Milka Duno's open-wheel racing teacher got high marks from his former students.
Pancho Carter, hired by Samax Motorsports as the Venezuelan rookie's driver coach and spotter, has worked with a number of racers over the years. Among them are three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. and Dan Wheldon, who won the series title in 2005. Both also have won at Indianapolis.
"The guy's a straight shooter," Wheldon said on Saturday, during preparations for Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway. "He tells you exactly how it is, so it's good from that standpoint."
Hornish, who was Wheldon's teammate when both were at Panther Racing, didn't get Carter as his coach and spotter until eight races into his career.
"If I had it to do over again and would've had the opportunity to work with Pancho right off the bat, I think I probably would've won a couple more races," Hornish said.
Carter brings a lengthy resume as a driver to his coaching duties. He made 17 starts in the Indianapolis 500 and won the pole for the race in 1985.
"I can relate a lot of my experiences to them, and I think a lot of the time it helps," Carter said. "A lot of the time, the engineer and the driver have trouble drawing information out. Sometimes I can talk on driver's terms with the drivers, and all of a sudden we get the input that we want and start heading the right direction."