August 1, 2011 by staff
Brickyard 400, Child of Dad. Silver spoon with the sponsorship of security. Talent hack. Paul Menard has heard all the teasing jealousy over his racing career average. On Sunday, added a new name to that list: Brickyard 400 winner.
Menard became NASCAR’s most recent winner for the first time on Sunday with an upset victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a track steeped in the tradition of his family.
Yes, arrived in a car sponsored by the hardware chain owned by his father millionaire. But no one dared to deny that Menard got the win and had worked hard to finally get to Victory Lane in his 167th start at the highest level of NASCAR.
True to his reserved personality, even when he crossed the finish line, Menard did not want to push the win over his critics.
“We are winners in the Sprint Cup. That’s the big thing. To do this in Indy, much larger still,” he said. “You can not change people’s opinions. They will say what I mean. That’s fine with me. Let’s celebrate this. Let’s enjoy it. Say what you say. You cannot control.
“I know what I am capable.”
Menard has recovered about NASCAR in recent years, as the teams were eager to land the John Menard sponsorship money, but spend it on winning cars. Entering this year, the only victory was in 2006 Menard in the second tier Nationwide Series.
Richard Childress was another car owner willing to cash the checks in the chain of Menard, and signed the driver and sponsor for this season. But Richard Childress Racing was on an upswing, and the owner thought his new driver only needs a competitive car to prove his worth.
Although Sunday was Menard’s first victory, he and his crew chief Labbe hitter had been steadily improving throughout the season and four in the top five twice the number it had in his first four seasons in Sprint Cup races.
“I took a lot of flak back to early last year when we decided lets (Menard),” Childress said. “I’ve been watching Paul since he won the nationwide race. Do not break the team up. He is constant. It’s great. You have a cool head on him in all situations. I knew that if the right situation to come we were going to win. ”
He arrived on Sunday in a race that was initially dominated by drivers of cars with the strongest. However, when mixed waste warns cycles well, the Brickyard 400 became a race of pure strategy.
Menard and his team played brilliantly RCR, as Menard Labbe had to prepare for the defending champion Jamie McMurray to save fuel. McMurray certainly did not have enough fuel to reach the goal; Labbe then turned his attention to Jeff Gordon, who fell 12 seconds after a late fuel stop.
Labbe Menard gave the green light, with just over three laps to go. He passed McMurray for the lead and remained silent while the lap with Labbe giving constant updates on the lap of Gordon. Gordon ran out of time, and Menard crossed his first victory in the 167th start of his career.
Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw, who started second, faded to 18. Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., finished seventh.
Jenson Button celebrates his 200th Formula One start with a victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix, while Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel stretched his championship lead with second place in a wet race in Budapest.
Button was the strongest steady drizzle to ensure his victory in the race 11, with the McLaren driver finished 3.5 seconds ahead of Vettel.
Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.
Mark Webber was fifth to stay close in the standings to teammate of Red Bull, which now leads with 85 points.
Antron Brown raced to his third Top Fuel victory of the season at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, and got a position at the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, qualifying for the NHRA.
Brown outran the seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher for the win, the 28th of his career. Dragster Brown finished with a time of 3883 seconds at 314.61 mph, right in front of the machine Schumacher (3.919 to 311.41).
Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners in the full event NHRA Drag Racing Series throttle.
The next stop on the circuit is the 24 Th annual NHRA Pacific Northwest National Pipes in Kent.
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