Butler's mascots give Ed Carpenter some speedway fame

SPEEDWAY - The track literally went to the dogs on Tuesday morning-and that was a good thing.

At least the nearly dozen cameras and two dozen fans thought so. 

Before his practice session on Tuesday afternoon Ed Carpenter welcomed the mascots for Butler University athletics-Blue II and Tripp. 

For about ten minutes the Izod IndyCar Series driver/owner took pictures with the pair as they sported not only Butler jerseys but also ones featuring the logo for Ed Carpenter Racing.

"Anytime they're around, the gather a crowd," said Carpenter of Blue II and Tripp.

The driver himself is a graduate of Butler University and has been spotted at a number of basketball games throughout the years. So sharing the spotlight with the bulldogs for a few minutes wasn't a problem to the alum.

"Butler's been a big story for a while now and (Bulldogs Trainer) Michael (Kaltenmark) has grown the personality of those dogs," said Carpenter. "They're pretty big characters."

He hopes the bulldogs might give him some luck as his team continues to try and find speed during the first four days. On Tuesday Carpenter was 22nd quick on the board posting a top speed 218.714 in a month full of experimentation for the Chevrolet-powered car.

"Definitely a lot of things to try," said Carpenter. "Weren't really happy with opening day, second day was pretty good, yesterday we tried some things and learned somethings we don't do want to do.

"It's all part of the process. There's definitely a lot more to learn from this car than we're used to."

 

Other Track Happenings 

Marco Andretti clocked in the fastest time of the month so far on Tuesday when he completed a late lap of 223.676 miles per hour. It continued the fast trends for the entire Andretti Autosport team who put three drivers into the top five during Tuesday's testing session.

"We have the car to the point now that I am confident to say we would be the ones to beat if the race was today," said Andretti. "The speed on its own, I'm a little concerned about. I've said it before, I'll say it again, if we start 33rd, we can still win this race."

- After having what could be described as the closest thing to a caution so far in the first four days of practice, Graham Rahal rebounded nicely from a blown engine late in Monday's practice.

He grabbed the fourth quickest lap of the afternoon at 221.855 miles an hour and helped to put him and the team back on pace as qualifications approach.

- Could Dragon Racing be closer to getting their cars in the garage? Well at least for now they've got signs.

On Tuesday afternoon large "Dragon Racing" signs went on above their garage, perhaps signaling an end to their engine problems which have left their drivers Katherine Legge and Sebastian Bourdais off the track this month.

Jay Penske's team was supposed to have Lotus engines for the month but they sued the company for issues with their contract. There is speculation that the team may try to get Chevrolet engines for the rest of the month but no deal has been finalized.

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