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Road America: Longest Track in NASCAR
The last in a stretch of three consecutive stand-alone races also is the first of three road-course races on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule this summer.
And for the fourth time in the last six years, the series debuts at a new track. The latest addition is Elkhart Lake’s Road America, a 4.048-mile, 14-turn course nestled in the Wisconsin countryside.
Saturday’s Bucyrus 200 presented by Menards replaces the Milwaukee Mile on the schedule. And this event keeps alive the series’ opportunity to continue to race in front of Wisconsin’s staunch racing fan base, now for the 17th consecutive year.
A Badger State favorite, Paul Menard (No. 98 Mastercraft/Menards Ford) — one of three drivers pulling fulltime double-duty — may be able to use some “home cooking” to his advantage.
The native of Eau Claire hasn’t just raced in a stock car at Road America before, he’s won. In 2001, he captured a victory in the former NASCAR Re/Max Challenge Series. That was the second time NASCAR had
visited Road America, having debuted at the-then one-year-old track in 1956. Tim Flock won in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Menard comes home sixth in the point standings in his first fulltime season in the series since 2006, when he finished sixth in the final rankings.
There will be a full day of practice on Thursday at Road America before the first official practice takes place on Friday. That, according to Menard, makes his familiarity with the road course more perception than reality. “By the second practice, I’m sure everyone will be up to speed because the drivers are so good in the Nationwide Series,” he said.
Two unique competition aspects are specific to the NASCAR Nationwide Series when it races at road courses. Teams will utilize road-course qualifying, where drivers go out in timed groups as opposed to a maximum of two individual qualifying laps. And, the NASCAR Nationwide Series brings Goodyear rain tires and will race in inclement weather as it has done at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal the last two years.
The last time the series ran three road courses in the same year was 2007, when it competed at Autodromo
Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, at Watkins Glen International and in Montreal.
Carl Edwards makes Wisconsin his kind of State
Photo Gallery From Road America
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