Carpenter stuns by taking Sparta pole
3 September 2010 – Ed Carpenter and Panther Racing have surprised all at the Kentucky Speedway by clinching pole position ahead of this weekend’s fifteenth round of the IndyCar Series. The stepson of IRL founder Tony George will line up alongside championship leader Will Power’s Penske, with the second Panther car of Dan Wheldon in third.
Nobody would have predicted a Panther 1-3 following this morning’s first free practice session, which was rain-affected and headed by Ganassi and Dario Franchitti, although Carpenter – at only his third race meeting of 2010 - was delighted to lead the way with a best effort of 48.895 seconds, edging out Power by 24 thousandths.
However, the Australian remains content as title rival and reigning Champion Franchitti will start only 11th, with the leading Ganassi car of Scott Dixon fourth and Hideki Mutoh rounding out the top ten for Newman/Haas/Lanigan.
Current World Series by Renault Champion Bertrand Baguette starts a career-best sixth for Conquest Racing whilst the other two Penskes of Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe manage eighth and ninth spots.
Andretti Autosport suffered a dismal session as Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick qualified only 15th and 17th after Tony Kanaan hit the Turn 1 wall and Ryan Hunter-Reay crashed at Turn 2 – the latter pair therefore start the night race from the back of the grid.
Paul Tracy was also disappointed, having achieved no more than 23rd for Dreyer & Reinbold on his return to the championship. Other series returnee, Graham Rahal, also suffered a frustrating time and lines up 25th for Sarah Fisher Racing.
- Full Qualifying results
Saturday’s night round at the Kentucky Speedway will begin at 7:45pm (BST -6)