Motorcraft: Paul Menard NASCAR Talladega Advance

by Official Release On Tue, Apr. 24, 2018

Motorcraft NASCAR Talladega Advance
Geico 500 – Talladega Superspeedway
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, talks about the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The Wood Brothers Racing driver currently sits 18th in MENSC Driver Points heading into the Geico 500.

PAUL MENARD, No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion – IT’S BEEN A BIT OF A YO-YO OF RESULTS THIS SEASON. WHERE DO YOU HAVE TO IMPROVE ON TO GET MORE CONSISTENT FINISHES? “We just need to put races together. I think we have cars that have pretty good speed. We just need to complete the race in terms of make the in-race adjustments the car needs to go faster. I made a bad call last week in Richmond to tighten up the car. We were loose on the first run, but we didn’t consider that we had qualifying tires on and that the car would tighten up after the first run. We got behind and had to try and keep freeing the car up. Minimize mistakes. We need to make sure we have good practice sessions going into the race so that we can ensure that we’ll make good decisions during the race.”

FORD HAS WON FIVE STRAIGHT AND SIX OF THE LAST SEVEN RACES RUN AT TALLADEGA: “For sure. The Roush-Yates motors are strong at the plate tracks. We had a good car all Speedweeks in Daytona and we raced up front all night long. Talladega is a little bit of a different animal, but the same principle applies. I have a lot of confidence heading into the weekend.”

YOU RAN UP FRONT IN DAYTONA MOST OF THE NIGHT. DO YOU ENTER TALLADEGA HAVING THE THOUGHT THAT’S WHERE YOU NEED TO BE ON SUNDAY? “Yeah. I really haven’t had any luck riding around in the back. An accident can happen anywhere. Usually, if you’re in the first few rows the likelihood of being involved in a crash is less as compared to being back in traffic. I’ve always tried to race upfront. If something happens, it happens. At least you went down swinging.”

YOU’VE SCORED FIVE TOP 1O FINISHES IN THE LAST 10 MENCS RACES AT TALLADEGA. WHAT’S BEEN THE REASON FOR YOUR SUCCESS? “I’ve had good cars and a good spotter, Stevie Reeves. He does a fantastic job keeping me out of trouble. I’ve had a lot of luck as well. So much of this is out of your control.”

TALK ABOUT DRAFTING PARTNERS. IS IT A PRE-RACE THOUGHT OR DO YOU HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE HOW THE RACE PLAYS OUT? “It’s tough to make plans before the race because when they drop the green flag all hell breaks loose. It’s hard to stay tied up with someone. You always want to draft with certain people and your manufacturer. The dynamic of this race is that it’s always changing and hard to plan. You’re always aware of who you want to work with and the guys you don’t.”

TALK ABOUT YOUR SPOTTER AND THE IMPORTANCE OF STEVIE REEVES IN A RACE LIKE TALLADEGA? “His role is so important. When you’re rolling around you can see a little bit behind you. You have mirrors which give you an idea of what’s going on behind you, but depth perception is poor. The spotter is critical in giving you the information of what line is working better than others. Where the momentum is coming from and which lanes to pick up are always critical elements to their role at Talladega. Every lap they get you around a place like Talladega. You must trust them and take the hole. If they say you’re not clear you have to trust them and stay in your lane. If they weren’t up top getting you around the track we’d probably have one car finish the race.”

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