INDYCAR MEDIA CONFERENCE
April 8, 2021
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks, everybody, for tuning in, Zooming in, if you will, after the first half of the day, day one of the Indy 500 open test. Certainly an interesting day for Ed Carpenter Racing, Conor Daly, P1 in the 47 car, top speed of 222.714 miles an hour. Ed second quick in the 20 machine. His Rookie of the Year from last year, Rinus VeeKay, with an interesting day as well.
We'll begin things with Ed. How would you describe day one today for the IMS Indy 500 open test?
ED CARPENTER: Not the way we had exactly hoped it would go. You never want to lose one of your three cars kind of in the first 10 minutes of the session. That was a bit of a bumpy way to start the test.
We do have three cars, so Conor and I carried on. We were able to get a little bit of work done. By the time Rinus' yellow and cleanup was done, we had about 90 minutes of track activity, but probably only 45, 50 minutes of that by the time you get installs done.
We were able to get a couple changes in really just to establish a baseline. There's a lot to do now tomorrow, a lot of new parts to test. We were able to test some of them last fall. There's a lot to work through to be ready for when we come back for Indy 500 prep.
THE MODERATOR: How is Rinus doing?
ED CARPENTER: I think he's okay. Disappointed. Obviously not the way he wanted to start either. It's easy to be upset about things like that. The conditions were a little tricky with the wind. It's an inexperience thing still. He's got a year under his belt, but it was a truncated year.
He did so well at Indy last year, but got a little bit ahead of himself today. Didn't quite have a feel for his balance, got a little bit too aggressive in one.
I know he'll bounce back. He's shown that he can bounce back from unfortunate circumstances in the past. I know he'll be ready when he gets back out there.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open for questions.
Q. Is there anything you could really take away from today, given it was kind of a truncated day for you guys? If you can get the car back on the road for Rinus tomorrow, do you expect him to run, given that he's injured his finger?
ED CARPENTER: It's my understanding that he's cleared. I know the guys took that car back to the shop. If we can get that car together, it's possible he runs tomorrow.
I don't know that we would pull out his backup, just because it will be the race car for Barber, St. Pete and Texas. It's all a little tight to going racing, the risk, potentially another excursion.
If the guys can get that other car back together, possibly. I don't really know. I was focusing on what I was doing with my car, debriefing with Conor. A lot of guys had gone back to the shop to evaluate all that, see where they were.
I'm waiting to hear from Tim Broyles, our team manager, on that. One of the good things about being a driver today, I don't have to worry about everything, I can focus on what we have going on track and what we have to accomplish tomorrow yet with my run plan.
THE MODERATOR: How much did the weather play a factor in what you had planned today?
ED CARPENTER: The day was definitely short. Felt like May watching the radar already. Yeah, I mean, we certainly had a lot more we wanted to do. We really just did a baseline, made one small adjustment to kind of adapt for conditions. Have a lot to do yet.
Essentially we each just got a baseline run in. I only did nine laps. Happy the car has had some pace, we were able to get a good draft. At the same time it doesn't really mean anything after just a brief period of running, and not everybody out there yet.
Q. I know you were planning on two full days. Do you feel like one full day, as long as we don't get any more weather, will be enough to accomplish everything? Will you be able to squeeze everything in to tomorrow that you would have hoped for over two days?
ED CARPENTER: We'll do the best we can. You would always take more time if you could get it. At the end of the day, for the most part, everyone is going to have the same opportunity to have the same amount of track time.
Don't worry about it too much. Weather and changing schedules is something we've all gotten quite adept at over the past year. Looks like it's going to be a better weather day tomorrow. The six hours will go quick.
Some of the things we wanted to do, it would have been nice to have our session, lunch break, go back out and do some longer changeover types of things that we may have to scrap till we come back.
If we can be efficient, we can still get through everything we wanted to, at least the big items.
Q. You had a handful of changes to the car as far as the aerodynamics are concerned. You've had a little bit of time to look at those things. How important is the setup two days to getting like you feel like you're really ready to go once we get to May?
ED CARPENTER: Well, certainly if you come out of this test and have success and are able to get a good baseline, it will springboard you into a quick week of practice leading into qualifying.
In a perfect world, we would feel really happy with our cars, how they're running in traffic. With the speed we have out of our Chevy engines, worst-case scenario, we have a good idea of what we need to improve on coming out of this test coming back.
Either way we'll have things we want to improve on. Hopefully we come out of it with good speed and feeling good about how the cars are handling in traffic. We'll fine-tune it for practice leading into qualifying and the race.
Q. We have an oval event before Indy this year with Texas. How relevant is that going to be in terms of what you do with your setup leading into the month of May, as well?
ED CARPENTER: I mean, setups are quite different from Texas to Indy. I think probably -- I mean, I like that we have an oval before. It's nice to be able to get two races under our belt for me.
But compared to when Indy was the first oval, especially having three in a row with Barber, St. Pete and Texas, it presents a little bit of a challenge with car rotation and spares potentially and things like that. We've known the schedule for a long time and have a good plan. I don't think it's that big of a deal.
Q. Were you able to do enough running in traffic to get a sense if there's any improvement with the changes made to the cars?
ED CARPENTER: No, not yet. I got a one-car tow, but it was about seven seconds out, so not really a good enough read to start to fully establish that.
We had some of the parts on, not all of them. There are a lot of different configurations out there. Definitely need more time. There's really no group that formed in the short amount of time we had. Still plenty to learn. But I'm sure we'll get through that tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Ed, what is the rest of your night looking like? On dad duty?
ED CARPENTER: Yeah, Ryder has a class here till 7:30. I'll be watching that, maybe answering some emails. We're supposed to have a team owners call at 7, but that got pushed till 8 because cars are on track later. Wait for him till 7:30, go home and get some dinner, get the boys a shower, I might take one myself, rinse and repeat.
THE MODERATOR: Nothing confirmed yet about when we're going to start back up tomorrow morning. For those of you joining us, we'll pass that information along as soon as we get it.
Ed, thanks so much. Have a great evening. Tell everybody we said hi.
ED CARPENTER: Will do. Thanks.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports