NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Richmond 400
April 27, 2013 – Richmond International Raceway
Starting from the 29th position, Paul Menard and the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards team faced handling issues as track conditions changed throughout the evening, ultimately finishing 13th at Richmond International Raceway. The early laps of the race looked promising as Menard made a steady march toward the front of the field and was scored in 19th by lap 50. Clicking off lap times as fast as the leader, coupled with lightning-fast stops by the pit crew, the 32-year-old driver worked his way inside the top 15 at lap 140. As the sun began to set, the track conditions changed and Menard struggled with a tight- handling racecar. The No. 27 pit crew made a variety of chassis adjustments to the Chevrolet SS during the middle and later portions of the originally scheduled 400-lap event, in hopes of remedying the issue. With just three laps remaining, the yellow flag flew and crew chief "Slugger" Labbe called his driver into the pits one final time for four fresh tires and fuel. Menard lined up 17th for the green-white-checkered restart and gained four spots in just two laps to finish 13th under the lights. Menard's top-15 finish ties him for ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Talladega Superspeedway.
Once the sun went down we struggled throughout the race to find the right setup for the CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet. "Slugger" (Labbe, crew chief) and the team never gave up working really hard to make adjustments all night in an attempt to get the handling issues resolved. I have to thank my pit crew, they did an awesome job in the pits tonight and gained us several positions on pit road throughout the evening. There at the end, the car was handling better and we were able to gain several positions to come home with a solid finish. All-in-all it was a decent points day, so we'll take it and head to Talladega Superspeedway next weekend. - Paul Menard