Shock Kentucky IndyCar winner Sarah Fisher Racing is not yet sure how many races it will manage to contest in 2012, having lost primary sponsor Dollar General.
Ed Carpenter took Sarah Fisher's team to a spectacular first win yesterday in a photo-finish with reigning champion Dario Franchitti's Ganassi car. This year SFR has contested a partial program with Carpenter, but will run Tomas Scheckter in a second car at Las Vegas. Fisher said the aim was to retain Carpenter for a similar schedule in 2012, but that she could not be certain what the team would manage yet.
"We're trying to figure that out right now," she said. "We found out a couple of weeks ago that Dollar General wasn't going to include us in their racing platform next year. They're doing a really big roll-out announcement. They needed to use all the capital to get that job done that they're planning on. Maybe this will change that, I don't know.
"Certainly where we are going to be is trying to at least put an oval program together again and having Ed in the seat to do it all over again."
She paid tribute to Dollar General's support during SFR's formative years.
"We've come a long way. For being in existence four years, starting off with having some issues with a sponsorship, Dollar General has stood behind us that whole time," said Fisher. "They really believed in who we were as a team, what Andy [O'Gara] and I were doing to try to accomplish getting our first win. To have them on board when we got our first win really means a lot."
Fisher stepped out of the cockpit this year to focus on her team and having a family. She was thrilled to see SFR achieving a first victory so soon.
"I still don't believe it yet," she said. "I hadn't been to the shop in three or four weeks. My daughter was born three weeks ago on Tuesday.
"The boys have just done a tremendous job. Andy, my husband, who is our team manager, has really stepped up to the plate to run the team and to do it all on his own while I was off messing around with family stuff. The boys just worked incredibly hard.
"The big ovals were 100 percent of our focus this year. We started off at Indy and did really well there, leading laps, and continued that here.
"I've already had somebody ask me, 'What do you think, being a driver, having a finish, or being an owner, having a win, is it just as special?' It absolutely is. I cannot be happier and more proud of the group that we've assembled to accomplish this."
Carpenter was equally thrilled with the result, which came in his 113th IndyCar start.
"I always believed that I belonged, known that I could win races," he said. "Until you actually win one, there's always going to be people who think something different, and there probably will still be people who think something different.
"We're all extremely lucky individuals to be able to compete in this sport, do what we love to do. There's plenty of people out there who are capable who aren't doing it. That's the way it is in all sports. It's tough to make it to this level."