Menard Qualifies Seventh for Saturday's Sam's Town 250 NASCAR Busch Series Race at Memphis Motorsports Park MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Friday, Oct. 22, 2004) -- NASCAR Busch Series rookie Paul Menard of Eau Claire, Wis., will start Saturday's Sam's Town...
Menard Qualifies Seventh for Saturday's Sam's Town 250 NASCAR Busch Series Race at Memphis Motorsports Park
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Friday, Oct. 22, 2004) -- NASCAR Busch Series rookie Paul Menard of Eau Claire, Wis., will start Saturday's Sam's Town 250 from the inside of the fourth row after qualifying today on the three-quarter-mile Memphis Motorsports Park tri-oval.
Menard and his #11 Menards/Quaker State Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., circled the short track with a fast qualifying lap of 119.121 mph (22.666 seconds), good for seventh among 54 car-and-driver combinations attempting to make Saturday's 43-car starting grid. Menard was the fastest rookie qualifier in the field with his second-best qualifying effort of the season. Just two weekends ago, at the Kansas Speedway 1.5-mile tri-oval, Menard earned his first career NASCAR Busch Series pole. Last April, he qualified eighth on the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway tri-oval.
Series points leader Martin Truex earned the pole today with a fast lap of 120.198 mph (22.463 seconds). NASCAR Nextel Cup Series veteran Bill Elliott will start alongside Truex on the front row after a fast qualifying lap of 119.601 mph (22.575 seconds).
Race time Saturday is 2:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. EDT) with live television coverage provided by the TNT cable network.
"We're pretty happy with how our day went. The Menards/Quaker State car was great right off the truck in practice this afternoon. We tested here a few weeks ago but decided to bring a different car, and it turned out to be a wise decision. I think we've earned ourselves a good starting spot for a short-track race tomorrow. That will be important. What a difference a week makes. It was a heartbreaker for all of us to have to go home after qualifying last weekend at Charlotte. But that's the fickle nature of this business, especially a week after we won our first pole together. But we're always looking at the big picture. We have every confidence in each other. The DEI guys gave me a great car for this weekend, and we'll just see if we can have ourselves a good race tomorrow. It's a roller coaster ride, but everything we're doing now is just preparation for next year."