CARPENTER EARNS FIRST WIN IN KENTUCKY INDY 300

SPARTA, Ky. – Ed Carpenter was thankful he had one Honda push to pass available on the final lap of the Kentucky Indy 300.

The extra horsepower boost was crucial in the Sarah Fisher Racing driver’s 22-lap duel with Dario Franchitti, and most important as he exiting Turn 4 of the 1.5-mile oval side-by-side with the IZOD IndyCar Series championship front-runner.

He pushed the button and pushed the No. 67 Dollar General car to the start/finish line to edge Franchitti by 0.0098 of a second — the sixth-closest race in IZOD IndyCar Series and the closest ever at Kentucky Speedway.

Scott Dixon finish third to wrap up the A.J. Foyt Oval Trophy and rooklie James Hinchcliffe was fourth. Ryan Hunter-Reay, the winner at the last oval race (New Hampshire Motor Speedway in mid-August) finished fifth.

Will Power, who entered the penultimate race of the season with an 11-point lead over Franchitti, started from the pole. But contact with the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car driven by Ana Beatriz on pit lane on Lap 49 put a gash in the left sidepod of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.

Power had to pit twice more and fell back to 23rd — the last car on the lead lap. He soldiered on and finished 19th, but is 18 points behind Franchitti entering the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda.

Also on Oct. 2, Josef Newgarden clinched the Firestone Indy Lights championship by taking the green flag in the Kentucky Indy 100 at Kentucky Speedway.

Stefan Wilson still has something to shoot for — the championship runner-up — and he took a big step in attaining that goal with a 3.1136-second victory over Newgarden in the 67-lap race on the 1.5-mile oval.

Wilson, who earned his first Sunoco Pole Award a day earlier in the No. 5 Andretti Autosport car, overtook Esteban Guerrieri in the standings with one race remaining in the season.

Jorge Goncalvez finished third in the No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing Special and Brandon Wagner was fourth in the No. 22 TMR-Davey Hamilton Racing entry. Bryan Clauson, who started 11th in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/CURB Records/SSM car, finished fifth.

Guerrieri, along with the cars of Gustavo Yacaman, Anders Krohn, David Ostella and Jacob Wilson, was eliminated in a Lap 1 incident in Turn 2.

DAY 2 NOTEBOOK:
At each Firestone Indy Lights event, the tire manufacturer rewards the teams which best represents its brand through the Firestone Image Award. Up to three teams can share $2,500 based on a vote of Firestone Racing personnel.

However this weekend, Firestone has chosen to honor Chris Griffis, the team manager for Sam Schmidt Motorsports who died unexpectedly on Sept. 12. The entire $2,500 for the Kentucky 100 will be given to the Chris Griffis Family Fund, which was created by Sam Schmidt Motorsports to assist Griffis’ wife and daughters with future expenses.

***

Firestone Indy Lights starting grid update:

#9 Krohn will move to the back of the field for today’s Kentucky 100 after Belardi Auto Racing opted to change engines following qualifying on Saturday. Krohn will start 13th. He had originally qualified 12th.

***

Bryan Clauson finished 10th in Saturday night’s USAC National Sprint Car race at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Ind. Clauson will start 11th in today’s Kentucky 100.

***

KENTUCKY 100 RACE SPECIFICS

•The race is 67 laps/100 miles on the 1.5-mile oval.

•The pit road speed limit is 45 mph.

•The green flag to start the race will be show the third time by the start-finish line. There will be no passing on the initial start until all cars have reached the start-finish line.

•Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Honda Civic SI Safety Car.

The race leader will accelerate between Turns 3and 4 on restarts at the Z-Max sign.

KENTUCKY 100 RACE RUNNING

At 12:15 p.m., the ambient temperature was 57 degrees, with a relative humidity of 46 percent. Skies were cloudy. The track temperature was 82 degrees.

12:26 p.m. – Iraq Army War Veteran Troy Yocum, grand marshal of the race gave the command, “Firestone Indy Lights drivers, start your engines.” All 13 cars have started and are rolling on the grid.

Lap 1: GREEN. #5 S. Wilson leads the field into Turn 1. #11 Newgarden has clinched the Firestone Firehawk Cup as 2011 Firestone Indy Lights standings. YELLOW in Turn 2 for a multi-car accident in Turn 2. Cars involved are #19 J. Wilson, #7 Guerrieri, #2 Yacaman, #16 Ostella and #9 Krohn. #19 J. Wilson spun in Turn 2 and collected the cars of #7 Guerrieri, #2 Yacaman, #16 Ostella and #9 Krohn. Leader under caution is #5 S. Wilson.

Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR Medical Director: Jacob Wilson, Esteban Guerrieri, Gustavo Yacaman, David Ostella and Anders Krohn have been checked and released from the infield medical center. All have been cleared to drive.

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