IRL: Sears Point: Patrick Carpentier race report

CARPENTIER FINISHES FOURTH IN CALIFORNIA Montreal, August 28, 2005 - Race fans who stayed home today to watch racing on television were spoiled with the presentation of the Molson Indy Montreal as well as by Patrick ...

CARPENTIER FINISHES FOURTH IN CALIFORNIA

Montreal, August 28, 2005 - Race fans who stayed home today to watch racing on television were spoiled with the presentation of the Molson Indy Montreal as well as by Patrick Carpentier's superb fourth place finish in Round 14 of the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series which was held on the 3.7 kilometre Infineon Raceway road course (formerly Sears Point) in California. The Joliette, Quebec native was competitive throughout the 80-lap race, finishing 2.6644 seconds behind winner Tony Kanaan of Andretti-Green Racing.

The Brazilian led the race twice for the total of 33 laps, but it was on Lap 53 that he moved into first place for good, edging out American Buddy Rice of Rahal Letterman Racing by 1.1826 seconds. The top two finishers were in Honda-powered racecars. Behind them were the two Red Bull Cheever Racing drivers, both of whom have given engine manufacturer Toyota strong performances several times during the 2005 season (bettered only by Penske Toyotas). Alex Barron, Carpentier's teammate, finished third, just ahead of the Quebec driver. For Patrick it was his ninth, top-ten finish and his third top-four finish this season.

Carpentier, who started 12th, earned his ninth consecutive finish, and dominates the series in laps completed with 2622 - 75 more than series points leader Dan Wheldon of Great Britain.

"I'm very pleased with this result," said Carpentier. "Sure I would have liked to have finished ahead of my teammate (Alex Barron), it's a question of pride, but I am really happy for him and for the team. We had a good weekend. Qualifying wasn't that great, but we got it back during the race. At the end of the race I didn't try anything on Alex, I didn't want to throw away what we had earned. Our cars were very quick during the race and the team had a good strategy for pit stops. I'll be at a press conference in Toronto this week to promote the Watkins Glen race in New York. After that I'll head home to Las Vegas."

During the last full-course caution, team owner Eddie Cheever was nervous. He wanted race officials to restart the race as quickly as possible.

"This is not a race on an oval, I don't see why they (the officials) kept the caution period on for so long."

There were six lead changes during the race involving five drivers (Kanaan, Herta, Briscoe, Enge et Wheldon). Three full-course cautions slowed the race for a total of 13 laps.

In the driver standings...
Dan Wheldon still leads with 517 points, followed by teammate Tony Kanaan who has 438. Sam Hornish Jr. is third with 421 points, while Dario Franchitti has 395 points. Scott Sharp lines up fifth (366 points) and Helio Castroneves is in the sixth spot with 360 points. As for Carpentier, his is now ninth with 319 points, two more than Tomas Scheckter.

Indy Racing League IndyCar Series drivers now have a week off, following three consecutive weekends of racing. The next event will be held on September 11 at Chicagoland on the Illinois oval. The race will be seen live on ABC starting at 1:30 p.m. eastern.

-pcnb/mdo-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Patrick Carpentier , Tony Kanaan , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Sam Hornish Jr.