Patrick Carpentier has taken over in the No. 10 Dodges owned by Gillett Evernham Motorsport for the final two races of this season, hoping the experience will help him for next year when he takes over that ride full time.
Carpentier admitted that he was worried about making Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500, knowing he had to qualify based on his speed. But when he ran 131.267 mph on Friday, that put him safely in the race in the 24th starting spot.
“I think I am happier to make this race than I was to get the pole in Montreal,” said Carpentier, who started first in this year’s Busch Series race in his native country.
Carpentier, who lives in Las Vegas now, credits Ken Schrader for helping him get the right mindset to make the show here.
“I was on the wall when Jimmie Johnson went out and I looked at him going into Turn 1,” Carpentier said. “I was like, ‘Man, I am really slow getting in that corner.
“Kenny told me, ‘You do it like you lost your daughter and you need to get her back,’” Carpentier said. “‘That’s how bad you need to want it.’ That’s what I had in mind actually. I said, ‘I am going to get this thing.’ I pumped myself up and it worked.”