NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400
March 24, 2013 Auto Club Speedway
Paul Menard brought home an eighth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway after recovering from a flat tire mid-race to score his third-consecutive top-10 finish of the season. The CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS driver took the green flag from the 27th position and climbed inside the top-20 by lap 3. The caution flag was displayed on lap 90 for debris and Menard brought his No. 27 machine to the attention of his crew for four fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Shortly after restarting 12th, Menard reported he had a flat tire. The crew went to work changing four tires under the green flag and the Eau Claire, Wis., native returned to the track in the 27th spot, one lap down to the race leader. A caution period on lap 117 gave Menard the opportunity to take the wave around and rejoin the lead lap cars. Back on the lead lap, in the 27th spot, Menard needed a caution for tires and on lap 130 another yellow flag was displayed, giving him that opportunity. Menard continued to improve with each lap. As the laps wound down, Menard found himself inside the top-10 fighting for every spot he could get, ultimately taking the checkered flag in the eighth position. Menard's top-10 finish moves him to eighth in the championship points standings heading into the Easter off-weekend.
We had a good car all day, but just had bad luck with a flat tire mid-race. Slugger Labbe (crew chief) and the CertainTeed/Menards crew never gave up and we battled back to end the day with an eighth-place finish. We've had a great start to the 2013 season and we're looking forward to heading to Martinsville Speedway in two weeks to continue our streak of top-10 finishes. - Paul Menard