Millington, TN -- Paul Menard and the No. 11 Peak Chevrolet team endured a frustrating end to an otherwise successful day of racing at Memphis Motorsports Park. Menard succumbed to a last lap charge by the No. 88 car driven by Shane Huffman.
Millington, TN -- Paul Menard and the No. 11 Peak Chevrolet team endured a frustrating end to an otherwise successful day of racing at Memphis Motorsports Park. Menard succumbed to a last lap charge by the No. 88 car driven by Shane Huffman. Rather than racing for the fifth place position presently occupied by Menard, Huffman chose to eliminate his competition by punting Menard hard and turning his Chevrolet sideways. After hard hits to the front and rear end of his racecar, Menard hobbled home in 23rd place.
"It was just uncalled for." Menard said of the wicked bump and run pass performed by Huffman. "That's not the way to race and I let him know what I thought of his style."
While the last lap was full of fireworks, the early part of the day was calm. After turning in a solid eighth place qualifying effort during the morning session, Menard looked forward to an improved race run in the Sam's Town 250. Menard gained two positions by lap 16 and spent 25 laps holding tough in sixth. The first caution flag didn't fly until lap 45 and at the time Menard was shown in seventh place. The super fast Menards pit crew gained three positions on pit road; resulting in a fourth place restart on lap 50.
Following the easy start to the day, however, the final 200 laps of the race included 14 additional caution flags for a total of 74 laps. Menard expertly navigating through each incident commenting briefly on the may lay under caution.
"This race is pretty intense." Menard radioed the crew on lap 126. "I've been holding my breath the whole time."
Menard managed to take in enough oxygen to hold on to a top fifteen throughout the race and all the on track troubles. With the exception of a brief stint running 12th following a trip down pit road on lap 147, Menard was a solid tenth place car looking seriously at the top five in the closing laps. While Menard looked poised to close out the day with a fifth place finish, last lap action heading to the checkered flag, prevented Menard from even completing the last turn around the ¾-mile track.
"Days like this are frustrating to everyone on the team, but we still well all day." Menard said. "That says a lot about our short track program and we'll build on that for the Phoenix race in two weeks."
Despite the seemingly bad end to the day in Memphis, Menard picked up one position in championships points. Menard grabbed the sixth place position from Kyle Busch who was not in attendance for the race in Memphis.
The NASCAR Busch Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway where Menard will also attempt the Nextel Cup event.