Sears Point: Paul Menard preview

Menard and Team Looking Forward to First Road Course Race of the the Year MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 18, 2008) -- Paul Menard and his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team head West to Sonoma, California on the heels of a season best 11th place finish at ...

Menard and Team Looking Forward to First Road Course Race of the the Year

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 18, 2008) -- Paul Menard and his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team head West to Sonoma, California on the heels of a season best 11th place finish at Michigan. The budding momentum couldn't have come at a better time for Menard, as a driver who considers this weekend's Toyota/Save Mart 350, one of the team's best chances to visit Victory Lane in 2008.

"I have a good feeling about this weekend," Menard said. "As an organization, we've been working hard to build good road course cars and I think you'll see a strong showing by all the DEI cars this weekend. My team, especially, has been looking forward to this race and based on our findings from the testing we've done, I think we're good enough to contend for the win in Sonoma."

The team will race Dale Earnhardt Inc. chassis #029 around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. Crew Chief Doug Randolph is quick to explain that while this is a new chassis, it has been well rehearsed over the past month.

"We've really worked hard to prepare for this race," Randolph explained. "We tested at Kershaw (South Carolina) and also twice at VIR (Virginia), so I'd say we're all really ready for this weekend's race and expect to qualify and run up front."

Menard matched the team's dedication to finding success at Infineon Raceway by attending a road course test at the track for the second year in a row. Menard, who will pilot the No. 15 Johns Manville/Menards Chevrolet in Sunday's race, tested a late-model stock car provided by a Northern California-based race team during a one day test in April. He was coached by road-course veteran Chris Cook, who was impressed by Menard's ability to get around the challenging track.

"Paul adapted to the course really well," Cook said. "I've worked with a lot of driver's and Paul definitely stands out as a great driver with excellent car control. I won't be surprised to see him run up front."

-credit: dei/mr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Paul Menard , Chris Cook