Menard Finishes 19th at Richmond Menard 7th in Nationwide Point Standings RICHMOND, VA. (April 30, 2010) - Paul Menard and the No. 98 Richmond/Menards team had a hard-fought top-20 finish in the Bubba Burger 250 on Friday night at Richmond ...
Menard Finishes 19th at Richmond
Menard 7th in Nationwide Point Standings
RICHMOND, VA. (April 30, 2010) - Paul Menard and the No. 98 Richmond/Menards team had a hard-fought top-20 finish in the Bubba Burger 250 on Friday night at Richmond International Raceway. For the first time in two weeks the Nationwide series experienced good weather and started on schedule. After a long day of practice and qualifying for both Nationwide and Sprint Cup series, Menard rolled off the grid in the 26th position. Menard struggled early with a slightly ill-handling race car caused by major contact with a fellow competitor. Menard and the team were able to fight through the adversity to secure a respectable 19th-place finish. Menard is seventh in Nationwide Series point standings and is now 278 points behind the leader Brad Keselowski.
Menard started his Richmond/Menards No. 98 Ford Fusion in 26th position. After several early cautions Menard worked his way through heavy traffic and settled into the 20th position by lap 50. Early on, Menard ran solid lap times, but trouble soon found him. Menard made heavy contact with another car on lap 79 causing major damage to the right front fender. Menard commented his Ford Fusion was shaking and chattering badly. Menard went a lap down on lap 84. A much needed caution flew on lap 96. Crew chief Matt Puccia called Menard to the pit stall for major adjustments on lap 97. Puccia called for four tires, fuel an air pressure adjustment and the crew repaired the fender damage.
At the halfway point in the race, Menard had settled into the 17th position and was the "lucky dog" as the caution flew on lap 120. Puccia decided to bring Menard to the pits for four tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. The Richmond/Menards pit crew got Menard off pit road in the 17th position. During the next 69 laps, Menard guided his Ford Fusion to the 16th position, but his momentum was slowed by a caution on lap 189. Menard was called to the pit stall again for four tires, fuel and track bar and air pressure adjustments. The pit crew ripped off a 13 second pit stop which made Menards a factor in the race. When green-flag racing resumed Menard was scored in the 13th position.
On lap 244, Menard made heavy contact with the wall after blowing a right front tire. The damage was extensive, but Menard was able to pit and get back on the race track before loosing too much track position. Menard was able to recover and finish in the 19th position.
"We had an early incident and really never recovered," said Menard. "The crew did a good job in the pits and helped keep us in the top twenty. On these short tracks there is always going to be some bumping and grinding, unfortunately my Ford Fusion was involved in some of it and it took us out of contention."
The Nationwide Series will travel to Darlington Raceway next weekend, where Menard has finished 732 of 735 laps in five career starts.