Paul Menard Approaching Darlington and Richmond “Like We’re Not Safe at All”by Kyle Pokrefky September 1, 2015 0 comments
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — With two races remaining until the Chase, Paul Menard presently holds the 14th Chase seed and is safe from being bumped from the Chase by over 50 points – but he won’t be approaching the next two events as if he is.
The driver of the No. 27 Menards Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing heads into upcoming races at Darlington Raceway and Richmond International Raceway looking to secure his first-ever Chase berth.
With a 54-point cushion over Aric Almirola – Menard is safely in the Chase by over a full race of points; and with being the 14th seed – he’s in no danger of being bumped if the 15th and 16th seed or if non-Chase drivers grab victories in the next two events.
That being said, don’t expect any conservation by Menard and the No. 27 crew at Darlington and Richmond. Both tracks can be unforgiving on equipment and with that, vigilance, not conservation, will be the keyword for the team in the run up to the Chase.
“Like we’re not safe at all,” said Menard on how he’s approaching both races. “We have a little bit of a cushion, but that can evaporate pretty quickly – especially at Darlington. You’re going to hit the wall at some point at Darlington, it’s just trying to minimize the damage and make sure you don’t cut down a tire and things like that.”
If you’re in Menard’s position, it’s a ways down to find yourself in a vulnerable position regarding your Chase status; however, Menard’s not taking any chances.
“We have a cushion, but we’re not comfortable at all,” Menard stated. “We’ve got to keep pushing hard to secure it.”
Menard enters this Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington with an average finish of 25.9 in eight starts at the track. At Richmond, Menard has one top-10 at the short track, a fifth in 2013, and has an average finish of 23.5 in 17 starts.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas