Ed Carpenter Racing team owner Ed Carpenter in the No.20 Sonax Chevrolet ended his 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season with a fantastic drive from 17th place on the grid to come home in second place behind race winner Takuma Sato. taking his first podium since finishing second in the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 last year.

Speaking following the race, Carpenter said:

Even just another straightaway, I maybe could have gotten Takuma! Qualifying so bad didn’t help us, but we were really good on the long runs tonight. Early in the race, the guys asked me what I needed and I said clear track more than anything. The car was really good and we had made really good adjustments. Days like yesterday are really tough and dejecting for the whole team. We kept our heads down and did not gave up; we came back strong tonight and got a result. This is a great way to finish the year. It would have been a little better if we could have gotten a win, I definitely gave it all I had! It was fun to be back up at the front again.

It was a disappointing race for Spencer Pigot in the No.21 Autogeek Chevrolet as he was forced to retire from the race and speaking following the race he commented by saying:

I had a good run coming out of Turn 2. Charlie Kimball had gotten past me but was struggling for momentum. He went to the inside going into Turn 3. I thought I was far enough up alongside him to get some respect and get some space, but he turned in and I was there. It’s an unfortunate end to the day; I feel bad for all of the guys. I thought we had a pretty good car and were making good gains towards the front of the field.”

Following the race, Ed took part in a press conference and was asked:

THE MODERATOR: We’ll bring in Ed and Josef.
Ed, looks like the oval finishes we’ve seen from you so many times. I would expect your last oval race of the season was pretty enjoyable there at the end.
ED CARPENTER: Yeah, I mean, it could have been a little better if we had a little bit longer straightaway or another lap. But it was nice to finish on a high note, especially after the day we had yesterday.
We were really bad yesterday. I really wasn’t comfortable. Having a hard time figuring out how to get the car to work. The guys did a really good job keeping their head down and staying focused, dealing with my whining all day yesterday and overnight. They delivered today.
Really feel like we had a good car the whole race. They asked me pretty early on what I needed. I was just like, We really need track position. I think we have good pace to run with anybody. Fortunately we caught a couple breaks with the yellows, put us in a good position. We were able to almost close it out.
THE MODERATOR: You cleared Tony with two laps to go. Did you really think you had a shot or give it the best you got?
ED CARPENTER: I had every intention of driving for the win. It’s a difficult place to pass. We were really good on long runs. They were coming back to us. I do think another lap or even another corner we probably could have had them. There wasn’t enough time. That’s the race. Happy with second.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Ed.
Q. As a team owner, had to go to fifth place today to get to a Penske, Ganassi or Andretti. What does that tell you about your team’s performance and the series?
ED CARPENTER: Well, first off, the series is unbelievably competitive. The Penske guys have won every oval race up to this point. It’s just because of the quality of drivers they have and they’re a quality organization. It could have easily not been that streak up to this point.
You just have to miss it. Like earlier I said we were terrible yesterday. It wasn’t like we were that far off. We were just enough off that it makes you feel terrible in this series because the competition level is so high.
I think that’s what you saw tonight. You have a caution at the right time that mixes the field up. It can totally reset things at any given moment.
It’s rewarding to be up front. It’s nice to finish my year off on a good note. Nice to be racing up front with this guy. Been a while. I’ll enjoy it. Wait till May to try to go fight for another win.
Q. How much does this help you going into the off-season, sponsorship hunts? Good momentum builder?
ED CARPENTER: It helps my psyche I think more than anything. (Wife) Heather can tell you I wasn’t very happy last night. Certainly tonight will be a lot better. The hardest part now is just waiting to go again.We’ve got a resilient bunch. Like I said earlier, proud of the effort, proud of them sticking with me and delivering when it counted.
Q. How much longer do you think you would have had to go before you would have been able to catch Takuma?
ED CARPENTER: I think if we would have gone to Turn 1, I would have gotten by, to be honest.
Q. You have an Ed Carpenter Racing alumni member next to you. He’s battling for a championship. To see the progression he’s made, the fact you’re still up there winning races, competing for race wins, what does that say for everything you’ve put together?
ED CARPENTER: I think we’re up getting ready for the podium, Tony made a really mean comment, said, We’re all 40 years old up there.
Hey, I’m 38. Like I’m a legit 38. I don’t really know how old you are. I don’t know how old Takuma is. Everybody lies about their age. I am a legit, honest to God, 38 years old. March 1981.
Working with Spencer (Pigot) and Ed (Jones), these children that were starting racing when I was already in Indy cars, it keeps me young, even though I’m going gray, losing my hair and everything else. It keeps me young. I love racing with these guys. Josef and I are still very close and good friends from our time together.
It’s just fun to be in the mix with them again.
THE MODERATOR: Ed, we appreciate the show you put on. Shows you can still do it.
ED CARPENTER: That’s good to know. Good to know.
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