27 PAUL MENARD, Chevrolet

Team: Richard Childress Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 16th, 28 points out of a spot in the Chase. Lost one spot last week.

WATKINS GLEN RECORD: Best finish in 10 starts is 12th.

LOOKING AHEAD: Menard feels it is "really hard to pass" at Watkins Glen. "Obviously the harder it is to pass the more track position means, so you try to get all you can on the restarts. At a place like Watkins Glen, there are better passing opportunities than somewhere like Sonoma (the other road course on the schedule). It has really high speeds and the setup is a lot different than you would run at Sonoma, which all makes for an interesting weekend."

LOOKING BACK: Menard's hopes for a spot in the Chase were damaged Sunday at Pocono when he was involved in a 13-car accident with 43 laps to go. "We had a good Certain Teed/Menards Chevrolet and Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) made a good call to get us on a different pit strategy," said Menard. "This is not how we wanted to end our day for sure, but I'm proud of the work the guys did to get the car back out there." Menard ended up 33rd.

ETC.: Menard realizes that time is running out in his bid to earn a spot in the Chase. And he feels Watkins Glen this weekend is a real wild card in the chase to make the Chase. But he also believes "you see more wrecks and things like that at Sonoma, whereas at Watkins Glen, you can get by a guy if you're faster than him. The points just add up and the more competitive the Sprint Cup Series gets, the more each weekend matters."