Phoenix: Paul Menard race report

enard Continues Hot Streak in the Arizona Dessert AVONDALE, A.Z. (April 12, 2008) -- After turning in his career best qualifying effort, Paul Menard drove the No. 15 Johns Manville/Menards Chevrolet to another solid finish in the Subway Fresh...

enard Continues Hot Streak in the Arizona Dessert

AVONDALE, A.Z. (April 12, 2008) -- After turning in his career best qualifying effort, Paul Menard drove the No. 15 Johns Manville/Menards Chevrolet to another solid finish in the Subway Fresh Fit 500. Menard's 21st place finish in the valley of the sun was the perfect way to cap off a solid three race run before the No. 15 Dale Earnhardt Inc. backed team enjoys an off weekend.

"It was another strong day for the team," Menard said. "In my opinion, we've really established ourselves as a top-20 team and back that up with solid finishes every week to prove our strength as an organization."

When the green flag flew on the 312-lap event, Menard quickly advanced from his 14th place starting spot up to 11th place by lap 10 when the first caution flag flew. The team had a scare on lap 22 when Menard radioed the crew that he thought he had a tire going flat after contact with the 17 car. Despite his concerns, all was okay according to the eyes of crew chief Doug Randolph. Menard, however, fought the handling of his racecar through the corners and fell to 33rd position by lap 61.

On lap 91, Menard went one lap down to the leaders but maintained his on track position of 32nd place. On lap 112, Menard came down pit road for a green flag stop and the team went to work on the Johns Manville/Menards Chevrolet. Upon returning to the track, the caution flag came out putting Menard two laps down. Menard restarted the race in 37th place but was able to remain in front of the leaders until the next caution flag flew on lap 125, so the No. 15 team earned one of it's laps back.

During the second half of the race, Menard continued to fight for each and every position on the track, while the over the wall crew did it's magic on pit road, consistently gaining spots under caution. Because of the hard work by the driver and his crew, Menard was able to round out the event in 21st place and moved up one position to 22nd place in NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers points.

-credit: mr/dei

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