Chicagoland: Paul Menard race report

Menard Finishes 26th at Chicagoland Speedway JOLIET, I.L. (July 13, 2008) -- Paul Menard logged another solid finish in the No. 15 Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet, finishing 26th in the Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. "I...

Menard Finishes 26th at Chicagoland Speedway

JOLIET, I.L. (July 13, 2008) -- Paul Menard logged another solid finish in the No. 15 Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet, finishing 26th in the Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

"I thought we would be able to move up through the field after we put tires on at the end there, but since we only had two laps to the finish, we'll settle for a 26th and move on to the next one," Menard said.

After qualifying was cancelled due to inclement weather, Menard started the 267-lap event in 27th place. When the competition caution flag flew on lap 35, Menard was shown in 29th place and reported a tight condition to his crew chief, Doug Randolph.

Randolph instructed the crew to perform a four tire, fuel and adjustment stop. The over the wall team completed their usual express service, gaining Menard three positions on pit road.

"We seemed to get a lot better on the longer runs in the middle part of the race," Menard said. "I think we were legitimately a top-20 car, but we just didn't get the long runs we needed at the end."

As a long green flag run ensued, Menard capitalized on his 26th place restart and gained three positions over the next 30 laps. He continued to move his way up with the help of his pit crew, as they performed another fast stop, getting him in and out of the pits under green flag conditions. When the caution flag flew on lap 142, Menard was solidly running in the top-15 pack of cars.

Over the next 50 laps, Menard's Quaker State sponsored racecar became increasingly tight through the center of the turns. Menard lost several positions to be shown in 22nd place on lap 225.

During the final pit stop of the night, Menard's car was blocked in his pit box by the No. 99 car driven by Carl Edwards, resulting in a five position loss on pit road.

Menard restarted the race in 27th place and managed to gain one position in the closing laps of the race to round out the 19th race of the year in the 26th position.

Menards Racing and the entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series take the week off before heading to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the running of the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 27.

-credit: pm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Paul Menard , Carl Edwards