NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Charlotte 500
October 12, 2013 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
Starting in the 13th position, Paul Menard finished 24th after an early incident on pit road put him behind in the event at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night. The beginning laps of the race looked promising as Menard made his way into the top 10 at lap 20. Just a few laps later, the caution flag was displayed and the Eau Claire, Wis., native came down pit road for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. While exiting pit road, Menard made contact with the No. 10 machine and was forced to come back down pit road for right-front fender repairs. Restarting in the 39th position on lap 29, the Richard Childress Racing driver quickly picked up 10 spots and was scored in 29th on lap 39. Long green-flag runs coupled with a tight-handling condition through the center and a loose-condition on exit of the corners caused Menard to fall two laps down to the leader by the halfway point of the 500-mile affair. Menard and crew never gave up making a variety of chassis adjustments on the ensuing pit stops, and by the latter stages of the event the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet was running lap times as fast as the leader. Additional green-flag runs made it difficult for Menard to make up any ground, ultimately finishing 24th under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He remains 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Talladega Superspeedway.
It was a tough night for the No. 27 Duracell/Menards crew. We got behind early with a pit road incident, and we just couldn't make up any ground on the leader. We were in position a few times to get the "Lucky Dog" pass, but those long green-flag runs hurt us. We'll move on and hope for a better run at Talladega (Superspeedway) next weekend. - Paul Menard