Chevy Racing–2/18/14–IndyCar Media Day–Ed Carpenter

FEBRUARY 18, 2014
An interview with:
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, met with members of the media and discussed team ownership, 2014 season and Mike Conway.  Full transcript:
THE MODERATOR:  We’ll get started with Ed Carpenter.
Ed, tell us about that transition in ownership and driving, the main reason for that with you and your sponsors and the rest of the team.
ED CARPENTER:  We started the team two years ago.  I want to be able to race as long as I can and do it well.  At the same time the race team is something that I see as my future beyond driving, whenever that day comes.  It’s certainly a business that I want to be successful for long after I’m driving.
That’s kind of where the decision came from, just to make sure that we’re doing everything we possibly could to position the team well and in a strong place to deliver for all our current partners, Fuzzy’s, Chevrolet, and hopefully to grow the team in the near future.
THE MODERATOR:  Your team tested last week both at Fontana, then Sonoma with Mike.  What did you learn from those manufacturer test days?
ED CARPENTER:  Yeah, we’ve definitely been busy testing the past month.  It was nice to get back on the track for me.  It’s always fun to work with Chevrolet, developing some new things, it’s fun to be part of that process.  To go back to Fontana, run there, continue working on that track is fun.
A lot of what we’ve been doing is really getting Mike comfortable with our team and at the same time us getting comfortable with Mike.  It’s gone well.  He’s been in the car four days now since he joined us, which other than Juan is I think as much as anyone has tested.
I feel like he’s made a lot of progress.  He came to Fontana with us when I was in the car.  I think that was a good exercise for him as well, just to see me not as a half driver/half owner standing on the timing stand, but to see me interact with the guys.  I think it made him feel more comfortable seeing me in that element rather than seeing me as kind of an owner and a driver.  I think it’s been different for both of us figuring out that role, but it’s been a fun process.
THE MODERATOR:  Last year you finished second in Fontana.  You sat on the pole of the Indianapolis 500 last year.  Going into this season with Pocono, Indianapolis, Fontana, what are your thoughts about those big ovals, those super speedways with the Chevy power, what you think you can do?
ED CARPENTER:  I mean, 500-mile races are fun.  They’re more fun than the shorter races just because of how much more that goes into it.  You have more opportunities to figure out how to win the race and you also have more opportunities to mess it up.
It definitely has a higher degree of difficulty.  Really happy to see Pocono being a 500-miler.  I needed an extra 100 miles there last year.  Looking forward to having the extra mileage.  Hopefully we can reclaim that one for Chevy after Honda kind of put it to us with Ganassi last year.
Just looking forward to getting started.  Like you said, we have those three 500-milers.  The rest are all great racetracks and races as well.  So excited for my schedule.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions.
Q.        Ed, it’s been alluded to with the strength of you on the ovals and Michael on the road and streets that you could challenge for the entrants championship this year.
ED CARPENTER:  It’s been talked about definitely.  I think that Mike and I are both capable of winning in our respective disciplines, so to speak, or strong suits.  I feel really strongly about the capabilities of our team.  I feel like we should be in the mix everywhere we go.
With that being said, the strength of the series, teams and drivers right now, is at a really high level.  It’s no easy feat, but we’re definitely going to give it our best shot.
Q.        I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to do any testing, but I’m curious to know whether you see a difference in the Chevy engine.
ED CARPENTER:  I’ve been on the track twice, both times with the new 2014 Chevrolet.  It’s hard to really have a direct comparison because it had been several months since I had been in the car before.  To be honest, both engines operate at such a high level.  Chevy has continued to do a great job for all its teams and us.
Until we get to St. Pete, then Indianapolis for an oval, it’s really hard to know where it’s going to shake out.  I don’t know that Honda has shown their hand yet.  I don’t think we’ve shown our hand yet either.
I definitely feel good about where we are as a team.  I feel really confident in Chevrolet, the work that they’ve done and continue to do, that they’ll put us in a position to be able to win races as a team.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Ed.
ED CARPENTER:  Thank you.