NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Quicken Loans 400
June 16, 2013 – Michigan International Speedway
After his best qualifying effort of the season, Paul Menard started the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet from the fourth position and captured a hard-fought 14th - place finish at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. The early laps of the race looked promising as Menard quickly made his way to the second position on the first lap. The Eau Claire, Wis., native remained inside the top 10 until a lap-42 pit stop for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar and packer adjustment. Multiple cars elected not to take tires, or not pit at all, and Menard was forced to restart in the 22nd position. Starting mid-pack, Menard fought a loose-handling condition in traffic and the crew made a variety of chassis adjustments during the ensuing pit stops to help remedy the issue. The driver of the No. 27 Chevrolet steadily worked his way back toward the front and was running in 12th on lap 165 when crew chief "Slugger" Labbe called him onto pit road for a routine green-flag pit stop. Three laps after pitting, the caution flag flew for the final time causing Menard to fall a lap down to the leader, who had not yet come to pit road. Taking the "wave around" under caution, the 32-year-old driver was able to return to the lead lap restarting in 26th. On a mission to get back inside the top 15, Menard gained 12 spots in the remaining 27 laps to finish 14th. Menard now sits in the 11th spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading to Sonoma Raceway next weekend.
We had a fast CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet at the start of the race and began to battle handling issues as the laps wore on. We got caught behind later when the caution came out after we had just pitted under green-flag conditions and had to restart at the tail end of the lead pack. I have to give my guys credit, they never gave up and we were able to fight back and come home with a top-15 finish. - Paul Menard