Fisher, Carpenter Teams Confirm Merger
“The intention is to move into Sarah’s shop because Wink Hartman owns the building and we rent one,” Carpenter said. “Derrick Walker has been a great employee and landlord, too. We’ll miss that shop but moving a shop for us is not one of those things.
“It’s too early to say which engine we will use right now. I race a Chevrolet and I’m proud to be part of their team and we planning on finishing the season out right now. But we are open to hearing what both engine manufacturers have to offer. The only thing that makes it hard right now is we are both on competing engine manufacturers.”
Earlier on Saturday, Fisher said, “It’s for the betterment of our team. It gives us a two-car team and makes us stronger in a lot of areas.”
ECR has been the more successful of the two teams with back-to-back Indianapolis 500 poles and three wins in 2014. Conway won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the second Honda Indy Toronto “2 in T.O.”
“We’ve had a really successful year as a one-car team but to be able to continue to climb, be fore consistent and sustain the business we need to grow the team,” Carpenter said. “This was the quickest and seemingly best way to do it right now. We are really excited about this new opportunity it is giving us. We still have some details to work out and we both need to finish out our years and finish strong.”
Fisher talked about the benefits of having a multi-car operation that would combine the best of her team along with the best of ECR.
“It’s a difficult environment for a single car team and is very tough from a commercial standpoint,” Fisher said of the issues that face single-car teams such as hers’ and Carpenter’s. “It takes a while as a one-car operation to get all of your objectives done in testing. I think we have done a good job doing that this year. Our engineers and Josef have prioritized on the testing side and have been fast as a lot of places.
“Commercially it has been tough and I hope we find a solution for that.”
Fisher believes a merger would be just what Newgarden needs to go from contender to race winner. Earlier this year he finished second to Hunter-Reay in the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway.
“Josef is a class act and he is the face of what I’m trying to accomplish,” she said. “If there is a way I can give him more tools to do my job than I need to evaluate those opportunities.”
Carpenter believes developing Newgarden into a winner is a big factor in the decision.
“That’s a priority with me, working with Josef Newgarden and seeing him improve as a driver and become a winner,” Carpenter said. “I’ve been close to them since I drove for them. We’ve been trying to find ways to grow our team for a while and it’s not an easy thing to do to find the budget. Both teams felt moving forward to the next year it’s more important than ever to be a part of a multi-car team so that is what sparked the conversations that we are doing we everything we can to put the best team we can.”
Also, Andretti Autosport will announce on Sunday morning that 2012 IndyCar Series champion and this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay has signed a contract extension with the team. There had been rumors that Team Penske was interested in adding Hunter-Reay to the operation that currently includes IndyCar Series points leader Will Power, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya.