Paul Menard and the No. 21 Quick Lane team ran into misfortune early in Sunday’s 500 miler at Texas Motor Speedway, and that led to a long, disappointing day at the track.
Menard started 19thafter rain cut Friday’s qualifying session short, and the race was just three laps old when he was swept up in a multi-car crash. His Quick Lane Fusion received damage in the left front and in the right rear, which is a critical part of the car from an aerodynamic perspective.
Menard was able to drive back to pit road, where the Quick Lane crew patched up his car. He was able to make NASCAR’s minimum speed and continue on, but any hope of a decent finish was lost at that point.
Menard and the Quick Lane team soldiered on until Lap 235 of 334, when a blown tire sent the No. 21 Fusion into the wall and damaged the front suspension beyond repair.
He wound up with a 30th-place finish, which dropped him one spot to 16th in the points standings heading into the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Long day,” Menard said. “We had a really fast Quick Lane Ford Fusion, but our day virtually ended on Lap 2. Disappointing.”
“Not much you can do when someone spins in front of you at those speeds. You’re really at the mercy of what happens in front of you. Too much damage and it eventually caught up to us on that last incident.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he was proud of the way Menard and the Quick Lane crew continued to work hard even though any chance of a good finish had been lost.
“The crew patched up the car the best they could, but the right rear was essentially wiped out,” Wood said. “I hate it for Quick Lane, but days like this are bound to happen.”
“We’ll go on to Bristol and hope our luck turns around. The important thing is we’re having fast cars every week. The rest has a way of taking care of itself”