CORNELIUS, N.C. -- No. 00 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Patrick Carpentier returns to the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Michael Waltrip Racing Saturday at his home track of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. The 39-year-old is sure to be one...
CORNELIUS, N.C. -- No. 00 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Patrick Carpentier returns to the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Michael Waltrip Racing Saturday at his home track of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
The 39-year-old is sure to be one of the race favorites on Sunday. He won the pole and led 14 laps in his series debut in the 2007 Montreal race. In just three races at the 2.71-mile road course, he has back-to-back runner up finishes and looked sporty last season before a mechanical issue ended his day. In Nationwide Series competition, he's earned five top-10 finishes in 13 events.
Carpentier also reunites with crew chief Robert "Bootie" Barker III who worked with the Joliette (Quebec) native on MWR's No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the 2009 Infineon and Watkins Glen Sprint Cup races.
Carpentier on racing in Montreal: "Every race car driver wants to do well, but when you race in front of all your friends and family in your hometown it becomes something extra special. We've been so close in Montreal, and last year I thought we were going to have a shot at the win. NAPA and Michael Waltrip Racing gave me a great car last year and I expect to contend for the victory again this year. Winning in Montreal would definitely be a highlight in my career.
"The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is an awesome track and every year it puts on a heck of a show. Fans are going to see a lot of action with these Nationwide Series cars and I am looking forward to competing against some of the NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars like Carl Edwards. It will certainly be interesting and something that I have been looking forward to."
Crew chief Bootie Barker on preparing for Montreal: "I've never been to Montreal before so I will be leaning heavily on Patrick and crew chief Jerry Baxter. They raced together last year and were very quick right off the truck. We are going back with a very similar set up. Common sense would say and I am hoping, it is close enough that we can adjust accordingly and remain as competitive as they were last year.
On reuniting with Carpentier: "I really enjoyed working with Patrick last year. We ran really well at Infineon and had a good run going at Watkins Glen before Patrick was wrecked. Patrick doesn't consider himself a road-course racer with all of his oval experience, but he's one of the best out there. He's probably run more laps at Montreal than most of the other drivers. He knows exactly what he needs to run well at Montreal so he'll have no problem telling me where he needs to turn better or what his issues may be. I'll just do my job and communicate to the crew how to adjust for him. It helps that I've worked with him before and know the type of feel he is looking for and likes."