STATESVILLE, N.C. -- No. 10 Tow Truck In A Box Dodge driver Patrick Carpentier owns four consecutive rookie of the race awards in the last four NASCAR Sprint Cup races the former open wheel star but NASCAR rookie has entered. This weekend he hopes...
STATESVILLE, N.C. -- No. 10 Tow Truck In A Box Dodge driver Patrick Carpentier owns four consecutive rookie of the race awards in the last four NASCAR Sprint Cup races the former open wheel star but NASCAR rookie has entered. This weekend he hopes to extend that streak to five when the series races at the two-mile, D-shaped oval at Michigan International Speedway.
Carpentier, who has raced in open wheel cars on the track, is just 200 points out of the top 35 in owner points despite missing three of the first four races of the 2008 season. After starting 39th in last week's race at Watkins Glen, Carpentier and the Tow Truck in a Box crew muscled their way up 19 positions to finish 20th, marking his third top-20 finish in his last four starts. Carpentier is once again doing double duty this weekend for Gillett Evernham Motorsports driving the No. 9 Hellmann's Dodge on Saturday in the Nationwide Series.
"The Tow Truck in a Box crew did a great job bringing a strong car to the racetrack last week. I think if we hadn't gotten rained out we would have earned a better starting spot and then ended up with a better finish. But the team pushed through and we still ended up getting another top-20 and we picked up a spot in owner points.
"We ran 24th at Michigan earlier this year. My Crew Chief Mike Shiplett and the guys had our Dodge dialed in and we were looking to get a top-15 finish. We ended up getting caught up in a last lap crash. I think we can improve on that finish this weekend.
"We're focused on our goal to break into the top 35 by the end of the year. We're keeping our heads down and pushing ahead. We know if we run as well as we think we will we will reach that goal. Considering what we overcame early in the season that would be an incredible accomplishment.
CREW CHIEF MIKE SHIPLETT:
"Everyone's excited to start heading back to these tracks for a second time because now Patrick knows the lines and what the track does. We go to some of these tracks and he's never even seen them before. We spend half of our practice time just trying to learn the line around the racetrack. Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne as teammates help him out tremendously but you can't get the same understanding unless you're out there doing it yourself. I think in the next few weeks we're going to show how good this team really is.
"You can go back and look from the beginning of the year, we focused solely on qualifying. Now half-way through the race Patrick will start understanding the track better. He can identify how the car is handling and in turn we can make the adjustments needed to the car from his feedback. We were able to improve our finishes towards the end of the race in a number of the races we've been in and now we're focusing on top-15 finishes."
Chassis info: The No. 10 crew will bring chassis No. 254. It last at Chicago where it finished 30th. Backup is No. 218.