Richard Childress Racing
August 7, 2012
Paul Menard Event Preview: Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen
"You can pass anywhere, but the big ones are going into turn one, into the bus stop and then coming to turn six. The key is to out-brake the car ahead of you to make the pass."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 27 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet
Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen
August 12, 2012
Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International
RACE NOTES and QUOTES:
This Week's Rheem/Menards Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International ... Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 361 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet was last seen on track at Watkins Glen in August 2011, where Menard finished in the 32nd position.
By the Numbers, Making Lefts and Rights ... In eight career NSCS starts at “The Glen,” the Eau Claire, Wis., native has completed 99 percent of the laps (717 of 724). Menard logged his best finish of 16th in the 2010 event at the 2.45-mile road course. His best start of 14th came in August 2009.
Nine Years Later … Menard made his Sprint Cup Series debut at Watkins Glen on August 10, 2003 in the 90-lap Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen. He started the signature neon yellow Chevrolet from the 43rd position and finished 29th, on the lead lap. Since that afternoon in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Menard has accrued one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 204 starts. He has one pole award and has led for 151 laps.
Racing Close to Home … The No. 27 team’s front-tire changer, Terry Spalding, grew up in Troy, Pa., one hour south of Watkins Glen International. This is Spalding’s second season as a member of the No. 27 Chevrolet team’s pit crew and his third at RCR.
Double Duty Weekend … In addition to his driving duties with the No. 27 Sprint Cup Series team, Menard is scheduled to drive the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet for RCR in Saturday’s Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at The Glen. The event will air live on ABC at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
By the Numbers in 2012 ... With 21 points-paying events of the 2012 season complete, Menard sits 16th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 82 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot on the merit of four top-10 and 11 top-15 finishes. In his sophomore season with RCR, Menard has an average starting position of 16.6, an average finishing position of 15.7, maintains an Average Running Position of 17.96, and has completed 99.7 percent of his laps (5,726 of 5,746), the fourth-best of all drivers.
Race Rewind: Watkins Glen ... Menard started the No. 27 Menard and the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards in the 32nd position in last year’s Sprint Cup Series race at “The Glen,” and was en route to a top-15 finish when an issue with the left-front tire in the closing laps sent the neon yellow Chevrolet hard into the retaining wall, relegating the team to a 32nd-place finish.
In the Rearview Mirror: Pocono Raceway ... Following a rain delay of almost two hours, Menard started the No. 27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet from the third position in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway and scored an 11th-place finish when NASCAR officials called the event complete at 98 laps due to the return of inclement weather in the immediate area.
About Rheem … Rheem Manufacturing Company (www.rheem.com) is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. In its 86th year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company’s premium brands, including Rheem, Raypak, Ruud and Richmond have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality. Rheem is the official heating, cooling and water heating supplier to Richard Childress Racing, and is a primary sponsor of RCR’s No. 29 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
You have a lot of road course racing experience, but when we look at your record at Watkins Glen International, the finishes are not there. Why is that?
“The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the most competitive series in the world and we race the same guys every weekend. We’ve had some of the best (road course drivers) in the world like Boris Said and Ron Fellows struggle at Watkins Glen (International). Last year we were actually in position to gain a lot of points for the Wild Card position in the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) and we blew a left-front tire with a couple laps to go. Little things like that ruin your finish.”
Where are the passing zones at Watkins Glen International and what do you have to do to take advantage of them?
“You can pass anywhere, but the big ones are going into turn one, into the bus stop and then coming to turn six. The key is to out-brake the car ahead of you to make the pass. It’s really the only way to pass someone.”
How crazy does it get in the bus stop?
“When running two-wide it gets pretty hairy (in the bus stop) but if you’re by yourself it’s not too bad if you have the whole track to work with. That is the toughest spot to pass someone because if they don’t let you go and you drive through there two-wide, you’re going to make contact at some point. Usually people give and take a little more through the bus stop than they do in (turns) one and six, or even seven. It’s pretty wild.”