The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, and Indianapolis native Ed Carpenter is one of two Hoosiers-born drivers racing this year.
Carpenter, the step-son of IndyCar founder Tony George, and has been coming to the 500 since he was 8 years old. He began racing midget cars on the national circuit when he was a kid.
“My step dad,” he said, “asked my step brother and I if we wanted to start racing quarter midgets. We both jumped all over it, and that was our start into racing and we never stopped.”
Even though this is Carpenter’s ‘home track’, he doesn’t think that gives him an advantage over other drivers, as this is the premier track for open wheeled racing.
“This is the biggest race on everyone’s scheduled,” he said. “If you ask the 33 drivers here, I’d be shocked if even 1 said this wasn’t their favorite track, and the biggest race in their schedule. It’s so important for everyone, the Indy 500, it’s the type of race that if you win, it makes your career, it can change your life.”
Carpenter is driving for Sarah Fisher Racing. Fisher, a former driver herself, says having a hometown fan base is great for Carpenter and her team.
“The fans of Indiana have supported myself for 10 years,” she said, “and having Ed drive for us and having his fan base here in Indiana jump on board has just been a tremendous opportunity.”
Sarah Fisher Racing is also sponsored by IUPUI Motor Sports. IUPUI has the first Bachelor’s Degree in Motor Sports Engineering in the nation. Student interns have been working with her team this month, learning high performance racing.
Carpenter will be in the 8th starting position for the 100th Indianapolis 500. The race is scheduled to begin at 11AM this Sunday