Richmond: Paul Menard race report

Menard Endures Long Night of Short Track Racing No. 15 Team Finishes 31st at Richmond RICHMOND, V.A. (May 4, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team endured a long night of racing at Richmond International Raceway to come...

Menard Endures Long Night of Short Track Racing
No. 15 Team Finishes 31st at Richmond

RICHMOND, V.A. (May 4, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team endured a long night of racing at Richmond International Raceway to come away with a 31st place finish in the Crown Royal 400.

"We definitely had a challenging couple of hours on track tonight," Menard said following the race. "But we picked a good night to have a bad night, so to speak."

While Menard qualified 25th for the race, his best qualifying effort in Richmond Cup competition, the driver of the No. 15 MOEN/Menards Chevrolet knew the team had some work to do in the early part of the race to find the grip that had eluded them in Friday's practice session.

"We've got a good game plan for tonight, but I think you'll see the leaders coming quick, so it will be a challenge for mostly everyone to stay on the lead lap all night, that's especially true if we get a long green flag run," Crew Chief Doug Randolph said prior to the race.

Randolph's prediction was right on target as the race commenced with 70 laps of green flag racing to start the night. When the caution flag finally flew Menard was one lap down in 32nd place.

While Menard set his sights on getting in position to earn the Lucky Dog free pass, three wide racing action meant disaster for the No. 15 team. On lap 219, Brian Vickers turned Menard into the outside retaining wall. Menard pit for repairs, but lost several more laps in the process.

When the next caution flag flew, Randolph called Menard back into the pits for an extended period of time to ensure the car was able to sustain the final 150 laps of racing at Richmond. His efforts were worthwhile as several more incidents took Menard's fellow competitors out of competition for the night. Due to the attrition, Menard managed a 31st place finish and was able to hang on to the 21st place spot in NASCAR Sprint Cup driver's points.

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Brian Vickers , Paul Menard