Daytona II: Paul Menard qualifying report

Paul Menard Wins First Career Pole at Daytona International Speedway DAYTONA BEACH, F.L. (July 4, 2008) -- Today turned out to be a very happy 4th of July for the driver of the No. 15 Vertis/Menards Chevrolet as Paul Menard put his Dale...

Paul Menard Wins First Career Pole at Daytona International Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, F.L. (July 4, 2008) -- Today turned out to be a very happy 4th of July for the driver of the No. 15 Vertis/Menards Chevrolet as Paul Menard put his Dale Earnhardt Inc. entry on the Pole for the first time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. Menard's lap of 48.409 seconds at 185.916 miles per hour earns the 28-year old driver the honor of leading the field to green in tomorrow night's Coke Zero 400.

"To win my first pole at Daytona International Speedway is a dream come true and it's obviously a great way to celebrate the 4th of July," Menard said. "I knew the Earnhardt Childress Racing (engine) group gave us some more power for this race, but I had no idea we'd have enough for the pole. I'm extremely proud of my team and all the guys back at the shop who work extremely hard to build good cars. I'm looking forward to the race for sure. The car had a lot of speed in it during practice and I could tell it would suck up really well in the draft."

This is Menard's first pole in 57 career Sprint Cup Series starts. His previous best career start was 13th at this season's Dover race. In addition, Menard's Pole is the first by any Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver at Daytona International Speedway.

Menard will join his Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammate Mark Martin on the front row for tomorrow's race, as Martin turned in the second fastest qualifying effort.

-credit: mr/dei

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Paul Menard , Mark Martin