For the first time in their short NASCAR careers, Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Carpentier went head to head in a Nextel Cup race. Carpentier came out as the clear winner this Sunday as he was the only one to cross the finish line, despite running 33rd place, 2 laps behind the leaders. Carpentier was pretty satisfied of what he learned. Before the race, Kenny Shrader told him he would have had a pretty good week-end if he completed 310 laps, which he exactly did. Patrick commented he still has a lot to learn, especially how to push the car without burning the tires.
Carpentier explained after the race : "It's so hard. You have to be so smooth that it's almost impossible. You have to go in hard and then get off the throttle. You abuse the car and then as soon as you do that for 10 laps you are done. The car just slides. Every time they put new tire on I was like yeah this is good. Oh I got it. I get the picture. Then 10 laps later I was back to battling the car."
For Jacques Villeneuve, the race was also a learning experience but in a whole other spectrum. Villeneuve was involved in a crash with Kasey Kahne which placed him down in 41st place in the standings. Jacques was still trying to figure out how the crash happened after the race : "We were all the way up there and there was someone on the inside and I didn't know there was someone on the outside and I just noticed them once I was already spun and touched them. I'm not sure what exactly happened and I'm very sorry."
Still, Villeneuve was pretty optimistic of the speed he had before the crash :"It was fun once we got the car running better. Earlier in the race it was a little challenging.[...] We got enough laps there. The car was very tight there and we fixed it with pit stops then it became fine and we were fighting our way back."
Both drivers should run next week-end at Miami-Homestead Speedway, Patrick Carpentier is listed by NASCAR in the Nextel Cup race but I could not find the entry list for the Busch and Trucks race to confirm where Jacques will run.