Team Penske NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report
Track: Michigan International Speedway
Race: LTi Printing 250
Date: June 9, 2018
No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Paul Menard
Stage 1: 11th
Stage 2: 18th
Laps Completed: 91/91
Laps Led: 8
Owner Point Standings (behind first): 2nd (-18)
- After a three-hour rain delay, Paul Menard scored his 41st top-five finish in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with a fifth-place effort Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway in the rain-shortened LTi Printing 250. Menard grabbed his first top-five and second top-10 finish of the season in his second start with Team Penske.
- Menard started second in the scheduled 250-mile event after a rain shower canceled single-car qualifying Saturday morning and the starting lineup was set per the NASCAR rulebook.
- The Wisconsin native quickly jumped to the race lead but fell to the 15th position after being shuffled out of the draft. Menard communicated to crew chief, Brian Wilson, his Ford Mustang was a tick tight in traffic.
- Over the course of the 30-lap stage, Menard raced his way back up to the 13th position before the race saw its first caution with just 13-laps left in the first stage. Wilson decided to go off the leader’s strategy and pit for four tires, fuel, and a minor wedge adjustment. Menard would restart 25th and race his way up to the 11th position by the end of the first stage.
- Wilson’s strategy panned out and the No. 22 Ford would restart the second stage from the second position. Menard would power his way to the lead for seven laps until he was shuffled out of the draft once again settling into the 11th position.
- With weather in the area, Wilson would again pit Menard off-sequence during the caution, five laps prior to the end of the second stage. Menard would restart from the 31st position but powered his way to 18th by the end of the second stage.
- Menard would restart from the 16th position and after a series of late race cautions and was able to scramble his way thru traffic and back into the top-five before the rain would plague the event on lap 91.
- With Menard’s fifth-place finish, the No. 22 Ford team remains second in owner points trailing the No. 18 of Joe Gibbs Racing by 18 markers.
Quote: “It was alright. I thought it was kind of boring at the start and really exciting at the finish. We kind of rode around the top early trying to figure out what the cars need and at the end, a race broke out. It sucks that the rain came but we had a really fast Ford.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!