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?

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024
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An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”