Richard Childress Racing
July 31, 2012
Paul Menard Event Preview: Pennsylvania 400
"Turn one opened up maybe a half of a groove where you could feel a little more confident going in there and try to carry more speed to try something different with the car."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet
August 5, 2012
Pocono Raceway – Long Pond, Pa.
RACE NOTES and QUOTES:
This Week's Serta/Menards Chevrolet at Pocono Raceway ... Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 384 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet was last seen on track at Pocono Raceway in June where Menard started from the third position and drove to a ninth-place finish. The Eau Claire, Wis., native also raced this Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway in March, finishing 19th after starting from the 27th position in the rain-shortened Auto Club 400.
By the Numbers at the ‘Tricky Triangle’ ... In 11 career Sprint Cup Series starts at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, Menard has finished all but one of his contested races and completed 97 percent of his laps (2,007 of 2,070). He has an average starting position of 20.8 and an average finishing position of 21.6. Since he joined the RCR family in 2011, Menard has not qualified outside of the top 10 or finished outside of the top 15 at Pocono Raceway. Menard logged his best start of second in the June 2011 Sprint Cup Series event, and earned his best finish of ninth at the Long Pond, Pa.-based facility in his most recent visit to the track (June 2012). and earned his best finish of ninth at the Long Pond, Pa.-based facility in his most recent visit to the track (June 2012).
Paul Menard LIVE for Chevy Q&A … Fans can participate in a question-and-answer session with Menard on Sunday, August 5 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on the Team Chevy stage, located in the merchandise area at Pocono Raceway.
Racing Close to Home … The No. 27 team’s front-tire changer, Terry Spalding, grew up in Troy, Pa., 2.5 hours northwest of Pocono Raceway. This is Spalding’s second season as a member of the No. 27 Chevrolet team’s pit crew and his third at RCR.
Race Rewind ... In their August 2011 visit to Pocono Raceway, Menard and the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet team followed up their historic Brickyard 400 victory with a top-10 result in the Good Sam RV Insurance 500. The bright yellow and black machine maintained a position in and around the top 10 for the majority of the day as Menard spent 176 of the 200 laps running in the top 15. As the laps ticked away, a tight-handling condition developed on the No. 27 Chevrolet. Crew chief Slugger Labbe and crew provided adjustments during the final pit stops and Menard claimed his seventh top-10 finish of the 2011 season.
By the Numbers in 2012 ... With 20 points-paying events of the 2012 season complete, Menard sits 16th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 79 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot on the merit of four top-10 and 10 top-15 finishes. In his sophomore season with RCR, Menard has an average starting position of 17.3, an average finishing position of 15.9, maintains an average running position of 18.2, and has completed 99.6 percent of his laps (5,628 of 5,648), the fourth-best of all drivers.
In the Rearview Mirror: Indianapolis Motor Speedway ... Returning to the site of his career-first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win, Menard made his best start of eighth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in last Sunday's Brickyard 400 and drove the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet to a 14th-place finish.
About Serta ... Serta is a bedding brand leader and the manufacturer of the best selling premium mattress in America, the Serta Perfect Sleeper® . As the leading provider of mattresses to the hospitality industry, Serta partners with hotel groups such as Hilton Hotels, Marriott, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Bellagio Hotel, Wyndham Hotels, Omni Hotels, Choice Hotels, Accor Hotels and many more. Serta has 23 U.S. and 4 Canadian manufacturing plants. In addition, Serta is distributed internationally in 60 other countries. With its worldwide network, Serta is able to respond quickly to customers' needs while still preserving strict control standards to ensure the highest quality products. For more information, visit www.serta.com.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
You finished ninth in June at Pocono Raceway. Tell us about the race.
“It was a solid race (at Pocono Raceway) for the No. 27 Chevrolet team. We qualified well and ran in the top 10 all day. We didn’t feel really good about the race. Every time we put a set of tires on the car during practice and made a mock-qualifying run the car had a lot of speed but, we couldn’t find it in race trim. We changed the car quite a bit for the race knowing that we weren’t very good in race trim during practice and fortunately hit on a couple of things that helped us.”
How much did the new asphalt change the racing at Pocono Raceway?
“I don’t think the racing itself changed a lot, but the track is a lot faster. It opened up a second groove in turns one and two. It was pretty narrow around the entire track, but the racing has always been like that there.”
As the race progressed at Pocono Raceway, how much did the racing groove open up? Did it require you to stay even more focused in the turns or did you have more room which helped the margin of error?
“Turn one opened up maybe a half of a groove where you could feel a little more confident going in there and try to carry more speed to try something different with the car. Turns two and three you still needed to run on the bottom. I think the track will just keep getting better. After the hot summer with the sun beating on the surface, by the time we go back to Pocono Raceway in August it will be even better, and then next year better yet.”