BUSCH: Loudon: Paul Menard preview

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


Nextel Cup Primary Car: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chassis #019/ Back up Car #022

Last Used: Phoenix -- April 2007 (qualified 33rd; finished 25th) Richmond -- May 2007 (qualified 33rd; finished 16th)

Interesting Cup Fact: Car #19 has quickly become the team's favorite COT car. In both race day appearances of #19, Menard has won Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors (Phoenix and Richmond).


Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three

Menards Racing tested at the Milwaukee Mile on June 14th in preparation for this weekend's event at NHIS. The results of the test were extremely positive and crew chief, Dave Charpentier, said the team worked on its flat track program with the COT. Specifically, Charpentier says the team worked to achieve a combination of controlling the body attitude and having solid entry in the corner, while maintaining forward bite on exit. Based on his observations, Charpentier felt the team was solidly running in the top-five of the 20 cars testing that day at the Mile.

Sylvania Sponsorship Hits Close to Home

Menard's hood sponsor, Sylvania, is based in Danvers, Massachusetts. Sylvania has been a partner sponsor to the Menards Racing program since Menard joined Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2004.

Raybestos Rookie Power

Menard stands third in overall Raybestos Rookie ratings. He has 105 points; 75 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya who leads the battle with 180 points. Menard's last race run resulted in Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the June 17 Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Menard finished 12th, his best effort in 10 starts this season, and he took Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors for the third time in 2007. He also led the race once for one lap.

Working Towards Top-35

The No. 15 team sits 39th in Nextel Cup Owner's Standings, 200 points outside of the top-35. The team had made up significant ground closing the gap 47 points during the race two weeks ago at Michigan. However, missing last weekend's event at New Hampshire International Speedway set them back an additional 48 points from the top-35.

Paul Menard on the LENOX Industrial Tools 300: "I love New Hampshire. Without a doubt, I've had some of my best runs on this sort of track. New Hampshire is a lot like the Milwaukee Mile and last year's win at the Mile will definitely be on my mind this weekend. Having tested in up Milwaukee a few weeks ago, I definitely feel good going into this weekend. I feel like we have a car that can make the race and probably one that will be competitive on Sunday, but first things first we got to get in the race on Friday."

Nextel Cup Crew Chief Dave Charpentier on the LENOX Industrial Tools 300: "Sears Point, particularly if you're not in the top-35 in points, is a very tough race to make so we're trying not to get too down about this past weekend. This week we're back to the normal qualifying format, so you've got two laps to succeed. And definitely this is the sort of track that Paul excels at. While there's still pressure to make the event, I think we're in a much better position as a team and I look forward to a great weekend in New Hampshire."

-credit: mr/dei

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Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya