Petree Selects Paul Menard

Flat Rock, NC - Andy Petree has made a commitment to build the future of his racing team by developing young talent, likewise Paul Menard, 22, has made a commitment to learning this year, both on and off the track. Menard who is pursuing a degree in business at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, will enroll in the Andy Petree Racing NASCAR Summer School to hone his skills as a professional racecar driver.

Menard will tackle an 18-event racing schedule driving a Turtle Wax–sponsored Chevrolet for APR that will include races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Busch Series, Winston Cup Series and ARCA. It is a curriculum both Menard and Petree hope will accelerate his desire and ability to become a Winston Cup regular in the coming years.

Over the past three seasons, Paul Menard has been working his way up the NASCAR ladder, competing in the ReMax Challenge Series fulltime, while also running selected events in the Southwest Tour Series. At the close of 2002, Menard won the November Phoenix Southwest Tour event at PIR with a late race pass of Ken Schrader, something that caught the intrigue of NASCAR veteran, Andy Petree.

“To be honest, I didn’t even see the race; I was driving like crazy to get to the track to see as much as I could because I promised Kenny (Schrader) I would watch it,” said Petree, owner of Andy Petree Racing. “I got there a few minutes too late and called Kenny as I was crossing the bridge to find out what happened. He said he got beat by some kid and finished second. I said, “What kid?” He said, “Paul Menard – the kid just chased me down, got underneath me on the last lap and won it. He did a great job.”

“What I do know is this - if you beat Kenny at Phoenix,” smiled Petree, ”I don’t care what type of car it is, you’ve done something significant.”

“For APR, it’s a little bit of a change in what we’ve been doing the past five years or so with older, established drivers. This sport is experiencing a youth movement and with the program we’ve put together with Paul, it’ll put me in more of a position to groom a young talent and be able to offer what I’ve learned in this sport. It’s an exciting opportunity for me and I’d like nothing more than to see Paul step up as we go along and become a champion someday. The different series and the different cars he will drive in 2003 are going to help him learn what to expect as the competition gets tougher and tougher,” Petree explained.

For Menard, it's a step up in competition from the NASCAR ReMax Touring Series where he has one victory and three pole positions. Last season he finished 7th overall and felt he was ready to go to the next level.

“We discussed racing an all-Busch series schedule, but ultimately decided against that type of a program because we felt the experience in the different types of cars would be more beneficial in the long run,” said Menard. “I’ve got a lot to learn, but I also know we’re not biting off more than we can chew.”

The balance between college and racing is important for Menard, something he feels will help make him a more well-rounded and balanced driver in the long run.

“I’m committed to going to school, no question,” said Menard, whose varied driving background besides NASCAR includes the Trans-Am, Grand-Am, CORR Off-Road and IIRA Ice Racing Series. “The way we’ve structured this schedule, I can go to school in the spring, have the summer to concentrate on racing and then hit the books again in September. I’m looking forward to both; the summer of racing will be a learning experience, too. Andy has so much to offer with his program and his NASCAR knowledge, it’s a team I believe will help me get to the next level in understanding how to be a successful NASCAR driver.”

Menard’s schedule will break down into 4 ARCA, 5 Craftsman Truck, 6 Busch Series, and 3 Winston Cup races. Of the three Winston Cup races, two will be on the road courses at Sears Point and Watkins Glen while the final race will be on the oval at Phoenix. It is a schedule hand-picked by Petree to give Menard a feel for all the different types of tracks NASCAR visits.

Paul Menard’s Andy Petree Racing Chevrolet will be sponsored by Turtle Wax and will likely carry the #33 across all series he will compete in this year.

Turtle Wax® has been the leader in car care products for over 50 years. America has always had a love affair with their cars and Turtle Wax® has been there nearly every mile of the way.

"The Turtle Wax® Family is really excited to be a part of Andy Petree Racing and the next chapter in Paul Menard's career,” said Bill Catlin, Vice President of Marketing. "Our expectation is that as Paul 'outshines' his competitors, the fans will come to think of Turtle Wax® when they see Andy Petree Racing hit the track in the various racing venues they have on their schedule."

The first event will be the ARCA race in Salem, IN April 27. The complete schedule is listed below.

Paul Menard/APR Racing Schedule 2003
1. 4/27 ARCA Salem, IN
2. 5/24 ARCA Berlin, MI
3. 6/7 BGN Nashville, TN
4. 6/14 BGN Sparta, KY
5. 6/22 W/C Sears Point, CA
6. 6/28 CTS Milwaukee, WI
7. 7/2 ARCA S. Boston, VA
8. 7/5 CTS Kansas City, KS
9. 7/12 BGN Chicago, IL
10. 7/19 CTS St. Louis, MO
11. 7/26 BGN Pikes Peak, CO
12. 8/2 BGN Indianapolis, IN
13. 8/10 W/C Watkins Glen, NY
14. 8/20 CTS Bristol, TN
15. 8/30 ARCA Winchester, IN
16. 9/5 BGN Richmond, VA
17. 10/5 CTS S. Boston, VA
18. 11/2 W/C Phoenix, AZ

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