CHEVY NSCS AT KANSAS TWO: Paul Menard Post Race Press Conf. TranscriptBy Official Release
ALL SIX CHEVY CHASERS HAD STRONG RESULTS
KANSAS CITY, KS – October 21, 2012 – Paul Menard led the Team Chevy train across the finish line in third place at the close of a crash-infested Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race today at Kansas Speedway. This was the second top-10 finish in eight races at Kansas for Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menard’s/Certain Teed Insulation Chevrolet. There were 14 caution flags for 66 of the 267-lap race; most of which were brought out by accidents. Menard managed to steer clear of the melee, and led the field once for a total of six laps.
Behind Menard were Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet (4th), and Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy (5th). Regan Smith, who is temporarily substituting for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevy finished 7th.
Jimmie Johnson, five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, hit the wall in Turn 4 just after the half-way mark in the 400-mile race. Quick repairs by the team put him back on track; and Johnson managed to bring it home in the ninth position. Johnson remains in second place in the CHASE for the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, just seven (7) points shy of the leader.
Teammate Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevy was 10th, and Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet finished 11th. All six Team Chevy contenders finished in the top 11 for the day.
Caught in accidents and sidelined early were Ryan Newman, No. 39 Code 3 Associates Chevy (30th), Danica Patrick, No. 10 GoDaddy Racing Chevy (32nd), and A.J. Allmendinger, temporary driver in the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Chevy (35th).
Rounding out the top five were race winner Matt Kenseth (Ford) and Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota).
The tour moves to Martinsville Speedway on October 28, 2012 for Round 33 of 38 in the series.
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 CERTAINTEED INSULATION/MENARDS CHEVROLET – FINISHED THIRD
THE MODERATOR: We’ll go ahead and get started with our post race availability. We welcome Paul Menard, who finished third in today’s race.
Paul, talk a little bit about your run out there today.
PAUL MENARD: Just a good weekend in general. We had a couple days of tests; work on a couple different packages. Slugger came back fresh off of a six-week vacation. He had a lot of ideas. Luckily we had two days to work through them.
Kind of hit on something yesterday morning that we liked, thought was promising, stuck with it. Obviously running the Nationwide car on a new surface, we learned a lot about tire pressures, what grooves come in. The second groove came in a hell of a lot better than I think anybody thought. You could make lap time and pass cars.
Overall, just really happy with the weekend, the repave. The track came in real well and it’s just going to keep getting better. Real proud of my Menards guys.
THE MODERATOR: We’ll take questions.
Q. Paul, you sound happy with the repave. What led to all the mayhem out there?
PAUL MENARD: I was pleasantly surprised with it. Anytime you repave a track, you expect the worst, single groove, hard to pass. We’ve been breaking a lot of track records with all the repaves this year.
Going into the Nationwide race yesterday, I thought it was going to be a single file, right around the bottom, get out of line, be real treacherous. It wasn’t. The second groove burned in. The third groove came in today.
For a first race on a repaved track, I thought the track came in really well. Would I rather have the old surface? I would. But with the surface falling apart, they had to do something.
Q. Why all the cautions?
PAUL MENARD: I don’t know. People being impatient. A lot of restarts. Doesn’t matter what track you’re at, if there’s a restart, you have to get all you can. Carrying a lot of speed here, so it’s hard to pass. Very aero dependent. I’m sure everybody was going for it.
Q. Paul, you’re not necessarily someone particularly you see up front a lot, but you were dominant yesterday, you were up front most of the day today. Is it the racetrack? Did you hit on something? What was it?
PAUL MENARD: This year we’ve lacked speed overall week-to-week. Last year we qualified really well, had a lot of good speed, but very inconsistent results.
This year RCR as a whole has kind of lacked speed. We found some things in the last month or two that’s helped us pick up just overall speed.
Then our consistency this year we’ve had, even though we haven’t been as fast, we’ve been more consistent. This is just one of the weekends where we put it all together.
THE MODERATOR: Paul, we appreciate your time this afternoon. Congratulations on the run.
PAUL MENARD: Thank you.
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