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Paul Menard Pulls a double at Texas
No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet Impala
Race Notes and Quotes
Standard 2011 Paint scheme (NASCAR Photo)
This Week's Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway ...
Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 351 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet Impala is a brand new addition to the RCR fleet, and will see its first laps on the race track during Thursday's opening practice session.
Slightly Different Colors on the Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet in the Lone Star State ...
The No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet will sport a slightly different look this weekend, carrying a special paint scheme. "Quaker State green" and "Menards yellow" will don the Impala as the Sprint Cup Series races under the lights of Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
Deep in the heart of Texas ... In his nine previous starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Menard has one top-10 finish, completed 94 percent of his laps (2,835 of 3,016) and led for one circuit. He has an average starting position of 22.3 and an average finishing position of 23.6, with his best finish of 10th coming in his most recent visit to the 1.5-mile facility (November 2010). His best start at the Fort Worth-based speedway came in April 2009 when he took the green flag in the fifth position.
Menard Career Highlights ...
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Race Rewind ... Last week, Menard and the No. 27 team were relegated to a 38th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway when damage to the Menards Chevrolet was sustained on track, causing the motor to expire. Menard heads to Texas tied for 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Double Duty Weekend ... In addition to his driving duties with RCR's No. 27 team, Menard will drive Kevin Harvick Incorporated's No. 33 Menards Chevrolet in Friday night's 300-mile race. The race will air live on ESPN2 beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will be broadcast live on PRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
It seems like you've done pretty well at Texas. You had a 10th-place finish in the fall. How do you feel going back there?
"I feel really good about heading back to Texas (Motor Speedway). We actually had a better car there in the spring race. We didn't qualify very well, but we drove up into the top 10 pretty quickly. There was a big wreck on the front stretch, and we were involved in that. There were about 10 cars involved, and it ruined our day. Then we had a top 10 in the fall. It's a good track for me. You drive Texas a little different than you would Charlotte (Motor Speedway) or Atlanta (Motor Speedway). There are some characteristics of TMS that I enjoy and seem to work out pretty well."
It seems you run well on the intermediate tracks. Why do you think that is?
"Honestly, our intermediate package was really good last year. Our short track package was not so good. None of the four (Richard Petty Motorsports) teams ran well at short tracks, with the exception of the No. 43 car. Everyone threw in what they had, and it didn't work as well. Fortunately, RCR has a really good short track program and we've been able to improve our performance on tracks other than intermediates. We had a really good car in Phoenix; however, we made some contact that knocked the tow out, and fought tire wear issues for the rest of the day. That kind of ruined our day and we didn't get the end result that we should have. The car was fast in practice and pretty good in qualifying. It was probably the best short track car I've had, and it's something we can build off of."
How would you explain the kind of speed you run at Texas to a race fan?
"The speed at a race track is relative to the track itself. At Martinsville, things feel like they are happening really fast even though you're only going about 90 mph. In comparison, at Texas, where you're more spread out and going 190 mph, the pace feels a lot slower. There's a lot more gap in between the cars so you don't feel the speed...until you hit the wall. Then, you know how fast you're going."
So, you're not impressed much going over 200 mph into turn one on fresh tires after a restart?
"Oh no, it is impressive there. One of the coolest sensations I've felt while racing is when we qualified at Texas in the fall. I think we broke the track record. We had a really good car held it almost wide open."
You say it's all relative, but you do so well at these kinds of tracks. Does going that fast flip a switch or something for you?
"I don't know about a switch, but I think it's something I'm comfortable with. Qualifying is where you really see the speed at TMS. You sense it more when the rpm's come up. As you exit the corner, you shoot up against the wall. The wall comes up in a hurry. Things just happen so fast, but during the race, everything seems to slow down. The sense of speed definitely comes during qualifying."
So, you're saying at 190 mph, things slow down?
"Ironic as it sounds, that's how it feels. Don't' get me wrong, it's still pretty fast. But, as the tire falls off, you can slide the car more. It's more forgiving on older tires. When you're on fresh tires, you can't really slide your car a whole lot."
Paul Menard to Run Quaker State Paint Scheme Under Lights at Texas
RCR Driver will Carry Quaker State Colors for Four Races
Long-time Paul Menard sponsor Quaker State will continue its relationship with the driver during the 2011 season. Quaker State will come aboard as primary sponsor of the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet for four races during the 2011 season.
"I've had a long-standing relationship with Quaker State and they've been a great sponsor to work with over the years," commented, driver Paul Menard on the sponsorship. "This year they are on-board the No. 27 for four races - both events at Texas Motor Speedway, at Daytona in July and at Atlanta Motor Speedway. We are running a slightly different paint scheme on the Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet this weekend, which is going to look really sharp under the lights. Texas is fast and fun, and racing at night is going to make it all the more thrilling for the fans and us drivers. It will definitely be an exciting weekend with Quaker State on the car and Texas Motor Speedway's first night race."
Menard has had an outstanding start to the 2011 season and currently resides in 13th position after six events heading into Texas this weekend. During the first four races of the season, Paul captured his best career finish at each of those tracks and scored one top-five and two top-ten finishes.
Quaker State and Menard have a relationship on and off the track that dates back 15 years. Their on track partnership began back in 1995 when Menard ran in the IRL Series. As Menard changed gears and made his way into NASCAR, Quaker State followed beginning with a two-year stint in the Nationwide Series and then into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Much of the technology found in Quaker State's commercially available motor oils is first put through vigorous on-road testing in various cab fleets across the country, and on the demanding tracks of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. The extremes experienced in racing provide them with severe testing grounds for our lubricants and help us to ensure that they will meet the demands of all motorists - whatever their driving environment.
Quaker State® Real. Durable. Oil. ... Quaker State motor oil has a 70-year history as a leader in consumer automotive products and vehicle care. Quaker State is among the industry's most innovative motor oil brands and offers a full line of products to meet every type of vehicle engine need. The complete lineup of durable Quaker State motor oils is formulated to deliver outstanding friction-related wear protection to help engines deliver optimal performance in any driving condition. For additional information, please visit www.QuakerState.com.
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