The Fourth Was Not The First Choice

Posted by Iannucci | 9/08/2006 | 0 comments »
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Inside Track is reporting that former Indy Racing League regular Patrick Carpentier declined an offer to race for an IRL team this weekend in Chicago, and it doesn’t take too much deduction to figure out which team was asking.

Carpentier, currently associated with Mecachrome International, placed on hold an invitation to race with a top notch Indy Racing League (IRL) team this weekend in Chicago in order to pursue his dream of racing stock cars.

"Lately, I have been telling everyone that my future in racing lies in stock car," continued Carpentier, who will fly to Las Vegas this Saturday in order to enlist his daughter in primary school.

"I would have probably accepted the IRL team invitation, but I also had the opportunity to race again with Jacombs Racing. Between the two, I opted for the stock car event, but in the end, it simply did not work out. We tried every which way. I even delayed for a couple of days the enlistment of my daughter in school in order to try and race at Saint-Eustache."

This begs the question (which we will never know the answer) as to how many drivers declined to drive for Andretti Green Racing before AJ Foyt IV was given the ride. Not to slam Anthony, but there's no shortage of available skilled drivers who might have been better served to take that ride. Buddy Lazier, Stephan Gregoire, Ayrton Dare, Alex Barron, Felipe Giaffone, Max Papis - hey Andretti, Max is Italian for crying out loud!

PJ Chesson, PJ Jones, PJ Harvey...

More troubling is that a guy like Carpentier - who never finished higher than third in 17 IndyCar starts - would turn down an above-average car in order to keep his options open in CASCAR (that's not a typo). I suppose it's safe to say he's closed the door on his open wheel racing career.

I haven't seen the movie, but I am familiar with the French stock car driver "Jean Girrard" portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen in "Talladega Nights". With French Canadiens like Carpentier and Indy 500 winner Jacques Villenueve working towards NASCAR, this character is quickly going from absurd to prescient.