Menard Tops At Talladega

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TALLADEGA, Ala.- Paul Menard captured his second career NASCAR Busch Series pole on Thursday in qualifying for the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Menard bested the field of 47 drivers with a lap of 184.023 mph in the No. 11 Menards Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet.

This will be Menard's second restrictor-plate race with DEI. He started fourth, led 37 laps, and finished 17th in the season-opener at Daytona. Menard also made two series starts with Andy Petree Racing in 2004 at Daytona and Talladega finishing 32nd and 16th respectively. Talladega is also the site of Menard's first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory, a feat he accomplished with Petree in September, 2003.

"I love Andy (Petree) to death and he always gave me great race cars, too, so I've been real fortunate to be around great restrictor-plate cars and DEI is the best at this," said Menard. "It makes my job easy and like I said, I have a lot to learn at this drafting business. I want to keep my nose clean and be there at the end."

Joe Nemechek lived up to his nickname "Front-row Joe" as he qualified second, 0.107-seconds short of getting his sixth pole at Talladega. His lap was 183.645 mph in the No. 87 CellularOne Chevrolet.

Rookie Denny Hamlin qualified third followed by defending race winner Martin Truex Jr. Clint Bowyer, last year's pole winner at Talladega, rounded out the top-five.

J.J. Yeley, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Justin Labonte completed the top-10 qualifiers.

Kahne was the only Dodge in the top-10 as Chevrolets took nine of the first ten positions. Point leader Carl Edwards, who qualified 17th, was the best Ford.

Saturday's Aaron's 312 is scheduled to take the green flag live at 2 p.m. on FOX and MRN Radio.

Race Center

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@ Kentucky Speedway
Saturday, September 20, 2014
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