Carpenter Speeds to Top; Team Owner Outruns Big Names to Claim First Indianapolis 500 Pole; MOTOR SPORTS

By Marot, Michael | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Carpenter Speeds to Top; Team Owner Outruns Big Names to Claim First Indianapolis 500 Pole; MOTOR SPORTS


Marot, Michael, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


SPEEDWAY, IND. * Ed Carpenter turned Pole Day into a family celebration.

The stepson of IndyCar founder Tony George became the first member of the Hulman family to win the biggest pre-race event in the series the Indianapolis 500 pole.

Carpenter, who owns his team, produced a stunning finish to a day that was rife with suspense but lacked surprise. His four-lap average of 228.762 mph was quick enough to break up what appeared to be a Team Penske-Andretti Autosport lock on the front three rows in the nine-car shootout for the pole.

Somehow, Carpenter beat out the big-name guys.

"To be a single-car team in this Chevy shootout, I am going to call it fighting with the Penske and Andretti guys," said Carpenter, whose pit crew carried him off pit road on their shoulders after an agonizing wait to see if his time would hold up.

The soft-spoken Carpenter grew up around the 2.55-mile Brickyard, dreaming of the moment he could stand in Victory Lane. Perhaps that will happen May 26.

For now, Carpenter will savor the highest-profile achievement of his career and during a month in which he has strengthened his area ties. His sponsor, golfer Fuzzy Zoeller's Fuzzy's Vodka, is based in Indiana and this week he added decals to his car from his alma mater, Butler University the little school that made two straight NCAA championship game appearances.

He also took a little time out for his family and friends, who believe this could be his big year at Indy.

After producing the fastest lap in the opening practice session last Saturday, Carpenter gave away his tickets to watch the Eastern Conference semifinals between the hometown Pacers and New York Knicks so he could spend some time with his wife before another working Mother's Day. …

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