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Sep 03, 2014 - 06:24 AM
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2014 Richmond II: Paul Menard NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Sep 03, 2014 - 06:20 AM
2014 Richmond II: Paul Menard NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

This Week's SYLVANIA / Menards Chevrolet at Richmond International Raceway ... Paul Menard will utilize chassis No. 485 during the 300-mile event at Richmond International Raceway. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS is a brand new Richard Childress Racing chassis and will make its first on-track laps during Friday's first practice session at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.


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Richmond by the numbers ... The Eau Claire, Wisc. driver has 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at the .75-mile track. His best start of seventh came in September 2010 and best finish of fifth came in September 2013. Menard has one top-five finish and one top-10 finish at RIR. He's completed 5,895 of 6,016 laps (98%) and led four laps.

About SYLVANIA: Innovation at its Brightest ... OSRAM SYLVANIA is a leader in lighting solutions and services, specializing in innovative design and energy saving technology. The company sells products for homes, businesses and vehicles primarily under the SYLVANIA brand name, and also under the OSRAM brand. Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American operation of OSRAM GmbH. For more information, visit www.sylvania.com.

Season-to-date ... Through 25 Sprint Cup Series races of the 2014 season, Menard has completed 6,809 of 6,956 laps contested (97.9 percent), led 45 laps and is currently 14th in the driver point standings. In addition, the RCR driver has four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes this season.

Last time in Richmond ... The Slugger Labbe-led team started April's 400-lap event in the ninth position. Menard would race in the top 15 for the majority of the race before a late-race issue sent him down pit road. The No. 27 Chevrolet team would battle back from a lap down to finish on the lead lap and record a 24th-place finish.

It's going to be a lot more intense at Richmond International Raceway with guys trying to make the Chase.
"Yeah, it's the last opportunity to make it in to the Chase. It's going to be crazy like it always is with short-track racing under the lights with a lot at stake. It's going to be exciting."

Tell me about driving this track. Everybody says it's unique but it's also comparable to Phoenix International Raceway or Iowa Speedway.
"It's unique for sure. I've only raced Iowa once or twice and it's really sort of boring compared to Richmond, which is multi-grooved and the tires fall off which is really good. You can bolt on tires at the end and pass cars. It really opens up strategy a little bit. You have to get the front end working, but it seems more and more lately with the way the cars are it's "drive off" you need. The trick is you have to get your car to turn also."

Is RIR much different at night than it is during the day?
"Yeah, we practice during the day with really long sessions then we race at night, so it's a lot of predicting what your car is going to do at night. It changes a little bit; it generally gains more grip but doesn't really get tighter or looser. You gain some grip which then goes away because you're doing longer runs. There's not a whole lot we change from day to night."

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