From the moment he decided to focus on the ovals and leave the road and road events of the NTT IndyCar Series to a teammate, Ed Carpenter has shared the No.20 Chevrolet with six drivers. The question facing the only owner / driver of the series is whether a seventh name will adorn his trusted entry when we get to 2022.
Mike Conway (2014), Luca Filippi (2015), Spencer Pigot (2016-2017), Jordan King (2018), Ed Jones (2019) and Conor Daly (2020-2021) joined Carpenter in the ride-sharing adventure so far , and with the Air Force’s recent departure as Daly’s main sponsor to cover his costs in Entry # 20, research is underway to assess whether a new funded driver could step in and fill the financial void.
“We’re definitely hoping to shut it down before the schedule turns around, which I think is realistic,” Carpenter told RACER of the decision-making schedule. “And in that vein, we don’t plan to use any of our team’s test days before January because we want to make sure we’re able to maximize who will be driving the car the next year. So hopefully it keeps moving and coming together, and there’s definitely a lot of conversation going on. It’s obviously my top priority at this point in the offseason.
Of the six drivers to share the No. 20, four are from Europe while the Americans Pigot and Daly have integrated well into the program. Daly thinks he can raise the same amount of funding to match or slightly exceed what the Air Force has contributed, but Carpenter is doing what any team owner would do by giving himself ample time to see what is being offered by other high quality drivers before deciding whether to continue with Daly or welcome someone new into the car.
“There are a lot of people we all love, and I wouldn’t really want to put any luck on anyone at this point,” Carpenter said. “You know, Conor and I still see each other a lot and we talk regularly. So he knows where I am and what we’re trying to do, and I stay on top of where he’s at on the things he’s working on. As well as how others get along with what they are working on to be with us.
“So while I was going to be completely honest and transparent, it would be difficult for me to put exact ratings on anything today just because there are still a lot of moving parts. But we want to be ready for testing soon in the New Year, so getting everything in place for us to do is the priority. “