Paul Menard talks about Daytona 500, 2012 NASCAR season

The Super Bowl of racing, the Daytona 500 will be held this Sunday, in our first installment of Racing Weekly, SportScene 13's Justus Cleveland caught up with Eau Claire driver Paul Menard and his expectations for 2012.

For Eau Claire native Paul Menard, capturing his first win at the Brickyard last year will always be special, but this week he is focused on winning the Daytona 500.

"Walking past the trophy in my living room everyday, that is a great feeling, but we are back at the race track now and that is all out the window. We are worried about Daytona and when we get done here we will worry about Phoenix"

Menard qualified 14th and his starting position will be determined in tomorrows Twin 150 races. Most of this week has been about gaining speed and getting a race strategy together

"A lot of smoke coming off the top of peoples heads right now, trying to figure out what we are going to do. Our engineers will come up with a good game plan. Whatever they throw at us we will be as prepared as anybody"

Patience will be a big part of Sunday's race. Menard found out the hard way during Saturdays Bud shootout how easy it is for his race day to come to a quick end.

"You can go up there and lead laps, but you are going to put yourself into a bad position to get taken out. Obviously it you wreck halfway through the race that doesn't do you any good for the end. You have to be there for the end and we have to go about planning our strategy on how to do that"

As for the prospect of adding a Daytona 500 victory to his resume, Menard thinks that would be great, but nothing is better than his Brickyard win.

"For me, the Brickyard was the biggest race that I could win, the number two biggest race is the Daytona 500 and here we are now."

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