Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Mustang had a fast start but ended up with a frustrating 24th-place finish in Saturday night’s Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Menard qualified 16th but started 10th after six drivers ahead of him in qualifying failed a pre-race inspection. He quickly drove up to fourth place and remained in the top five through a competition caution at Lap 30.
The Menards/Dutch Boy team opted for four fresh tires during the caution period while others took just two, which dropped him to 14th place for the restart. But he drove his way back into the top 10 before contact with the outside wall near the end of Stage One knocked him of the top 20.
The team made repairs during the caution period following the first 80-lap Stage, and Menard quickly drove from the back up to 15th place and maintained his position through the end of Stage Two.
Menard continued to run in or around the top 15 until a round of green-flag pit stops with about 40 laps remaining. Just after Menard made his stop, the caution flag flew, trapping him a lap down.
The bad luck got worse when a tire blew with six laps remaining, forcing an unscheduled pit stop that left him 24th at the finish.
“We were really good at the start of the race,” Eddie Wood said. “And even after hitting the wall, we ran good again.
“It looked like we were going to be OK, but it was tough back there in traffic, and then we had a flat tire late.
“Paul was able to make up some of the spots we lost changing the tire, so we’ll take that, head home and spend Sunday with our mom and wish all the other moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day.”
Menard and the Wood Brothers team return to the track next week for the Monster Energy All-Star weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.