Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are heading to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 with an optimistic air about the team.
In his first two races since joining the Wood Brothers team, Menard has finishes of sixth at Daytona and 17th at Atlanta, which have him in ninth place in the Monster Energy Cup standings.
Also in the plus column for the team is the fact that Menard and the No. 21 team had a successful test at Las Vegas in January.
“The test was a huge help in getting acclimated,” Menard said. “It was my first time in a car since Homestead last November.”
“It was my first time working with [crew chief] Greg Erwin, and the first time I’d been in a Ford in years.”
Menard raced Fords for Yates Racing in 2009 and for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010.
He also said the speed his No. 21 Ford Fusion had at Atlanta has him feeling good about Las Vegas, where he has one top-five and three top-10 finishes in 11 career starts.
In the final practice session at Atlanta, Menard was third fastest overall and had the third-best 10-consecutive-lap average speed.
“We had an issue in the race that kept us from getting the finish we wanted, but we found some things that will apply to Las Vegas,” Menard said. “I think we’re in pretty decent shape heading into this weekend.”
Menard said he also feels good about pit road, where teams have been limited to five crew members (from six in previous years) over the wall.
“Our pit stops were really good at Atlanta,” he said. “At Daytona, it was mostly two-tire stops, so you really couldn’t tell anything.”
“But at Atlanta it was four tires every time, and my guys really nailed it.”
Qualifying for the Pennzoil 400 is set for Friday at 4:15 p.m. (7:15 p.m. Eastern Time), and the race is scheduled to start just after 12:30 p.m. (3:30 Eastern) on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.
Motorcraft® offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended and approved by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to under-hood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer exceptional value with the highest quality and right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers are backed by Ford Motor Company’s two-year, unlimited-miles Service Parts Limited Warranty. Ask for Motorcraft by name when you visit your local auto parts store or your favorite service facility. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.com.
About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers
Ford’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center offers routine vehicle maintenance such as oil and filter changes, light repair services including brake repair, and tire replacements on all vehicle makes and models. With more than 800 locations and growing, customers can visit www.quicklane.com to find a center that is closest to them, print savings coupons and review maintenance tips to keep their vehicles running at peak efficiency. This site includes information on how to spot tire wear, how to jump-start a battery and even a series of tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy.
Wood Brothers Racing
Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 99 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 119 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop. The team currently runs the Ford Fusion driven by Paul Menard in the famous No. 21 racer.