Bristol: Paul Menard race report

Menard Finishes 32nd at Bristol BRISTOL, T.N. (March 16, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team seemed to shoot out of a cannon at the start of today's Food City 500, advancing from a 29th place starting spot up to 16th ...

Menard Finishes 32nd at Bristol

BRISTOL, T.N. (March 16, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team seemed to shoot out of a cannon at the start of today's Food City 500, advancing from a 29th place starting spot up to 16th place in the first 50 laps.

"I've always been a fan of Bristol Motor Speedway, but this new surface is a lot smoother than the old track ever was," Menard said of the "World's Fastest Half Mile".

While Menard took the green flag in 29th position after rain forced NASCAR officials to cancel qualifying and line up according to the rule book, the driver of the No. 15 Peak/Menards Chevrolet immediately began his quest to the front.

Despite fighting a tight handling racecar, Menard was up to 13th place by lap 73. He maintained a steadfast hold on his position in the top-15. Still running in the 13th spot, Menard was working on 12th place when he got caught up in a lap 190, five-car incident. The resulting damage was significant enough to put Menard three laps down during repairs, which included a green flag pit stop to remove the bumper cover from the Menards Chevy.

"Our car was awesome today," Menard said. "It's probably a good indication of how well we will run at the short tracks this year, so we'll just get past this race and look ahead to Martinsville."

Menard endured the second half of the race to come away with a 32nd place finish.

"It started off as another great day for our team and for Paul," Randolph said. "We just got unlucky at Bristol but that happens all the time, I guess. It's just disappointing because our lap times were as good, if not better, than the leaders when we got caught up in that wreck."

Menard's Bristol finish dropped him two spots to 27th place in NASCAR Sprint Cup driver's standings.

-credit: mr/dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Paul Menard