Menard Up to the Challenge of Dover's Monster Mile Oval As He Makes 20th Career Busch Series Start at MBNA America 200 DOVER, Del. (June 1, 2004) -- Saturday's MBNA 200 marks Paul Menard's 20th career NASCAR Busch Series start, and he and his...
Menard Up to the Challenge of Dover's Monster Mile Oval As He Makes 20th Career Busch Series Start at MBNA America 200
DOVER, Del. (June 1, 2004) -- Saturday's MBNA 200 marks Paul Menard's 20th career NASCAR Busch Series start, and he and his #33 Menards/Peak Antifreeze Chevrolet teammates of Andy Petree Racing have pulled out a new weapon in their attempt to tame the famed Dover International Speedway "Monster Mile" oval this weekend.
Fresh off a pair of top-20 finishes, including a season-high 13th at Nazareth Speedway two weekends ago, Menard and the APR team have decided to dust off a race car they've yet to use this season, but have bolstered by incorporating a multitude of discoveries they've made racing their other Menards Chevrolets during the first 13 races this season.
"The car we're taking to Dover is somewhat of an experiment," said the 23-year-old Menard, a Raybestos Rookie on the Busch circuit this season from Eau Claire, Wis. "We've come across a few things over the past two weeks that we're incorporating into this car, and that should be nothing but good. It's a car that we had some success with last year (when Menard competed in six Busch events mixed with a handful of NASCAR Truck, Cup and ARCA series events)."
Taming the Monster Mile, a unique concrete-paved, high-banked oval with 3,200 total feet of corners and just 2,000 feet of straightaway, might be a tall order for a first-time visitor like Menard. But excelling on racetracks he's never raced on before is fast becoming routine for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender.
"From what I hear, it's like a big Bristol," said Menard, who had an exceptionally promising run at Thunder Valley's half-mile, high-banked, concrete oval ruined by overheating problems during his first visit there in late March . "There will be a bit of a learning curve for me because I have never seen this track before, but the Menards/Peak Chevrolet should be pretty close right off the trailer. If that happens, it'll make my job a lot easier."
Practice for the MBNA America 200 begins Friday morning with qualifying set for 1 p.m. EDT Friday and live coverage by SPEED-TV. Race time Saturday is 1 p.m. EDT with the FX cable network's coverage beginning with pre-race activities at 12:30 p.m. EDT.