NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Aaron's 499
May 5, 2013 - Talladega Superspeedway
Paul Menard started the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway from the 16th position on Sunday after qualifying was rained out and the field was set by Friday's first practice speeds. Running lap times as fast as the leader, the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet made its way toward the front of the field moving into 11th at lap 10. A caution-flag period on lap 24 allowed Menard to stay out and lead lap 26 before coming to the pits. Restarting in 34th, he quickly made his way to 19th, when the caution flag was again displayed for a multi-car accident, which Menard narrowly avoided moving him into 11th-place. Continuing to run in the top 10, Menard came to the pits for a routine green-flag pit stop and lost the lead draft causing him to fall back to 24th. Working his way back to the lead pack, Menard's No. 27 machine began to overheat and he was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap 121 to add water. Shortly after pitting, the red flag was displayed at lap 124 for a heavy downpour. After the rain showers subsided and the track dried, Menard restarted 32nd, three laps down to the leader. After making several laps under green-flag conditions, the No. 27 began to overheat again and Menard was forced to pit to add more water. Restarting five laps down to the leader, with 54 laps remaining, Menard was able to avoid a multi-car accident in the closing laps to pick up several positions, ultimately finishing 26th. Gaining one spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, Menard sits in eighth heading into the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Our CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet was fast today at Talladega Superspeedway. We avoided trouble early on and were able to run up front. Unfortunately, we overheated and had to spend some time in the pits putting us behind. We never gave up and where able to avoid "The Big One" at the end to gain some spots. It was a long day in the rain, but we were able to gain a spot in the points, so we're happy with that. - Paul Menard