Paul Menard started the 400-mile event at Dover International Speedway from the 16th position and struggled with handling issues throughout the day to finish 20th on Sunday afternoon. A long green-flag run at the start of the race, coupled with a tight-handling condition, caused Menard to fall a lap down to the leader at lap 56.
The No. 27 crew made a variety of chassis adjustments during the ensuing pit stops on laps 71 and 82. The changes provided some relief to the Eau Claire, Wis., native as he radioed to the crew that the car was the best it had been all day.
As the laps wore on, Menard began to struggle with a race car that was loose on entry and exit, and tight in the center of the corners. Continued long-green-flag runs and persistent handling issues contributed to Menard falling two laps down to the leader at lap 282. The team never gave up and made an array of chassis adjustments for the remainder of the event.
A caution on lap 379 allowed the 32-year-old driver to take the “wave around” gaining one of his laps back. Restarting in 19th with 20 laps to go, Menard was able to maintain a top-20 running position for the remainder of the event, crossing the finish line 20th. Menard sits in 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Pocono Raceway.
Start – 16 Finish – 20 Laps Led – 0 Points – 10th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE: “It was a tough day for the No. 27 Libman/Menards crew. We struggled with handling all weekend at Dover (International Speedway), and never seemed to hit on the right setup. My guys never gave up and worked their guts out making a variety of adjustments all day to try and get the car to handle better. We fought hard to get one of our laps back, but we just couldn’t gain any track position. We’ll head to Pocono (Raceway) next weekend looking for better results.”
-Richard Childress Racing PR