Carpenter Wasn’t Much of An ‘Oval-Expert’ Last Year

Ed Carpenter was supposed to be the ‘oval-expert’ for CFH Racing, leaving the road and street course races for Luca Filippi. Things didn’t work out as planned in 2015 for the newly formed team.

Ed Carpenter competed in six races last season but failed to claim even one top-five finish. In the Indianapolis 500, the race in which he started on pole in 2013, Carpenter crashed out and finished 30th. An engine failure brought two more races to an end at Fort Worth and Pocono, though those weren’t shaping up to be much better — he qualified 15th and 21st, respectively. Fontana was perhaps his most promising race until he crashed out on lap 157 after leading one lap.

The two races he did complete, Milwaukee and Iowa, yielded a tenth and sixth place finish. But in neither of those races was there really a threat to the front runners from Carpenter. He didn’t lead any laps and his teammate, Josef Newgarden, beat him in both of those races anyway. In fact, Newgarden beat him in every race last season and in half of the races in 2014. Carpenter’s younger teammate is emerging as the team’s number one driver on all types of tracks.

Carpenter raced in a little over a third of the races full-time drivers did, yet only secured 88 points in the championship. Over a 16 race season, he would have earned around 250 points — good for 18th place (which is also near his average finish for 2015, 17.8).

Next year’s schedule has the series returning to Phoenix International Raceway, a track where Carpenter has raced twice. His two finishes there of 19th and 16th won’t be encouraging signs for the struggling American.

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