Following the fireworks and fanfare that are synonymous with the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Paul Menard lined up in the seventh position to take the green flag and drove the CertainTeed Insulation/Menards Chevrolet to a 16th-place result in Saturday night’s non-points affair at Charlotte Motor Speedway. During the first 20-lap segment, Menard advanced to the sixth position and reported that the Chevrolet developed a tight-handling condition in the final laps.
To gain valuable track position, crew chief Slugger Labbe instructed the Eau Claire, Wis., native to remain on the race track allowing him to restart in the second position for the second segment. Menard fell from fourth to 18th as he battled an increasingly tight-handling machine. Between segments, Menard brought the No. 27 machine to pit road, where the CertainTeed Insulation/Menards team serviced the car with four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. Restarting from the 18th position, Menard climbed to 11th to finish the third segment. Chassis adjustments made to the car before and during the final 20-lap segment altered the handling further, and Menard slipped to the 17th spot. Another round of adjustments was made to the No. 27 Chevrolet during the final pit stop prior to the 10-lap dash before Menard took the checkered flag in the 16th position.
Start – 7 Finish – 16 Laps Led – 0 Points – N/A
PAUL MENARD: “We started out the race really fast, just a little too tight. I think we learned a lot tonight that we can apply to next weekend’s Coca-Cola 600. We have a lot of notes to go over on Monday. All of the guys worked hard this weekend and the pit crew was solid as always.”