IndyCar’s Ed Carpenter to start own team

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter is leaving Sarah Fisher Racing to start his own team and said Wednesday he plans to run a full season in 2012.

The announcement comes less than a month after Carpenter won his first career race at Kentucky. Fisher said after the victory that sponsor Dollar General was leaving, creating uncertainty with that team.

Now Carpenter has gone out on his own, starting a team with IndyCar founder Tony George, his stepfather. The team has a three-year sponsorship commitment from Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka, owned by former Masters and U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead with Ed Carpenter Racing,” Carpenter said in a statement. “Team ownership is something that I have thought about for quite a long time and is now becoming a reality. 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.”

Carpenter had a part-time schedule with Fisher last season, and his wheel-to-wheel race to the finish line with Dario Franchitti is his only career victory.

He has 113 career starts in nine IndyCar seasons. Carpenter has 26 top-10 finishes and three podiums.

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