Carpentier loses GEM Cup drive

Patrick Carpentier has been released from his driving duties with Gillett Evernham Motorsports in the Sprint Cup series and will by replaced by Mike Wallace and AJ Allmendinger for the reminder of the season

Carpentier loses GEM Cup drive

The Canadian had been hired by the team a year ago to drive the No. 10 car full-time this season following promising performances in the Nationwide Series at Montreal and in the top series at Watkins Glen.

The former open-wheel racer scored his maiden pole position on an oval at Loudon in June, but his car has remained outside the top-35 in the owners' standing all year long and he failed to qualify last weekend at Talladega.

"We certainly appreciate all the effort that Patrick Carpentier made for us this year," said GEM's Mark McArdle. "But, our job is to put ourselves in a position to win races plus we're striving to get the No. 10 into the top-35 in points. We feel AJ gives us the best chance to do both."

"AJ has a lot of talent and if you look at his numbers you will see that he's only run in 38 races in his career. I think the more experience he gets the better results you are going to see and I hope that starts at Martinsville.

"He's demonstrated in open-wheel he has the talent and I think his performance two weeks ago proves his worth in a stock car."

GEM announced that Mike Wallace would replace Carpentier next weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, before AJ Allmendinger takes over the drive from Martinsville onwards and until the season finale at Homestead.

Allmendinger will drive for Michael Waltrip Racing next weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, replacing Michael McDowell in the No. 00 car.

"I'm excited about this news," said Allmendinger. "GEM has great equipment and I'm confident we can take these final five races and get the #10 up in points. I know we have a lot of work to do, but we are going to give it our best shot.

"I'm looking forward to spending some time with crew chief Mike Shiplett and the guys starting at Martinsville."

The team also announced that Reed Sorenson, who leaves Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the season, will drive the No. 10 car in 2009.

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