Menard's Cinco de Marcho in Mexico Nets Fourth-Row Qualifying Effort For Sunday's First-Ever NASCAR Busch Series Race South of the Border MEXICO CITY (Saturday, March 5, 2005) -- Paul Menard of Eau Claire, Wis., will start Sunday's inaugural...
Menard's Cinco de Marcho in Mexico Nets Fourth-Row Qualifying Effort For Sunday's First-Ever NASCAR Busch Series Race South of the Border
MEXICO CITY (Saturday, March 5, 2005) -- Paul Menard of Eau Claire, Wis., will start Sunday's inaugural NASCAR Mexico 200 Busch Series race on the inside of the fourth row after qualifying today on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course circuit.
Menard and his #11 Menards/Turtle Wax Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., lapped the historic, 2.518-mile former Formula 1 track here in 1 minute, 28.352 seconds (102.599 mph) to grab the seventh spot on tomorrow's 43-car starting grid. A total of 50 car-and-driver combinations attempted to make the field for the first-ever NASCAR event south of the border, including 10 Mexican drivers. One of those, Jorge Goeters, electrified the crowd by grabbing the pole position with a fast lap of 1:27.696 (103.366 mph). Robby Gordon, powered by a Menard engine, will start second after a lap of 1:27.859 (103.174 mph), with Martin Truex, Jr., third at 1:27.915 (103.109 mph).
Start time for Sunday's 80-lap main event is 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. EST) with the FOX television network providing live coverage.
"We've got a great race car and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. I think we're in an alright starting position, although I much rather would like to be about six spots better. But we'll be just fine. It wasn't a perfect qualifying run, but you do what you can with one flying lap to get it right and hope for the best. I think we're in a pretty solid position for the start. It'll be the usual story -- great pit stops, stay out of trouble, and fight for the win at the finish. I have a feeling things are going to be pretty electric around here tomorrow. The fans around are incredible. I think we'll give them a good show."