BUSCH: Pikes Peak: Paul Menard qualifying notes

Menard Puts ...

Menard Puts #11 Johns Manville DEI Chevrolet on Second Row For Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Salute to the Troops 250

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (Friday, July 22, 2005) -- Paul Menard and the #11 Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., will start Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Salute to the Troops 250 on the outside of the second row after practice and qualifying today at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

The 24-year-old from Eau Claire, Wis., and his DEI teammates, top-10 finishers in each of the last five Busch series events, rolled a brand new race car off the truck for this weekend's event and it certainly showed its mettle on this scenic mile tri-oval at the foot of the Rocky Mountains south of Colorado Springs.

A fast lap of 132.905 mph (27.087 seconds) around the PPIR layout was good enough for fourth on tomorrow's 43-car starting grid among 45 cars that attempted to make the field. Menard wrapped up morning practice with the 10th-fastest time on the charts.

He'll start alongside Nextel Cup veteran Bill Elliott on the second row. Clint Bowyer earned the pole with a fast lap of 133.610 mph (26.944 seconds) and will be joined on the front row by Johnny Sauter.

Race time Saturday is 1:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. EDT) with live television coverage provided by the TNT cable network.


"(Crew chief) Dan Stillman and the boys rolled a brand new Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet off the truck this morning and it feels like it's going to be a good one. You never know for sure on this track because it's so slippery, but the car felt good and was really able to put that DEI power to the ground. It seems this track loses a little bit of grip every year, so you have to really get up on the wheel and hustle the car in kind of a power slide all the way around the track. That makes racing here really fun. I'm looking forward to starting from the second row. It's going to be hot. Tire wear will be an issue, so it'll be the usual matter of staying out of trouble and being there with your tires in the best possible shape at the end."


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Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bill Elliott , Johnny Sauter , Paul Menard , Clint Bowyer