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Menard, Wood Brothers keeping pace early in season

LAS VEGAS — Paul Menard managed to stay on the lead lap with Kevin Harvick, runaway winner of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

RELATED: Full race results

That in itself was a significant accomplishment for the driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, who finished ninth and also is ninth in the series standings after three races.

“Its a bit early, but the Fords are fast coming out of the gate this year”, said Menard, who moved from Richard Childress Racing to the Wood Brothers Racing team this year. “I think well be good in Phoenix next week as well.”

“I feel really good with where our program is at right now.”

It is early, but Menard currently is pacing above his career-bests. His top season (2014) included five top-five finishes and 13 top 10s.

The Wood Brothers team, with Ryan Blaney behind the wheel, advanced to the Round of 8 of the playoffs last season.