Charlotte: Paul Menard preview

Paul Menard on Charlotte Motor Speedway: "We had a pretty good run in our Serta Ford Fusion last weekend in the Sprint Showdown, so we're pretty excited to get back there. The car was really fast at the start of the race and took off really well...

Paul Menard on Charlotte Motor Speedway: "We had a pretty good run in our Serta Ford Fusion last weekend in the Sprint Showdown, so we're pretty excited to get back there. The car was really fast at the start of the race and took off really well on four fresh tires. We've just got to make sure it's responsive to changes and good on the long runs too, since you know in this race there will be a lot of long green flag runs. We'll have to make sure we are prepared for the change from day to night, obviously, and that's one of the keys to this race. You end up chasing the racetrack a bit, so we need to make sure we've got that aspect covered.

"600 miles makes for a long race and you can't win it if you aren't there at the end of the night, so we'll need to be patient, but aggressive enough to be up there with the leaders and on the lead lap for the entire night. The guys on pit road will have to be on top of their game too, since we'll end up making quite a few stops throughout the night. We needed a little bit more time to get to the front last week and this weekend we'll have the time, for sure."

Crew Chief Slugger Labbe's Thoughts on Charlotte: "We had a fast car last weekend for the All-Star Showdown and track position was huge. I think the No. 42 car was the only car that passed us on the track. We came home with our Serta Ford Fusion in one piece and because of the way it ran both at the test and during the Showdown, we feel like this car is the best one for the 600 too.

"We'll have to really look back at the test notes and the Showdown notes because this is another race where we practice during the day and race into the evening. Understanding what we had at the test and last weekend will help us to know how to start the race and made adjustments to the car as the sun goes down. We did learn last weekend that track position appeared to be more important than fresh tires so there will be a lot of teams using different strategies throughout the race. Keeping up with that will be my challenge throughout the event."

Chassis History: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the No. 98 Richard Petty Motorsports crew have prepared chassis No. 683 for this weekend's 600-mile event. This is the same car in which Menard drove to a fourth-place finish in last Saturday's Sprint Showdown event. This is also the car the team utilized at California Speedway earlier this season.

-source: rpm

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty , Paul Menard