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)