Menard Scores Top-Twenty in COT; Wins Rookie of the Race Honors for Second Time this Season Richmond, VA -- Paul Menard and the No. 15 Moen/Menards team delivered a solid 16th place performance at Richmond International Raceway in today's Crown...
Menard Scores Top-Twenty in COT; Wins Rookie of the Race Honors for Second Time this Season
Richmond, VA -- Paul Menard and the No. 15 Moen/Menards team delivered a solid 16th place performance at Richmond International Raceway in today's Crown Royal Presents the Jim Stewart 400. The team's third top-twenty finish of the season also earned Menard his second Raybestos Rookie of the Race award.
"At the end I think we had a top-10 car." Menard said following the event. "We started at the back so the only place we could go was forward.. But after the first run, I knew it would be pretty decent as long as we could keep freeing it up."
According to Menard, today's finish was definitely a work in progress.
"We started off and it was way too tight." Menard said. "We kept raising the track bar, taking wedge out and playing with the air pressures. It was the best the last few runs."
Menard credits the improvements to his Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS with the length of the Cup races and the opportunities a 400-lap race offers his team to work on the car.
"That's what's nice about Cup racing is that you've got a long time, lots of opportunities to work on it. We started off and we weren't good at all. I would have been happy if we would have finished 30th, but to come away with a 16th place finish is pretty cool."
The race took the Green Flag for the second time on Sunday afternoon, after officials postponed the scheduled Saturday night race due to inclement weather. The change to the start time of the event was a factor in Menard's improved performance potential.
"If it was night race we might have been a little tighter yet because we were in qualifying trim, basically." Menard reasoned. "It probably was to our advantage to race in the day."
Based on today's findings, Menard is happy with the direction of Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s Car of Tomorrow program and looking forward to next week's COT race at Darlington Raceway.
"We're slowly getting the COT figured out." Menard said. "Hendrick guys, obviously, have them figured out really well and it seems like we keep making gains on it. We've tested a couple times and made some gains there. We'll just keep working on it."
Menard will pull double duty at Darlington where he is scheduled to run both NASCAR Busch and Cup races at the track coined "too tough to tame".