PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Auto Value Parts Dodge Charger) HOW WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR SPRINT CUP CAREER SO FAR THIS YEAR? "There are ups and downs. It's very tough to switch from open-wheel (racing). It's been really good at times and really...
PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Auto Value Parts Dodge Charger)
HOW WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR SPRINT CUP CAREER SO FAR THIS YEAR? "There are ups and downs. It's very tough to switch from open-wheel (racing). It's been really good at times and really bad at other times. At Lowe's Motor Speedway, we really struggled both weeks that we were there; we think that we know why, it was a geometry thing on the car that wasn't right. At some of the races we've been doing really good. At Darlington, we ran really well, we just had a mechanical issue during the race. For me, it's bad that I'm not in the top-35 (in driver points), but it's good in a way because I get good engines and good stuff. We always get good cars. I enjoy it (racing) a lot. I think that we're going to be OK."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE No. 40 TEAM HAVING TO SHUT DOWN? "It's a hard thing to watch for me. It's just racing. It's a tough thing. With the financial situation in the states and pretty much everywhere around the world, the economy is struggling a bit. It's harder for sponsorship. I can understand the decision. It's always sad to see someone go, especially when he comes from the same place (IndyCar Series) you do. I was disappointed with that. He is a good guy.
"I thought that (Dario) was running pretty well, he just had some bad luck in incidents during race time. I thought he was starting to get the hang of it. At least it would have been nice to see him get the chance to go back to the same tracks a second time. That's what I would have liked to see."
HAS NASCAR BEEN HARDER THEN YOU ANTICIPATED? "I knew it was hard. I looked at Juan Pablo (Montoya) -- I raced him in ovals and looked at him last year and said, 'Whoa man, this thing (NASCAR) is pretty hard. When you look at it on TV, they're going 20-30 miles per hour slower then we do (in Indy cars) and it doesn't look that hard. You just forget that they have half the size of the tire, more power, more weight and no downforce. It's very hard. The hardest part of it -- to do one lap quick, we seem to have the hang of it. To do quick laps for 100 laps on the same set of tires, that's what it's all about. That's the hardest part to learn. We're starting to get a lot better at it, but that's what takes a while. It's hard. People have no idea how hard it is once you get in (to Cup racing)."
HAS THE DWINDLING NUMBER OF ROOKIES RACING IN THE CUP SERIES NOW HELPED PUT YOU IN THE FRONT OF THE ROOKIE CLASS? "For us (No. 10 team), we've had a lot of speed in a lot of places. We just need to transfer it to the races. Like Ray Evernham said, 'It's going to take time. He said, 'I knew that when we picked you up, it was going to take a few years. It took Kasey (Kahne) two, three years to get to Victory Lane and Elliott (Sadler) the same.' I just hope that with the economy we have now, that they have the patients to live through it with me. We're building the No. 10 (team) and it's a lot better than it has been. The communication has been really good with the team. They've done a really good job with everything - the car engine, no matter what it is. I'm fortunate to have teammates that are running pretty well. Sometimes you just go and get their setup and put it on the car and that helps me quite a bit. The most difficult part for us in the race is to tell the crew chief what you need in the car to get better. These guys, once they do a pit stop, they're going to gain and gain every time. They adjust the car for the end of the race. And by the end of the race, they gain half-a-second and are a lot better. So that's the hard part. Not knowing the car; not knowing what you really need to be faster. That's the hardest part. I don't have anything (data) to go back to. I can't say, 'When I raced Nationwide, I did this.' Once we go back to a track for the second time, I think we'll be much better."
-credit: dodge motorsports