Richard Childress Racing
April 10, 2012
Paul Menard Event Preview: Samsung Mobile 500
"The race at Texas Motor Speedway really slows down and opens up, but qualifying there is a real eye-opener."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet
Samsung Mobile 500
April 14, 2012
Texas Motor Speedway
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week’s Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway ... Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 386 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet is a brand new addition to the RCR fleet and will log its first laps on the track during Thursday’s practice session.
Slightly different colors on the Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet in the Lone Star State ... The No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet will sport a different look this weekend when the Sprint Cup Series rolls into Texas, carrying a special paint scheme of “Quaker State green” and “Menards yellow.”
Texas Tidbits …
• Menard will make his 181st Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
• In his 11 previous starts at TMS, Menard has one top-five and two top-10 finishes, completing 95.1 percent of his laps (3,503 of 3,684) and leading for two circuits.
• He has an average starting position of 20.4 and an average finishing position of 21.1, with his best finish of fifth coming in his April 2011 visit to the 1.5-mile facility.
• Menard logged his best start of fifth in the April 2009 NSCS event at TMS.
By the Numbers in 2012 ... With the first six points-paying events in the books, Menard sits 14th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 23 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot. In his sophomore year with Richard Childress Racing, Menard has a 22nd-place average starting position, an average finishing position of 16.5 and maintains a 19th-place average running position. The Eau Claire, Wis., native ranks second in the NASCAR Loop Data category of Closers, improving an average of 2.5 positions in the final 10 percent of the six contested races.
Paul in Person – LIVE Q&A on PRN … Fans can see Menard live on Saturday, April 14 at 3:15 p.m. Central time on the SPEED stage for PRN’s Up to Speed. Located outside the facility’s frontstretch in the midway area behind the main grandstand, the RCR driver is scheduled to participate in a question-and-answer session with on-air talent from the Performance Racing Network.
There’s No Place Like Home ... Traveling to Texas takes No. 27 team mechanic and interior specialist Chad Tigert as close to the Sooner State as the Sprint Cup Series gets. Though Tigert now calls North Carolina ‘home,’ he is originally from Caney, Okla., located two hours northeast of the Fort Worth, Texas-based motorsports facility.
Race Rewind ... At Texas Motor Speedway in April 2011, Menard started 19th in the Saturday night affair. Within 25 laps, he moved into the top 15 and entered the top 10 by the halfway point. Reporting a tight-handling condition, the Slugger Labbe-led pit crew made adjustments during routine pit stops to improving the car’s balance. Menard took the checkered flag in the fifth position under the lights of TMS.
In the Rearview Mirror: Martinsville ... Starting from the 11th position at the half-mile oval, Menard quickly moved the No. 27 Chevrolet into the top 10 but began to experience handling conditions that plagued the team throughout the course of the event. Long green-flag runs during the first half of the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 provided limited opportunity for crew chief Slugger Labbe and the No. 27 team to make necessary chassis adjustments to assist the Eau Claire, Wis., native. Fighting to regain track position after major chassis adjustments improved the balance on the Libman/Menards machine, Menard was issued a speeding penalty on the final pit stop and finished the event in the 26th position.
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PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
It seems that the high-speed 1.5-mile race tracks are very well-suited to you and you proved it with your fifth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway last April. What can you tell us about that race?
“Honestly, we wanted more. Most of the night, we were a top-three car. The last run was a long green-flag run and I think we had at least one green-flag pit stop. We lost a little bit at the very end and finished fifth, but I think we could have done better than that.”
What does the speed sensation at Texas Motor Speedway feel like?
“The race really slows down and opens up, but qualifying there is a real eye-opener. The fall race is usually faster than the spring race for whatever reason. You are as close to not lifting in a Sprint Cup Series car as you’ll ever get outside of Daytona (International Speedway) and Talladega (Superspeedway).”
Is Texas Motor Speedway ‘maturing’ and giving you more options now since the surface has a few years of wear and tear on it?
“It is definitely getting a lot of bumps, especially over the tunnels on both ends. It’s a wide track. During practice sessions the outer groove doesn’t come in very well, but it does during the race.”