Next up for Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menard/Dutch Boy team is Saturday’s Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway, a track that has been a good one for Menard and his No. 21 team.
In the past seven races on the 1.5-mile oval, the team has five finishes of seventh or better, including a sixth-place run by Menard last May. In the fall, he was poised to run the string to six strong Kansas finishes, but after driving from his 18th starting spot to fifth at the end of the first 80-lap Stage, he was involved in a collision on pit road that damaged his car and led to a disappointing finish.
Menard and the Woods have done well at Kansas before the recent stretch of good runs.
Menard has six top-10 finishes with a best of third place in 2012 in 20 career starts. He also has a pole and a runner-up finish in the Xfinity Series at Kansas.
The Wood Brothers have four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 18 races plus a pole in 2017. Their best Kansas finish came in 2004 when Ricky Rudd finished a close second to Joe Nemechek in one of the last races in which two single-car teams battled for the win on a non-restrictor-plate track.
Jon Wood, a co-owner of the team and the company’s business manager, wrote his name in the Kansas Speedway record book. He won the first-ever pole at the speedway when he took the top spot for the Kansas 100 Winston West race in 2001 with a speed of 168.534 miles per hour. He also won a Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Kansas in 2002, beating his Roush Racing teammate Carl Edwards to the line by 1.176 seconds.
Kansas Speedway wasn’t around when team founder Glen Wood was driving, but he had a strong run in the state of Kansas, at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson in a 1959 Convertible Series race.
With mud from the wet track blocking his radiator, Wood had to nurse his car to the finish line but still finished second.
That was significant in the team’s history as it was his first top-level finish after receiving factory backing from Ford Motor Company, a relationship that continues to this day.
"Kansas and Kansas Speedway have been good places for us over the years," Eddie Wood said. "We’re excited to be heading back out there and looking forward to another good run there."
Qualifying for the Digital Ally 400 is set for Friday at 6:05 p.m. (7:05 Eastern Time), and the race is scheduled to start just after 6:30 p.m. (7:30 Eastern) with TV coverage on Fox Sports 1.