IndyCar 2016 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver. Ed Carpenter finished 25th in the standings after another tough season behind the wheel.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 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
  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish

Five starts, one finish, best result 18th. This is not the Ed Carpenter we have come to know behind the wheel.

Ed the owner had a pretty damn good year, as together with teammate Josef Newgarden they contended for the title nearly down to the finish, won again in dominant fashion at Iowa, and consistently hassled the Penske and Ganassi squads – no small feat considering the two-car effort ECR assembled in 2016 was up against the four-car mights and their considerably bigger budgets.

Ed the driver, meanwhile, seemingly had a cartoon anvil chasing him around all year. A spin at Phoenix was the first bad omen, while a lack of full pace and mechanical gremlins left Carpenter in a very weird spot at Indy – anonymous all month. A gearbox issue at Iowa was followed by another mechanical at Pocono, and finally a crash at Texas capped it all off. At least he can say he was part of IndyCar’s first “double birds” appearance in five years, when Scott Dixon unleashed them?