Menard Brings Home Top-15 Finish on Dover's Monster Mile DOVER, Del. (Saturday, Sept. 25, 2004) -- NASCAR Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Paul Menard scored his fifth top-15 finish of the season at today's Stacker 200 on the...
Menard Brings Home Top-15 Finish on Dover's Monster Mile
DOVER, Del. (Saturday, Sept. 25, 2004) -- NASCAR Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Paul Menard scored his fifth top-15 finish of the season at today's Stacker 200 on the Dover International Speedway Monster Mile.
Menard and the #11 Menards/Pittsburgh Paints Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., started 16th and fell back to 19th while in the early going while dealing with various handling difficulties on the concrete, high-banked mile oval. Menard rejoined the race in 19th after pitting for the first time under yellow on Lap 77 of today's 200-lap event. He picked up a couple of spots during another brief caution period eight laps later, then pitted a second time to make further adjustments on Lap 94. He rejoined the race in 14th after that stop, and picked up another spot on the track by the time the race went yellow yet again on Lap 104. He made his final stop of the day when he came in to top off the fuel tank and take on four fresh tires, falling back to 18th as a handful of cars ahead of him chose not to pit. The race stayed green from Lap 109 until the last half of the very last lap, and Menard moved up to 15th by the time the checkered flag flew.
In last June's race here -- his 14th and final drive with the Andy Petree Racing team this season -- Menard started 30th and finished 21st. His previous top-15 results this season came at Texas (14th), Nazareth (13th), Pikes Peak (12th) and two weekends ago at Richmond (13th). Menard also scored back-to-back 16th-place finishes at Nashville and Talladega in April.
Series points leader Martin Truex, Jr., was the victor today, scoring his fifth win of the season. After taking next weekend off, the NASCAR Busch Series resumes Oct. 9 at Kansas Speedway.
"We did our best to try and get the Menards/PPG car to where we could make a charge to the front. That's tough to do here unless your car is absolutely perfect. We were a little tight in spots and loose in others at the start. We tried to fix that on our first stop and then had to come in a short time later to make some further adjustments, which fortunately didn't cost us any significant track position. The car was definitely loose during the long run to the end, so it was a little frustrating to not be able to race as hard as we wanted to. That's the way it goes here, I guess. That's why they call it the Monster Mile. But I do like this track a lot. Now, it's a weekend off, and then we start the home stretch at Kansas in two weeks."