BUSCH: Nashville II: Paul Menard preview

Menard Brings His ...

Menard Brings His #11 Menards/Johns Manville DEI Chevrolet To Nashville for Saturday Night's Federated Auto Parts 300

LEBANON, Tenn. (June 8, 2005) -- For a welcome change of pace, Paul Menard and his #11 Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet team from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., would like nothing better than an uneventful Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on the Nashville Superspeedway 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval this weekend.

That may or may not be a lot to ask on the ever-competitive Busch circuit, where the recipe for success on any given Saturday includes not only the requisite trouble-free run on the racetrack and quick, smooth pit work, but the added ability to steer clear of mishaps and misdeeds.

"It's been a part of racing at every level since the beginning of time, and it always will be, but it seems we've had to endure way more than our fair share of contact from other cars in the last several weeks," said Menard, who will be making his 48th Busch series start on Saturday night. "Quite frankly, I think it's time the hands of fate start ignoring us in that respect and let us finally show what we can do with a relatively clean race run from start to finish."

Last Saturday, on the Monster Mile at Dover, Menard's DEI Chevrolet was one of the fastest cars on the track in the early going until one particular competitor drifted up into him for the third race in a row, this time with an impact that flattened his left-rear tire and signaled what was to be the beginning of the end of another promising day. After Menard was able to work his way to as high as fifth, he ended up having to make two green-flag stops to deal with a vibrating left-rear wheel that may or may not have been the result of that early race contact. That took Menard out of contention and immediately set his sights on Saturday night's run at Nashville Superspeedway.

"We had a pretty decent race car here in March, so we definitely have something good to build on for this time around," said Menard, who started 16th in the March race here but saw his day end early after contact with the front-stretch retaining wall after his car snapped loose on him. "We also definitely know who we have to steer clear of on the racetrack, which is all part of the business of making it to the end without incident. I'm confident we'll have the race car we want, and the guys are on top of their game in the garage and in the pits. I'm looking forward to hopefully making Nashville our breakthrough race."

Practice for Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 300 begins Friday at 1:40 p.m. local time (2:40 p.m. EDT) with final practice to follow at 3:30 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. EDT). Qualifying will be Saturday at 4 p.m. local time (5 p.m. EDT) with a live broadcast set for SPEED-TV. Race time is 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. EDT) Saturday with the FX cable network carrying all the action live beginning with a pre-race show at 7:30 p.m. EDT.


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Drivers Paul Menard