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ED CARPENTER RACING EXCITED FOR FIRST OVAL RACE OF 2016
Carpenter, Newgarden Eager to Return to Phoenix International Raceway After Successful Promoter Test
(SPEEDWAY, Ind.) March 29, 2016 – Advance Notes

  • After a successful promoter test at Phoenix International Raceway in late February, Ed Carpenter Racing is excited to return to the 1.022-mile oval in the desert outside of Phoenix. Team owner Ed Carpenter will join Josef Newgarden in the team’s first two-car effort of 2016.
  • Saturday night’s race will mark the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). Carpenter is one of only four drivers in the field who competed in the last Indy car race at PIR, held in 2005.
  • Though never having raced at Phoenix International Raceway, Newgarden set the third-fastest lap of the two-day promoter test in February. Carpenter was right behind, setting the fourth-quickest lap overall.
  • For the first four events of 2016, Newgarden’s No. 21 will feature a special paint scheme depicting the newest addition to the Fuzzy’s Vodka portfolio. The Commemorative 100th Running Limited Edition bottle, which celebrates the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, will be available mid-April.
  • The Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix will be Carpenter’s first race of the 2016 season. An oval specialist, Carpenter has won three races in the past five years. He will drive the familiar green and gold No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in his 14th season of Indy car racing.
  • Newgarden, who turned 25 in December, is coming off the best season of his Verizon IndyCar Series career. He earned his first win only four races into the 2015 season at Barber Motorsports Park, then led his teammate to the team’s first ever 1-2 finish in the Streets of Toronto in June. Highlights of Newgarden’s year also included two additional podium finishes, capturing his first career pole position at the Milwaukee Mile and leading the most laps (345) of all drivers in 2015.
  • Things did not go according to plan for Newgarden in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. An electrical issue with the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet dropped Newgarden to the back of the field, ultimately causing him to retire from the race early and finish in the 22nd position.
  • Practice and qualifying for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix will take place on Friday, April 1. The race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, April 2.

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET: “I am very excited to be getting back in the car for this weekend’s race at Phoenix. It will be my first race since last season and I am chomping at the bit to get back out there! Excitement has been building for this race since it was announced and we are looking for a big weekend with the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolets.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 21 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET: “I’m excited to get back to Phoenix! Hopefully we can get back up on the board this time, St. Pete was a bit of a rough start to the year. Those things happen, but the guys have been working really hard leading up to this next race weekend. It will be great to be running with Ed again, we always work well together. I think we’re going to bring a pretty strong effort to the first oval of the year and hopefully have a good showing in the Fuzzy’s Vodka cars!”