NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Sprint Showdown
May 18, 2013 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
Paul Menard started the No. 27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet from the eighth position and quickly drove into the top five in Saturday night's Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Though he was running up front, Menard relayed to the crew he was fighting a tight-handling condition. The Wisconsin native maintained his position when the competition caution was displayed on lap 20, ending the first of two segments. Crew chief "Slugger" Labbe called the No. 27 machine into the pits and the pit crew changed four tires, added fuel and made track bar and air pressure adjustments in an attempt to remedy the tight condition. Menard restarted 10th for the final 20-lap segment after several other teams elected not to pit or only take two tires. By lap 25, the No. 27 Chevrolet SS had worked its way back to fifth, when Menard communicated to the crew he was still tight. With 10 laps remaining, Menard gained an additional position crossing the stripe in fourth when the checkered flag flew.
The Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS was tight tonight and we just ran out of laps to be able to gain any ground on the leader. With just two 20-lap segments it's difficult to work on the handling of the car and be able to make up much ground. The crew did a great job in the pits and we gained some information we can use in the Coca-Cola 600 next weekend. - Paul Menard