Sunday, June 7, 2009

Carpentier Calls It A Day After Vibration at Pocono


Patrick Carpentier picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his career in Sunday’s Pocono 500 at the Pocono Raceway when his unsponsored #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Toyota fell out with a vibration problem after completing 32 of the race’s 200 laps.

The Tommy Baldwin Racing team was one of the surprising stories of SpeedWeeks 2009 at Daytona when driver Scott Riggs raced the start-up team’s #36 into the Daytona 500. However, four DNQ’s in the eleven races after, combined with a lack of sponsorship, led to Riggs leaving the team after the Coca-Cola 600. After Mike Skinner raced the car at Dover, Patrick Carpentier was tabbed to drive for Baldwin at Pocono.

One of last year’s Rookie of the Year candidates, Carpentier had not made a NASCAR Sprint Cup start since last fall’s Camping World RV 400 at Kansas. He was released from the team after failing to qualify for the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega the following week. Qualifying was rained out at Pocono on Friday, and since Baldwin’s team had attempted all the races, Carpentier secured the 40th starting spot. Unfortunately, on lap 32, Carpentier went behind the wall with a vibration.

The finish was Carpentier’s first last-place finish since he crashed out in the big lap 230 pileup during the Crown Royal presents the Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond last May. It is the first last-place finish for Tommy Baldwin’s team and the first for #36 since Johnny Benson, Jr. lost the engine while driving Bill Davis Racing’s 360 OTC Toyota in the 2007 season finale, the Ford 400 at Homestead. Carpentier is the second last-place finisher to fall out with a vibration problem, the last being Mike Bliss in last month’s Coca-Cola 600.

THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #36-Patrick Carpentier / 32 laps / vibration
42) #71-David Gilliland / 34 laps / ignition
41) #87-Joe Nemechek / 36 laps / vibration
40) #66-Dave Blaney / 37 laps / vibration
39) #09-Sterling Marlin / 56 laps / fuel pump

2009 RANKINGS
1st) Dave Blaney (3)
2nd) Mike Bliss, David Gilliland (2)
3rd) Todd Bodine, Patrick Carpentier, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Joe Nemechek, Tony Raines (1)

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