Indianapolis 500: Ed Carpenter happy to focus on oval IndyCar races
|By Mark Glendenning||Monday, May 19th 2014, 18:50 GMT|
Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Ed Carpenter is confident that his new part-time driver status will not compromise his chances of a good result in the race next weekend.
Carpenter stood down as full-time driver of his eponymous team at the end of last year in favour of an oval-only programme in 2014, with Brit Mike Conway taking over the car for the road and street course races.
That strategy paid early dividends when Conway won at Long Beach in April, and Carpenter said that he does not believe he has been disadvantaged by the fact that he has not raced since the 2013 finale at Fontana seven months ago.
"No one has raced an oval since Fontana last year," Carpenter said. "I don't feel like I'm missing much.
"Oval racing and road and street courses are different. The cars are different.
"We tested as much as anyone, outside of doing the tyre test here [at Indy] at the end of last year.
"I don't feel unprepared. I prepare the same now as I did when I was racing full-time.
"So much of it here I think is mental and in the preparation. We were prepared."
Carpenter also started last year's 500 from pole position, and finished 10th at the end of an afternoon marked by a record 68 lead changes shared between 14 different race leaders.
The 33-year-old believes that there is much from the experience of 2013 that he can apply this time around.
"Certainly we know a couple things that we would have liked to have done differently last year," he admitted.
"I think we'll do that. But not going to get into details just yet."