As Paul Menard and the No. 21 Quick Lane team prepare for Sunday’s First Data 500 on the tight confines of Martinsville Speedway, Menard is hoping for a drama-free race, at least until the final laps.
“Typically if you can get through Martinsville with an uneventful run, you’ll have a good finish,” Menard said, adding that a successful weekend depends in large part on starting the weekend with a fast car. “You need to be good in practice and then qualify up front so you have an opportunity to maintain good track position throughout the race.”
While some drivers don’t particularly like racing at Martinsville, which can turn into a rough-and-tumble affair, Menard enjoys the challenge.
“It’s a lot of fun to drive,” he said. “You can really feel the power off the corners. It’s hard on brakes, and it can be frustrating.
“It’s just a good old throwback short track.”
Many drivers take advantage of the relatively slow overall speeds at Martinsville to settle scores from other, faster tracks, but Menard said he enters the weekend with no fellow drivers due a shove from his bumper.
“We’re all squared away right now,” he said. “But I might have one [needing payback] when I leave there.”
Qualifying for the First Data 500 is set for Saturday at 4:35 p.m. following two practice sessions earlier in the day. The race is scheduled to start just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBCSN.
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About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers
Ford’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center offers routine vehicle maintenance such as oil and filter changes, light repair services including brake repair, and tire replacements on all vehicle makes and models. With more than 800 locations and growing, customers can visit www.quicklane.com to find a center that is closest to them, print savings coupons and review maintenance tips to keep their vehicles running at peak efficiency. This site includes information on how to spot tire wear, how to jump-start a battery and even a series of tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
Wood Brothers Racing
Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 99 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 120 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop. The team currently runs the Ford Mustang driven by Paul Menard in the famous No. 21 racer.