Cole Pearn is returning to the racing world for the month of August.
Ed Carpenter Racing announced Wednesday the NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning crew chief will join its NTT IndyCar Series engineering staff for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team has pegged Pearn as the lead engineer on Conor Daly‘s No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet.
“I am super excited to get a chance to compete in the Indy 500 with Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter Racing,” Pearn said in the news release. “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!”
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Pearn retired from full-time NASCAR duties at the end of the 2019 season after working atop Martin Truex Jr.‘s pit box for five years. Over the course of 179 starts together, the two won the 2017 championship and 24 races overall.
This will mark Pearn‘s first Indianapolis 500 experience as an engineer.
Ed Carpenter Racing has two full-time IndyCar entries but will enter a third car for the Indianapolis 500 driven by Daly. Pearn has a tie to the organization as well in Pete Craik — the lead engineer for Carpenter’s No. 20 — who also worked with Pearn at Furniture Row Racing and was part of the 2017 championship team.
The 2020 Indianapolis 500 was originally scheduled for May 24, but COVID-19 forced the postponement of the event. The 104th running will now take place Aug. 23. Unlike in NASCAR, there will also be IndyCar practice and qualifying for this race.