BUSCH: Michigan: Paul Menard preview

Menard, ...

Menard, #11 DEI Moen Chevrolet Teammates Bring Top-10 Streak To Michigan for Saturday's Domino's Pizza 250 NASCAR Busch Race

BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 16, 2005) -- Coming off a busier than usual road course racing weekend at Watkins Glen, Paul Menard and his Dale Earnhardt, Inc., teammates come to the Michigan International Speedway 2-mile tri-oval for Saturday's Domino's Pizza 250 with a brand new #11 Menards/Moen NASCAR Busch Series Chevrolet.

Menard's eighth-place finish last Saturday at The Glen was his eighth top-10 in his last nine events -- the lone holdout being his 12th-place run at Pikes Peak -- and a highly successful test here at MIS with their new race car early last week has the team feeling even bigger and better things are on the horizon.

"We had another solid test with our brand new car and that always leaves you feeling positive," said Menard, who also had a promising run in Sunday's Nextel Cup race at The Glen in the #1 Ritz DEI Chevrolet. "We've settled into quite a groove on the Busch circuit and it's just motivating this team more than ever to keep digging. We had a really promising weekend in the works last year before we had to go home early, so there's definitely a feeling we have some unfinished business to take care of as we head to Michigan."

In only his fourth race with his new DEI teammates last August, Menard was fastest in the opening practice session of the weekend. But rain washed out the day's remaining practice and qualifying sessions, prompting series officials to set the starting grid for Saturday's race according to owners points and abruptly brought the #11 team's weekend here to a crashing halt.

Come rain or shine when practice starts Friday, and when qualifying is to occur Saturday morning, Menard and his teammates don't have to worry about Mother Nature as they are a solid 12th in the latest owners points and are guaranteed a spot on the starting grid.

"It was disappointing here last year, for sure, because we had a really great race car, but there's absolutely nothing you can do about the weather," said Menard, who moved up to ninth in the latest drivers standings with his latest top-10 finish last Saturday. "We'll just roll up our sleeves and get back at it come Friday morning, and hopefully we'll be able to pick up where we left off during our test last week. It'll be our last event of the year in Menards territory, so it'd be great to make it our best one, yet."

Menard scored his first career Busch top-three in June at Milwaukee, was ninth at Chicago, and seventh at Indianapolis in his other three races of 2005 in the 10-upper-midwest-states area where Menards Home Improvement Super Centers are located.

Practice for Saturday's 125-lap race begins at noon EDT Friday, followed by final practice at 2:50 p.m. EDT. Qualifying is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. EDT with live coverage on SPEED-TV. Race time is 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage by the TNT cable network.


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Drivers Paul Menard