When Paul Menard hits the track at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend he’ll be venturing into relatively uncharted territory.
For starters, the veteran driver of the No. 21 Quick Lane Ford Fusion hasn’t raced at the Fort Worth track in a Ford in several seasons. And like his fellow drivers he’ll be racing on an evolving track surface as this weekend’s Monster Energy Cup race is just the third on the track since it was repaved before last year’s races at the Fort Worth quad-oval track.
“There will be a lot of unknowns,” Menard said. “The repave of the track changed it a lot.
“The first race it was single groove and if you got out of the groove there was not a lot of leeway. It was treacherous. It was a lot better last fall, and I anticipate it being better this time. But you really don’t know what to expect.”
Returning to the track as the driver of a Ford Fusion is a plus, Menard said.
“The intermediate tracks are the strong suit right now for our No. 21 team for sure,” he said.
“And all the Fords were good at Texas last year, so we should have a good database to work from.”
Menard, who has 23 career Cup starts at Texas with one top-five finish and two other top 10s, said the 1.5-mile track is a tricky one to tune a chassis for due to the differences in Turns One and Two, which have 20 degrees of banking, while Turns Three and Four have 24.
“You have to set up for Three and Four, and that’s not ideal for One and Two,” he said.
“There’s definitely a compromise there, but I feel good about our chances this weekend.”
Cup Series qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway is set for Friday at 4:45 p.m. (5:45 p.m. Eastern Time), and Sunday’s race is scheduled to start just after 1 p.m. (2 p.m. Eastern) with TV coverage on Fox Sports 1.
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.
Motorcraft® offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended and approved by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to under-hood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer exceptional value with the highest quality and right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers are backed by Ford Motor Company’s two-year, unlimited-miles Service Parts Limited Warranty. Ask for Motorcraft by name when you visit your local auto parts store or your favorite service facility. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.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 119 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 Fusion driven by Paul Menard in the famous No. 21 racer.