OFFICIAL: Ed Carpenter Racing signs engine deal with Chevy

Coming off earning one of the two open Leader’s Circle franchises last week, Ed Carpenter Racing has finally signed an engine contract deal for the 2012 season with Chevrolet.

The team, co-owned by driver Ed Carpenter and stepfather/IZOD IndyCar Series founder Tony George, becomes the fifth squad to align with the Bowtie, joining Team Penske, Andretti Autosport, KV Racing Technology and Panther Racing. ECR will field the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka-backed entry and, by going with Chevy, Carpenter is coming full circle: In 2003, he made his IndyCar debut in a Chevy-powered entry from PDM Racing.

Last season, Carpenter earned his first victory in the series with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing at Kentucky Speedway, nipping four-time series champion Dario Franchitti by .0098 seconds. Carpenter competed in nine events last season with SFHR and will move to full-time status with his own team this year.

With Carpenter now armed with an engine, only three teams remain without an official deal as we close in on the start of the season late next month: SFHR, Conquest Racing and Michael Shank Racing.