Ed Carpenter Needs To Finish A Race

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Photo from sports.usatoday.com

IndyCar’s only owner/driver, Hulman-George family member Ed Carpenter needs to finish a race – much less win one – along with accomplishing a number of other important items.

As fans of Ed – he’s an underdog, American, and actually defends IndyCar instead of rudely ripping or apologizing for the racing – it pains us to write this. However, IndyCar fans do just love to bitch. One for one so far this year with his crash at Phoenix – after a whopping four DNFs in only six oval starts in 2015 – Eddie needs to refocus on his driving before climbing back into the car. As you may have guessed, he managed precisely no top fives on the season either, coming off an impressive three in 2014. Also troubling, Carpenter’s crashed out of the last two Indy 500s.

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Photo from foxsports.com

Obviously he’s the outfit’s owner, but come on. He hasn’t won a race since Texas in 2014, which was only the third victory of his career. That’s in a hundred and sixty career starts, spread out over fourteen seasons. Put another way, if he keeps it up Ed’s record will approach Marco bad.  And that’d be a shame.

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Photo from fontanaheraldnews.com

Carpenter committed a cardinal sin last year at Fontana’s swan song. Embarrassingly taking out his team mate in a crash while attempting an ill advised pass, Ed ruined his entire team’s day in one costly swoop. In the midst of a frustrating season, Ed next engaged in some verbal jousting – not to mention sign language histrionics – with Sage “Wild Man” Karam at Iowa. The hot footed, ride-less rookie finished three spots ahead of the grizzled veteran that night, and stood his ground in the post race contretemps.

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Photo from usatoday.com

Ed’s under-performance as a pilot is only half the story. Let’s stipulate that he has some ownership issues, too. Failing to outlast the honeymoon, the once stylish Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing marriage was annulled after barely a year. Our queries regarding Pope Penske’s involvement in the matter have gone unanswered. As noted here at the time, Ed didn’t exactly make all the adjustments required to enter into such a union, which were substantial, indeed.

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Photo from edcarpenterracing.com

Really, Ed’s been off his game since midway through the 2014 season, at which point his team already enjoyed three wins. Two of those came thanks to Kentish Mike Conway, who then shared Carpenter’s car for the astonishingly fast multiplying non-oval portion of the schedule. He hasn’t sniffed a win since, barely finishing at all except on the end of a Honda wrecker. At Indy, he couldn’t even manage to finish practice. This, following consecutive poles.

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Photo from edcarpenterracing.com

Frankly, his ownership performance has been nearly as bad as his driving lately. Ed didn’t bother to run a team mate for Newgarden at the opener in St. Pete, and it showed with zero points for the 20 car, or roughly the same amount as J.R. Hildebrand’s total to date. That is to say, zilch. At Indy, his overstretched team will be juggling three cars.

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Photo from indycar.com

The young Tennessean’s in the final year of his contract with ECR and may well test greener pastures for next season. Coming off breakthrough wins at Barber and Toronto last year, Newkid – who routinely beats Ed, etc. and did so by fifteen positions at Phoenix – no doubt will be a hot commodity. If so, the owner’s got plenty of work to do ahead filling that seat, in addition to securing a suitable non-oval – and maybe even a full time – driver for his own car. Else we’re likely looking at still further contraction for the series.

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Photo from edcarpenterracing.com

It’s come time for Ed, who’s thirty five, to decide how much longer he wants to drive. Not exactly a secret, being an IndyCar owner/driver is an extremely challenging endeavor. That’s why there’s only one – and he’s now a family man. To start turning things around, Ed simply needs to finish a race. He hasn’t done so since July and his next chance won’t come until the 100th Indianapolis 500. The pressure on him to perform at his home event will be immense. Meantime, perhaps it’s best if he focuses full time on his ownership responsibilities. Because for Carpenter the questions are rapidly becoming, can he do both jobs? And does he finish well?

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18 thoughts on “Ed Carpenter Needs To Finish A Race

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