BUSCH: Watkins Glen: Paul Menard preview

Paul Menard Watkins Glen Memories Menard made his first NASCAR Nextel Cup start here in 2003, while racing for Andy Petree Racing. While Menard qualified 43rd for the event, he finished a solid 29th place and has been a fan of the 2.450-mile ...

Paul Menard
Watkins Glen Memories

Menard made his first NASCAR Nextel Cup start here in 2003, while racing for Andy Petree Racing. While Menard qualified 43rd for the event, he finished a solid 29th place and has been a fan of the 2.450-mile road course in upstate New York.

Menard Ready for Road Course Success

Menard has plenty to brag about when it comes to road racing. During his rookie ARCA ReMax Challenge Series in 2001, he earned a pole and victory at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In 2003, he made his Nextel Cup debut on a road course. In 2005, he started and finished in the top-10 in the Busch race at Watkins Glen. In 2006, he scored his first NASCAR road course top-five finish with a fifth place run at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.

Raybestos Rookie Power

Currently, Menard stands third in overall Raybestos Rookie ratings. He has 151 points; 60 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya who leads the battle with 211 points. Menard has won Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in three events this season, including Michigan, Richmond and Phoenix.

Standings Status

Paul Menard is currently 38th in Driver's Points, while the No. 15 team dropped one position to 31st place in Owner's Standings following last weeks race at Pocono Raceway. The team is has a 277 point cushion on the top-35. Menard's prowess on a road course should aid his Dale Earnhardt Inc. backed team in its quest towards the top-20 in owner's standings.

Paul Menard on the Centurion Boats at The Glen: I've got a lot of experience at Watkins Glen and it's all been pretty positive. I'm not sure why some guys take to road course and others do not. I've just been lucky to have so many opportunities to race on a road course and for the most part my results have been solid. Obviously, our goals are the same as they were a few weeks ago when we knew we were locked in and could focus more on race runs; I want to leave Watkins Glen with a top-20 finish. But a top-10 would be even better.

Nextel Cup Crew Chief Dave Charpentier on the Centurion Boats at The Glen: We've had a couple of really solid road course tests with this car and I think Paul is really excited about this weekend. This car that we tested at Kershaw in South Carolina is really fast and I think we left there feeling like we were ahead of the game and ready for Watkins Glen.

Paul Menard on the Zippo 200: Anytime you can get in a car and work on turning and shifting and braking and timing is a bonus. I think we'll probably qualifying up around the top-10 and spend most of the day there. Pit strategy is going to be key to finishing up front in the Busch race.

Busch Series Crew Chief Mike Greci on the Zippo 200: We sold all our old cars to James Finch (Phoenix Racing) so we were starting from scratch in the road course car department. We built two cars and Paul was really happy with both of them. Based on Paul's past road course experience and his ability to get around Watkins Glen, I think it's safe to say, we'll be in contention for the win come Saturday.

-credit: dei/mr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Phoenix Racing