Ed Carpenter Racing is searching for a new title sponsor after Fuzzy’s Vodka informed the team it will cease its longstanding partnership. Launched in 2012, ECR’s full-time cars have carried either primary or associate branding from the spirits company led by former PGA Tour star Fuzzy Zoeller.
“I don’t see it being a setback right now,” Carpenter told RACER. “It’s never ideal, but we’re positioned well enough right now to where it won’t affect us. We’ve got some work to do to fill the space, but it’s been something we’ve been working on. There’s been far worse times to be in this situation, but we’re in good shape and there’s no concerns about our future plans being affected by it.”
Compared to its position in the paddock seven seasons ago, Carpenter is confident the higher profile achieved by ECR with its numerous wins and multiple pole positions at the Indy 500 will help in its quest to land a new title sponsor.
“Back when you start something new, you don’t have a story to sell or success to offer, so we definitely have a story now — and it’s what we’ve achieved on the track and several other positive [sponsor] relationships we’ve built that show we can put together something that works. It’s a definite positive.”
Carpenter also confirmed new hire Ed Jones, who will share the No. 20 Chevy on road and street courses in an alliance between ECR and Scuderia Corsa, will commence testing duties — of the virtual variety — early next month.
“Ed’s going to get on the simulator and do some testing pretty soon,” he said. “But I don’t think he’ll be on track before the clock rolls over to 2019.”
Along with Carpenter/Jones in the No. 20, ECR will return with Spencer Pigot as its lone full-timer in the No. 21 Chevy.