Patrick Carpentier is a Canadian racing driver who contested in all major North American racing competitions - Champs Car/IndyCar, Grand Am Rolex Series and NASCAR.
He was most successful in the open-wheel racing, scoring five wins in 140 starts in a Champ Car career. In the championship standings, he was best-placed in 2002 and 2004, when he finished third. In his sports car racing career, the greatest success is second place overall at 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona. In NASCAR, Carpentier collected 60 starts in different divisions, scoring two pole positions as his best results.
The best graduate in a racing school
Patrick Carpentier was born on August 13, 1971, in LaSalle near Montreal. He started a racing career in 1989, attending the Spenard-David Racing School. As the best graduate, he entered Canadian Formula Ford 2000 Championship in 1990. His next competition was the SCCA Toyota Atlantic Championship. He won one race on the streets of Vancouver and finished 11th in the final standings.
Toyota Atlantic Championship winner in 1996
Year by year, he improved his performances and results in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, finishing in the third place in 1995, behind Richie Hearn and David Empringham. Next year, Carpentier dominated in the championship, winning nine of twelve races to take the title with big points advantage.
In that second, he broke every record in the 25-year history of the championship, including eight consecutive wins from pole positions. That success propelled him to the major league – the PPG CART World Series.
Rookie of the Year in the 1997 CART season
In his debut CART season, Carpentier was driving the #16 Reynard-Mercedes for Bettenhausen Racing. He finished the season in the 17th place overall and as the Rookie of the Year. His best result was second place at the Gateway International Raceway.
For the 1998 CART FedEx Championship Series season, he joined Forsythe Racing to drive alongside fellow Canadian Greg Moore. Without wins and podiums, Carpentier finished 19th in the points.
Carpentier lost a teammate in 1999
Carpentier stayed in the Forsythe's Reynard-Mercedes in 1999. He scored one podium at Vancouver to finish 13th in the final standings. Unfortunately, Greg Moore lost his life at season's finale at Fontana so Carpentier became Forsythe's leading driver in 2000.
Forsythe switched to Ford engines in 2000 and retained all-Canadian line-up, hiring Alex Tagliani to drive alongside Carpentier. With two podiums, Carpentier finished 11th in the points at the end of the season.
Maiden Champ Car victory at Michigan International Speedway
Carpentier scored his maiden Champ Car victory in 2001 at Michigan International Speedway by winning the Harrah's 500 in the #32 Reynard-Ford. He seized victory with a dramatic last-lap pass of Dario Franchitti.
He was on a podium three more times to finish 10th in the championship standings, one place ahead of teammate Tagliani.
Two victories in the 2002 Champ Car season
The following season, Carpentier was the race winner twice, at the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland and Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. In total, he was on a podium five times, finishing third in the final standings behind two Brazilians Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira.
In 2003, Paul Tracy joined Carpentier in the team. Tracy won seven times and became the champion. Carpentier was the winner just once, at Laguna Seca, to finish fifth in the points.
Third place in the 2004 Champ Car season
For the 2004 season, Forsythe expanded a team to three cars, adding Rodolfo Lavin to a line-up. Carpentier was the winner again at Laguna Seca and scored four more podiums to finish third in the championship standings behind Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira.
Despite the satisfying season, Carpentier left the team after seven seasons to join Cheever Racing in the IndyCar Series. He was driving the #83 Dallara-Toyota, scoring two podiums at Richmond and Nashville to finish tenth in the points. In his Indianapolis 500 debut, he finished 21st.
Driving for Canada in the A1 Grand Prix Series
Between the seasons 2005 and 2006, Carpentier joined Team Canada in the A1 Grand Prix Series. In February 2006, he debuted in the ninth round in the Mexican Fundidora Park. In the following months, he participated in two more rounds at Laguna Seca and Shanghai International Circuit.
A1 GP attempts ended Carpentier's open-wheel racing career as Cheever Racing lost its Red Bull sponsorship and Carpentier was left without a ride. He switched his focus on sports car racing in 2006.
Two seasons in the Grand-Am Rolex Series
In January 2006, Carpentier debuted at Daytona 24 Hours. He was driving the #39 Crawford DP03-Lexus for Cheever Racing together with Eddie Cheever Jr and Christian Fittipaldi. They didn't finish the race due to broken engine. Later in the season, Carpentier joined CITGO Racing by Samax in one race, at Sears Points, sharing a car with Milka Duno.
For the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Series season, Carpentier joined SAMAX Motorsport to drive their #11 Riley-Pontiac. At Daytona 24h, he finished second overall, together with Milka Duno, Darren Manning and Ryan Dalziel.
Pole position in NASCAR debut at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
In summer 2007, Carpentier left sports car racing to start a career in the stock car racing. He made his NASCAR debut in the Busch Series race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on August 4, driving the #22 Dodge for Armando Fitz. He started from a pole position and finished second behind Kevin Harvick, in a controversial race in which provisional winner Robby Gordon was disqualified.
Later in the season, Carpentier participated in two more Busch Series races at Watkins Glen and Homestead-Miami. He made his Cup Series debut at Watkins Glen with #10 Gillett Evernham's Dodge. He started in two more Cup Series races at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami.
Full season in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
For the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Carpentier made a deal with Gillett Evernham Motorsports to drive a full season in the #10 Dodge. He failed to qualify for Daytona 500.
On June 29, in just his 17th NASCAR race, he won a pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, becoming only the second non-American driver to qualify on pole. It remained a highlight of his stock car career. His best race result in 2008 was 14th place at Daytona's Coke Zero 400.
Part-time stock car racer until 2012
In 2008, Carpentier also participated in eight Nationwide Series races and one Truck Series race. He left the Gillet Evernham Motorsports in October 2008 and since then he was a part-time NASCAR racer in the following four seasons, starting thirteen times in the Sprint Cup Series and five times in the Nationwide Series between 2009 and 2012.
His most notable result was 11th place at Sonoma in 2009, where he was driving the #55 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing.
Two World RX participations in 2014 and 2015
Carpentier's part-time activities in NASCAR ended in 2012. He returned to the race track in 2014, taking part in the Canadian round of the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship, as a guest driver of Marklund Motorsport's Volkswagen Polo Supercar at Circuit Trois-Rivieres. He managed to enter the Final, finishing sixth.
Carpentier returned to Circuit Trois-Rivieres in the 2015 World RX season. This time, he was driving Mini Countryman RX for JRM Racing, finishing in the 14th place.
Two more NASCAR races in 2016
In 201, Carpentier returned to a cockpit of the stock car, driving the #32 Ford for Go FAS Racing in two races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In June, at Sonoma Raceway, he was the only road course ringer among regular drivers. He blew a tire while running 11th and dropped to 37th place.
Next month, he participated in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had an accident with Kyle Busch during practice. In the race, he finished 34th.