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.”
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.