NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500
April 7, 2013 – Martinsville Speedway
Starting from the 16th position, Paul Menard and the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards team faced handling issues throughout the 500-lap event, earning a 19th-place finish when the checkered flag flew at Martinsville Speedway. The early laps of the race looked promising as the No. 27 machine quickly made its way to 12th by lap 38. As the race went on, Menard began to struggle with a loose-handling racecar on entry and exit, and a tight condition through the middle of the corners. Long green-flag runs coupled with handling issues caused Menard to fall a lap down to the leader on two separate occasions during the 263-mile event. The Menards crew never gave up making an array of adjustments to the No. 27 in hopes of remedying the issue. The series of chassis and air pressure adjustments provided some relief to the Eau Claire, Wis., native and he was credited with the "Lucky Dog" pass, allowing him to return to the lead lap both times. Maintaining a top-20 running position throughout the majority of the race, Menard crossed the finish line 19th when the checkered flag flew. Menard's top-20 finish ties him for eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Texas Motor Speedway.
It was a tough day for the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards crew. We struggled with handling issues for the majority of the day and never seemed to hit on the right setup. I have to give my team credit though, they never gave up and made a variety of adjustments all day to try and get the car to handle better. We fought hard getting our lap back twice, but we just couldn't gain much track position. We'll keep our heads up and hope for a better result in Texas next weekend. - Paul Menard