Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Atlas Roofing Shingles Ford Mustang flirted with a top-10 finish before falling back to 18th over two eventful green-white-checkered-flag runs to the finish of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Menard started Sunday’s 400-miler from 22nd place but moved into the top-15 in the opening laps before dropping back and off the lead lap near the end of the first 80-lap stage.
He was running in the free-pass position when a caution flag flew with four laps remaining for debris from an accident involving Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Back on the lead lap, he moved into the top 15 and then into the top 10 by the halfway point of Stage Two. Capitalizing on quick pit stops by his Menards/Atlas crew, he maintained his spot in the top 10 throughout Stage Two and ended that segment in eighth place.
In the final segment of the race, Menard raced in the top 15 and was running 11th when a caution flag flew with two of the scheduled 267 laps left to run.
That set up the first green-white-checkered attempt, and Menard was running 13th when a second caution flag resulted in another green-white-checkered try.
In the frenetic bumping and banging over the final two laps, Menard dropped to 18th at the finish.
"We were pretty good most of the day," Eddie Wood said. "Paul did a good job, and the pit crew had some great stops."
"We just got jammed up at the end. Now we’ll go to our home track, Martinsville Speedway, and try to give Paul a fast car for his last Cup start at a place that means a lot to our race team and to our family."