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CARPENTER PACES FINAL INDYCAR PRACTICE AT TMS
FORT WORTH, Texas (June 9, 2017) - Oval-track specialist Ed Carpenter gave the Chevrolet camp something to cheer about Friday afternoon when he topped the speed chart during the final practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Carpenter, the series’ only owner/driver, toured TMS’ repaved and re-profiled 1.5-mile in 23.0726-seconds/224.682 mph in his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Premium Vodka Chevy. That was enough to edge Scott Dixon, whose best of 46 laps in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing was 223.008 mph. Dixon is a two-time winner of “America’s Original Nighttime IndyCar Race.”
“At the end there, I was in the back of the line and put up a big number,” said Carpenter, who won this race in 2014. “It doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot of anything, but at the same time I’m pretty happy with my car. It felt pretty good relative to what I was seeing from other cars. It gave me confidence that we can make a good run tomorrow night.
“It’s still a tricky place. It’s a harder to pass because the top lane hasn’t come in yet (Turns 1-2) but maybe we’ll work it in over the course of the race. If not, I still think you’ll be able to get around people because Turn 2 from mid-to-exit is a lot harder with the new configuration. I still think it will be a good race, but I do think it will be different than the ones we’ve had the last couple of years.”
Alexander Rossi continued his strong weekend showing with a lap of 222.678 mph good for third in the No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda. Fourth-fastest was JR Hildebrand, Carpenter’s teammate, at 222.203 mph in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy.
Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, the reigning series champion, was fifth at 222.197 mph in the No. 1 DXC Technology Chevy. Helio Castroneves, a four-time TMS winner and Pagenaud’s teammate, was sixth at 222.072 mph in the No. 3 AAA Insurance Chevy.
First-time pole-winner Charlie Kimball stood 13th on the chart at 221.151 mph after 43 laps in the No. 83 Tresiba Honda fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing. Kimball qualified P1 after posting a record two-lap average speed of 222.556 mph earlier Friday. Kimball earned his first career series pole in his 109th start and will lead the field to the green flag for Saturday night’s 248-lap/372-mile sprint.