BUSCH: Homestead: Paul Menard preview

NOTES OF INTEREST ON THE HOMESTEAD CAR Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis ...


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

Last Raced: Atlanta Motor Speedway (October 2007) Qualified 36th -- Finished 27th and Charlotte (October 2007) qualified 17th and finished 22nd

Interesting Cup Fact: Paul Menard made his Cup debut at Homestead last fall. After finishing third in the NASCAR Busch Series event the previous night, Menard turned in a solid performance completing all the laps -- even leading one -- and finishing 17th in the 400-mile race.


Menards Racing plans a 2007 season ending top-10 finish at Homestead Miami Speedway. After facing some challenging weekends of racing in the past two months, Homestead allows the team the chance to successfully round out the season -- a track Paul Menard considers to be a great place to end the season. Menard's appearance in last year's events at Homestead was awesome, with a third place finish in the Busch car and a solid 17th place finish in the Cup car.

DEI and Menard Ready for Intermediate Track Success

Menard's best Cup finishes have been on intermediate style race tracks. Not only did Menard finish 17th in last year's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but his career best finish came at Atlanta Motor Speedway last March (7th). Menard also scored his season best finish of 12th in the June race at Michigan. Additionally, Menard has had finishes of 22nd (Charlotte -- 2007); 20th (Indianapolis -- 2007); and 15th (Texas -- 2007) at this type of track.

Raybestos Rookie of the Year Notes

Currently, Menard stands third in overall Raybestos Rookie ratings. He has 191 points; 45 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya who leads the battle with 236 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 its 29th spot in Owner's Standings following last weeks race at Phoenix International Raceway. The team is has a 391 point cushion on the top-35 meaning the No. 15 team will be locked in to the first five races of 2008, including the season opening Daytona 500.


Paul Menard Quote on the Ford 400:

"I'm a big fan of Homestead. I think it's probably the perfect track to end the season at. Great racing and lots of things to do in the area. A lot of the guys go fishing, but I'm just focused on finishing out the season with a top-10 finish. I think this season was a lot of ups and downs, but I'd like to at least have one top-10 in the record books for 2007. We've had some success at tracks like this so it's safe to say that's an attainable goal for this weekend's Ford 400. We just really need a good run here to finish out this year on a high note. There's a lot of planning and preparing for 2008 going on now, but we still have one more race to get through and that's what I'm thinking about now. My goals for Homestead are to qualify in the top-15 or 20 and finish Sunday with a top-10."

Paul Menard on the 2007 Season:

"Every time you're on the racetrack, you learn something. It doesn't matter who you are or what your past experiences have been, you're always learning. So, I just tried to soak it all in this year. This is probably the most competitive season in the most competitive series in the world, so we picked a heck of a year to join in as a Raybestos Rookie candidate. We knew we'd have our struggles, some places where we thought we'd run well, we haven't. Other places we have where we didn't think we would. It's a very humbling sport."

-credit: dei/mr

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Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya