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Carpenter Launches Own Team With Backing From Fuzzy's

Ed Carpenter (seen here after winning his first ever IndyCar race at Kentucky last month) will drive for his own team in 2012. Photo by Chris Jones/INDYCARIZOD IndyCar Series veteran Ed Carpenter plans to compete in the full IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012, driving for Ed Carpenter Racing.

The team is owned and operated by Carpenter and his stepfather, Tony George, who started Vision Racing in 2005. Carpenter, who has 113 IZOD IndyCar Series starts, drove for Vision Racing for five seasons. Additional details are expected to be announced at a news conference Nov. 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I am extremely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead with Ed Carpenter Racing," said the driver who won his first race in October at Kentucky Speedway. "Team ownership is something that I have thought about for quite a long time, and is now becoming a reality as a result of a great relationship with Fuzzy (Zoeller) and Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka.

"I don't know that I ever thought that I would have the opportunity to be an owner/driver, but when an opportunity like this comes along you can't pass it up. I can't wait to get to work and begin building this team for not only 2012, but beyond."

Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka, which sponsored Carpenter's car in 2010 when he raced with Panther Racing, will be the primary sponsor of Ed Carpenter Racing as part of a three-year commitment. The company served as Carpenter's helmet sponsor in 2011 in addition to sponsoring a car from Panther Racing driven by Buddy Rice for the Indianapolis 500.

"We're looking forward to playing a full round with Ed in 2012. In the past, we've only been able to play a few holes," said Fuzzy Zoeller, PGA and Champions Tour professional and owner of Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka. "Ed caddied for me last year and he's definitely a much better driver. We've had a great time with Ed and IndyCar and now we're really going to tee it up in 2012."

Carpenter, 30, began his IZOD IndyCar Series career in 2003 with PDM Racing after competing in Firestone Indy Lights. He's also driven for Red Bull Cheever Racing, Vision Racing, Panther Racing and 10 races this season with Sarah Fisher Racing. He has one pole (Kentucky 2010) and 29 top-10 finishes.

"Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka has been a strong supporter of mine since 2010," Carpenter said. "I am very grateful for the commitment that they are making in me and this new team. We are going to have a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to having a very successful future together.

"If we can have the same success on track that Fuzzy has enjoyed on the golf course, there will be quite a bit of celebrating."

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