Patrick Carpentier is out effective immediately as driver of the No. 10 Dodges for Gillett Evernham Motosports.
The decision comes after Carpentier and team director Mike Shiplett had a disagreement witnessed by several reporters in the garage at Talladega after the car failed to make the field for Sunday’s Amp Energy 500.
Mike Wallace will drive the No. 10 Dodge this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. AJ Allmendinger will then complete the season in the car. Reed Sorenson has signed to come to Gillett Evernham to take that ride for 2009.
“We certainly appreciate all the effort that Patrick Carpentier made for us this year,” said Mark McArdle, GEM’s managing director of competition. “But, our job is to put ourselves in a position to win races plus we’re striving to get the No. 10 into the top 35 in points. We feel A.J. gives us the best chance to do both.”
Allmendinger was named Monday to drive the No. 00 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing this weekend. He left Team Red Bull after the race at Kansas.
Smith says he has no regrets
Regan Smith says that having – and taking – the chance to win Sunday at Talladega was worth everything that happened on the controversial final lap.
“To be in that position is what you are there for and it was a great feeling,” said Smith, the Cup rookie who passed Stewart for the lead only to have NASCAR rule he did it by going below the yellow “out-of-bounds” line on the inside of the trioval. Smith was penalized for the move and dropped to an 18th-place finish with Stewart getting the win.
“I can honestly say in a five minute period there I completely ran the full spectrum of emotions,” Smith said. “They say in racing you have the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and I felt all of that in a pretty short period of time.”
Smith, driver of the No. 01 Chevrolets for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said he knew he had to try something on the final lap.
“If I had just sat back there in second place, I would have had 400 people at Dale Earnhardt Inc. mad at me,” he said. “When you have that type of opportunity, you have to go for it. I told the guys on the plane coming home that I’d much rather finish 18th going for the win than finish second by not trying for the win, and they all knew exactly what I meant. If I had to do it again, I’d still go for it.’
Sprague back with Wyler Racing
Jack Sprague, released Monday from his Truck Series ride with Kevin Harvick Inc., will drive the No. 60 Toyotas for Wyler Racing for the remainder of the season. Terry Cook was released from that ride.
“This has been a crazy last few days,” Sprague said.
Sprague drove for Wyler racing from late 2005 through last season, winning three times in 55 races.
Goodyear testing tires at Indianapolis
Stu Grant, general manager of Goodyear Worldwide Racing, said Tuesday that NASCAR’s tire supplier thinks it’s heading in the right direction with the tires being tested by Cup teams this week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Grant said Goodyear’s test of residue from tires that did not perform well at this year’s Allstate 400 at Indianapolis showed the compound use came off the tires in dry, dust-like particles that did not adhere to the track and allow a racing groove to “rubber in” as it had in past Indy races.
Goodyear changed the compound to make it stickier and that seemed to help teams make longer runs without tire issues before rain interrupted the test Tuesday afternoon.
“Knowing that we needed to change that particle size, we've done formulations that give you the stickier wear, for lack of another term,” Grant said. “We’ve got what we believe to be a good start toward a 2009 race recommendation.”
Grant said there will be another test in April to finalize the recommendation for the Cup race at Indianapolis.