Menard, Motorcraft Team Upbeat Heading Into Richmond
After good runs in the past three Monster Energy Cup Series races, Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team head to Richmond Raceway, where they posted a top-10 finish back in April.
Menard, who finished ninth at Darlington, 10th at Indianapolis and 14th at Las Vegas in the past three weeks, took advantage of a good pit strategy and a fast Ford Mustang at Richmond in the spring to score stage points in both stages and finish 10th at the end.
Eddie Wood said he feels good about his team’s prospects at Richmond, which hasn’t always been one of the team’s best tracks.
“We have won there, with Speedy Thompson and Kyle Petty, but it had been a while since we had a run like Paul and the team had back in April,” he said. “I hope we can repeat that run this weekend and keep building on what we’ve done the past few weeks.”
In recent races at Richmond, teams including the Wood Brothers have benefitted by pitting early in a green-flag run then using the fresh tires to leap frog past those who ran longer before stopping for tires and fuel.
The strategy works best when the pit crew has quick stops and gains the team positions on pit road, as the No. 21 team did back in April.
It also helped that Menard started up front. He qualified 13th, but moved up four spots for the start after teams ahead of him in qualifying failed inspection.
“We have a lot of confidence heading into Richmond,” Wood said. “We have nine more chances this year to get that 100th win and get it with Paul, and Richmond is as good a place as any to get it.”
Qualifying for Federated Auto Parts 400 is set for Friday at 6:05 p.m., and the race is scheduled to start just after 7:30 p.m. on Saturday with TV coverage on NBCSN.
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