Richmond: Paul Menard preview

Menards Racing Riding Momentum into Richmond MOORESVILLE, NC (April 30, 2008) -- The Dale Earnhardt Inc. backed Menards Racing team has certainly enjoyed a great deal of success in 2008. Given the team's solid performances over the past month,...

Menards Racing Riding Momentum into Richmond

MOORESVILLE, NC (April 30, 2008) -- The Dale Earnhardt Inc. backed Menards Racing team has certainly enjoyed a great deal of success in 2008. Given the team's solid performances over the past month, including last week's season best 14th place finish at Talladega Superspeedway, Paul Menard heads to Richmond International Raceway looking to score his first top-10 finish in Cup competition at the 3/4-mile Virginia short track.

"Having a good run or a few good runs in a row boosts everyone's confidence," Menard said. "With short track racing, things can get pretty heated and exciting. I'd like to have neither, yet improve upon our top 15-from Talladega and crack the top-10 in Richmond."

Given Menard's fondness for Richmond International Raceway, it seems like the perfect site for the team's first top-10 finish since March of 2006. In two previous Sprint Cup starts at Richmond, Menard finished 16th and 26th, respectively. In addition, the driver of the No. 15 Menards Chevrolet claimed Rookie of the Race honors in last spring's Cup race.

In his last five Nationwide Series starts at the track, Menard has led a total of 160 laps, with an average finish of 13th place. Menard's career best finish at Richmond came in the Nationwide Series event in the fall of 2005, when he finished in the runner-up spot.

While Richmond has been a strong track for Menard, the driver cites his learning's at Phoenix during last month's race for what can be accomplished on the track this weekend.

"If you look back to Phoenix, which carries a lot of the similarities of Richmond, we get a good feeling for what we can accomplish this weekend adjustments on the car," Menard said. "We had a strong run early and late at Phoenix, the middle part of the race we had to regroup a bit. I've learned a few lessons from that race that we can apply towards Richmond as have Doug (Randolph) and the rest of the Menards Team."

And while he usually plays his cards close to his chest, Menard has a few thoughts on the key to success at Richmond.

"The corners are really tight, yet you carry a lot of speed through them," Menard said. "I've always focused on getting the car to roll through the center to keep momentum up as opposed to a kind of point and shoot method. It has a lot of characteristics of a big track like a Michigan when it comes to momentum. Turn 2 is always tricky; you have to wait longer to get back to the throttle than you think where turn 4 is just the opposite."

Menard's first chance to navigate the track comes Friday morning at 11:00am ET when the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars take to the track for the weekend's lone practice session.

-credit: pr/dei

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