CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 99 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Patrick Carpentier returns to the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the final time this weekend at his home track of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. The 39-year-old driver plans to retire after this weekend’s race. The Joliette (Quebec) native enjoyed a 27-year racing career where he won five IndyCar races and grabbed a Sprint Cup Series pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2008.
Carpentier has had great success at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In 2007 he won the pole then led 14 laps in his series debut. In just four races on the road course, he has back-to-back runner up finishes and ran at the front of the field the last two years before mechanical issues ended his day.
How do you feel about this weekend being your last race? “It’s going to be a different experience. I have been doing this for 27 years now. I am happy with the decision – it feels right. I want to spend more time with my family and become more involved in real estate. I know I will miss it, but in the last three years the races have been few and far between. So at some point you have to realize it’s time to move on and let the young kids have their chance.”
Why did you decide to retire now? “There are a lot of reasons why I decided to retire after this race. I have a 10-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son that I want to spend more time with at home. Honestly, I was very fortunate to have great teams to drive for during my career. However, the past couple of years it’s been tough to find a good ride. It has either been start-and-parks or with underfunded teams that just aren’t competitive. All of that made me realize that it was time to move on to something else. I am at peace with my decision.”
How special is it to do your last race in Canada? “This weekend is going to be pretty special. At times, it’s going to be emotional, but hopefully we can win the race so I can go out in style. I think we have a genuine shot at winning this weekend. I have driven for Pastrana Waltrip Racing a few times now and they have always given me great cars. I don’t expect this time to be any different.”