“Shocking” is the word many would pick to describe this situation, but maybe not so much when you look at how Dan finished at Kentucky last year and how well both Panther Racing cars did last weekend at Chicago. Ed has been a stalwart finisher at Indy and no slouch on the ovals for the last few seasons, but the downgrading of Vision Racing from full season team to occasional sponsor has certainly not helped his cause.
Ed’s fight with Briscoe at Kentucky has to go down as one of the best IndyCar races I have seen. But even with that under his belt last year during a full season effort with Vision, it was an outlier on a somewhat mid+ pack career.
Panther though appears to have made great strides in their abilities on the 1.5 mile tracks. Wheldon finished 2nd last week at Chicago and Ed was contending at the sharp end all night, until the last pitstop when a pit error caused the car to not take fuel, putting a disappointing cap on an otherwise stellar night.
Will Power took the #2 spot in qualifying, just 0.2 mph off of Carpenter’s pole time. Dan Wheldon took 3rd on the grid, in another fantastic result for the scrappy and resurgent Panther.
Dario Franchitti slotted in at a distant 1tth quick. Tony Kanaan qualified 26th (behind Milka) while Ryan Hunter-Reay crashed on his qualifying attempt and will start dead last in 27th.
4 Thoughts to “IndyCar – Ed Carpenter Takes Kentucky Pole…. ?!”
What the heck is the deal with TK? I mean seriously, slower that Milka?!? Has the apocalypse come and I didn’t notice?
Doug I agree. If you were to tell me that 1) Two Panther cars will be starting in the Top 3 and 2) Tony will be starting 2nd to last, I would have said you are out of your MIND!!
Many consider winning on the 1.5 mile ovals as an engineering exercise that only Penske and Ganassi have figured out. While Panther and Andretti’s form at Chicago and Panther’s good quali results at Kentucky don’t immediately mean parity on the 1.5’s, it at least shows that there is some fight in these teams.
Lots of rumors have Wheldon out at Panther next year. Those same rumors have Rahal going there, but I just don’t see that. Rahal is a road course specialist with limited value on ovals currently. Panther’s bread and butter is ovals. I would love to see an American in the national guard car… whether it was Graham or Ed (!?)
As for today’s race though, I picked Ed for the win on the podcast (cause I’m a fan)….. Go Ed!
Panther has become an interesting story to the point that I would almost rather them be a three car operation. Possible, probably not, but I think Ed deserves a ride as does Wheldon but Rahal would do lots for that programs road capabilities. Could be a good silly season!
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