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100th Indianapolis 500 team preview: Ed Carpenter Racing

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MotorSportsTalk looks through the Verizon IndyCar Series grid ahead of the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Next up, Ed Carpenter Racing.

Perpetually good but not great at Indy, the two-time polesitters (2013, 2014) look to topple the proverbial Penske/Ganassi juggernaut this year. In each of its three all-American drivers, they have a popular first-time ‘500 winner-in-waiting.

ENTRIES 

JR Hildebrand, No. 6 Preferred Freezer Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet
Josef Newgarden, No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet

2016 SEASON SO FAR

Like last year, Josef Newgarden will be looking to hope his Barber podium will kickstart the rest of his season. At eighth in the points, has been fighting most of the year as a one-car entrant, although his team will grow first by one for the GP and then by two for the ‘500. Carpenter retired from his only start of the year at Phoenix.

INDY OUTLOOK

This race means everything to this trio. Carpenter, the Butler graduate and smart businessman, has long desired an Indy 500 race win but desperately needs a result of sort after two tough ‘500s in a row. Hildebrand, 2011’s nearly man, has been super consistent with back-to-back ‘500 top-10s, not easy to do in a one-off role. Newgarden is yet to have a truly standout month of May and will be hoping this year presents that opportunity.

Not the favorites, but with a bit of tweaking on their setups, strong top-five contenders.

  • 2015 (as CFH): 8. 6-Hildebrand (10), 9. 21-Newgarden (9), 30. 20-Carpenter (12)
  • 2014: 10. 21-Hildebrand (9), 27. 20-Carpenter (1)
  • 2013: 10. 20-Carpenter (1)
  • 2012: 21. 20-Carpenter (28)

*Note – the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) team fused into what was CFH Racing last year, before the team reverted back to its original 2012-2014 name as ECR this year. The SFHR-only results are below:

  • 2014: 13. 68-Tagliani (24), 30. 67-Newgarden (8)
  • 2013: 28. 21-Newgarden (25)
  • 2012: 25. 67-Newgarden (7), 30. 39-Clauson (31)

Chip Ganassi to be honored in Petersen Museum exhibit

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.

Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dario Franchitti’s 2010 Dallara IR-05. Photo Kahn Media

Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.

“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’ will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.” 

“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.

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