’s standings, the single driver on a single-car team who finished highest was Josef Newgarden, in 13th for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. Newgarden struggled through the first half of the year but ended with five top-10s in the final eight races to advance from 20th to 13th in points, driving the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda.

The two teams merge to form CFH Racing in 2015. Newgarden is already signed, and Carpenter will run the ovals as he did this year.

Of the other three drivers on single-car teams, rookie Jack Hawksworth was 17th for Bryan Herta Autosport, Takuma Sato was 18th for A.J. Foyt Enterprises and Graham Rahal was 19th for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. RLL ran a second car at eight races but neither Oriol Servia or Luca Filippi had much in the way of luck or results.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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