Paul Menard and the No. 33 Rheem/Menards team led on six different occasions for 110 circuits of the 200-lap race on Saturday at Kansas Speedway before running out of fuel to finish 16th. Menard qualified fifth earlier in the day, and when the main event began, Menard moved up to third place by the time the first of 12 caution flags waved on lap 15. The No. 33 continued to move forward to the point position, leading for 110 total laps throughout the event.
As instructed by crew chief Ernie Cope, Menard saved fuel during numerous cautions to have enough to go the scheduled 200-lap distance. A caution flag dropped with two laps remaining, forcing the field into a green-white-checkered finish. For the Rheem/Menards team, there was enough fuel to get to lap 204 but the tank ran dry right at the line when the field took the final green flag on lap 205, unable to complete the final two circuits. The No. 33 team would end the evening in the 16th position.
Start – 5 Finish – 16 Laps Led – 110 Owner Points – 5th
PAUL MENARD QUOTES: “We were going for the win so there was no reason to consider coming in for a splash of fuel on that last caution. The Menards/Rheem Chevy was the best car on the track all day and one of the best cars I’ve ever driven. Ernie (Cope, crew chief) made the right calls and the guys did a great job in the pits. Thanks to the guys at the RCR Nationwide Series shop for building a great car and for ECR Engines building a great motor. We gave it a shot and came up short.”