Menards Racing Finishes 27th in Auto Club 500 FONTANA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2008) -- After waiting through an overnight red flag Paul Menard completed the Auto Club 500 in 27th place. "We were just fighting to find the right balance with the car,"...
Menards Racing Finishes 27th in Auto Club 500
FONTANA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2008) -- After waiting through an overnight red flag Paul Menard completed the Auto Club 500 in 27th place.
"We were just fighting to find the right balance with the car," Menard said following the 250-lap event. "We started out last night pretty tight and today we were fighting grip."
While starting the race in 29th place, Menard spent the majority of the opening laps of the race running in or around the 30th position.
For his first trip down pit road on lap 13, Menard entered in the 33rd position and the Menards Racing over-the-wall crew maintained Menard's position with fast pit work, which included four tires, fuel and adjustments to battle Menard's tight-handling racecar.
During a long red flag that was shown after a four-car accident on lap 20, Menard relayed his thoughts to his crew chief Doug Randolph.
"It's still a bit tight in the center," Menard said over the team's radio communications.
Randolph called for another four tire, fuel and adjustment stop and upon restarting the race an hour later Menard was running lap times consistent with the top-10 pack of cars.
At lap 87, raindrops fell on the Auto Club Speedway and Menard joined the rest of the field in heading down pit road, which would be the last on-track activity for the day.
After several hours of attempts to dry the track, NASCAR decided to complete the Sprint Cup race on Monday morning.
Menard returned bright and early for the restart of the Auto Club 500 and took the green flag in 30th place.
Menard and Randolph spent the remaining 200 laps searching for grip, but ultimately went two laps down before finishing in the 27th position.
"Overall, this was another learning experience for me and the Menards team so we'll head to Vegas and try to improve our performance based on our learnings from this weekend," said Menard.