Patrick Carpentier scored an 18th-place finish in today’s race at Indianapolis, his second top-20 effort in 17 starts this season. He took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the fourth time in 2008.
CARPENTIER: “At the end it got a little bit better. I know Goodyear and everybody and the racetrack needs to do something about the track. Everybody needs to improve a little bit. With the Car of Tomorrow, the center of gravity is so high that it makes it very difficult for them but for me I’m very happy. The last five races we’ve had a really fast engine and qualified well so I’m happy for the team.”
THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST FINISHES THAT YOU’VE HAD ALL SEASON. “I’m really happy. The last five races we’ve had a couple of top-20 finishes with the pole so I’m really happy. The Valvoline/Sears Auto Center Dodge was fast all day and we had fun. At first I felt kind of sorry for the fans but. I was like ‘Man, it’s going to be a long day with all those stops. It’s going to be longer than the 600 at Charlotte.’ But we made it through and I’m glad that NASCAR ran the race anyway and that’s the only way we could do it. I don’t think it’s all Goodyear’s fault. I think the surface here needs to be looked at and a lot of stuff. I’m happy they did it. They had a good ending and that’s the way it is.”
HOW DIFFICULT WAS THIS RACE? THIS WAS YOUR FIRST TIME HERE IN A STOCK CAR. “Yeah, especially with those circumstances it’s really hard. I just couldn’t read the car. At one time it’d go really tight and one time it’d be really loose and I didn’t know what to think. I asked Mike [Shiplett, crew chief] to ask Kasey and Elliott and see what they think about their cars and he told me it’s about the same as you. At the end they gave me a good car and ran well. It was just hard. It was impossible to set the car up.”
YOU GAINED A LITTLE BIT IN THE OWNER POINTS. “We got some points again so I think we’re catching up on the top-35. I hope Terry does well next week and we keep moving on forward and be in the top-35 by the end of the year. It’s been great. I’m very happy to be part of the team and the cars are great and it’s fun to drive.”
DID YOU RACE ANYONE REALLY HARD TODAY? “Myself and the tires [laughs]. I raced a lot of guys. I raced Sam pretty hard all day. He kept passing me and then I kept seeing him losing his rear tires and going backwards then passing me and going back and passing me and then I raced J.J. Yeley and the 07, Clint Bowyer and the 66. We were together all day so it was a fun race but at the beginning for the fans I thought it was boring. But I’m glad that all the teams raced and NASCAR did the race but in the future they need to look at the track and look at a couple of things to fix it up.”
WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE? “It’s great. The last five races have been amazing. We’ve had two top-20s and the pole and can’t ask for more. I’m pretty fortunate that I’m with a good team. They’ve got great cars right now and I’m part of it so it’s great.”