Fightin' Words: Patrick Carpentier Released From Gillette Evernham

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IOctober 7, 2008

One way or another, Patrick Carpentier was leaving Gillette Evernham Motorsports.

It was already announced that Reed Sorenson would be driving there next year, and it didn't seem the team was planning on adding a fourth car.

Then after qualifying for the Amp Energy 500 at Talladega, the process was sped up when Carpentier and his team director engaged in a heated argument.

Carpentier had failed to qualify for the race and said that team director Mike Shiplett blamed the driver, not the team, for not making the show.

Carpentier took offense and said that all the driver can do at Talladega is put his foot to the floor and go.

"I think it's a complete lack of respect," Carpentier wrote on his website. "I never was shy to take the blame when I thought it was my fault, but here, everybody knows that it's like driving in a straight line. The driver just has to keep the steering wheel straight. He should have taken a time out and calmed down before he spoke."

"I know [Shiplett's] criticism didn't make any sense. What is worst is that he seems to have forgotten pretty quickly races like Dover or in Atlanta where I've qualified a car that he himself didn't think was fast enough to earn a place on the starting grid. I realize now that some people have a really short memory span in NASCAR."

Words continued to be exchanged, and it was reported that apologies had been handed out, but it was too little too late. Carpentier was released today.

GEM has said that Mike Wallace will drive the car this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway and AJ Allmendinger, who was released from Red Bull Racing and still searching for a job, will drive the car the remaining part of the season.

Carpentier had come to the series from the open wheel ranks of Champ and Indy Car; he had one pole in 27 starts this season. Now it's time to start searching for his next ride.

It now seems that Sam Hornish Jr. will be the last remaining open wheel invader.