Newgarden continues normal prep despite Carpenter ownership shakeup

Photo: IndyCar

One of the more notable offseason stories in a relatively long winter for the Verizon IndyCar Series was the re-rebranding of Ed Carpenter Racing back to ECR after its now sole year as CFH Racing in 2015.

Fortunately for its lone full-season driver, Josef Newgarden, preparations didn’t change even if the team name did.

Newgarden, now 25 and going into his fifth full-time season in the series, will not have Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman present as he did for the first four.

The combination of Carpenter, Fisher and Hartman last year brought Carpenter to Newgarden for the first time and allowed the two to build chemistry on their own.

As Fisher and Hartman are out from the ownership structure this year, Newgarden is pressing ahead as planned under the revised ECR banner.

“Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to get too involved in the ownership side,” Newgarden told NBC Sports. “The core group of people hasn’t really changed.

“Yeah, I haven’t dived into it much. Luckily, I didn’t have to. It was more on the business side, and regarding the team’s business. But it won’t affect me massively from a driving standpoint.”

Newgarden’s new strategist is yet to be determined with Andy O’Gara also out of the team, but the crew led by engineer Jeremy Milless will stay primarily intact.

One of the variables that remain to be sorted for Newgarden and ECR, less than a month before the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, is whether he’ll have a full-time teammate for a second straight year.

After three years on a single-car team, Newgarden had either Carpenter (ovals) or Luca Filippi (road and street courses) available at his disposal as a teammate last year. Both drivers provided invaluable feedback.

Heading into 2016 though, while Carpenter and the team have stated the intention of the No. 20 car continuing on road and street courses, no driver has been named for those 11 rounds.

“The teammate thing is interesting, being able to compare it to single car in the past,” Newgarden explained. “Between the two of either single car or multiple cars, there’s positive and negatives to both.

“With two cars, you always have something to look at. There’s always something to learn. The case with Luca was he was very talented, and there was always something I learned over a weekend. The same was true for Ed. There was always something I’d learn on an oval weekend.

“It could have been a difference in driving styles, preference on setup; it was always nice to have a different to look at. You have to rely on what you need. It was nice having the option of a different approach. It brought fresh perspective.”

The one confirmed bit of freshness for Newgarden this year is a new number, 21, and new support from Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka for the opening few races. Remaining commercial partners are to be determined.

“Yeah it’s perfect. I’m not really a numbers guy… I’m not superstitious. But I won the Formula Ford Festival in 2008 in number 21. I’ve run it before and it’s been good to me. I’ll run any number on the car. It certainly ties in well with a premium vodka.

“I don’t drink often… or at all. But if I did, I would be drinking Fuzzy’s Vodka.”

Saturday’s Motocross Round 3 at Thunder Valley: How to watch, start times, schedules, streams

Watch Motocross Thunder Valley
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The Pro Motocross series heads to Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado for the 19th consecutive year with no active winners in the 450 division but with plenty of storylines to watch.

Jett Lawrence has set a blistering pace in the first two rounds of the season by winning all four motos and as the most recent winner in the 250 class on this track, Thunder Valley has been incredibly kind. In fact, this week’s Hangtown by the numbers points out this is his fifth-best track.

Chase Sexton will sit out another round as he battles a concussion and illness, which gives Cooper Webb an opportunity to grab the No. 1 seed in the SuperMotocross World Championship that debuts this September. Last week, Webb made up 40 of the 68 points needed for the top spot after missing two rounds at the end of the Supercross season with a head injury suffered at Nashville.

JETTING TO THE LEAD: Jett Lawrence wins second Pro Motocross race in second try

The 250 class continues to be dominated by Hunter Lawrence. He has swept the podium in moto finishes and won both overall races of the season. Last year, he was second in the 250 Motocross race at Thunder Valley and will be a fun rider to watch.

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 3 of the 2023 Motocross season at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado:

(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE: TV coverage of Round 3 will begin Saturday at 12 p.m. ET streaming on Peacock with an encore presentation Monday at 2 a.m. ET on CNBC. The Race Day Live show (including practice) will begin on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET Saturday.

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. Click here for the full schedule.


Track Map

ENTRY LISTS: 450 division l 250 division

EVENT SCHEDULE (all times ET): 

Here are the start times for Saturday’s Motocross Round 3 at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado, according to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule from the AMA:

9:15 a.m.: Riders Meeting at AMA Semi
9:20 a.m.: Chapel Service at AMA Semi
10:00 a.m.: 250 Class Practice Grp B- 15 minutes (1 Lap Free)
10:20 a.m.: 250 Class Practice Grp A- 15 minutes (1 Lap Free)
10:50 a.m.: 450 Class Practice Grp A- 15 minutes (1 Lap Free)
11:10 a.m.: 450 Class Practice Grp B- 15 minutes (1 Lap Free)
11:40 a.m.: 250 Class Grp B Start Practice (Off Gate) 5 minutes
11:45 a.m.: 250 Class Practice Grp B- 15 minutes – Timed
12:05 p.m.: 250 Class Grp A Start Practice (Off Gate) 5 minutes
12:10 p.m.: 250 Class Practice Grp A- 15 minutes – Timed
12:30 p.m.: 450 Class Grp A Start Practice (Off Gate) 5 minutes
12:35 p.m.: 450 Class Practice Grp A- 15 minutes – Timed
12:55 p.m.: 450 Class Grp B Start Practice (Off Gate) 5 minutes
1:00 p.m.: 450 Class Practice Grp B- 15 minutes – Timed
1:45 p.m.: 250 Consolation Race
2:00 p.m.: 450 Consolation Race
3:00 p.m. 250 Class Sight Lap
3:10 p.m.: 250 Class Moto #1
4:00 p.m.: 450 Class Sight Lap
4:10 p.m.: 450 Class Moto #1
4:50 p.m.: Halftime
5:15 p.m.: 250 Class Sight Lap
5:23 p.m.: 250 Class Moto #2
6:00 p.m.: 250 Winners Circle
6:16 p.m.: 450 Class Sight Lap
6:24 p.m.: 450 Class Moto #2

MOTOCROSS 2023 STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 points standings


ROUND 1: Jett Lawrence wins in first 450 start at Pala
ROUND 2: Jett Lawrence remains perfect at Hangtown


ROUND 1: Eli Tomac opens title defense with victory
ROUND 2: Eli Tomac ties Ricky Carmichael on Supercross wins list
ROUND 3: Eli Tomac holds off Cooper Webb again
ROUND 4: Chase Sexton wins Anaheim Triple Crown
ROUND 5: Eli Tomac leads wire to wire in Houston
ROUND 6: Cooper Webb breaks through in Tampa
ROUND 7: Cooper Webb wins again in Arlington
ROUND 8: Eli Tomac wins Daytona for the seventh time
ROUND 9: Ken Roczen scores first victory since 2022
ROUND 10: Chase Sexton inherits Detroit victory but docked points
ROUND 11: Eli Tomac wins in Seattle, ties Cooper Webb for points lead
ROUND 12: Eli Tomac earns 51st career victory to break tie with James Stewart
ROUND 13: Chase Sexton dominates Atlanta to continue surge
ROUND 14: Justin Barcia triumphs in the New Jersey mud
ROUND 15: Chase Sexton wins as Cooper Webb is injured
ROUND 16: Eli Tomac sidelined by injury as Sexton wins
ROUND 17: Chase Sexton caps off championship with finale win


Thunder Valley by the numbers
Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross
Jeremy Martin injury update
Power Rankings after Hangtown
Results and points after Hangtown
Jett Lawrence wins second consecutive at Hangtown
Enzo Lopes re-signs with ClubMX

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