Texas II: Paul Menard preview

NOTES OF INTEREST ON THE TEXAS CAR Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis ...

Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis # 38/ Back up Car #37

Last Raced: Kansas Speedway (September 2007) - Qualified 23rd - Finished 27th, Pocono Raceway (July 2007) Qualified 35th -- Finished 26th and Chicagoland Speedway (July 2007) Qualified 16th -- Finished 42nd (engine)

Interesting Cup Fact: Paul Menard will look to teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. for advice on how to find success at Texas Motor Speedway. With one win and seven top-10 finishes in ten Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Dale Jr. should have plenty to offer his rookie teammate.


Menards Racing plans a 2007 season resurgence at Texas Motor Speedway. After facing some challenging weekends of racing in the past two months, a chance to successfully round out the last three races of the season begins at TMS -- a track Paul Menard considers to be one of his three favorite venues on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit. Menard's last appearance in the Lonestar State was a double duty weekend rewarded with double top-15 finishes. Menard turned in a ninth place performance in the Spring Busch race, while the No. 15 team turned in a 15th place NASCAR Nextel Cup effort the following day.

Testing and Traveling -- Menard on the Go this Week

Menard and the No. 15 team tested at Atlanta Motor Speedway Monday and Tuesday in preparation for next season's Car of Tomorrow events at the intermediate style racetracks. Immediately following the two day test, Menard jumped on an airplane and flew west to Las Vegas where he signed autographs at the SEMA show on behalf of Turtle Wax, one of his primary sponsors in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

DEI and Menard Ready for Intermediate Track Success

Menard's best Cup finishes have been on intermediate style race tracks. Not only did Menard finish a career best finish in last year's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but Menard also scored his season best finish of 12th in the June race at Michigan. Additionally, Menard has had finishes of 22nd (Charlotte -- 2007); 17th (Homestead -- 2006); 20th (Indianapolis -- 2007); and 15th (Texas -- 2007) at this type of track.

Raybestos Rookie of the Year Notes

Currently, Menard stands third in overall Raybestos Rookie ratings. He has 184 points; 42 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya who leads the battle with 226 points. Menard has won Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in four events this season, including Kansas, Richmond, Phoenix and Watkins Glen.

Standings Status

Paul Menard is currently 34th in Driver's Points, while the No. 15 team maintained its 29th spot in Owner's Standings following last weeks race at Atlanta. The team is has a 337 point cushion on the top-35.


Paul Menard Quote on the Dickies 500:

"I'm a big fan of the racing at Texas. It's fast like Charlotte. The two tracks are actually a lot alike, but the tire is obviously totally different so you can't really compare the two when it comes down to race set up. We just really need a good run here to finish out this year on a high note. There's a lot of planning and preparing for 2008 going on now, but that doesn't diminish the team's focus on getting a top-10 finish before the season is up. My goals for Texas are to qualify in the top-15 or 20 and finish Sunday with a season best finish, which would be 11th or better."

Nextel Cup Crew Chief Dave Charpentier on the Dickies 500:

"We're taking our Atlanta car to Texas and keeping pretty much the same qualifying package. Paul was really happy with how the car qualified there so we'll just make a few changes according to the Texas tire. As an organization, we've had a lot of success at Texas, so as far as the race set up goes, we'll be working with the 1 and the 8 team to map out our program for Sunday's race. Any information we can gather from them will be really important and we'll definitely put it to good use."

-credit: dei/mr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya