Carpentier: I Nearly Quit

Patrick Carpentier has declared his Indianapolis 500 spat with Cheever Racing team boss Eddie Cheever to be a distant memory, following his recent upturn in form

Carpentier: I Nearly Quit

The ex-Champ Car racer publicly fell out with team boss Cheever before the Indy 500 when Cheever sent a letter to the Canadian asking for improved commitment.

Carpentier, who finished third at last weekend's Nashville race, has revealed that he and Cheever came very close to splitting after the disagreement, but the argument has now been settled and the team have moved forward.

"At the beginning of the year, we were a little bit lost," Carpentier said. "And it was the same for me with these IRL cars. I mean, at first I thought, 'Ovals, I like ovals, I'll come to the IRL, and I'll be up at the front.' But it's not the way it works. It's actually very difficult. It's extremely competitive.

"I think Eddie and I were either going to bond or split apart because at one point it got so close. I was mad. Eddie was not happy.

"[But I didn't talk to him about it] because his phone was not working that day, which I think it was a good thing. We were just not understanding each other.

"We were not as open-minded as what we are now. We kept arguing. Eddie, he wanted to win, but he had a way of doing it. I wanted to win, and I had a way of doing it. We finally came together and by staying relaxed and just looking at the situation from the outside.

"Every team has their way of functioning. Any driver has their way of functioning. I guess I had to change a few things on my side, and they had to change a few things. And we're all trying to stay open-minded.

"When you get involved emotionally, which I think is what we did at the beginning of the year, then it gets more difficult."

In the four races prior to the Indy 500, Carpentier failed to finish higher than seventh. However, in the four races since the Indy 500, he has been on the podium twice and came within ten laps of winning last weekend's race at Nashville.

He puts this improvement in form down to the more open relationship he now has with the team.

Carpentier added: "Eddie is a bit more relaxed. I am, too. It seems like after that conflict we bonded quite a bit more and we really started focusing on the car and focusing on what we need to be faster.

"Sometimes I think it's hard because he hasn't won in such a long time. You want it so much that it's almost worse. You do things that you normally wouldn't do if you'd be relaxed. And now I think with those two podiums, I think it's going to be even better.

"As long as I think as you stay detached from the situation and you don't really get affected by a bad result or something that happened or this and that, you come back the next race with the same desire to win. I think it really helps move things forward.

"But one thing that always kept us together is that I know Eddie really wants to win. He's pushing hard. He's going to take some chances with fuel and everything in the race to win the race. I really appreciate that."

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Series IndyCar
Author Tim Redmayne
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