Menard Finds Himself 11th-Row Starting Spot for Saturday's Bashas' Supermarket 200 NASCAR Busch Series Race at Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. (Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004) -- Paul Menard and the ...
Menard Finds Himself 11th-Row Starting Spot for Saturday's Bashas' Supermarket 200 NASCAR Busch Series Race at Phoenix
AVONDALE, Ariz. (Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004) -- Paul Menard and the #11 Menards/Peak Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., will start Saturday's Bashas' Supermarket 200 NASCAR Busch Series race from the outside of the 11th row after qualifying today at Phoenix International Raceway.
Menard circled the mile oval with a fast qualifying lap of 130.444 mph (27.598 seconds), 22nd- fastest among 54 car-and-driver combinations attempting to make Saturday's 43-car starting grid. Earlier in the day, Menard was seventh-fastest in the opening practice session of the weekend. Race preparation concludes with the traditional Happy Hour of final practice beginning at 9:15 a.m. local time (11:15 a.m. EST) Friday.
Kyle Busch earned the pole today with a fast qualifying lap of 133.819 mph (26.902 seconds). NASCAR Nextel Cup Series regulars Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray completed the top three.
SPEED-TV will provide a tape-delayed showing of the final practice session at 3 p.m. EST Friday. Race time Saturday has been pushed back to 1:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. EST). NBC-TV will carry the race live.
"To tell you the truth, we would have liked to have run the same as we did in practice this morning (the seventh-best practice lap of 131.497 mph/27.377 seconds), which would have put us in a better starting position. But it got a good bit hotter and the track slowed down, so we were fighting that. Plus, we made a pressure adjustment based on what a lot of the other teams were doing for their qualifying runs and that leaves us wondering if it would have been better to just do our own thing. Now that qualifying is behind us, I think we ought to be in good shape for the race. I've raced here about six times already, so I know the track pretty well, which helps our cause. A Busch car is a whole different deal than a (NASCAR) West Series car when it comes to the kind of changes you have to know how to make on the race car. I think we'll be in good shape, though. It's definitely possible to pass out on this track. We just have to hope we're not sliding around too much out there."