Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team came away from Monday’s rain-delayed Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway with a 17th-place finish.
Menard started the race from 18th place and fell back in the early going but rebounded to finish the first 120-lap Stage in 16th place.
Menard ran inside the top 15 for most of the second Stage, but became mired in race traffic and fell back to 16th at the end of the second Stage. He also fell off the lead lap in the final circuits of the second Stage but earned the free pass to rejoin the lead lap at that point.
Since he had to restart at the end of the line to begin the third segment of the race Menard was in jeopardy of quickly being lapped, especially considering some aero damage from a minor incident late in Stage Two.
But he held his ground until the caution flag flew for a spin by Denny Hamlin, which allowed Menard to move up to the rest of the lead-lap cars and restart in 16th place.
From that point, the race went green for the final 131 laps, offering few opportunities for Menard to move up. He wound up 17th at the finish, which moved him up one spot in the championship standings to 20th place.
Eddie Wood said the Dover race was about what he expected for a 400-lapper with just three caution periods for incidents on the track.
“It was just a hard, green-flag race,” he said. “We had great pit stops. The pit calls were what they needed to be for the situations we were in, and Paul hung in there all day long.
“We’ll take what we got and move on to Kansas.”
Menard and the No. 21 team return to the track this weekend at Kansas Speedway, where the Digital Ally 400 is set for Saturday night.