Indianapolis: Paul Menard preview

The Eau Claire, Wis.-native holds down 23rd place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings Paul Menard on Indianapolis Motor Speedway: "I never take for granted the fact that I'm racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's really special...

The Eau Claire, Wis.-native holds down 23rd place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings

Paul Menard on Indianapolis Motor Speedway: "I never take for granted the fact that I'm racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's really special to race at a track as historic as this one and it's always meant a lot to me and my family. I grew up racing in Indiana and the Indianapolis area. This is definitely the one race on the schedule that I keep my eye on and its definitely one of my favorite venues.

"Slugger (Labbe) and the guys have been working really hard on our Menards Ford Fusions. With the FR9 engine we'll have the horsepower that we need and hopefully the weather will be on our side so we can get some good practice time in. A solid run and finish at this track would mean a lot to me and the team as a whole."

Crew Chief Slugger Labbe's Thoughts on Indy: "The thing that's most important in Indy is track position. Qualifying is at a premium so getting an early draw will help you because of how temperature sensitive the track is. Getting a good, early qualifying draw will put more speed in your car, but if your car is good then you can overcome some of the penalty of getting a late draw. On Friday everyone is usually more worried about where you drew for qualifying than anything else. We'll work on race trim when we get there and make a couple qualifying runs in the second practice.

"It's really a hard track because half of the track could be in the shade and the other half in the sun. You can be tight in one corner and loose in another just because of where the sun is at. It is temperature sensitive, but track position is really, really important. The tires appear to be really good. The No. 9 team tested there so we've got a lot of information from the tire test. Track position is huge so you might want to gamble on some two tire stops to get track position because the cars get stretched out really easy. You can double file restart and in a matter of five laps be 20 seconds back. The most important thing to me is getting and maintaining your track position."

Chassis History: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the No. 98 RPM crew have prepared chassis No. 693 for this weekend's event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team has prepared a brand new car for this race.

Notes: Menard's long-time spotter, Stevie Reeves, who has experienced a successful NASCAR career of his own, grew up two blocks from turn three in Speedway, Ind. Reeves has quite a few special memories of the historic 2.5-mile track and tells tales of selling ice cream in turn one.

Menard continues his double-duty efforts this weekend. Menard, who is racing full-time in both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series will pilot a No. 98 Ford in Saturday's Nationwide race at nearby O'Reilly Raceway Park. After a fourth-place run at Gateway International Raceway last Saturday, Menard currently holds down sixth place in the driver point standings.

-source: rpm

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Paul Menard , Stevie Reeves