Richard Childress Racing
July 10, 2012
Paul Menard Event Preview: LENOX Industrial Tools 301
"New Hampshire Motor Speedway is tricky because you have to turn the center and then need a lot of drive off, much like the short tracks we visit, like Martinsville (Speedway) or Richmond (International Raceway)."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet
LENOX Industrial Tools 301 - July 15, 2012
New Hampshire Motor Speedway - Loudon, N.H.
This Week's Duracell/Menards Chevrolet at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ... Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 349 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet was last utilized at Martinsville Speedway in April where Menard started 11th and finished 26th.
By the Numbers at the “The Magic Mile” … In 10 previous starts at the Loudon, N.H.-based track, Menard has finished each of the contested races. He has an average starting position of 23.9, an average finishing position of 27.7 and has completed 98.5 percent of the laps (2,919 of 2,959). He made his best start of eighth in the September 2010 visit to the 1.058-mile flat oval, while his best finish of 20th was claimed in the September 2011 event.
Getting Loopy in 2012 ... With 18 points-paying events of the 2012 season complete, Menard sits 13th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 65 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot. In his sophomore season with RCR, Menard has an average starting position of 18.1, an average finishing position of 15.9, maintains an average running position of 18.6, and has completed 99.6 percent of his laps (5,167 of 5,187), the fifth-best of all drivers.
“Slugger” Labbe to pull double duty at NHMS ... Following Saturday’s final Sprint Cup Series practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, No. 27 crew chief Slugger Labbe will don his work gloves to help good friend and fellow crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion with his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team, GP Motorsports, as they look to return the No. 7 Menards entry to Victory Lane with driver Ryan Newman. In 2010, the team claimed two pole positions and won all three of the Whelen Modified Tour events they entered, including a sweep of the two races held at NHMS. The team returned to NHMS in July 2011 and claimed the victory, but was disqualified following post-race inspection. At Bristol Motor Speedway in August, they successfully defended their title, starting fourth and finishing first. The team returned to NHMS in September hoping to reclaim their July victory but after starting fourth, a punctured radiator caused the engine to expire and relegated them to a 28th-place finish. The No. 7 Menards team is bringing a brand new car to NHMS this weekend and is hungry to repeat last year’s win. Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour event is scheduled for Friday, July 13 at 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time with the 100-lap race kicking off at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 14.
Returning to their New England Roots ... As NASCAR’s premier series heads to New Hampshire, a few members of the No. 27 Duracell/Menards team will be as close to home as their travels take them. “Slugger” Labbe hails from Saco, Maine and front tire-carrier Erik Pringle calls Sharon, Vt. his hometown.
Race Rewind ... After starting from the ninth position in the 2011 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at NHMS, Menard and the No. 27 team were faced with a much-changed Richmond/Menards Chevrolet from Saturday's practice sessions during which the track's temperature was much cooler. The team tried a number of adjustments, but a tight-center condition persisted, relegating them to a 24th-place finish.
Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3 ... Menard and the No. 27 team are testing at Nashville Superspeedway July 10-11. They are utilizing chassis No. 328 from the RCR stable, which was used in competition at Kentucky Speedway in June.
In the Rearview Mirror: Daytona International Speedway ... Menard and the No. 27 Quaker State/Menards team survived a wild night under the lights at Daytona International Speedway to finish 14th in the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola. Caught in a late race multi-car incident, Menard made several trips down pit road for repairs to the green and yellow Chevrolet during the caution period and lined up in the 22nd position for the two-lap dash to the checkered flag. A multi-car pileup occurred as the field exited turn four on the final lap, damaging 15 cars and giving Menard the opportunity to maneuver through the melee to bring home the top-15 finish.
About Duracell ... Part of the Procter & Gamble Company, Duracell has been powering people around the world for more than 40 years as the brand that was, and is, trusted everywhere. Their products serve as the heart of devices that keep people connected, protect their families, entertain them and simplify their increasingly mobile lifestyles. As the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance alkaline batteries, Duracell also innovates in lighting, renewable power and wireless charging technologies to help consumers live life without limits. Visit duracell.com for more information, follow on Twitter.com/Duracell_Power, and “like” Duracell on Facebook.com/Duracell.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
As a driver, what do you need your car to do at New Hampshire Motor Speedway so that you can run fast?
“New Hampshire Motor Speedway is tricky because you have to turn the center and then need a lot of drive off, much like the short tracks we visit, like Martinsville (Speedway) or Richmond (International Raceway). It seems like with all the horsepower these cars pack, it’s really easy to burn off the rear tires. It’s also easy to worry about that too much and then you can turn in the center (of the turns). Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway) is a big mix of both.”
How has the racing changed at New Hampshire Motor Speedway since they repaved it and reconfigured it?
“I first raced there in 2007, so I never ran on the old track. The track is pretty racy. The problem is you usually end up running in the middle, but if you can get your car to work on the bottom, you can make some passes. It’s hard to beat the momentum in the middle.”
A lot of people compare New Hampshire Motor Speedway to Martinsville Speedway, saying that New Hampshire is a Martinsville on steroids. Do you agree with that comparison?
“They’re shaped the same, but New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a little bigger. New Hampshire has a lot more banking than Martinsville (Speedway), and the groove is in the middle compared to the bottom like it is at Martinsville. At both tracks, you’re going straight for a long time and then braking pretty heavy. They both are shaped like paperclips.”
You have a best finish of 20th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Do you race better than you finish there?
“We’ve practiced well and qualified well at New Hampshire (Motor Speedway). We’ve been good at times during the race but unfortunately, haven’t put the full package together yet.”