For Menard, a Welcome Homecoming at the Milwaukee Mile For Saturday Night's SBC 250 NASCAR Busch Series Event WEST ALLIS, Wis. (June 22, 2005) -- There's nothing like home, sweet, home for Paul Menard, especially as the 24-year-old from Eau...
For Menard, a Welcome Homecoming at the Milwaukee Mile For Saturday Night's SBC 250 NASCAR Busch Series Event
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (June 22, 2005) -- There's nothing like home, sweet, home for Paul Menard, especially as the 24-year-old from Eau Claire and his #11 Menards/Splash Chevrolet team from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., come to the Milwaukee Mile for Saturday night's SBC 250 fresh off his first career NASCAR Busch Series top-five finish.
Last Saturday night's fifth-place run down at Kentucky Speedway broke the ice for Menard and his DEI teammates after seeing more than their fair share of strong -- even dominating -- runs over the past year ruined by oftentimes somebody else's undoing. Another strong Menards/DEI racing machine and a clean run from beginning to end at last Saturday night's Meijer 300 finally enabled the #11 team to actually live up to the potential it had been putting on display nearly week in and week out since they joined forces last July.
"Needless to say, it's going to be great for a lot of reasons to be racing at home again," said Menard, who will be making his 50th career Busch series start on Saturday night. "I had to watch from the sidelines there last year while we were preparing to go racing with the DEI team, and that's definitely not as fun as being strapped in a race car. We had a good test there before our Kentucky race last week, which was no surprise because our short-track program is really as solid as it can be. As if coming to your home track isn't invigorating enough, we got a huge shot in the arm with our top-five finish at Kentucky, so the DEI boys are pumped because they can just smell that first win together."
While he missed driving in last year's Busch race here on the famed Milwaukee Mile, Menard does have the experience of a 2003 NASCAR Truck Series start under his belt. He drove an Andy Petree Racing Chevrolet entry to 11th place after qualifying 17th. He also finished in the top 12 in a 2001 NASCAR Midwest Series event here.
"How great would that be to do well at Milwaukee, deep in the heart of Menards territory?" Menard said. "We had just awesome race cars on the short tracks at Bristol and Phoenix and Richmond this year. I'm confident that we can have one at Milwaukee, too."
The SBC 250 begins with a pair of hour-long practice sessions Saturday at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. local time (11 a.m and 12:30 p.m. EDT). Qualifying begins at 5 p.m. local time (6 p.m. EDT) with live coverage on SPEED-TV. Race time is 8 p.m. local time (9 p.m. EDT) with the FX cable network's live coverage set to begin with pre-race activities at 8:30 p.m. EDT.