Paul Menard on Richmond: "Richmond is a great place to race. You won't find very many drivers out there who don't like to go there and the fans love it too, so I think everyone looks forward to this race. I'm hoping we can get through this one ...
Paul Menard on Richmond: "Richmond is a great place to race. You won't find very many drivers out there who don't like to go there and the fans love it too, so I think everyone looks forward to this race. I'm hoping we can get through this one relatively unscathed because we've had a rough couple of weeks. We've just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Richmond is a short-track where so there's a lot of beating and banging, but we'll do whatever we can to make sure our Schrock/Menards Ford Fusion is around at the end.
"There are always a lot of unknowns when you have a schedule like this weekend's. It's impossible to know exactly what the track will do on Saturday night as the sun goes down because both practices leading up to the race are during the day. I know Slugger will make sure we have a lot of adjustability built into car and we're hoping running the Nationwide race on Friday night will help us there as well."
Crew Chief Slugger Labbe's Thoughts on Richmond International Raceway: "Richmond is kind of like a one day show, so it's a busy and hectic weekend for everyone. The biggest challenge during the course of the weekend is that you practice in the daytime and then race at night, and that can make things interesting. I'm hoping the track doesn't go to the loose side as the sun goes down because that's what it did at Phoenix. We have to make sure that our Schrock/Menards Ford Fusion is extremely adjustable so we can adjust to the changing conditions throughout the race.
"The qualifying draw will be really important too this weekend. The later you draw, the cooler the track will be and that will be a big advantage for those teams that go out late. We're hoping that the draw is on our side because we really need to get in a good qualifying lap. It hasn't been our strong suit this season and it can be a little tough to pass early in the race at RIR. Once the track gets rubbered up, then there are multiple grooves where you can run the top or diamond the corners. Still, it would be nice to get in a good lap in qualifying and start as close to the front as possible. There are usually a couple of long green flag runs early on in the race, so the farther ahead you start, the better."
Chassis History: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the No. 98 Richard Petty Motorsports crew have prepared chassis No. 573 for this weekend's race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. This is another brand new Ford Fusion
Notes: Schrock Cabinetry will adorn the hood of the No. 98 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusion this weekend at RIR. This is the first time Schrock has been featured on the hood this season.
Menard, who is also racing full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has posted five top-10 finishes in eight starts this year in that Series. Menard holds down sixth place in the Nationwide driver point standings. Menard has made eight starts in Richmond in that Series. He has posted three top-10 and five top15 finishes on the .75-mile track.