NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Pure Michigan 400
August 18, 2013 – Michigan International Speedway
After starting 20th in the Pure Michigan 400, Paul Menard captured his first top-five finish of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. In the early laps of the event, Menard gained five positions and was scored in 15th at lap 25. The team's first pit stop came under green-flag conditions on lap 40 and Menard came down pit road for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments to help remedy the car's loose-handling condition. The adjustments provided some relief to the Wisconsin native, but crew chief "Slugger" Labbe and team called for further chassis adjustments under two ensuing pit stops on laps 72 and 107. Restarting 10th on lap 110, Menard relayed to the team that the NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet SS was the best it had been all day, and by lap 130 he was scored in fifth and was the fastest car on the track. The 32-year-old remained in the top five until a lap-158 pit stop under caution for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Several cars elected to stay out under caution and Menard restarted 11th with 39 laps remaining in the 200-lap event. It didn't take long for Menard to race his way back to the front and he was back inside the top five at lap 176. The Richard Childress Racing driver gained one position in the final laps to finish fourth. Menard sits in the 17th spot in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend.
We had a good car all weekend. We didn't qualify very well and I knew that the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards car had some speed in it, but it mostly just drove really well all weekend. "Slugger" (Labbe, crew chief) made some good calls to get some track position. Matt Krueter (gasman) filled up the car with plenty of gas at the end. I'm just really proud of everyone on the team. We really needed a good run. We started off the season strong and just fell off the last couple of months. We have had good cars we just haven't been able to put together a race and we have been crashing a lot and we just can't do that. I'm really proud of everybody at RCR getting all three cars in the top 10 today. It was a great day for all of us. - Paul Menard