They call Dover International Speedway the Monster-Mile for a reason. It's a super-fast, high-banked oval with walls that seem to reach out and grab competitors. Gillett Evernham Motorsports driver, Patrick Carpentier, knows a thing or two about...
They call Dover International Speedway the Monster-Mile for a reason. It's a super-fast, high-banked oval with walls that seem to reach out and grab competitors.
Gillett Evernham Motorsports driver, Patrick Carpentier, knows a thing or two about monsters. He's been wrestling with one since Daytona when the open wheel racer embarked on his rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
As one of the cars that came into the season outside the top-35 in owner's points, Carpentier and the No. 10 Bumper to Bumper Dodge crew have had their work cut out just to make races. This weekend he will again be attempting to qualify at a track he has never visited amidst a 50-car field of the best drivers in the world.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A TRACK YOU'VE NEVER BEEN TO? ""I'll start the week off by using a race simulator to help me get an accurate visual of the track from behind the wheel. I'll also watch in car footage from the races at Dover last year. Kasey's in-car footage from last year has been in my DVD player for the past week. I get some reports from the other drivers and data from last year about those tracks.
"I'm fortunate because I have really good teammates. Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne have been helping me learn about Dover."
"Let me tell you, from the outside looking in, qualifying seems to be easy. But once you sit in that car and you try to learn the car and the track it's very challenging. The car is very fast and it's hard to learn a new track. On Fridays I run as many laps during practice as I can. Before qualifying I'll run the laps in my head, it helps me get up to speed with the other guys.
"If I see the track in my mind I'll be ok with it. That is why I sit a little earlier in the car before qualifying. I want to make sure it's clear in my mind and to focus properly before the lap. If I see it clearly in my mind it makes it a little easier for me.
"The fun part is on Sunday when we get to race. The stressful part of the weekend is qualifying on Friday."
* Carpentier will be driving chassis No. 210. Backup is No. 218.