Menard Wraps Up Practice for Sunday's NASCAR Mexico 200 With Ninth-Best Lap in Happy Hour; Qualifying Saturday MEXICO CITY (Friday, March 4, 2005) -- Nearly five hours of scheduled practice time concluded today for Sunday's inaugural NASCAR...
Menard Wraps Up Practice for Sunday's NASCAR Mexico 200 With Ninth-Best Lap in Happy Hour; Qualifying Saturday
MEXICO CITY (Friday, March 4, 2005) -- Nearly five hours of scheduled practice time concluded today for Sunday's inaugural NASCAR Mexico 200 Busch Series race around the historic 2.518-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road circuit, and when the dust settled, Paul Menard of Eau Claire, Wis., posted the ninth-fastest lap on the timesheets.
Menard and the #11 Menards/Turtle Wax Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., clocked a fast lap of 1 minute, 28.066 seconds (102.932 mph) in race trim during a Happy Hour of final practice late this afternoon that saw only a limited few drivers successfully enjoy a clear mock qualifying run in preparation for Saturday's noon local time (1 p.m. EST) qualifying session. Menard's attempt to navigate the former Formula 1 circuit in qualifying trim saw two slower cars impede his efforts. He nonetheless posted a lap of only some two-tenths of a second off his best lap of the day during the mock qualifying run.
Saturday's qualifying session for Sunday's 80-lap race will be carried live on SPEED-TV. Race time Sunday is 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. EST) with the FOX broadcast network covering the event live.
"It was definitely a very productive day. We started out wrestling with carburetion issues that we got worked out by the end of the morning practice. That's what being 7,000 feet above sea level will do to you. In the end, we got the Menards/Turtle Wax Chevrolet pretty much where we're going to want it in race trim. I feel very comfortable pretty much everywhere on the track. I think we'll be alright in qualifying, too. It turned out to be not too bad a (mock qualifying) lap today even though we didn't get a clear one. Overall, I have to say this is a pretty neat event. It's definitely different than anything NASCAR's done before, except for maybe when they went to Japan for their exhibition. I'm looking forward to Sunday. The locals are going to love it."