Fontana II: Paul Menard preview

Menards Racing Heads West for Return to Intermediate Track Success MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 27, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the No. 15 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team return to intermediate track racing this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Menard, ...

Menards Racing Heads West for Return to Intermediate Track Success

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 27, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the No. 15 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team return to intermediate track racing this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Menard, especially, looks forward to the running of Sunday night's Pepsi 500.

"This team tends to run really well at this sort of track," Menard explained. "California is very similar to Michigan which is a track we've had some of our best runs at in the past two years."

The Menards team will bring DEI chassis #056, which was fitted with a new front end and a carbon fiber dash since it was last run at Charlotte in May.

"The car we're running this weekend is going to be really fast," Crew Chief Doug Randolph said. "This is definitely our best type of track, as far as performance goes. I have high expectations for this weekend and expect to qualify and run in the top-15."

Menard heads to California on the heels of a 16th place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.

"Again, we didn't finish where we could have at Bristol, so that was disappointing, but it was a pretty good weekend regardless," Menard reasoned. "California is a different animal, so you have to approach it different. A little confidence shot always helps, though, so a 16th place finish last weekend could lead to a top-10 this week."

Menard's overall view of the Auto Club Speedway is shaped by the surface and the corners, which impacts his description of a lap around the 2-mile D-shaped oval.

"It's actually a pretty rough race track, especially in (turns) one and two and even more so down the backstretch," Menard said. "You run a big arc into turn one to help you get off turn two. Three and four are pretty straight forward, a lot like Michigan really."

The No. 15 team takes to the track for the first time on Friday afternoon. Qualifying will air live on SPEED Channel at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

-credit: pm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Paul Menard