CARPENTIER FINISHES 6th IN CASCAR DEBUT Montreal, QC, September 3, 2006 - Canadian open-wheel star Patrick Carpentier had his first taste of stock car competition on Sunday finishing sixth in Round 9 of the CASCAR Super...
CARPENTIER FINISHES 6th IN CASCAR DEBUT
Montreal, QC, September 3, 2006 - Canadian open-wheel star Patrick Carpentier had his first taste of stock car competition on Sunday finishing sixth in Round 9 of the CASCAR Super Series 2006 schedule held at Cayuga International Speedway, located east of Hamilton. Driving the Lou's BBQ / CP Flooring #88 Ford Taurus of team owner and active driver Dave Jacombs of Mount Hope, Ontario, Carpentier finished on the leader's lap in a very exciting finish of the Feature race that saw him take the checkered flag almost backward after an encounter with an opponent on the last corner of the race. Ontario drivers Dave Whitlock of Petrolia, Ron Beauchamp Jr. of Windsor and Mark Dilley of Barrie swept the podium at the conclusion of the 200-lap Hot Head Henry Feature Race, a night race run under the lights.
"Wow, what an exciting finish," commented Carpentier when reached after the race. "The team did a great job during the last pit stop, changing all four tires and still managing to gain three positions. The car was really great after that. I was kind of nice in the early part of the race, but even though the drivers are great guys outside the track, when it comes to racing, it's everyone for himself. Therefore, I started to push a little more and it worked. In the last corner of the race, I tried to get by car #3 (Jason Hathaway) to finish in the Top-5, but I pushed on the accelerator a little too much and lost control of the car. I avoided the wall to cross the finish line sideways. It gets very busy on such a short track. It's a good thing that I had a great spotter because even though the car has mirrors, you don't see much on either side of it."
Following Saturday's postponement due to inclement weather in the Southern Ontario region, teams and drivers were ready for a full day of competition. Carpentier really enjoyed his first outing in the tin top car, even though he encountered a few problems during his first day of competition. The Joliette, Quebec driver ran amongst the Top-10 in his first ever practice session with other drivers on the track in the morning. Following that, Carpentier was 9th fastest in the time trials to start fifth in his 50-lap shootout race. Unfortunately, a slow leaking puncture suffered halfway through the race slowed the driver down, and he finished one lap down when his rear tire finally blew up on the penultimate circuit.
"At the start of the shootout race, I was checking out the other drivers' race lines because during the morning session, they were going in and out of the pits and there was no way to figure out where it was," said Carpentier, who runs with a personal sponsorship from Mecachrome Canada. "Everything was going well and I was running within the Top-10. Then, the car started to get loose and I was wondering if I had overcooked the tires. I didn't want to complain on the car' s behavior, but the crew eventually told me over the radio that I had a rear tire going down. I knew that I could not stop to change it. Even though I was losing ground, I was hoping it would resist until the end but it finally blew up before the checkered flag came out." Team owner David Jacombs, who ran the first seven races of the 2006 season, yielded his seat to Carpentier after Jerry Santucci, the new track owner of Cayuga International Speedway, proposed to sponsor Carpentier's inaugural stock car race this weekend.
"The Jacombs crew did a fantastic job setting the car up for me, continued Carpentier. "Earlier in the day, the drivers in the series knew that I was new at this and they were really great with me. They gave me pointers, advice and all kinds of information relating to race lines and how to handle traffic. These were things that I really appreciated, as I am just a rookie in this series. I really love it."
Round 10 of the CASCAR Super Series will be held next weekend at Saint-Eustache Speedway ( www.autodrome-st-eustache.com/ ), a half-mile track located 40 minutes northwest of downtown Montreal. Visit www.cascar.com for complete race results information.