By: Pete Pistone – @PPistone | MRN.com on July 29, 2017 | 9:40 A.M. EST
“We’re probably not going to get into the playoffs through the point system so we’re going to pull out all the stops to try and win one of these next six races left in the regular season.” (Photo: Getty Images)
Paul Menard will have a new home next season but he remains committed to trying to win this year for Richard Childress Racing.
Menard will join the Wood Brothers team in 2018 replacing Ryan Blaney who moves to Team Penske. The veteran driver is grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to the next phase of his career.
“It’s going to be good for everyone I believe,” Menard said on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.” “But right now I’m focused on the rest of this year with Richard Childress Racing and getting and win to make the playoffs.
“We’re probably not going to get into the playoffs through the point system so we’re going to pull out all the stops to try and win one of these next six races left in the regular season.”
Menard’s next chance to find Victory Lane comes in Sunday’s Overton’s 400 at Pocono Raceway. Menard has competed in 21 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events at Pocono
since his first start in 2007. He has two top-10 finishes and has completed 95.6 percent of the laps he has attempted.
“Well, we ran there earlier this year and had a decent finish,” Menard said of his 20th place performance back in June.
“The car was pretty solid. We just want to work hard to figure out how to get off of Turn 2 there for us. It seems like if you can get off to Turn 2, I think it sets up all the other corners too. We will be working hard at that and just on the balance of the racecar to get it close to what we need to win.”
Menard believes there are benefits to returning at Pocono only a handful of weeks after the series last competed at the 2.5-mile triangular track in early June.
“There are definitely positives,” he said. “We had some decent cars there. We were all in the top 15 I think, that is good. That is a solid note to take there, but we will probably adjust from that and see if we can’t get any better.”
The last stretch of races in the regular season has Menard feeling optimistic about his chances to join RCR teammates Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon in the playoffs with a win.
“We run well at Watkins Glen and I’ve always liked Bristol,” he said. “We’ll see what we can do but we plan on putting out all the effort we can to win.”
Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” will have live coverage of both qualifying and the Overton’s 400 on Sunday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. (ET) – with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.