IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver. Next up is Ed Carpenter, who had a tough season behind the wheel even though he had a generally good season as team co-owner of CFH Racing.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 CFH Racing Chevrolet

  • 2014: 22nd Place (6 Starts), 1 Win, 1 Pole, 2 Podiums, 3 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 122 Laps Led, 8.3 Avg. Start, 9.7 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 27th Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 6th, Best Start 4th, o Top-5, 2 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 14.2 Avg. Start, 17.8 Avg. Finish

IndyCar’s primary oval specialist had a year to forget from the driver role, but it was balanced out at least with some good results in his team co-owner role. One sixth place finish was all Carpenter had to show for his six starts, and even that – like his other races – could well have been higher had it not been for other extenuating circumstances.

In truth, things got off to a horrible start for Carpenter in the month of May. First teammate Josef Newgarden, then Carpenter himself had awful looking, although fortunately injury-free flying accidents within a matter of days before qualifying. Carpenter was justifiably livid when he exited his own No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet and not long after was when INDYCAR determined it would qualify the cars with race boost and higher downforce levels.

His first three races of the year produced three nightmares in three different ways. First was his contact with Oriol Servia in the Indianapolis 500. Next came Texas where both cars were out to lunch on setup. The nadir came at Fontana when the two teammates crashed into each other, with Carpenter’s spotter Lee Bentham having made an error up top and not alerting Carpenter to Newgarden’s presence on his outside exiting Turn 4.

Things were slightly salvaged with a near last-to-10th run at Milwaukee and then his best drive of the year by far, a near-podium at Iowa before his infamous battle with Sage Karam. Another DNF at Pocono however left Carpenter mired in 27th in the final standings.

The best races for Carpenter in 2015 came when he was outside the cockpit. Newgarden won twice and at the latter event in Toronto, Carpenter’s road course fill-in Luca Filippi came second to complete CFH Racing’s first 1-2 finish. Carpenter also had a front row seat to the two races Newgarden led a combined 220 laps – Milwaukee and Iowa.

There were a lot of factors to consider about Carpenter’s season, the major one being that the offseason required the merging and fusion of separate single-car entities – Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing – into the combined CFH Racing program. The performance from CFH on the whole in 2015 was very stout; they were easily the second or third best Chevrolet team on a consistent basis, and Newgarden in particular was the biggest driver thorn in the Penske/Ganassi side. Ed the driver will seek to rebound in 2016; Ed the co-owner has managed to keep his star teammate for another year; and Ed the co-owner of CFH will have a full offseason to grow rather than merge as they did last year.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

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Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s