Richard Childress Racing
February 19, 2012
Paul Menard Collected in Early Multi-Car Incident to Finish 23rd in the Budweiser Shootout
"I got hooked from the left side and just went around. The race was a lot of fun while it lasted, though. Kevin and I started in the back and he led some laps."
Start – 24
Finish – 23
Laps Led – 0
Paul Menard and the PEAK/Menards team quickly catapulted from their 24th-place starting position into the top-10, only to be collected in the first “big one” when the bright blue and yellow No. 27 Chevrolet was turned from behind and into the outside retaining wall, ending their night early. After drawing the 24th starting spot the previous night at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party, Menard lined up to start the 34th Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway immediately behind Richard Childress Racing teammate Kevin Harvick who had drawn the 22nd starting spot. As the green flag dropped, the pair quickly drafted to the front within the first five laps, with Menard running as high as second. On lap nine, a multi-car accident occurred in turns one and two, starting when the competitor behind the No. 27 Chevrolet Impala nudged him in the oh-so-sensitive left-rear of the bumper. Menard spun and made hard contact with the outside wall, sandwiched between it and a pile-up of cars. Receiving substantial damage to the PEAK/Menards machine, the night was over early for the Eau Claire, Wis., native, relegating him to a 23rd-place result.
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“This wasn’t the way the PEAK/Menards team had hoped to start off the season, but it was a result of the tandem draft in a pack, and it was a big mess really. I had a run on Kevin (Harvick) and I was getting to his bumper with David (Ragan) pushing me from behind. I got hooked from the left side and just went around. The race was a lot of fun while it lasted, though. Kevin and I started in the back and he led some laps. We came up through the field together quickly. The racing was a lot of fun but you just hate to tear up a really good race car, and this car was really fast.”