Ed Carpenter Racing team manager Tim Broyles is optimistic that the experience gained during 2012 will help the fledgling squad to build upon its win at Fontana'a Auto Club Speedway in coming IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Carpenter left Sarah Fisher Racing to set up his own team at the end of 2011, becoming the only owner-driver in the field, and delivered a surprise victory in last year's season finale. Broyles expects the team to benefit from having continuity among its staff and more time to prepare for the season compared to its situation 12 months ago.
"It's been more organized in several ways," he said. "With the same crew guys, we are in much better shape than last year. We aren't sitting here trying to figure out each guy's strengths and weaknesses.
"We weren't fully staffed last year at this time. Last year, there were a lot of unknowns entering the season. We didn't have a specific testing schedule. It is easier to work this off-season as we have systems in place."
Broyles said that the Fontana win had not only served as a morale boost in the garage, but that it has also raised the expectations within the team.
"To win in the first year is unbelievable," he said. "It raises your expectation for the next season, and even the next race. That is our focus right now – how do we improve on last year's season and try to get back to Victory Lane again?
"We were really proud of our car preparation last year, with no mechanical problems in the races. We had just one DNF for the season. That was one of the best records in the series, and we want to make it better."