Patrick Carpentier off weekend notes 2009-03-19

Next week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at historic Martinsville Speedway marks the second time in 2008 No. 10 Charter Dodge driver Patrick Carpentier will attempt to qualify for the 43-car field at a track that he has never visited. The No....

Next week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at historic Martinsville Speedway marks the second time in 2008 No. 10 Charter Dodge driver Patrick Carpentier will attempt to qualify for the 43-car field at a track that he has never visited.

The No. 10 team is 46th in owner points, 211 points outside of the top-35, but only 79 points away from gaining four positions in the standings. Before racing at the Virginia half-mile track on March 30, Carpentier and his teammates will enjoy their first off-weekend of the 2008 season.

DRIVER PATRICK CARPENTIER QUOTES:

ANY PLANS FOR THE OFF WEEKEND? "During the off weekend I'm going to spend a lot of time with my family. With the NASCAR schedule as demanding as it is, any free time I have I want to spend with my wife and kids. We plan on going back to Montreal. Thanks to the Gillett's we'll probably take in a Canadiens game or two. They've been great in welcoming us to the Belle Centre for the Canadiens home games. I know a lot of NASCAR fans probably don't know much about Canadiens hockey games, but they are a blast. I guess it's like college football in the South.

"Of course, if I didn't get a chance to go snowmobiling, I wouldn't be able to live with myself. There is a ton of snow up north and my friends and family will be having a lot of fun up there. We're just hoping the rain doesn't follow me from Bristol up north and ruin our fun [laughs]. The weather seems to be in the habit of doing that lately. I love NASCAR -- but the only complaint I have so far is the weather. Does it always rain at these races on Friday when I am trying to qualify?"

THOUGHTS ON THE YEAR SO FAR? "I really wish we had the opportunity to race last weekend at Bristol. It seems like the rain is following us everywhere. It's a tough pill to swallow when you don't even get the chance to qualify.

"We will have Charter back on the car for Martinsville and we really want to get them in their first race of the 2008 season. They've been great partners of ours and qualifying will be our main goal when we roll into Martinsville."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MARTINSVILLE? "Martinsville is going to be a tricky place to get around. I've heard stories of guys hitting absolutely everything on that track, including the pace car. I hope we're not one of those guys.

"With those short straights and tight corners, corner exit is going to be very important. You're going to need a lot of rear grip to get good runs off of turns 2 and 4 to beat your competitors into turns 1 and 3.

"Shortracks may be a little different style then I'm used to, but I really enjoy running them. It presents a much different challenge."

* Carpentier will be driving chassis No. 216. Backup is No. 218.

-credit: gem

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Patrick Carpentier