Michigan: Paul Menard preview

Menard Excited About First Race of the Season at Michigan MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 11, 2008) -- With Paul Menard's best finishes coming at intermediate style racetracks, it's easy to see why Menard and the members his Dale Earnhardt Inc. race...

Menard Excited About First Race of the Season at Michigan

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 11, 2008) -- With Paul Menard's best finishes coming at intermediate style racetracks, it's easy to see why Menard and the members his Dale Earnhardt Inc. race team are looking forward to this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway.

"Michigan is one of my favorite tracks," Menard said. "It's a lot like Atlanta where, depending on how your car is handling, you can search around and find a groove that works. With that said, I wouldn't be happy with anything other than a top-10 finish this weekend."

Not only did Menard finish 12th in last year's June race, but he has nine top-25 finishes to date in 2008, proving that Menard is capable of consistently turning in solid performances in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

While a top-10 finish has eluded the No. 15 team so far in 2008, Menard is confident that Michigan is a track he knows how to navigate. And despite having a best qualifying effort of 36th place at the two-mile oval, Menard is quick to cite that success can be achieved at Michigan no matter where you line up.

"Because there are lane options, qualifying is not as important at Michigan as it was last week at Pocono," Menard reasoned. "But that being said, these new COT cars get so aero tight following each other that the extra room is definitely an advantage and we'll take all of the track position that we can. We'll try to qualify up front to get a good pit selection, and stay up with the leaders to have less dirty air and put some separation to the back of the field."

This weekend's race at Michigan is the first trip for Menards Racing to one of the areas where the Menards stores are found. In nearby Jackson, you'll find one of the newer Menards store locations. Additionally, there are five other Menards store within reasonable driving distance of the speedway. As the driver of the No. 15 Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet in this weekend's Lifelock 400, Menard knows the importance of putting on a good show for the loyal Menards customers who may be in attendance for the event.

"Whenever we run in one of our markets such as Michigan, Chicago, or Indy, there's always extra pressure to run well," Menard said. "However the amount of people in the stands is just a small percentage of the total viewership of Sprint Cup racing so you could say every race is pressure filled as far as having our customers watching."

-credit: pm/dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Paul Menard