NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Kobalt Tools 400
March 10, 2013, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Paul Menard started the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from the 17th position on Sunday after Friday afternoon's qualifying was rained out and the field was set by 2012 owner points. Running lap times as fast as the leader, the No. 27 Schrock/Menards Chevrolet quickly made its way toward the front of the field moving into 11th-place at lap 50. Continuing to run in the top15, Menard faced handling issues which led the Menards team to make a variety of chassis adjustments during the ensuing pit stops in an attempt to remedy the cars loose-handling condition on entry and exit of the corners. The adjustments paid off as Menard relayed to crew chief "Slugger" Labbe that his car was handling better. Lightning fast pit stops by the pit crew throughout the race also provided Menard the opportunity to gain multiple spots on pit road. With just 25 laps remaining in the 267-lap event, Menard made his way into the top 10, settling into the ninth position. As the laps wore on, Menard's No. 27 machine became tight in the corners, and he slipped back to 10th on lap 261. The Wisconsin native was able to maintain his position for the remainder of the event, bringing home his first top-10 finish of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The 10th-place finish allowed Menard to gain five spots in the driver championship point standings, he sits 12th heading into Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend.
We had a great car today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) and the team did a phenomenal job giving me a fast Schrock/Menards Chevrolet. It was a lot of fun to drive out there today. We were able to run the top line in turns one and two at the end, but we were tight at the bottom in turns three and four, which cost us a little bit of time. The No. 27 pit crew did an awesome job in the pits and got me several spots on pit road. All-in-all it was a good day, and we've got some momentum heading into Bristol (Motor Speedway) next weekend. - Paul Menard