BUSCH: Paul Menard Michigan preview

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


Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis #022/ Back up Car #037

Last Raced: Car #022 was raced at California in February (finished 20th) and at Michigan in June (finished 12th).

Interesting Cup Fact: In two previous NASCAR Nextel Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway, Menard has completed all but one lap and even led a lap in competition this past June. In addition, Menard's solid finishes of 20th (August -- 2006) and 12th (June -- 2007) point to added potential for Menards Racing come Sunday afternoon.

Interesting Busch Fact: Car #012 needed two clips and a new body put on it after the Vegas race, where Menard crashed on lap 132, but Menard rebounded from Vegas with a sixth place run in car #012 at Chicago last month. "This is Paul's favorite car from 2006." Crew Chief Mike Greci said. "And the way it ran at Chicago gives a lot of hope for a win come Saturday."

In addition to the special Sylvania hood, this weekend Menard's #15 Menards Chevy will feature a special paint scheme to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1957 Chevrolet, one of the most recognizable cars in American motoring history. The scheme will include decals replicating the iconic 1957 car design.

Raybestos Rookie Power

Currently, Menard stands third in overall Raybestos Rookie ratings. He has 162 points; 50 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya who leads the battle with 212 points. Menard has won Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in four events this season, including Michigan, Richmond, Phoenix and Watkins Glen.

Standings Status

Paul Menard is currently 36th in Driver's Points, while the No. 15 team gained two positions to 29th place in Owner's Standings following last weeks race at Watkins Glen International. The team is has a 299 point cushion on the top-35. Menard's prowess on intermediate style racetracks should aid his Dale Earnhardt Inc. backed team in its quest towards the top-20 in owner's standings.


Paul Menard on the 3M Performance 400: It's good to be back on a mile and a half. I like Michigan and California because you can pass in the corners and the way the groove is at this track, you'll see guys racing three wide. I'm not sure what it is about Michigan that I like so much, but of course it helps to have had a top-20 in last year's August race and a 12th place in June at the track. With that we know going into this weekend that we should be solid in race trim and qualifying I don't worry too much about any more, thanks to being locked in.

Nextel Cup Car Chief "B" Hoover on the 3M Performance 400: We think this is one of our best tracks for set up wise and Paul likes it helps. We had a great run last week and that momentum will definitely be

This paint scheme is pretty neat. Chevrolet does a lot for this sport and for our team so we're happy to carry the company colors.

Paul Menard on the CARFAX 250: Doing double duty with the Busch and the Cup car is definitely an advantage at a track like Michigan. Having an idea of how the track temperature is affecting the handling of the car is definitely huge at a place like Michigan. I heard it was going to be pretty cool in Michigan this weekend so that may not be such a huge advantage but the laps still help. We've been running really strong in the Busch car so it also helps to build up our confidence for Sunday.

Busch Series Crew Chief Mike Greci on the CARFAX 250: The Busch program has been pretty solidly lately. Our last two finishes have been awesome and the only let to do is get a win for the Menards Racing Busch team. Paul and I have really gotten on the same page as far as car set up is concerned and I think that's what you're seeing in the results.

-credit: dei/mr

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Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya