Sears Point: Paul Menard preview

NOTES OF INTEREST ON THE INFINEON CAR Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis ...

NOTES OF INTEREST ON THE INFINEON CAR

Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis #025/ Back up Car #012

Last Used: N/A Brand New Car

Interesting Cup Fact: This car is a purpose built road course car completed last month at Dale Earnhardt Inc. Crew Chief, Dave Charpentier, says its design was specifically built for speed on a course like Infineon Raceway.

OVERALL NOTES OF INTEREST

Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three

Menards Racing tested the No. 15 Menards Chevrolet at Virginia International Raceway last month. The team returned last week for a final shake down of its road specific COT car. While the second test was only a half day activity, it game Menard some much needed confidence in this weekend's ride. "This car is just plain fast all over the course." Menard said of car #025 following the session.

Put me in Coach

Menard worked with road racing instructor Chris Cook to learn the ins and outs of the 1.99-mile track. Menard attended a one-day test session with Cook and drove a Late Model around Infineon Raceway early last week. Cook was happy with the results and assured Menard's team he was ready for the Cup race.

Not the First Time Here

Menard raced once prior at Infineon Raceway. In 2002, Menard drove a limited NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division schedule and turned in solid performance at Infineon Raceway. Starting and finishing the race in 8th place, Menard returns with his NASCAR Nextel Cup effort hoping for similar success.

Raybestos Rookie Power

Menard stands third in overall Raybestos Rookie ratings. He has 104 points; 55 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya who leads the battle with 159 points. Menard was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the June 17 Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Menard finished 12th, his best effort in 10 starts this season, and he took Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors for the third time in 2007. He also led the race once for one lap.

Working Towards Top-35

The No. 15 team sits 38th in Nextel Cup Owner's Standings, 152 points outside of the top-35. The team made up significant ground closing the gap 47 points during last weekend's 12th place run at Pocono.

QUOTES ON INFINEON RACEWAY

Paul Menard on the Toyota/Save Mart 350: "I'm really looking forward to Sonoma. We tested really good up in Virginia, and I spent a day out there this last week with Chris Cook learning the track a little bit. So yeah, it should be a really good weekend for Menards Racing."

Nextel Cup Crew Chief Dave Charpentier on the Toyota/Save Mart 350: "I think the momentum from the last couple weeks will really help us at Sears Point. Paul is energized and pumped up for this weekend. He loves road course racing so that helps. The other factor that will help us run strong at Sears Point is that Paul is getting really tuned into his race cars and how they are set up."

-credit: mr/dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya