Tears of joy were abundant in the 67 pit stall as Sarah Fisher Racing (SFR) driver Ed Carpenter edged championship front-runner Dario Franchitti by a nose on a sun-splashed Sunday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway to claim his, as well as SFR's, first IZOD IndyCar ® Series victory.
"It felt way better than I ever thought it was going to feel," said an elated Ed Carpenter. "Dario raced me hard and clean. I knew we had the better car but in the second or third stint."
The 30-year old husband and father of two was thankful he had one Honda overtake assist (push-to-pass) left on the final lap. He and Franchitti battled for nearly 21 laps as the Kentucky Indy 300 came to a close, separated by no more than two-tenths of a second. "I'm just so proud to be a part of this team and this organization. I can't thank Andy and Sarah enough, and I'm especially thankful to my wife for supporting me all these years to get to this point; it's taken a long time to get our first win, but that's fine with me. It's just an awesome day for Dollar General, Angie's List, Fuzzy's Vodka and everyone."
The victory was also the first for the Sarah Fisher Racing organization, and after missing the previous three races with the birth of her and husband Andy O'Gara's daughter (Zoey Marie), Sarah was back to witness history. "Just to see Ed drive his tail off is just so amazing," said a teary-eyed Fisher. "We figured out that next year, Dollar General is not coming back, so maybe they'll change their mind now. But, you know certainly it was just a great weekend. The guys all worked their tails off, and I haven't been to the shop in three weeks. My baby girl is obviously good luck...I'm just so happy to be here."
Carpenter's 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues Sunday, October 16th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition (HD) at 3 p.m. (EST) on ABC. Additional coverage will be available on IMS Radio, XM Satellite Radio Channel 94 "IndyCar Racing," Sirius Channel 212, along with broadcast coverage summaries available at www.indycar.com and www.sarahfisherracing.com.