Paul Menard started the No. 27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet from the ninth position in Saturday night’s Coca-Cola 600 and drove to a 15th-place finish under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As the sun began to go down, the Eau Claire, Wis., native took the green flag running in the top 10 but quickly slipped backwards out of the top 20 as he wrestled with a tight-handling race car.
The early long green-flag run coupled with the ill-handling car found the No. 27 team a lap down to the leader. The Slugger Labbe-led team made substantial chassis and air pressure adjustments over the course of several scheduled pit stops. As the 400-lap event passed the halfway mark, Menard was running in the 26th position but reported that the car felt like it was coming to life. The No. 27 team narrowly missed a few opportunities to claim the “Lucky Dog” award during the rare caution periods in the 600-mile race, but hard driving and flawless action in the pits allowed the Menards/Serta Chevrolet to slowly gain positions and take the checkered flag in the 15th-position.
Start – 9 Finish – 15 Laps Led – 0 Points – 14
Paul Menard on his race: “We definitely hit on the setup for the night race. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of ground getting there and with the long-green flag runs, never could get our lap back. The No. 27 Serta/Menards team never quit tonight. They threw everything they had into making adjustments on the car and the pit stops were on the mark. To say this was a hard-fought finish is an understatement, and I want to thank them for all of their hard work.”