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DATE News (chronologically)
10/05/08
nassprint
Carpentier blamed by crew chief
After the Gillett Motorsports #10 Dodge failed to qualify on speed at Talladega Superspeedway, crew chief Mike Shiplett decided to put good judgment aside and lash out at team driver Patrick Carpentier in the Tow Truck in a Box team trailer while the doors were open, allowing anyone in the paddock to witness the skirmish. This gesture was not appreciated by the Canadian driver. "I think it's a complete lack of respect," said Carpentier. "I never was shy to take the blame when I thought it was my fault, but here, everybody knows that it's like driving in a straight line. The driver just has to keep the steering wheel straight. He should have taken a time out and calmed down before he spoke."

Shiplett accused Carpentier of going too low down on the last straight, which he claimed made the front of the car rub against the ground. "It's bulls**t," said Carpentier. "I've looked at the timing data and we were already three-tenths below the time we needed to qualify when I went below the line. I went low because I felt we had to try everything. I gave it all I had, but now he blames me? This is totally unacceptable. It's not as if my teammates were on the first row! They both ran slower than me! " #9-Kasey Kahne (41st) and #19-Elliott Sadler (43rd) posted times that were slower than the Carpentier (39th). It is their positions in the top 35 point standings that allowed them to be in the starting lineup of AMP 500. Sadler was using the new generation of the Dodge / GEM chassis. Kahne was also using the new chassis until when he damaged his primary car during practice. For Carpentier and the #10 Tow Truck in a Box Dodge, the only option given by GEM was to use an old generation Dodge Charger chassis.

What most enraged Carpentier, is that Shiplett decided to scold him at Talladega, a track where the driver can do nothing to improve his fate if his car is not up to speed. "Even though I know his criticism didn't make any sense, what is worst is that he seems to have forgotten pretty quickly races like Dover or in Atlanta where I've qualified a car that he himself didn't think was fast enough to earn a place on the starting grid. I realize now that some people have a really short memory span in NASCAR," said Carpentier. Shiplett was not available for comment after the non-qualification of his car. patcarpentier.ca taken from a French article at canoe.com

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