Sarah will focus on being co-owner of Sarah Fisher Racing.
For now, Ed will drive in nine events, St. Pete, Indianapolis, Texas, Iowa, Mid-Ohio, New Hampshire, Baltimore, Kentucky, and the TBA season finale.
The decision likely comes as a bit of a disappointment to Sarah's many fans (myself included), but at the same time we're thankful for being able to watch her race for more than a decade in IndyCar.
Plus she and Andy want to start a family, and for female drivers that means getting out of the firesuit for an extended period. Sarah said then she wasn't sure of the timing of the move. (Interview story here.)
At best I though we'd get one more year out of Sarah, a bit of a farewell tour, but today she announced she's done. I was glad I got to watch her race in person one last time last time at my favorite tracks, Chicagoland, which was probably one of her best races in years. (Race notes here.)
Congrats to Sarah on a fabulous career as a driver, especially when measured in class and role model-hood for scores of young girls. Word to my boy Ed Carpenter, as my solid second-fav driver, there's nobody I'd rather have take Sarah's spot then Ed.
SFR News release below:
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. and GOODLETTSVILLE, TN. (November 29, 2010)-Sarah Fisher Racing (SFR) and Dollar General announced today that Dollar General has renewed its support of SFR for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar ® Series season. The schedule will include competition in nine events, consisting of both road course and oval venues.
"SFR has been a great partner for us and our brand," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO. "We are excited about extending our sponsorship for the upcoming racing season."
Sarah Fisher also announced today that after 25 years in the driver's seat, she will be stepping out of the car to focus on being a team owner. Well-known IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter will take the wheel of the yellow, No. 67, Dollar General machine.
"This change in my career is a direction I have been thinking about very hard. The timing is perfect for the strategy of SFR in its future endeavors. To have the support of all our partners in this direction is incredible. I am glad to have the support of our partners, including Dollar General, who have led us to where we are today. I know this team has what it takes to perform and I am hoping with the decision to put Ed in the seat, that we can do just that. By stepping out of the seat, I will be able to spend more time growing this team in the right directions both on and off track."
Carpenter, the new driver of the Dollar General No. 67, is an Indiana native who began his racing career in 1989 driving cars such as sprint cars, midgets, and silver crown cars on the short tracks of America. This background, which is very similar to SFR team owner, Sarah Fisher, was what started the friendship between Carpenter and Fisher. He has captured a pole position, two podium finishes, and has claimed 26 top-ten results thus far in his IZOD IndyCar Series career.
"Sarah is a trailblazer and remains a role model," said Dreiling. "We are proud of her record and we wish her well as she starts her career as a full-time owner. We also look forward to cheering on Ed as he drives the Dollar General car to victory."
"I am so honored to have the opportunity to come drive for SFR and Dollar General," said an enthusiastic Carpenter. "I have been friends with Sarah and Andy for a long time, and am really looking forward to working with their team. Sarah and I come from such similar backgrounds; I know that it will be a joy to work with her team. Sarah has had a great career and has done an amazing job growing SFR each year. I am confident that together we can continue to improve the results not only on the track, but off of the track as well!"
SFR's complete 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule:
March 28 -- Streets of St. Petersburg, FLA.
May 29 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway
June 11 -- Texas Motor Speedway
June 25 -- Iowa Speedway
August 7 -- Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
August 14 -- New Hampshire Motor Speedway
September 4 -- Streets of Baltimore
October 2 -- Kentucky Speedway
October 16 -- TBA