Martinsville: Paul Menard race report

Menard Posts Season Best Finish with 16th Place Run at Martinsville Speedway MARTINSVILLE, V.A. (March 30, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team survived a long day of rough racing at the half-mile "paper-clip"-shaped...

Menard Posts Season Best Finish with 16th Place Run at Martinsville Speedway

MARTINSVILLE, V.A. (March 30, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team survived a long day of rough racing at the half-mile "paper-clip"-shaped oval in Martinsville, Virginia.

"It was definitely a challenging day at the track," Menard said following the Goody's Cool Orange 500. "All things considered, I'd say 16th place is a respectable finish at a place like Martinsville. I'm just glad we were able to stay on the lead lap and come out of here with our Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevy in one piece."

While the team's challenges included two minor accidents in the typical Martinsville may lay, Menard continued to fight for every position on track and the Menards Racing over the wall crew fought for spots on pit road.

"Martinsville is the slowest track on the circuit and even though we're going 120mph into the turns, it feels like you're crawling," Menard said. "With that you get a false sense of security, like you can't tear up your equipment, where in reality it's quite easy to do."

Menard's on track trials included contact from the 17 car on lap 35 followed by pan caking the left side of the car during three-wide racing in the corner on lap 119.

"I'd say two keys to Martinsville are getting the car pointed in the middle to drive it straight off and taking care of your equipment, you can be aggressive at times and patient at times, you just can't use up your equipment."

While Menard kept his Chevrolet pointed in the right direction, spotter David Keith was the team's eyes in the sky guiding Menard through 500 laps of racing action. When the checkered flag flew on the event, the No. 15 team came away with its best finish of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Menard's 16th place finish moved him up to 23rd place in driver's points and 24th place in owner's standings.

-credit: mr/dei

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