Sonoma: Paul Menard preview

Paul Menard on Infineon Raceway: "From a logistics of running both the Cup race and the Nationwide race standpoint, this will undoubtedly be the most difficult so far. I hate to miss practice in the Cup car on Saturday, but there just wasn't any...

Paul Menard on Infineon Raceway: "From a logistics of running both the Cup race and the Nationwide race standpoint, this will undoubtedly be the most difficult so far. I hate to miss practice in the Cup car on Saturday, but there just wasn't any other way to do it that really made sense. We're going to have Bill Elliott in the car in Sonoma on Saturday, so the team is certainly in good hands. I definitely don't have any qualms about who will be filling my shoes for the day, so that will ease my mind over missing it, somewhat.

"I'm looking forward to a weekend of road course racing. Infineon Raceway is a great facility and it will be nice to change things up -- a break from oval-track racing for the weekend. All four of the Richard Petty Motorsports teams have done quite a bit of testing in the last couple of weeks and we've been to a couple of different tracks. That should help us get the best plan together for everyone heading into Sonoma."

Chassis History: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the No. 98 RPM crew have prepared chassis No. 254 for this weekend's event. This Ford Fusion was utilized last season but has been completely rebuilt for the race at Infineon Raceway. This car has not been tested, though the team has tested at several road courses in the past couple of weeks.

Notes: This weekend will be another busy one for Paul Menard. Menard is racing full-time in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series and will travel back and forth between Sonoma, California and Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Menard will leave the Sonoma area Friday evening after Cup Series qualifying and return following the Nationwide race at Road America on Saturday. Bill Elliott will practice the No. 98 Menards Ford in Menard's place on Saturday.

This week, the No. 98 team is heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway to take part in a two-day tire test. Paul Menard will handle driving duties on Tuesday afternoon and evening, but will turn over the wheel to teammate Elliott Sadler on Wednesday as Menard needs to head to Road America for a Thursday full of practice at that track. Following practice at Road America, Menard and his spotter, Stevie Reeves, who travels with Menard to all of the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races, will board a plane and fly to Sonoma for Friday's Cup activities.

-source: rpm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Paul Menard , Elliott Sadler , Stevie Reeves