Saturday, June 28, 2008

Patrick Carpentier Wins Pole At Loudon!

I like Patrick Carpentier. That's why I encouraged everyone to vote for him in the All-Star race. I think he has great potential to succeed at this level, and I feel some validation for that after his pole run yesterday. Sure, the weather helped... but PC, in my opinion, has shown he has the most enthusiasm for competing in Sprint Cup from the open-wheel class of '08. Hornish still seems a bit detached, Franchitti drives for a team that's dying a slow death, and Villeneuve won't be seen again. The GEM team has improved markedly from last season, and I think the 10 car will outshine the 19 by the end of the year. When Carpentier has had the chance to qualify, he has made it the show every time. I for one hope he can secure his first top 10 finish in Cup Sunday.

There were also some good runs in quals I'd like to commend: Scott Riggs and Reed Sorenson both looked good, especially Sorenson, who had the pole until the rain cooled the track for the remaining drivers. Right behind him was Franchitti, who I think will need to drive for another team to show his talent. Isn't it amazing how quickly someone can fall into obscurity? Back at Daytona, Franchitti was one of the top stories: reigning Indy 500 and IRL Champ moves to NASCAR, and months later his name isn't mentioned during the broadcast. The Ashley Judd pit road shots also went from 100 to 0 in record time. Anyway, I'm getting distracted. AJ Allmendinger had a solid run as well, and I'm predicting he cracks the top 35 before the end of August.

Back to the race, the lineup is here, and one of my favorite IRL races of the year, at Richmond, goes at 7 PM tonight. Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti sit on the front row.

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