Ed Carpenter: There’s no big secret to oval success (VIDEO)

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Prior to the Indianapolis 500 last month, Ed Carpenter had not been in a Verizon IndyCar Series race for more than seven months.

Part of that is due to the fact that over the off-season, the American chose to put Mike Conway in his No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet for the road/street races while he would drive solely on ovals.

But even with the long layoff from racing, Carpenter was in contention to win at Indianapolis until his crash with James Hinchcliffe. Then at Texas Motor Speedway last night, he bolstered his reputation as one of the best oval racers in the series with a Firestone 600 win.

However, Carpenter insisted that there’s no magical secret behind his oval success despite not always being in the car.

“I work hard all year round,” he said after leading Will Power to the checkered flag at TMS. “I train in my office and in the shop every day. I mean, what I said before Indy, no one had run an oval since [the season finale at] Fontana, and we’d tested as much as anyone.  I’ll be testing twice this week. So just because you’re not in a car doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared.

“I’m engaged with the team every day. I don’t feel I’m missing anything. I mean, I’d like to run more races always, but I’m happy to run the ones I am and want to make the most of it…Every time we get in the car, I feel like Mike and I both have a chance to win right now with the job the team is doing for us.”

Carpenter’s win is the second of the year for ECR after Conway earned his second career win on the street course at Long Beach back in April. With their combined efforts, the No. 20 is finding its way up front more often.

But what about the future? Would Carpenter contemplate changing his current team set-up to go after a driver’s championship?

As it turns out, he would think about it – when the time is right.

“We’d love to go to a team when we have the opportunity,” he said. “But at the same time, we want to be able to grow at our own pace and do it in a way that’s going to allow us to continue to do things the way we’re doing them now, which we feel like is working.”

Indeed, Carpenter believes that his team is perfectly fine the way it is for now.

“You know, I wouldn’t trade any one person on our team for any other person up and down pit lane,” he said. “We’ve got a good group of people, and I think we’re able to show that on track right now.

“Like I keep saying, I’m really proud of the whole team, the whole effort, the whole group. It’s a great team to be a part of. We have a lot of fun, and it’s even more fun when you’re winning.”

Saturday’s Supercross Round 5 in Houston: How to watch, start times, streaming info

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The championship race has tightened up as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, for Round 5 of the 2023 season.

With his 450 victory in the Anaheim Triple Crown, Chase Sexton has moved within four points of two-time and defending series champion Eli Tomac.

Jason Anderson is coming off a second place in Anaheim after crashing out of the first two rounds while racing in the top five. Ken Roczen earned his first podium last week since the 2022 season opener and the first for Suzuki since Chad Reed at Detroit in 2019.

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 5 of the 2023 Supercross schedule at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023:


(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE: TV coverage of Round 5 will begin Saturday at 8 p.m. ET streaming on Peacock and will re-air Monday, Feb. 6 at 1 a.m. on CNBC. The Race Day Live show (including qualifying) will begin on Peacock at 2:30 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports will have exclusive live coverage of races, qualifiers and heats for the record 31 events in SuperMotocross. The main events will be presented on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and NBC Sports digital platforms.

Peacock will become the home of the SuperMotocross World Championship series in 2023 with live coverage of all races, qualifying, and heats from January to October. There will be 23 races livestreamed exclusively on Peacock, including a SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff event. The platform also will provide on-demand replays of every race.

ENTRY LISTS: 450 division l 250 division

EVENT SCHEDULE (all times ET):

Here are the start times for Saturday, according to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule from the AMA:

2:05-2:15 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 1
2:20-2:30 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 1
2:35-2:45 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 1
2:50-3 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 1
3:05-3:15 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 1
3:20-3:30 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 1
4:20-4:30 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 2
4:35-4:45 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 2
4:50-5 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:05-5:15 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:20-5:30 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 2
5:35-5:45 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 2
8:06 p.m.: 250SX Heat 1
8:20 p.m.: 250SX Heat 2
8:34 p.m.: 450SX Heat 1
8:48 p.m.: 450SX Heat 2
9:22 p.m.: 250SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:33 p.m.: 450SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:53 p.m.: 250SX Main Event
10:27 p.m.: 450SX Main Event

TRACK LAYOUT:

Click here to view the track map

HOW TO WATCH SUPERMOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IN 2023Full NBC Sports, Peacock schedule

FINAL 2022 STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 East points standings250 West points standings


2023 SEASON RECAPS

ROUND 1: Eli Tomac opens title defense with victory

ROUND 2: Oakland postponed by storms

ROUND 3: Tomac holds off Cooper Webb again

ROUND 4: Chase Sexton wins Anaheim Triple Crown


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