PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Valvoline/Standley Tools Dodge Charger) WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER YOUR RACE AT PHOENIX LAST WEEKEND? "I'm pretty happy. For me what I want is to run with the guys a little bit more, but I just wanted to finish that...
PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Valvoline/Standley Tools Dodge Charger)
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER YOUR RACE AT PHOENIX LAST WEEKEND? "I'm pretty happy. For me what I want is to run with the guys a little bit more, but I just wanted to finish that race. We took the last pit stall and we kept going back to the back of the field, and had a hard time passing the rest of the field. I'm pretty happy. I didn't think that I was going to finish the race, so for me it was a good weekend all in all. Qualifying the car was really good and everything was good. I was really happy just to do that race is so much experience. It was pretty good. It's going to take some time to where we can win races. Overall I'm really happy."
WHAT ABOUT THE 1.5 MILE OVALS. YOU HAVE A LOT OF THOSE COMING UP NEXT YEAR? "I like those. I like those tracks. We've tested on a few of those and it has gone pretty well. Hopefully we can bring it over here. On the long runs, one was 25 laps, and we only lost like a tenth and a half from the first to the 25th lap, which is important. That is where I was losing a lot of time before, so it seemed like it was working out. Hopefully we qualify today. We want to race."
YOU HAVE TO QUALIFY ON SPEED. "Yeah, exactly, and if we do this time we are not going back every time the yellow comes out. So we can race and see what happens."
THIS IS THE LAST RACE IN A NON-CAR OF TOMORROW RACE. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN TAKE FROM THIS RACE THAT WILL HELP YOU FOR NEXT SEASON? "I think the most important thing was to qualify the car last week at Phoenix. The Car of Tomorrow is the car that we will get next year, and we kind of proved that I can do it, so I was really happy with that. This week I went testing in this car and kind of pushed it as hard as I could, because if I crashed it the car is never going to be used again anyway. This weekend I want to race some more and for sure I want to qualify for the race. The racing experience is so important. If we qualify both cars that will be good. It is more the laps that I need over the kind of car that I'm driving."
WHAT DO YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR DAYTONA? YOU'VE TESTED ON A 1.5 MILE, BUT DAYTONA IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT. "We are going to test Daytona 14 or 15 or something general like that. We have a lot of testing in Vegas and California and places like that. We are going to be testing a lot. We're going to be testing almost every week so it's going to be a busy winter for us."
DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN PLANE OR DO THEY FLY YOU. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE LOGISTICS? "I'm going to go on vacation for a week after leaving here. Then I am going to stick with the week for the month of December and then I am going to go on vacation with my family for 10 days at the end of the month. Then I am going to come back and stick with these guys pretty much all the time."
WHAT IS YOU IMPRESSION OF GEORGE GILLETT? "I like him. He is a great guy. He is very emotional and he likes to win and when he loses he gets mad for a minute and then he is okay after that. You can really see through him. What it is is exactly what it is. He is an honest guy and he is a great guy - same with Ray Evernham. He has been great to work for. Everything that he said was going to happen happened and everything he said would happen not did not happen. So far I am really happy."
SOME PEOPLE COME IN WITH A LOT OF ENTHUSIAM UNTIL THINGS DON'T GO THEIR WAY. WHAT COMMITMENT DO YOU HAVE? ARE YOU GOING TO RUN THE WHOLE YEAR OR TWO YEARS OR WHATEVER? "I cannot say what agreements we have, but it comes down to sponsorship and everything that happens and stuff like that. For me it's very straight forward and they want me to do the full season next year. That is what the plan is, but we'll see what happens."
FOR EVERYONE ELSE THE SEASON IS ENDING. IN A LOT OF WAYS YOUR SEASON IS JUST BEGINNING. WHAT IS IT GOING TO BE LIKE TO HAVE AN INTENSE TESTING SCHEDULE BEFORE RUNNING A FULL SCHEDULE NEXT YEAR? "I like it. That's what I wanted. I'm really fortunate to come to a team that is just going to put me in a car. That's what I wanted and that's what they're going to do. It's what I need there is no other way about it. Otherwise I won't be able to race with these guys next year. That's what we are prepared for and I think that's what we'll do."
-credit: dodge motorsports