Ed Carpenter Racing signs ace NASCAR crew chief Pearn for Indy
Conor Daly’s #47 U.S. Air Force ECR-Chevrolet for the Indy 500 will be run by Cole Pearn, the crew-chief who helped turn Martin Truex and Furniture Row Racing into one of the most formidable combinations in NASCAR Cup.
In 2015, Pearn became crew chief for FRR and Truex, and they clinched the 2017 NASCAR Cup title, while last year they earned seven wins, more than any other entrant. After moving with Truex to Joe Gibbs Racing, as FRR closed down, Pearn then quit full-time NASCAR competition at the end of 2019 to return to his native Canada and run a business with his wife, but he has served as an analyst for NASCAR.com.
He will become lead engineer on Daly’s third ECR entry for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 on August 23, alongside three-time Indy 500 polesitter and team owner Carpenter and full-time ECR driver Rinus VeeKay.
“I am super excited to get a chance to compete in the Indy 500 with Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter Racing,” said Pearn. “I wasn't sure when I would want to get back to racing, but this is a great opportunity to do so. To be able to do it at a high level was too hard to pass up.
“Obviously, it will be a steep learning curve but getting to work with [No. 20 engineer] Pete Craik again and the rest of the ECR team is about the best situation I could hope for.”
"I am really excited to get to work with Cole for the first time at the Indy 500,” said Daly, for for whom this will be a seventh Indy 500 entry but his first with Carpenter. “We're both going to have to get up to speed with this ECR operation, but I can't wait. Cole has had an incredible amount of success in the NASCAR world and now we'll be going for our first Indy 500 win together."
Pete Craik, lead engineer on Carpenter's No. 20, worked with Pearn at Furniture Row Racing and was also a part of the 2017 championship run. ECR's chief engineer Matt Barnes oversees the department and will head up the No. 21 of VeeKay.
Tim Broyles, General Manager of ECR, is pleased with the addition to the team's engineering staff. "We prepare all year to be the best we can be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and bringing on someone of Cole Pearn's caliber for August only adds to that," stated Broyles. "We are proud of the engineering program that we have built and Cole is a solid addition to that group.”
Practice for Indy begins Aug. 11, qualifying will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15 and Sunday, Aug. 16. The Indy 500 will begin at 2.30pm ET on Sunday, Aug. 23.
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