CARPENTER: Preparing For Pocono
So. there are a lot of changes that go on the car from a street course setup to a superspeedway setup to a short oval setup. And we’ll be doing that with the Houston street race, Pocono superspeedway and the Iowa short oval within a three-week period.
I’m not complaining because I love to race and I know our Ed Carpenter Racing crew guys do, too. It’s just not as easy as swapping out different chassis for different tracks.
Before I go to Pocono this weekend, I head out to New York City for an advance media day where we will be at the New York Stock Exchange Thursday and around the “Big Apple” for various interviews. Then, on the Fourth of July, Scott Dixon and I will be judges for the wild Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. It’s atnoon on ESPN every July 4. Paul Page, our IndyCar Series Radio Network host, will be calling the action. To be honest, I’m not sure what to expect at the contest.
On Saturday, we’ll have two practice sessions and qualifying. We are bringing back the chassis that I won the Indy 500 pole with in May. It hasn’t run since the crash during the race, but I feel it will be fast again.
No predictions here, but I am anxious to get back in that car and see how fast it goes again.
This is my third race of the year and the first two went pretty well with one pole and one win. I’d sure like to win another 500-mile race like we did in Fontana in 2012.
It won’t be easy though. The competition level in the Verizon IndyCar Series is just very high right now. We have had seven different winners in the first 10 races this year and five different teams have won.
And believe it or not, the defending series champions, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, have yet to win. That is shocking to me but that shows how competitive this series is right now. I know Scott Dixon won the Pocono race last year and Ganassi’s bunch will be right in the thick of things on Sunday.
I won’t mind that as long as I am leading the race after 200 laps. That is my plan.