Fontana II: Carpentier - Friday media visit

PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Sears Auto Center/Valvoline Dodge Charger) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF BRISTOL? "The whole week didn't start too good. (GEM) brought me the news (Sorenson signing), so it was a rough week. The whole...

PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Sears Auto Center/Valvoline Dodge Charger)

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF BRISTOL? "The whole week didn't start too good. (GEM) brought me the news (Sorenson signing), so it was a rough week. The whole week didn't turn out like we wanted it to. For the whole team, Elliott (Sadler) and Kasey (Kahne) had a bad weekend, so it's just a weekend to forget. We'll come back this week and try to do a lot better. We should be OK here."

WHAT DID YOU DO SATURDAY? DID YOU WATCH THE RACE? "No. I listened to it on the radio. I had a lot of promos to do for Valvoline before the race, so we took off and headed to Charlotte and listened to it on the radio. I actually ended up watching the end of it at the hotel. I thought it was pretty entertaining between Carl (Edwards) and Kyle (Busch), I think it's good for the Chase."

DID THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT GEM WAS BRINGING REED (SORENSON) CATCH YOU BY SURPRISE? "I knew that it was a possibility. (NASCAR) is a sport that is sponsor dependent. I know (GEM) has been working hard to find sponsorship; I'm amazed that (they) found all the sponsorship this year. Mr. Gillett is paying for some of it out of his pocket. I don't expect them to do that every year. For sure, it's a shock to learn someone else is taking your spot. But they are still working to get a fourth car out there -- a lot of teams want to go to four cars, and this is one of them. Hopefully it works out. If it doesn't, for me it's a bonus. I've enjoyed the year so much. I hope to do it for many years. If I don't, then I understand. I've been on the other side (of the sponsorship opportunities) with Player's. They use to sponsor me in CHAMP car and because of my personality and where I was from, it fit the bill perfectly. So I got a ride for nine years. Over there (at Player's), I was kind of locked in for eight, nine years. This time, I'm on the other side and I'm the one getting the boot. It's part of racing. I'm not pissed off. I kind of expected it. I still hope they find it (sponsorship). They really want to find it. With the economy and the way things are, Reed just fits the bill better. That's fine too."

ARE YOU IN A TIGHT SPOT WITH BEING ABLE TO LOOK FOR SPONSORSHIP? "We're looking. That's what's good. The team said that we're working to keep what it is, but we don't want to hold you up. If you have something else coming -- Robert (Desrosiers -- Carpentier's business manager) is here and he's the guy that found me the ride at first. We're going to work together -- he's got a couple of meetings with a few teams. We're talking. GEM is pretty open. They know if I find something that is pretty decent and they don't have anything, I can go and take it. So it's pretty good. It's nothing bad between us (GEM and Carpentier)."

ARE THERE OPPORTUNITES OUT THERE? "We're looking. There are a lot of cars that haven't decided yet. Ganassi and Penske and a few other teams...Yates and few guys want to add some cars or change. So we'll see what it is. There are a lot of guys (drivers) looking out there, knocking on doors (laughs)."

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM CALIFORNIA THIS WEEKEND? "I realized last week the first thing is to make the race. I kind of forgot that because we have made all of them. We got too confident last week. We stopped practice 20 minutes early and it was a big mistake. In this sport, you don't stop 20 minutes early, you use every minute that you've got. So we're going to do that this week and hopefully get the car a little bit better in qualifying. We should be OK. There are 44 cars, so if we make it, we'll try and get another top-20 -- that would be fantastic."

IS THE FACT THAT YOU'VE MADE RACES THIS YEAR A SELLING POINT FOR YOU? "I think it is. All the guys who aren't in the top-35 are going to have high interest, but we'll see what happens. In this sport, you never know. Every ride is sponsorship dependent now. Teams are searching for sponsors and are a little bit hungrier because money is a little bit scarcer than what it's been before because of the economy. Last year we had really good timing with Mr. Gillett and the Canadiens and the car, so everything worked out. This year, timing isn't as good, but hopefully we'll get to work it out."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup