I think I can sympathize with Cleveland Browns fans. You love your team; you want them to do well, but darnit if they don’t break your heart every time. That’s my relationship with Ed Carpenter Racing. I’m one of those very annoying Hoosiers who love their state (the amount of clothes I have with the Indiana flag on them is staggering – in fact I’m wearing my Indiana hoodie right now!). This means I am ‘ride or die’ with an Indiana founded and based INDYCAR team: Ed Carpenter Racing. And yet, they cause me the most frustration and pain.
2018 for ECR was both good and bad. Team Owner and Oval Specialist Ed Carpenter finished the season in 21st place (fmr Road Course Buddy Jordan King finished in 22nd) . He finished in the Top 10 of all his six races except for Phoenix and Bommarrito. Let’s no forget that he got the Pole position for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 and finished in second place. Ed’s secret child – Spencer Pigot – continued to advance this past season. He had five top ten finishes including second place at Iowa.
For 2019, Jordan King is out and Ed Jones will join the team as the Road Course Buddy ™ with the partnership of Scuderia Corsa. Ed 2 also had a good year of eight top tens, including two podiums at the Grand Prix of Long Beach and Detroit. It will be interesting to have the partnership between ECR and Scuderia, it allows Ed 2 a ride in the 500, which has been somewhat challenging for prior Road Course Buddies. Scuderia Corsa started into INDYCAR with the 2018 Indianapolis 500. They partnered with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Oriol Servia. Servia was in the lead for some of the race, but chose to pit and ended the race in 17th.
What will 2019 bring for this team? I think Spencer is going to continue to grow as a driver, and I’m already seeing flashes of the Newgarden scenario. I think Ed will continue to chase the elusive Indianapolis 500 victory, and the ride-share will just continue to irritate me. I understand, but if ECR doesn’t want to be a ‘farm team’ for talent – then they need leadership and not a leader who splits his time (but I have written on this subject too much it’s nearly copy and paste now). Maybe Ed will win the 500 this year. I can gripe about a lot of things about this team, but in May they roll out for the race ready to win.
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