Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Changes Needed at ECR

It is hard to imagine a team staffed as well as Ed Carpenter Racing can't seem to find any success on the tracks that make up the majority of the Indycar schedule: road and street courses. And when it boils down to it, I feel as if the owner of the team needs to step up and make the critical decision. The owner, who also drives the car, is Ed Carpenter.

Now if I you were to ask me who a contender is on any oval, I would say Ed Carpenter every time because he is so fast on them. There is no question that he can flat out fly on the cathedrals of speed. I mean, he was on pole for the 2013 Indianapolis 500. Ed, who started the team in the months following the 2011 season with backing from Fuzzy's Vodka, averaged a tenth place finish on the five ovals in 2012, including a win at the season finale in Fontana.

But when it comes to the road courses, my oh my, Ed struggles. His average career finish on these road course races in Indycar is 17.4. That is not good at all. Compare that to his average qualifying 21.2, which basically means he started the bottom three rows at every road course, and you get recipe for a 0% chance to win the championship. Ed has been racing in Indycar for a very long time, starting out his road course endeavors following their re-inception into Indycar in 2005 with Vision Racing. You'd think there would be some improvement, right?

Ed Carpenter - Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama - Day 3
Carpenter's struggles on road courses continue (Photo: Justin Edmonds / Getty Images)

And unfortunately, his 2013 stats are not shaping up to be any better. His average finish on road courses this season is a whopping 18th place with a staggering 22nd starting position. The only positive thing you can say is he gains position and generally keeps a clean nose. But when does it go from "he's learning" to "we need to find another solution?" Even after a solid run at Indianapolis, Ed finds himself P20 in the championship. That is awful.

So if I were Ed Carpenter and I wanted to see my team soar to new heights, I would consider two things: I would get another car to make a two car team and put someone like JR Hildebrand, Oriol Servia, or Conor Daly to race next to him all season. The better solution in my opinion is having a program where Ed took all of the ovals and give the wheel to another driver for the greater portion of the season on road courses. I think there is some guy named Mike Conway who would be a rather perfect fit for the role.

This is just my personal opinion. I think Ed is very talented and will most definitely win a race on an oval this year, but on a road course? No chance. Let me know what you are thinking.

-Matthew Hickey

2 comments:

  1. From an emotional standpoint, I agree with you.

    However, things are not as simple as perhaps they're being made out to be.

    "So if I were Ed Carpenter and I wanted to see my team soar to new heights, I would consider two things: I would get another car to make a two car team and put someone like JR Hildebrand, Oriol Servia, or Conor Daly to race next to him all season."-nice idea. The obvious issue is where does the money to do this come from. I would imagine that if ECR had the money, they would already be a two-car operation.


    "The better solution in my opinion is having a program where Ed took all of the ovals and give the wheel to another driver for the greater portion of the season on road courses."-The question I have with this is what ECR's contract with Fuzzy's Vodka says. It may very well be that Fuzzy's wants Ed in the seat full-time and won't allow that to happen-I don't know that for a fact.

    I agree that it might help ECR to do as you suggested. But sometimes, what one wants and what one can actually do are not on the same page.


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  2. Quoting..."So if I were Ed Carpenter and I wanted to see my team soar to new heights, I would consider two things: I would get another car to make a two car team and put someone like JR Hildebrand, Oriol Servia, or Conor Daly to race next to him all season. The better solution in my opinion is having a program where Ed took all of the ovals and give the wheel to another driver for the greater portion of the season on road courses. I think there is some guy named Mike Conway who would be a rather perfect fit for the role."

    Agree on the first part, disagree on the second part. ECR definitely needs a second car to bounce ideas and setups between them and to add an extra seat to the number of current entries in the series at present. On the second part, though, I tend to agree w/Edward's comments above: if there is such a contract provision as the one Edward alludes to in his comment, then it makes no sense to rotate drivers in-and-out of the #20...better for Ed for remain in the #20 full-time to fulfill any sponsor commitments and add a second car w/a small, rotating lineup(and yes, he really should consider Mike Conway for the road/street circuits on the schedule) of drivers who currently don't have full-time rides at present.

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