Richard Childress Racing
August 14, 2012
Paul Menard Event Preview: Pure Michigan 400
"Breaking the 200 mph threshold in a stock car is something that not many people have done and a lot want to do, and now we have done that."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet
Pure Michigan 400
August 19, 2012
Michigan International Speedway – Brooklyn, Mich.
RACE NOTES and QUOTES:
This Week’s Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway ... Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 397 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2012 competition, this No. 27 Chevrolet was utilized for the first time at MIS in June, where Menard started from the 18th position and finished 22nd.
Menard in the Irish Hills ... In 12 career Sprint Cup Series starts at the two-mile oval, Menard has finished each of his contested races and completed 98.1 percent of his laps (2,363 of 2,409), leading for seven circuits. He has an average starting position of 26.4 and an average finishing position of 23.2. According to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics, Menard ranks sixth in the category Green-Flag Passes, gaining 1,078 positions under green-flag conditions since its inception in 2006. The Eau Claire, Wis., native recorded both his best start (ninth) and his best finish (fourth) during last year’s June visit to the Brooklyn, Mich.-based facility. He also owns two top-five and six top-10 finishes coupled with one pole award in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at MIS.
By the Numbers in 2012 ... With 22 points-paying events of the 2012 season complete, Menard sits 16th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 64 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot on the merit of four top-10 and 12 top-15 finishes. In his sophomore season with RCR, Menard has an average starting position of 16.9, an average finishing position of 15.5, maintains an Average Running Position of 17.77, and has completed 99.7 percent of his laps (5,816 of 5,836), the fourth-best of all drivers.
Race Rewind ... Menard started the Duracell/Menards Chevrolet from the 11th position in the 2011 Pure Michigan 400; however, changing track conditions and handling issues plagued the No. 27 team throughout the 203-lap event, relegating them to a 26th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway
In the Rearview Mirror: Watkins Glen International ... Menard started the No. 27 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet from the 22nd position in the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen, driving to a 12th-place finish at the seven-turn upstate New York-based road course.
About Pittsburgh Paints ... PPG Pittsburgh® Paints is a nationally recognized brand trusted by painting contractors, building owners, architects, designers, and homeowners for over 100 years. Products include interior/exterior pains and interior/exterior stains. For additional information, please visit www.ppgpittsburghpaints.com.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
You finished 22nd at Michigan International Speedway in June of this year. Tell us about your afternoon.
“We ran out of fuel on the last lap and that cost us seven positions. We ran between 10th and 15th all day. We felt really good about the car after testing and practice and then Goodyear changed the left-side tires. We had a hard time figuring out the balance of the car with the new tires, so that put us behind for the race. We did not have a good final practice on those left-side tires. When the race started we made some good adjustments and the car was competitive. I felt like at the worst we were going to finish 14th, but I think we could have gotten a top-10 finish.”
What was it like to qualify at Michigan International Speedway at over 200 mph? You were one of maybe 20 people to do that in June.
“I thought it would be a lot scarier than it was. The cars are really solid. A lot of times when you go to a newly paved track, you can’t move the car around when it gets loose or tight, when it snaps you can’t catch it. You can catch it there (Michigan International Speedway), which was pretty cool. It gave you the confidence to drive it a little bit harder. Breaking the 200 mph threshold in a stock car is something that not many people have done and a lot want to do and now we have that.”
How was the race on the new pavement at Michigan International Speedway?
“I think the new left-side tires made it easier to pass. People were messing up and losing control which allowed you to capitalize on that. The problem was that you were one of those guys at some point, so others were capitalizing on you. If they would have kept the left-side tires the same, who knows what the race might have been. There may have been less passing, but it would have been racier. The only way you could pass someone was if they made a mistake and you could get a run on them.”