IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
INDY POCONO 400
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JULY 6, 2013
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed qualifying at Pocono, how the track compares to Indianapolis and other topics. Full Transcript:
YOU WON THE POLE AT THE ONLY OTHER 2.5-MILE OVAL THIS YEAR THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR QUALIFYING HERE AT POCONO TODAY?
“It seemed like we had pretty good speed at the test a couple of days ago. You never know. The field is so competitive the Penske cars seem quick. The Andretti cars were quick, Tony (Kanaan) is quick, so I mean I think it’s going to be a lot like Indianapolis, just who picks the right level of downforce and who gets the gearing right. The way the wind is blowing today, tailwind coming out of (turn) three makes it tricky. It’s a little bit different than it was the other day. I think that will ultimately affect the trim level a little bit. I think we will have a shot, kind of like I felt like at Indy going into it, I felt like we could have been anywhere in the top 10. Just the way the series is right now.”
DERRICK WALKER IS NO LONGER PART OF YOUR TEAM DID YOU CONSULT HIM BEFORE THIS RACE? HE WAS PART OF THE PORSCHE TEAM AND PORSCHE WAS QUITE SUCCESSFUL HERE IN THE ‘80’S:
“No, to be honest we didn’t really talk much about then to now. He hasn’t been with us either of the times that we have tested here. He’s in Lime Rock (Connecticut) right now. We didn’t really talk about it. The track is similar, but it there have been improvements and changes in a different surface and the cars are different. We are kind of just starting from what we know about this car and what the engineering group thinks would be a good package here and just kind of working our program the way we always would.”
HAVE YOU GOTTEN OVER THE SHOCK? (IN REGARDS TO BRAD STEVENS, NEW COACH OF THE BOSTON CELTICS PREVIOUSLY HEAD COACH AT BUTLER UNIVERSITY):
“I mean I still think about it a lot. I watched his press conference yesterday which he did a great job as he always does. I’m excited to see who the next Butler coach is going to be. Really happy for Brad, it’s a great opportunity for him in Boston. Like I told him they are my second favorite NBA team now.”
HOW MUCH OF THIS FRONT STRETCH IS SIMILAR TO INDIANAPOLIS AND HOW MUCH CAN IT HELP WITH THE GEARING AND THE DOWNFORCE LEVELS?
“I mean it’s longer than Indy. Where it’s different is at Indy everything is pretty symmetrical, the straightaways are the same way, the short shoots are the same length. Here each straightaway is a little different. The corners are each different. The duration of the corners are different. I think gearing for Indy is a little easier. You can have the options in the gearbox to kind of cover a couple of wind scenarios at once and be okay. Here with the different length straightaways, different shaped corners, it’s hard to have as many options available to cover different conditions. Like we were talking about earlier in qualifying I think that gearing and getting it right for the conditions for two laps is going to be a big part of who comes out on the pole.”
HOW MUCH ARE YOU GUYS SHIFTING AROUND THIS TRACK OR ARE YOU?
“Yeah, I’ve done some laps single speed on new tires, but with the way the wind has been blowing with tailwind on the front stretch we will be at least using two top gears, maybe three. Usually there is a down shift out of (turn) one and that gear will work back around to the front straightaway again. Then you will up shift for the long front straightaways. With this wind kind of how it’s been, but other guys maybe doing it differently.”
DO YOU DO ANYTHING TO PREPARE COMING INTO POCONO LIKE MAYBE SOME IRACING?
“I didn’t. We have tested here twice now. iRacing is really good, but it doesn’t have the new car on there yet so it makes it a little different. I just use the experience we had here with the two tests. I was here for the announcement of the race coming back last fall and got out on track. Mario (Andretti) was here that day so picked his brain a little bit. Yeah, you really just take the experience from the first test day. It’s always awkward going to a new track the first handful of laps. The team did a great job getting the car pretty good to start with and that made the transition pretty easy.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOU HAVE SEEN THE EXCITEMENT BUILD FROM THE INITIAL ANNOUNCEMENT THAT INDYCAR WAS RETURNING TO POCONO TO NOW THAT WE ARE GETTING READY TO TURN OUR FIRST COMPETITIVE LAPS HERE:
“Yeah, from that time it’s been great working with the family here. Kind of connecting some of the dots between our two families there is quite a history there going back several generations. It’s been fun getting to know the Mattioli family and Brandon and Nick. They have been great to work with. I think that they are going to be one of our better promoters the excitement they have and it appears there is a really good fan base up here. When I walked in the garages this morning at just after 8:00 AM there was quite a few hardcore fans out here waiting already. Which for an early Saturday morning I thought was a good sign. I’m excited about the weekend and excited about the job they’ve done. Hopefully, a bright future between Pocono and IndyCar.”
HAVE YOU KIND OF PICKED TONY’S (GEORGE) BRAIN A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE HE KIND OF RAN THIS PLACE BACK IN THE EARLY ‘80’S FOR A YEAR OR TWO I THINK. WHEN HE WAS HERE IN THE ‘80’S IT WAS STILL A MAINSTAY OF THE SCHEDULE:
“Yeah, we have talked about it a little bit, but mostly just telling non-racing stories and talking about facilities and different things that had happened. We actually came in together this morning and it was the first time he had been here since IndyCar was here. He was excited to see some of the changes that they have done.”
MARIO (ANDRETTI) SAID YOU HAD SOME INTERESTING COMMENTS ABOUT TURN ONE. CAN YOU SHARE THOSE WITH US? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT GOING INTO TURN ONE?
“It’s an awesome corner. I mean it’s more daunting than turn one at Indy in my opinion. It’s such a, with the banking and the speed and being a much tighter radius than Indianapolis it’s hard to get right. It’s hard to be fast through there. It’s hard to be consistent. I think across the board all the drivers are really enjoying running around this track and turn one is a big reason why.”
YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE SET-UP FOR THERE RATHER THAN (TURN) THREE?
“Both, it’s going to be a compromise. I think for an ultimate fast lap and for race running it may be different. I think the speed of the lap, your overall speed, I think is going to be dictated by how you get through turn one. When it comes to racing I think turn three is going to be a little more important getting a good run out of there and being able to run close in traffic. They are both important and you have to be able to get them both right.”
YEAR’S AGO THERE USED TO BE A PRETTY BAD BUMP OVER THE TUNNEL TURN IS IT STILL THERE OR HAVE THEY SMOOTHED THAT OUT?
“I wouldn’t call it; I don’t think there is a bad bump on this place. It’s a little choppy through there compared to the rest of the track. The rest of the track is smooth like Indianapolis. I wouldn’t call anything here bumpy. Certainly not like what it used to be from what I’ve heard.”
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES