The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway.
CFH RACING TEST SESSION AT TMS KICKS OFF PREPARATIONS FOR 2016
FORT WORTH, Texas (October 14, 2015) – The Verizon IndyCar Series is less than two months removed from concluding its 2015 season and one would envision for most the offseason would include vacation and relaxation before focusing on 2016.
>However, the preparations for next season started Wednesday for the two-car team of CFH Racing with a one-day test session at Texas Motor Speedway. Verizon IndyCar Series veteran driver/car owner Ed Carpenter, who won the 2014 Firestone 600, and rising star Josef Newgarden took part in the day-long test in an effort to assist Chevrolet with collecting data and improving the CFH Racing’s oval performance.
“Any time you come to the track, you learn things,” said Carpenter, co-owner of CFH Racing. “When we were here in June for the race we hadn’t really gotten our cars dialed in yet to the new Chevrolet aero kits. This is a good opportunity to come back and reaffirm what we learned and what we felt like we got better at Fontana (Auto Club Speedway) and Pocono (Raceway). So we are able to come back here and say, ‘Yeah, we have fixed the issues that were bothering us here last year.’”
The test session on the high-banked 1.5-mile oval included track conditions resembling June’s Firestone 600 with Dallas/Fort Worth experiencing near record-high temperatures that hovered above 90 degrees – more than 10 degrees above the normal high.
“We really lucked out on the weather today and have June-like conditions in October so it’s a very productive day for us,” Carpenter said. “You are always looking forward to next year and testing new parts and trying to anticipate some of the rule changes that are going to be coming down from INDYCAR.”
Getting back on the track couldn’t come soon enough for Newgarden, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2015. He earned his first career Verizon IndyCar Series victory at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. – the first of two wins on the season with the other coming on Toronto’s street course. Newgarden, from Hendersonville, Tenn., also posted career highs for top fives (5), poles (1) and laps led (345) that ultimately propelled him to a career-best seventh-place finish in the series championship.
His breakout season earned him a one-year contact extension at CFH Racing, allowing him to return to pilot the No. 67 Chevrolet through the 2016 season.
“I’m super jacked for 2016,” said Newgarden, who will be entering his fifth season in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2016. “Every year I feel like I can’t get back racing again. Normally, it’s nice to have a month or two off. I think most racers like having a little bit of time to reset their minds, but I think probably because this year we had such a successful season – we won a couple of races and were close in the championship battle – I think that just reinvigorated me to get going immediately. I really don’t want to have an offseason this year. So 2016, I can’t wait for it.”
Earlier this month, Texas Motor Speedway announced the Verizon IndyCar Series would return to the 1.5-mile speedway for the Firestone 600, “America’s Original Nighttime IndyCar Race,” on Saturday, June 11. Next year’s race will mark the 20th anniversary of the prestigious event and the 27th INDYCAR event held at Texas Motor Speedway.
Carpenter, who in in 2014 made the transition to competing strictly on ovals, has an affinity for tracks like Texas Motor Speedway. He understands the long history INDYCAR has built at Texas Motor Speedway considering he has competed at the track since 2003. His most recent victory – all three of which have come on ovals – came at Texas Motor Speedway during the 2014 Firestone 600 where his single-car team at the time defeated the series’ powerhouse organizations in Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I think it’s greatly important,” Carpenter said of racing on ovals like Texas Motor Speedway. “It’s part of INDYCAR’s heritage and tradition. I think it is awesome we are coming back to Texas. This track, INDYCAR has raced here more than any other racetrack in its history and that is something that everyone wants to keep the same. I certainly love coming down here.”