''I must have the slowest car in the field'' Patrick Carpentier following his 14th place in Kansas Montreal, Sunday, July 3, 2005 - Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier was having a great time in Round 8 of the Indy Racing...
''I must have the slowest car in the field''
Patrick Carpentier following his 14th place in Kansas
Montreal, Sunday, July 3, 2005 - Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier was having a great time in Round 8 of the Indy Racing League Indy Car Series held Sunday on the Kansas Speedway, that is until his last pit stop on lap 189. Unfortunately for the Red Bull Cheever Racing driver, the final result has no bearing on the fine work he did throughout the 200-lap race. Starting way down in 19th place on the grid, Carpentier drove through traffic on the 1.5-mile tri-oval track, and was up to 7th place before his last pit stop on lap 189. The last stop cost him a Top-10 finish as he came back to finish 14th, 12.3462 seconds behind race winner Tony Kanaan.
The Argent Mortgage Indy 300 was another IRL photo finish race as Kanaan got the checkered flag only 0.0120 seconds ahead of his Andretti-Green Racing teammate Dan Wheldon, and 0.0242 seconds ahead of Vitor Meira of Team Rahal-Letterman. The series' defending champion took the lead with three laps to go to finally claim his first win of the 2005 season, his fifth career Indy Series win. Wheldon, who started 13th, maintained his points lead over second-place Kanaan. It was the sixth-closest finish in series history.
Fourth place went to Dario Franchitti, the third member of the Green-Andretti Racing quartet, followed by Tomas Scheckter, Scott Sharp and Darren Manning. Helio Castroneves finished eighth, followed by polesitter Danica Patrick. Her Rahal-Letterman teammate, Buddy Rice, rounded out the Top 10. Eighteen drivers finished on the winner's lap. Only three full course cautions slowed down the race for 19 laps.
''I must have the slowest car in the field,'' said Carpentier following the race. ''I was proud of the work I had done up to the last stop, but unfortunately, when I came back on the track, I was not in the right place. I need the draft of at least two cars ahead of me to be able to keep the pace with my Dallara-Toyota, and I had only one car in front of me. I was flat out and going nowhere. It's quite a frustrating result. During the race, I had the opportunity to set myself up with several cars and that's how I made my way up the field. But with 10 laps to go, it was mission impossible. Let's hope that things can improve from here.''
Carpentier is returning to his hometown of Joliette (QC) to rest before the next race. ''It will be kind of a short vacation on the family farm - a time to relax and forget the frustrations of this race by using my new Komatsu excavator to dig a few holes in the ground, thanks to my new Federal Equipment sponsor.''
In the provisional standings, Wheldon still leads the standings with 335 points. Kanaan is next with 259, followed by Helio Castroneves (230) and Franchitti (219). Fifth place belongs to Sam Hornish Jr. with 216. Next are Vitor Meira 205, Bryan Herta 198, Scott Sharp 198 and Tomas Scheckter with 192 points. Danica Patrick, with 171 points, took over 10th spot previously held by Carpentier.
The 10th season of IRL IndyCar competition continues with the Firestone Indy 200 at 7 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday July 16 at Nashville Superspeedway. The race will be broadcast live on TSN. Alex Barron, Carpentier's teammate, won the second race held in Nashville in 2002. Tony Kanaan is the defending race champion.