Cornelius, N.C. – Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced today that Patrick Carpentier will return to the driver’s seat of the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry for driver Michael Waltrip at the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen International. Earlier this season, the Canadian driver produced an 11th-place finish for Waltrip at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.
“Patrick is being rewarded for perserverence,” said Waltrip, who has 22 starts that equate to one top-five, four top-10 and 14 top-20 finishes at the 2.45-mile road course. “At Sonoma, he drove for me and started out with a car he wasn’t happy with. He worked with my crew chief Bootie (Barker) and my NAPA boys to get an 11th-place finish. We also had a little deal on the side. If he was able to finish solidly at Infineon Raceway and he deemed the experience of working with my team as fun and wanted to do again, then he and I would ask NAPA to allow him to drive again. We all agreed so Patrick will drive the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for NAPA and me at Watkins Glen.”
Carpentier has 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup and 12 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts to his credit. His is also scheduled to drive the No. 99 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for MWR at the upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series event, the NAPA AUTO PARTS 200, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Aug. 30.
“I’m really happy about this new opportunity,” said Carpentier who has four NASCAR starts at Watkins Glen International. “We had a really good time in Sonoma once we got accustomed to each other. Friday was tough for us, but Saturday and Sunday was really great for me and the NAPA team. I am really looking forward to driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for Michael at Watkins Glen.”
The NAPA AUTO PARTS team prepared for the upcoming event by testing with Carpentier at Virginia International Raceway on July 22nd.
“I feel like we will be even better at Watkins Glen after I had a chance to test with Michael’s team,” added Carpentier. “I believe we made a lot of improvements. We tested a couple of cars with different set ups and things so we have a good idea of what we need to have. I believe I have really good car for the race.”
In total, Carpentier’s NASCAR road-course experience boasts one pole and two runner-up finishes at Montreal, a top-five finish at Mexico City and five top-10 finishes in Nationwide Series competition. He also has scored four top-25 finishes at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course events.
Currently the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota is 31st in the owner points standings.