Pocono II: Paul Menard preview

Menard Looking Forward to another Pocono Start MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 30, 2008) -- Paul Menard, driver of the No. 15 Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet, has been a fan of the Pocono Raceway since his first visit in June of...

Menard Looking Forward to another Pocono Start

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 30, 2008) -- Paul Menard, driver of the No. 15 Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet, has been a fan of the Pocono Raceway since his first visit in June of 2007.

"Pocono is definitely unique," Menard said. "The only track I've experienced that's comparable would be Indy. I really like racing there even though it's a track that is very easy to lose time at. One little mistake through one corner will carry all the way to the next corner, which is a long ways away regardless of the turn."

Pocono Raceway's unique design includes turns modeled somewhat after turns at three different tracks. Like Menard said, turn two, also known as "The Tunnel Turn", is like Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Menard was happy with the way his car drove in last week's Brickyard 400.

"As short as our race was last week, I was pretty happy with the way the car drove in the beginning," Menard said. "I think we can apply a lot of our setup from Indy over to Pocono, along with what we had learned racing at Pocono last month. We just need to rip off a few solid finishes these next couple of weeks to start climbing up the points again."

In addition to Menard's three previous starts at Pocono, where his best qualifying effort is 17th (June, 2008) and his best finish is 25th (June, 2008), Menard participated in a two day test at Pocono this May in preparation for this weekend.

"It was great to be able to test Pocono earlier this year," Menard said. "We had gotten the car where it was pretty racey, but we we're still looking for some speed when we came back to race in June. I'm confident Doug (Randolph) and the boys will find it this weekend. Our teammates on the No. 1 car were pretty fast in June, so we'll be able to go through their notes and maybe make a few adjustments."

Despite the weekend ahead, Menard's overwhelming goal right now is to move up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver's point's standings.

"We need to focus on each weekend, but we also need to climb up in points and finish the year in the top 20," Menard said.

Menard will race Dale Earnhardt Inc. chassis #068 in this weekend's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500. It is the same car the team brought to Pocono in June and Crew Chief Doug Randolph has high expectations for his team this weekend.

"When we came here in June, we were solidly a top-25 car all weekend," Randolph explained. "Now we've got some great notes from that race and I think we'll set our sights on a top-15 finish in Sunday's race."

-credit: dei/mr

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