No. 27 Moen/Menards Team Turn in Another Solid Performance
Start - 18th Finish - 12th Laps Led - 3 Points - 6th
Paul Menard climbed behind the wheel of the No. 27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet on Sunday afternoon and started the Sprint Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from the 18th position. Menard broke into the top 10 by lap 50 and remained there throughout most of the afternoon, bringing home a 12th-place finish and advancing to sixth in the driver championship point standings. Citing a loose-on-exit condition, the Slugger Labbe-led Moen/Menards crew made minor adjustments over the course of the race's 267 laps to improve the car's handling. Following the first green-flag pit stop of the afternoon on lap 58, Menard turned fast laps despite reporting that he was still loose driving off turn four. A caution on lap 97 allowed the No. 27 team to make additional adjustments to help with his drive off of the corners. The field was slowed by three more cautions before Labbe called his driver back to pit road for service to work on the tight-center and loose-off conditions that persisted. Following the lap-156 restart, Menard turned his fastest laps of the afternoon around the Las Vegas-based speedway and powered his way back to the sixth spot. He informed Labbe that the car's handling started off good, but as the run progressed, he lost the drive-off again. Restarting on lap 203 following the day's seventh caution, the Eau Claire, Wisc., native was shuffled back to the 12th position. Over the course of the final run, Menard charged back inside the top 10; however, he was unable to make up lost ground following the final green-flag pit stop and brought home a 12th-place finish.
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"This Moen/Menards Chevrolet was a lot better than the 12th-place finish we gave it today. We started the race out too loose on exit. I just couldn't get on the gas as aggressively as I would have liked. Slugger made gradual adjustments throughout the race, but we still continued to struggle with the drive-off (of the corners). I think we had a top-10 finish up until that last green-flag pit stop. It was the first time we took only two tires all day and it tightened the car up a little too much. I just couldn't get back into the top 10 before we ran out of laps. I want to thank Slugger and all of the (No.) 27 guys for their hard work. We were really well prepared for these first three races and I think the results have shown that. We've had strong qualifying efforts and solid finishes. I think it is also safe to say that we're not satisfied and could have had even better finishes. We've learned a lot together and will regroup before we head to Bristol in two weeks."