NASCAR

Carpentier to sub for Waltrip in Sonoma

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Owner/driver Michael Waltrip's tweet coincided with his team's announcement Tuesday that driver Patrick Carpentier would replace Waltrip in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota for the Sprint Cup race June 21 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. "I'm giving my Canadian friend Patrick the keys to the 55 in Sonoma," Waltrip wrote in his twitter message. In a press release announcing the change, Waltrip said using a road-course expert such as Carpentier gave him a chance to maximize the team's results at the 1.99-mile road course. "If I see where I can improve my car's performance, then that's exactly what I am going to do," Waltrip said. "I am a good road racer, but Patrick is a great road racer. I love being an owner, and I want to get another win for (sponsor) NAPA. It will feel just as good if I get the victory for NAPA or watching from the pit box with Patrick driving the car." Carpentier finished 23rd last year in his only Cup start at Infineon. Waltrip has seven top 10s in 19 starts but only one this decade. Carpentier also will drive for MWR and NAPA in the Nationwide Series road course race Aug. 30 in Montreal. Carpentier has finished second there in each of the past two years. "I couldn't believe it when I was approached with this opportunity — I am honored," Carpentier said. "I really like driving these cars on the road courses. We will work hard and get some good things going at Infineon Raceway." The arrangement is a one-race deal. Waltrip, who is 32nd in the points standings, will race this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. The No. 55 is also 32nd in owners points. The top 35 cars in owners points are guaranteed spots in the field each week.
Tagged: Michael Waltrip, Patrick Carpentier

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