BUSCH: Milwaukee: Paul Menard preview

Menards Racing Ready for Milwaukee Mile Rematch Mooresville, NC -- Consistency on the race track and performance on pit road have rewarded Menards Racing with a solid first half of the season. As a native of Eau Claire and the driver of the...

Menards Racing Ready for Milwaukee Mile Rematch

Mooresville, NC -- Consistency on the race track and performance on pit road have rewarded Menards Racing with a solid first half of the season. As a native of Eau Claire and the driver of the Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series, Paul Menard hopes to improve on his track record, by winning Saturday's AT&T 250 in front of his hometown crowd. Menard will pilot the No. 11 Splash!/Menards Chevy during this weekend's 250-lap event at the Milwaukee Mile.

"We're taking the same car from last year," Menard said of his weekend equipment. "I know this particular car is really fast and this Menards team is more than capable of winning this race. This would be the perfect place to get that first win."

In addition to a third place showing in last year's race at the Milwaukee Mile, the car in question carried Menard to his best ever career finish (2nd) at Richmond Int'l Raceway last September.

Stellar equipment combined with Menard's track familiarity will assist the team during this weekend's on track action. As a previous Super Late Model race winner at the Milwaukee Mile, Menard knows his way around 1-mile oval - a factor that will prove helpful during the driver's 85th series' start. Menard arrives in Milwaukee on the heels of a ninth place finish at Kentucky Speedway. Currently eighth place in overall championship standings, Menard is the highest ranked Busch Series regular.

Menard's standout performance in last year's race at the Mile is an encouraging fact on the minds of the Menards Racing crew members. While the race was shortened due to rain, Menard felt his car was capable of brining home the win, had it gone the distance.

"If last year's race was 50 laps longer, we would have been going to Victory Lane," Menard said.

Menard's Wisconsin-bred crew chief, Dan Stillman of Menasha, agrees that last year's Menards Chevy was capable of a win, but cites trouble on pit road contributed to the missed opportunity.

"We had a really good car, but we had a bad pit stop and lost a bunch of positions and had to come from a long way back." Stillman said. "But the car was awesome and we were gaining a lot of time on the leaders when the rain came."

Right now, the whole team is hungry for a win. If given the chance to visit Victory Lane together at the Milwaukee Mile, Menard and Stillman know the celebration will likely resemble a well attended Homecoming celebration.

"Dan and I will both have a lot of friends and family there and to be able to win this race would be huge. Victory Lane would be packed." Menard said.

Stillman's Wisconsin racing roots run deep and his fond memories will be on the top of his mind come Saturday at the Milwaukee Mile.

"Just like last year's Milwaukee Busch race, I have had a lot of fun racing the short tracks around Wisconsin," Stillman reminisced. "I won races with Scott Hansen and Jim Weber and now it's time to win a race with Paul Menard."

Menard and Stillman certainly expect success at the Milwaukee Mile, however, racing isn't the only thing on their mind when they come home to the Dairy State.

"Seems like every time I go back to Wisconsin, I bring back some good cheese and cheese curds," Menard said. "This year I'd love to bring back a trophy to go with the cheese."

Stillman seconds the motion.

"The only thing that sounds better than those Wisconsin cheese curds right now, is the taste of Victory we've all been craving." Stillman said.

-mr/dei-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Paul Menard , Scott Hansen