Richard Childress Racing
April 10, 2012
Paul Menard Event Preview: O'Reilly Auto Parts 300
"I am looking forward to making my first Nationwide Series start this season. We had a lot of good runs in KHI's No. 33 Chevrolet last year."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet
O'Reilly Auto Parts 300
April 13, 2012
Texas Motor Speedway
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week's Rheem/Menards Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway ... Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 107 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This No. 33 Chevrolet is a brand new addition to the RCR fleet and will log its first laps on track during Thursday's practice session.
Deep in the Heart of Texas ...
- Menard will make his 173rd Nationwide Series start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
- In 10 previous starts at TMS, Menard has two top-five and six top-10 finishes, completing 99.7 percent of his laps (2,005 of 2,011) and leading for two circuits.
- He has an average starting position of 12.3 and an average finishing position of 11.9, with his best finish of third coming in his April 2011 visit to the 1.5-mile facility.
Kicking off 2012 in the NNS ... This weekend marks Menard's first of seven starts in the Nationwide Series for RCR for the 2012 season. He will also be behind the wheel of the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway (June), Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Chicagoland Speedway, Dover International Speedway (September) and Kansas Speedway (October).
Race Rewind ... At Texas Motor Speedway in April 2011, Menard made his first Nationwide Series start of the season and his first start behind the wheel of the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick, Inc. in the Friday night showdown. Menard put the No. 33 machine in the fifth position for the start of the 200-lap race and remained in the top 15 for 197 circuits, finishing third.
A Little Loopy the Last Time Around ... Menard posted some impressive NASCAR Loop Data Statistics with his third-place performance at TMS in April 2011. The Eau Claire, Wis., native ranked fifth in the category Average Running Position (5.725), tied for first in Closers gaining two positions in the final 20 laps of the race, third in Driver Rating (114.6), third in Drivers Fastest Early in a Run (137.817 mph), sixth in Fastest Laps Run (11), second in Green-Flag Passes (59), third in Green-Flag Speed (170.885 mph), sixth in Laps in the Top 15 (197), second in Quality Passes (43) and third in Speed in Traffic (170.477 mph).
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:
Are you looking forward to making your first Nationwide Series start of the season at Texas Motor Speedway?
"I am looking forward to making my first Nationwide Series start this season. We had a lot of good runs in KHI's No. 33 Chevrolet last year. We got a couple of pole awards and a number of top-five finishes in the seven races that I ran with them. We're doing the same number of races this year in the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet with RCR. It's almost the same schedule. We did swap a couple of different tracks. After seeing how the RCR Nationwide teams have performed so far this year with wins at Phoenix (International Raceway) and Bristol (Motor Speedway), I am definitely excited to get back in it."
Does it help you on a race weekend to run both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races?
"Yes and no. It takes away from the Sprint Cup Series effort because you're splitting your time between the two garages and teams, but then you learn some things during the race itself. The ideal situation would be to just get in the car and race it on Saturday afternoon once all of your (Sprint) Cup stuff is done."
Do you think you have a good chance of putting the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet in Victory Lane this year?
"Absolutely. (Crew chief) Ernie Cope and all those guys ran really well last year. Moving the program to RCR with their resources took the level of competition up another notch."