MENARD BEHIND THE WHEEL: Driver Paul Menard will make his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start of 2011 and first start with Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Menard has nine series starts at the 1.5-mile track, with one top-five and five top-10 finishes. In each of his last four races at Texas, the driver has finished within the top 10. His average start is 13.1 and average finish, 12.9.
KHI LOOKING FOR A LONE STAR WIN: Texas Motor Speedway remains one of 17 tracks on the current schedule at which KHI has yet to grab a Nationwide Series victory. Behind the wheel of the No. 33 Chevrolet, driver Tony Stewart brought home a second-place finish for the organization in the spring race in 2009.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: In 2011, KHI will celebrate their 10th year of competition in NASCAR. Team co-owner Kevin Harvick made KHI’s first start in the Truck Series event at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in 2001, narrowly missing the win by inches to series veteran Jack Sprague. Ten years later, Kevin and DeLana Harvick have two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships to their credit and multiple wins with a host of drivers to boast in their over 80,000 square foot facility in Kernersville, North Carolina. During 2011, all KHI vehicles will carry a commemorative decal as the company celebrates their accomplishments over the last 10 years.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Kevin Harvick wheeled the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet Impala to a third-place finish at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on March 16. Harvick, who started from the outside pole position, led 64 laps before ending the event in third. The driver’s solid finish moved the No. 33 up two positions to third in the Nationwide Series Owner’s Point standings, 14 markers out of first.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 33 Menards team will utilize chassis No. 071 this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. This is the same chassis the KHI team competed with at Auto Club Speedway two weeks ago.
MENARD’S THOUGHTS ON TEXAS:
“This will be my first Nationwide Series race this season and my first race with KHI. Kevin and DeLana build great cars, so I am really excited to get in the No. 33 Chevy this weekend. Texas is one of my favorite tracks; I’ve run well there in the past and am looking forward to running the new car there, as well as working with David Hyder and the guys.”