BUSCH: Las Vegas: Paul Menard race notes

Menard Draws a 21 With Steady, Clean Run at Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series Race LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Saturday, March 6, 2004) -- A steady and clean run in Saturday's Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway netted...

Menard Draws a 21 With Steady, Clean Run at Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series Race

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Saturday, March 6, 2004) -- A steady and clean run in Saturday's Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway netted rookie Paul Menard a 21st-place finish.

Menard, the 23-year-old from Eau Claire, Wis., started 23rd in today's 300-mile event, his Andy Petree Racing team having made dramatic changes to the shocks and springs of his #33 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet last night and this morning. The changes, as well as steady pit work by the Petree team, helped Menard maintain a consistent pace throughout the event, and he was able to steer clear of a handful of on-track incidents in front of him. It was Menard's first-ever race experience on the 1.5-mile tri-oval here, and the finish helped him gain four spots -- to 25th -- in the series drivers standings after the season's first three events.

NASCAR Nextel Cup Series regular Kevin Harvick earned the victory today, just beating Sunday's feature event polesitter Kasey Kahne across the finish line. David Stremme finished third.

After taking next weekend off, the NASCAR Busch Series resumes at Darlington Raceway on March 20 with the first of four consecutive weekends of racing.

PAUL MENARD

"We made a lot of big changes to the car -- mainly the shocks and springs -- from what we ran yesterday in practice and qualifying, so the start of the race was going to be a big unknown. As it turned out, the changes helped the car a lot, so hat's off to the team for making the right calls. We did what we could to try and gain track position. Our second stop (under green) hurt us a little bit because if we could have gone just another two laps, we would have been able to pit under yellow and not lose a lap. But that's the way it goes. Overall, I think the car was better than it was all weekend. It's a shame we couldn't have started the day yesterday with the car the way it was today. You live and learn. I think we picked up some things that will help us at the other mile-and-a-half tracks like Texas and Atlanta and Charlotte."

-mr-

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Kasey Kahne , Andy Petree , Paul Menard , David Stremme