Richmond Raceway has never been a particularly good track for Paul Menard or for his Wood Brothers team.
Menard has just one top-five finish there, back in 2013.
The Woods have two Richmond wins but none since Kyle Petty’s victory there in 1986.
But Menard, who will be back in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane colors on the No. 21 Fusion this weekend, has hopes that his and his team’s Richmond fortunes are in for an improvement.
“We tested there fairly recently and learned quite a bit,” Menard said of the two-day session at Richmond on Aug. 27-28. “We can apply a lot of what we did at the test to the car for this weekend since the test was so recent.
“And we have our notes from the spring race to work off of as well.”
Menard also is hoping that his finishes in the two more recent races – a ninth-place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a 10th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – are signs that his team is headed for a string of good results.
“It’s been a good couple of weeks,” he said. “We struggled at Vegas but still came away with a decent finish.”
Then there is the data available from the three drivers at Team Penske, which has an alliance with Menard and the Wood Brothers team and has won the past three races with driver Brad Keselowski.
“Brad’s on quite a streak, obviously,” Menard said. “And we have pretty good access to what they’re doing.
“They always seem to be just OK in practice and then are really fast in the race.
“We look at all that information this weekend and try to apply it to our car.”
Qualifying for Saturday’s 400-lapper at Richmond is set for Friday at 6:05 p.m., and the race is scheduled to start just after 7:30 p.m. with TV coverage for both events on NBCSN.