Richard Childress Racing
July 1, 2012
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Sylvania/Menards Team Finish 12th
"We had a fast Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet tonight at Kentucky Speedway. Unfortunately, we just couldn't get the handling to where we needed it to be."
Start - 15
Finish - 12
Laps Led - 0
Points - 13
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Sylvania/Menards team battled back to regain lost track position after a lengthy pit stop to finish 12th in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. After starting the 267-lap event in the 15th position for the Saturday night NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race under the lights of the Sparta, Ky. facility, Menard was faced with a tight condition in the center of the corners. Scheduled pit stops allowed the Slugger Labbe-led pit crew to service the neon yellow machine with fresh tires, fuel and air pressure and chassis adjustments to improve the car's balance. The first pit stop on lap 44 was extended do to difficulty removing a lug nut that became wedged on the wheel, costing the No. 27 team valuable track position. Restarting in the 22nd position on lap 48 the Eau Claire, Wis., native climbed back into the top-20 one lap later. Chasing the changing track conditions as the sun set, the Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet shifted from an extremely loose-handling condition to tight; however, Menard maintained a position in the top 20 and cracked the top 15 by lap 148. The loose on entry and tight in the center conditions persisted and Menard fell to 19th on lap 209. In the closing laps, the Richard Childress Racing driver was able to fight through the handling challenges and began climbing through the field, ultimately crossing the finish line in the 12th-position. The top-15 finish allowed Menard to gain one position, up to 13th, in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"We had a fast Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet tonight at Kentucky Speedway. Unfortunately, we just couldn't get the handling to where we needed it to be. The guys were on it in the pits. We head to Daytona next weekend, where it can be anyone's race.