Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 386 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet was built new for 2012 competition and was last seen on track at Texas Motor Speedway in April where Menard finished 19th after starting from the 11th position.
Menard at the “Monster Mile” … In his nine previous starts at Dover International Speedway, Menard has finished each contested race and has completed 98.5 percent of his laps (3,547 of 3,600). He has an average starting position of 20.7 and an average finishing position of 20.3. Menard made his best start of third during his last visit to the one-mile race track (October 2011) and claimed his best finish of seventh at the September 2010 event.
Getting Loopy in 2012 … With 12 points-paying events of the 2012 season complete, Menard sits 14th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 35 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot. In his sophomore year with RCR, Menard has an average starting position of 19.4, an average finishing position of 16.1, maintaining an average running position of 19.3. and has completed 99.5 percent of his laps (3,869 of 3,888).
Paul Menard LIVE for Chevy Q&A … Fans can participate in a question-and-answer session with Menard on Sunday, June 3 at 9:30 a.m. ET on the Team Chevy Stage, located in the merchandise area at Dover International Speedway.
Racing Close to Home … The No. 27 team rear-tire carrier Ray Wright grew up in Charlotte Hall, Md., southeast of Washington D.C. and approximately 2.5 hours from the Dover, Del.-based race track.
Cheeseheads Battle for the Cover … The Drive for the Cover campaign has officially kicked off and Menard has the opportunity to grace the cover of NASCAR The Game: Inside Line. The campaign positions 32 drivers in a five-round bracket-style tournament where fans will select the cover driver for this year’s game. In the first round, the Eau Claire, Wis., native faces Cambridge, Wisconsin’s Matt Kenseth. Fans can vote one time per day on the NASCAR The Game: Inside Line Facebook page at http://www.driveforthecover.com/menard.
Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3 … Menard and the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing team are dusting off their road course skills in a test session May 29 and 30 at Virginia International Raceway. They are utilizing chassis No. 358 from the RCR stable, which was last seen in action at Sonoma in June 2011, where Menard started third and drove to a 17th-place finish at the California road course.
Race Rewind … Inclement weather forced the starting lineup for the 2011 FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway to be set per the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rulebook, lining drivers up based on points, positioning Menard 20th for the start of the event. While handling issues plagued the No. 27 team early in the 400-lap race, it was contact with a competitor during a restart that resulted in left-front fender damage and a flat tire. An unscheduled green-flag pit stop for repairs put Menard laps down to the leader late in the race, and he ultimately finished in the 24th position.
In the Rearview Mirror: Coca-Cola 600 … Menard started the No. 27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet from the ninth position in Saturday night’s Coca-Cola 600 and wrestled a tight-handling car in the early portion of the 400-lap race, losing a lot of ground in the process. As darkness fell over the 1.5-mile speedway, the handling on the No. 27 machine improved greatly and Menard drove it to a 15th-place finish under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
Your statistics at Dover International Speedway don’t really reflect how you have run there. How do you feel you match up to the “Monster Mile?”
“Dover (International Speedway) is one of my favorite tracks. We’ve run really well there, and we’ve run badly there in the past. It seems that Goodyear has changed the tire compound every time we go back there, so you have to start from square one to figure out the tire and what the car needs.”
Do you feel that the “Monster Mile” is a well-deserved nickname, or is it not that much of a monster to you?
“Dover (International Speedway) and Bristol (Motor Speedway) are the two tracks that you get your greatest sense of speed. Darlington (Raceway) is like that, too. There are a few tracks where you feel like you’re going as fast as you are, and Dover is definitely one of them. The name is very fitting.”
Where do you feel the speed sensation the most at Dover International Speedway and how do you feel it?
“When you drop off into the corner is where you feel the speed the most. I’ve heard it’s like a two-story drop. On the reverse side when you come out, you pick up that load on the exit and that’s when you can tell.”
When you go down into the turn, do you have the sensation of driving straight down hill?
“Well, you have over 3,400 pounds of steel that’s not really stuck to the road that good, so when the ground falls away from you the car feels like it decompresses on entry and compresses on exit. Inside of the car you feel all of that movement and all of that weight.”