Bad Luck Plagues the No. 27 Libman/Menards Chevrolet Team
Saturday night short-track racing is always unpredictable with drivers rubbing fenders and tempers flaring. The Crown Royal 400 proved to be no different under the lights of Richmond International Raceway. After starting the No. 27 Libman/Menards Chevrolet from the 10th position, handling issues plagued the team throughout the 400-lap event. The Slugger Labbe-led crew worked diligently on each pit stop to remedy the tight-center condition that Menard was battling on the 0.75-mile race track. Choosing to remain on track during the lap-292 caution-flag period, Menard restarted from the sixth position. Hopes of salvaging a solid finish were dashed when a multi-car accident on lap 301 collected the No. 27 Impala. The Libman/Menards team worked to make repairs to the heavily damaged car while keeping Menard on the lead lap. Shortly after green-flag racing resumed, Menard reported to the team that the engine temperature was climbing. He drove the car to pit road where they quickly removed all remaining tape from the nose of the car. When that didn't help, he returned to the pit stall again and the No. 27 crew followed Labbe's orders to hook the car up to the cool down unit. The pit stops cost the team 15 laps to the leader; however, Menard was able to complete the race, bringing home a disappointing 37th-place finish.
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"The Libman/Menards team worked to adjust the car with each pit stop and eventually we got back on the lead lap. We were running sixth when we were caught up in someone else's mess. The guys did a good job of keeping us on the lead lap despite about eight or nine trips to pit road. It wasn't until we started to overheat that we had to come in under green and lost a lot of ground. It just wasn't our night."