Richard Childress Racing
March 27, 2012
Paul Menard Event Preview: Goody's Fast Relief 500
"If you've been on a bumper car track at a fair, that's how the restarts are at Martinsville. You hit the guy in front of you, and then you get hit from behind. It literally feels like a bumper car."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 27 Libman/Menards Chevrolet Impala
Goody's Fast Relief 500
April 1, 2012
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week’s Libman/Menards Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway ... Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 349 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet was last seen on track at Martinsville in October 2011 where Menard finished 24th after starting in the 21st position.
Menard at Martinsville ... In nine previous starts at Martinsville Speedway, Menard has completed 94.5 percent of his laps (4,269 of 4,519), has an average starting position of 24.8 and an average finishing position of 22.7. His best finish of 13th came in the October 2010 event and his best start at the 0.526-mile speedway came in March 2010 when he took the green flag in the ninth position.
Getting Loopy in 2012 ... With the first five points-paying events in the books, Menard sits 11th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings. In his sophomore year with Richard Childress Racing, Menard has an average starting position of 24.2, an average finishing position of 14.6 and maintains an average running position of 18.54. The Eau Claire, Wis., native ranks second in the Closers category, improving an average of 3.8 positions in the final 10 percent of the five contested races.
Virginia is for…racing! ... No. 27 Libman/Menards team tire specialist Chris Sherwood is a Portsmouth, Va., native.
About Libman ... For over 110 years, the Libman family has made quality their utmost priority. William Libman started The Libman Company in 1896 with one mission; to make the finest, most durable wire-wound corn brooms. William’s sons, grandsons and great grandchildren have since expanded that mission to include the finest mops, brooms, brushes and cleaning tools. For more information on Libman, please visit www.libman.com.
Race Rewind ... At Martinsville Speedway in October 2011, handling issues plagued the No. 27 Chevrolet team early in the 500-lap race. Numerous caution periods allowed the Slugger Labbe-led team to make adjustments and improve the car’s balance. Menard was running in the top 15 when contact with another competitor left the yellow No. 27 racer with significant right-side damage. Following a lengthy pit stop for repairs, Menard lost three laps to the race leaders and spent the remainder of the race trying to secure track position, ultimately earning a 24th-place result
In the Rearview Mirror: Fontana ... Starting from the 27th position, Menard battled track position and a loose-handling condition early in the event. Without caution periods to use pit strategy to their advantage, the CertainTeed/Menard team made chassis adjustments under green-flag pit stops and remained in the 23rd position for the majority of the race. Rain began to fall and on lap 129 the red flag was displayed. NASCAR officials declared the race complete and Menard was scored with a 19th-place finish.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
If you look at every driver’s statistics, Martinsville Speedway is the toughest track to get a handle on, even if short-track racing was where they came from. Why do you think that race track is so tough to tackle?
“There’s just a lot of bumping and banging. You’re lucky to come out of there without spinning out at least one time. Of all the tracks we visit, track position is probably the most important there. Tires don’t fall off much and it’s extremely hard to pass. So you really try to position yourself to get up front and then once you’re there, not get run over from behind.”
How do you explain to the average race fan how hectic it is to race at Martinsville Speedway?
“If anyone has been on a bumper car track at a fair or amusement park, that’s how the restarts are at Martinsville. You go into turn one and everybody checks up. You hit the guy in front of you, and then you get hit from behind. It literally feels like a bumper car.”
Last year you didn’t have the best finishes at Martinsville Speedway, but do you feel like you still progressed as a team and as a driver?
“I don’t remember exactly what happened to us in the fall race, but in the spring race we had a pretty good car. A couple of guys got into it in front of me and one of the guys thought that I had instigated it. I was just riding around and he decided to brake-check me and a piece of his bumper went through our grill. The damage to the radiator caused us to overheat and ended our day. It was nothing of our doing and was unfortunate because we had a really good car.”