Atlanta II: Paul Menard preview

PAUL MENARD Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis ...


Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis #36/ Back up Car #37

Last Run: Charlotte (qualified 17th; finished 22nd)

Fun 'Cup' Fact: Crew Chief Dave Charpentier and the Menards Racing team will bring it's NASCAR Nextel Open car that was involved in a first lap crash in the spring. Not only did the car qualify well, but Menard was very fond of car #36 at the Charlotte Cup test in the spring. Therefore, the team brought the car back for the fall race in Charlotte and left with a 22nd place finish and plans to race the same car at Atlanta this weekend.

Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three

Menard and the No. 15 team will test at Atlanta Motor Speedway next Monday and Tuesday following the Pep Boys Auto 500. At the test, the team will begin preparations for next year's Car of Tomorrow events at intermediate race tracks.

Raybestos Rookie of the Year Notes

Currently, Menard stands third in overall Raybestos Rookie ratings. He has 184 points; 42 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya who leads the battle with 226 points. Menard has won Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in four events this season, including Kansas, Richmond, Phoenix and Watkins Glen.

Standings Status

Paul Menard is currently 34th in Driver's Points, while the No. 15 team maintained it's 29th spot in Owner's Standings following last weeks race at Martinsville. The team is has a 359 point cushion on the top-35.

Paul Menard on the Pep Boys Auto 500:

"I love Atlanta. It is one of my favorite tracks we go. I like that there are multiple, wide grooves and our finish there last year proves that this team can contend for a top ten. It's definitely the time of year that weather could be a factor so I just hope we have a late draw for qualifying and a nice, cool day for racing."

Nextel Cup Crew Chief Dave Charpentier on the Pep Boys Auto 500:

"Paul needs to head to Atlanta with the memory of past successes at this track As a team, we all hold our heads a little higher knowing that we finished seventh in the Cup race here last year. Our intermediate track package has been strong all year so we'll be looking at qualifying in the top-20 and hopefully going for another top-10 finish at Atlanta."

-credit: pmr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya