May 22, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter and his team hosted reigning NHRA Top Fuel champion Antron Brown in his garage today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Brown got to climb into the cockpit of Carpenter’s No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet.
“It’s just good times to come hang out and support Ed for pulling that pole off,” said Brown, who became the first African-American driver to win a major motorsports title last season. “That was an incredible feat for him and his team, and it’s just cool to be out here with this experience.
After a brief word with the Ed Carpenter Racing squad, Brown hopped into the No. 20 and Carpenter showed him some of the ins and outs of IndyCar technology. The drag racer was very impressed by it all.
“Everything that these cars have evolved into, the way these new cars are – so much safer, so much more sound,” Brown enthused. “The paddle shifters, [having] everything in your steering wheel – that’s what we need in NHRA, everything in the steering wheel.
“They’re racing these small, turbocharged engines and they’re still going the speeds they go. It’s just phenomenal. It tells you how far it’s come in this day and age…That’s pretty special.”
As for the prospect of a potential ride swap in the future, Carpenter sounded open to the idea and said that while he and Brown’s machines may look to have a total contrast, there’s still commonalities between them.
“I’m sure we could both adapt [to the other] if we had enough time,” said Carpenter, IndyCar’s sole owner/driver. “Like anything, seat time is key. But when we were just standing in the garage and looking at the car with all the bodywork off, there’s a lot of technology and a lot of things that aren’t totally different even though [drag racing] is a totally different discipline.”
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