Richard Childress Racing
June 11, 2012
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Sylvania/Menards Team Earn Ninth-Place Finish at Pocono Raceway
"We learned a lot today and during the test, and I want to thank the No. 27 guys for all of their hard work this week."
Start - 3
Finish - 9
Laps Led - 0
Points Position - 13
Paul Menard took the green flag in the third position and drove the Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet to a ninth-place finish in the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR, marking his best career result at Pocono Raceway. The Eau Claire, Wis., native competed in the top 10 for the first half of the 160-lap event at the 2.5-mile triangular-shaped speedway, reporting that a tight-handling condition had developed as the run progressed. Crew chief Slugger Labbe instructed the Sylvania/Menards crew to make slight air pressure changes and a track bar adjustment during routine green-flag and caution period pit stops. Pit strategy played a large part in the 400-mile affair, and the Labbe-led team closely monitored fuel mileage. As the tight-handling condition persisted in the center of the turns, Menard fell back to the 12th position on lap 136. He quickly climbed back into the top 10 and late-race cautions on laps 136 and 148 offered relief to the threat of the No. 27 Chevrolet running out of fuel. Able to drive at full speed, Menard advanced to the ninth position where he took the checkered flag, earning his best finish at the Long Pond, Pa.-based facility. With the top-10 finish, Menard gained two positions and now sits 13th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 27 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot.
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“The Sylvania/Menards team was on top of it today, making adjustments on the car and turning fast pit stops. The car fired off pretty good and then would get tight in the center of the turns as the run progressed. With each pit stop, it got better and better. The team did a great job getting the car set up for qualifying and it paid off. Starting up front was the key; track position is so important here. We learned a lot today and during the test, and I want to thank the guys for all of their hard work this week.”