Vision Racing and Panther Racing have renewed the partnership that begin at the Indianapolis 500 this year for three more races. IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter will drive a Vision/Panther Dallara-Honda at the Chicagoland, Kentucky and Homestead-Miami Speedways in a car backed by Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka, which sponsored his No. 20 entry at Indy. The collaboration between the two IZOD IndyCar Series teams will once again pair Carpenter with full-time Panther driver Dan Wheldon, pilot of the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing entry.
"We're really very excited about the opportunity to compete in more IndyCar races this season thanks to the support of Fuzzy Zoeller and his Ultra Premium Vodka along with John Barnes and the Panther Racing team," said Vision Racing team owner Tony George. "We're looking forward to building on the experience of both teams and our partnership at the Indianapolis 500 this year to secure strong results."
"The Indianapolis 500 experience with Ed Carpenter, Vision and Panther Racing was really enjoyable and we saw it as a success for Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka," said Indiana native and professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller. "We really wanted to continue our relationship and partnership with Tony, Ed and the teams and I'm looking forward to supporting Ed's run at these tracks. I believe we will accomplish some great things together moving forward."
"We knew from the beginning that we wanted to run Ed (Carpenter) for more than just the Indianapolis 500," Panther managing partner and CEO John Barnes said. "I've got to thank Fuzzy's Vodka and Tony George for making this happen; they've put in a lot of hard work since we finished at Indianapolis to make this deal happen and we know that Ed is going to be able to step right back in the No. 20 car and be a major factor in all three of these events. He worked very well with (Dan) Wheldon during Indianapolis and I'm sure their relationship will continue to help our team get back into Victory Lane."
"I cannot wait to get back on the racetrack in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium vodka car," said Carpenter, who made his 100th IndyCar career start at the 2010 Indianapolis 500 with Panther, qualified in the eighth position for the race and ran as high as fourth before taking the checkered flag in 17th. " We had such a great month of May, I am excited to finish what we started. All three races that we are doing we should be very competitive, and I am hoping to deliver for Fuzzy, Vision and Panther. It has been a long season watching IndyCar action from the sidelines, so I am eager to get back into the action."
The No. 20 team will feature the same core of personnel responsible for Carpenter's Indianapolis effort, with Al Bodey returning as race engineer and Brian Franzosi continuing chief mechanic duties. Longtime Vision Racing team manager Keven Kaye will oversee the No. 20 entry.