NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
MAY 25, 2013
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/SERTA CHEVROLET SS met with media and discussed the multi-year partnership renewal of the Menards sponsorship and the No. 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) entry (himself, Paul Menard), with Richard Childress Racing. PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:
MENARD: “Richard (Childress) has put a lot of resources into getting better and it’s showing. It might not be as visual to you guys (the media), but being inside the company it’s pretty visible. It’s exciting to be a part of it.”
YOU’VE ALWAYS HAD REALLY GOOD STARTS TO THE SEASONS, AND IT LOOKS LIKE THIS YEAR YOU’VE BEEN ABLE TO SUSTAIN WHAT YOU STARTED A LITTLE LONGER
“For whatever reason we start the season off strong and then take a nose dive. So we’re trying to not take a nosedive this year. Last week here in Charlotte we tried some different things as a test weekend, basically, and I feel like we’re a lot better this weekend. So, as long as we keep learning and improving, we’ll be okay. Consistency, finishing races; I think we had a stat going into Talladega that we had finished on the lead lap every race, so that’s important. It’s really easy to lose points and harder to make them up.”
WHY IS RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING THE RIGHT PLACE FOR YOU?
“There are probably a lot of places that are the right place for different people. But Richard is a great guy. He’s there all the time and I feel like we have a really good relationship. We’ve known each other pretty well over the last 10 years or so, and this being the third year working with him, I enjoy it. It’s fun. We have good people. Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) is coming back. We have a lot of great guys behind the scenes at RCR that work hard and are smart and they do the right things and it’s an exciting place to be.”
HOW MANY YEARS IS THE CONTRACT FOR AND IS IT ALWAYS GOOD TO GET THIS SETTLED AND DONE WITH?
“We probably got it done a little bit sooner. A lot of people do, maybe. There was really no reason not to get it done sooner. We’re happy here and this is a good place to be. It’s for three years. And hopefully after three years we’ll do another three.”
HOW WAS THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSION?
“Practice was good. Today is kind of a tough day because you have two practices: one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. The morning practice is going to be the one that translates better to the race so we’re not putting a whole lot of emphasis on the second practice. I felt like we had a good first practice. We’re going to go out and run a little bit the second practice, but we’re not going to get too carried away with the sun being out and it being hotter.”
IS THERE A LOT YOU HAVE TO WORK ON TODAY BECAUSE IT’S A DIFFERENT KIND OF RACE?
“Thursday was definitely all qualifying. We didn’t do any race runs until this morning. We’re better this week than we were last week. We tried some different things last week and that didn’t work out, so we’re kind of back to normal and the car feels good. The car is driving good. We need to find a little bit of speed and I think we’re just a little bit too tight right now. We need to get the car to turn better, but again, we can’t get carried away because normally in the heat of the day the car doesn’t turn as good as it does at night and races at night so, I’m going to take this next practice with a grain of salt.”
WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING THIS RACE TO BE LIKE ON SUNDAY?
“I think you see the groove opening up. At the All-Star race, the groove opened up nice. Even this morning in the cooler temperatures, you can move around some, which always makes for a good race. The tires are fast but they fall off. They have some give-up. So, you’ll be able to pass and it’s going to be 600 miles of a marathon race. You try to be there at the end, but it’s 600 miles of great racing.”
EVEN THOUGHT IT’S A FAMILY BUSINESS, THEY STILL DECIDE TO SPONSOR YOU. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE DONE AT RCR? DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE PROVEN YOURSELF MORE THE LAST THREE YEARS THAN THE FIRST THREE IN YOUR CUP CAREER?
‘There isn’t a driver in the garage who is satisfied with how they prove themselves. They are always trying to get better and trying to do more. RCR is the place where I won my first race at the Cup level. That’s always going to be special, obviously; but it’s a place where I feel like we can win more. It’s a comfortable place. It’s a great place to work.
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES