Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/NIBCO team were left to wonder what might have been after a pit road collision ended a promising start to Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
After a stirring run from his 18th starting position to fifth place at the end of the race’s first 80-lap Stage, Menard and Trevor Bayne made contact on pit road during a pit stop midway through Stage Two. Menard suffered damage to the right front of the No. 21 Fusion, and the damage led to two flat tires and multiple laps lost. He wound up 32nd at the finish.
“I don’t know how things would have shaken out at the end, but we were going to be good,” Eddie Wood said. “We were having a good day and running seventh before the trouble on pit road.”
Wood said Menard and crew chief Greg Erwin weren’t pleased with their set-up after Saturday’s final “Happy Hour” practice and made several changes to the car before the start of the race.
The changes were spot on, and Menard motored up to 14th place in just 10 laps and continued his march forward through his first green-flag pit stop to finish in the top five in Stage One and six stage points.
He continued to run strong the second stage before the pit-road incident turned a promising day at the races into a disappointing one.
“Nobody really did anything wrong,” Wood said of the collision on pit road. “Paul was leaving and Trevor was entering his pits and they hit.
“We were set to have a good day, but we just didn’t get to.”
Menard and the No. 21 team now head to the Wood Brothers’ home track, Martinsville Speedway, for next Sunday’s First Data 500.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!