IndyCar Driver Ed Carpenter Shares His Spin on Step- and Traditional Families
Ed Carpenter counts himself a lucky man. Not only does he get to do something he loves that’s both a hobby and his job—something he considers a “luxury” to be able to do—but he also gets to include his family.
Ed is an IndyCar Driver—his team’s car is number 20. Ed took time out of his busy preparations for the Grand Prix happening in Baltimore over Labor Day weekend to share his thoughts with RemarriageWorks.com on stepfamilies and traditional families.
“It’s different in other sports, but in racing, family can come along,” says Ed. Not that he gets to see them a lot while he’s working, but he and his wife Heather take comfort in the knowledge that their kids are seeing the country and learning new things while still being together as much as possible.
Other than balancing work and family life, Ed has a new challenge: his daughter Makenna’s newly budding social calendar. For Makenna, who turns five in October, sometimes a friend’s birthday party presents a conflict. Ed and Heather try to balance those types of activities with spending as much time together as possible while Ed is on the road traveling, which he does from March until generally the end of October. (Luckily for the Carpenters, the race season ends the end of September this year.)
In addition to Makenna, there’s Ryder who just turned three, and a third baby on the way. The Carpenter family resides in Indianapolis, and they feel fortunate that during race season in the month of May, the races are based in Indianapolis.
Ed is also from a stepfamily, and he can only see the benefits that a stepfamily provided him. In fact, he’s no longer a stepson. The man he has called his stepfather since the age of eight has been going through the process of formally adopting him. That man is Indy Racing League founder Tony George and someone that Ed obviously looks up to and greatly respects.
Ed credits his stepfather for how he handled entering the blended family dynamic as a stepfather and the mindset he brought. Ed has this advice for anyone considering remarriage: “What made it great was, my last name was different, but I never felt different. My advice is don’t do it unless you’re willing to care for a child who is not your own.”
When Ed’s mom remarried, Ed got a stepbrother, and later, a sister came along. He considered his mother’s remarriage a good thing for him, providing him with what he feels was a more normal environment.
For kids transitioning into a blended family, he offers this advice: “Respect your parents. Have faith in them, that they’ll make decisions that are good for your well-being.”
As for the family-friendly Grand Prix, Ed says that with a street race, there is always something going on, both off-track and on. “There’s a car on the track all the time.” It’s a chance for a family to have a fun outing and spend time together, getting caught up in the thrill of the event.
This is Ed’s first year owning his own team in association with Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka. We wish Ed and his team the best of luck in this year’s IndyCar Series. And, best wishes to Ed and his wife in their efforts to cultivate a close family environment that surmount the challenges of a traveling athlete.