BUSCH: Chicagoland: Paul Menard preview

MENARDS RACING NOTES -- CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY No. 15 Turtle Wax/Menards Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS -- Nextel Cup No. 15 Akona/Menards Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS -- Busch Series NOTES OF INTEREST ON THE CHICAGOLAND CUP CAR Nextel Cup Primary Car:...

MENARDS RACING NOTES -- CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY

No. 15 Turtle Wax/Menards Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS -- Nextel Cup
No. 15 Akona/Menards Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS -- Busch Series

NOTES OF INTEREST ON THE CHICAGOLAND CUP CAR

Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis #038/ Back up Car #037

Last Used: This car was raced at Pocono in June (qualified 21st; finished 28th)

Interesting Cup Fact: While Paul Menard's Michigan and Pocono Cup cars are virtually duplicates of each other, Crew Chief Dave Charpentier chose the Pocono to take to Chicago mainly because it qualified so well. It had such great potential in qualifying, which Chapentier believes is the key to finding Chicago race weekend success.

NOTES OF INTEREST ON THE CHICAGOLAND BUSCH CAR

Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis #012/ Back up Car #016

Last Used: Las Vegas 2007 (started 13th; finished 36th)

Interesting Busch Fact: Car #012 needed two clips and a new body put on it after the Vegas race, where Menard crashed on lap 132. "This is Paul's favorite car from 2006." Mike Grechi said. "Hopefully we can get it back to running the way it did last year, because this year's California and Las Vegas races left a lot to be desired. Paul runs really well at this type of track so I think we could definitely be in Victory Lane on Saturday."

OVERALL NOTES OF INTEREST

DEI and Menard Ready for Intermediate Track Success

Menard's best Cup finishes have been on intermediate style race tracks. Not only did Menard finish 12th in last months race at Michigan, but Menard has had finishes of 7th (Atlanta -- 2006); 14th (Charlotte -- 2006); 17th (Homestead -- 2006); 20th (California -- 2007); and 15th (Texas -- 2007) at this type of track. In 10 intermediate track starts, Menard has an average finish of 20th.

Raybestos Rookie Power

Currently, Menard stands third in overall Raybestos Rookie ratings. He has 123 points; 69 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya who leads the battle with 192 points. Menard has won Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in three events this season, including Michigan, Richmond and Phoenix.

Working Towards Top-35

Paul Menard is currently 38th in Driver's Points, while the No. 15 team sits 39th in Owner's Standings, 259 points outside of the top-35. Last week in Daytona, Menard closed the gap 16 points. Given his past performance at this type of track, Chicagoland is the perfect venue for Menard to further close in on a locked in position in the field.

QUOTES ON CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY

Paul Menard on the USG Sheetrock 400: It's good to be back on a mile and a half. I like Michigan and California because you can pass in the corners and the way the groove is at this track, you'll see guys racing three wide. I'm not sure what it is about Michigan that I like so much, but of course it helps to have had a top-20 in last year's August race at the track. With that we know going into this weekend that we should be solid in race trim. Just have to hope for a good qualifying draw and once we get in on Friday, we'll go to work on the car on Saturday to get it ready for 400 miles.

Nextel Cup Crew Chief Dave Charpentier on the USG Sheetrock 400: Paul's had a really busy week but he's really motivated by all the good things happening for our team right now, so I think he'll be riding that momentum into Chicago this week. Without a doubt we should be able to easily qualify for this race. This is the same car we ran at Michigan last month and we qualified easily and finished well there. Our mile and a half program has always been good so I'm really looking forward to continuing our battle to get into the top-35.

-credit: dei/mr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya