Paul Menard from Eau Claire stayed consistent at the TicketGuardian 500 Race weekend at ISM Speedway near Phoenix, March 8-10, qualifying 17th and finishing in the same position in the 312 lap race in his Wood Brothers #21 Menards/Quaker State Ford Mustang.
According to a Wood Brothers team press release, Menard started on the ninth row and slid up to 15th by lap 36 when the first caution flew. Menard ranked 18th at the end of the first 76-lap stage but moved into the top 10 shortly after thanks to an aggressive pit strategy.
Menard slid back a bit to 13th at the 150-Lap mark, end of the second stage and he moved up to 12th before a caution after a spin by Elliott. On the ensuing stop, the team gambled taking just two right-side tires, moving him to ninth on the restart, but he was unable to stay there with the rubber he had. A green-flag caution with 80 laps to go had Menard sitting 23rd with full fuel and he has able to move up to 17th before the checkers flew
Menard moved up the list in the three test sessions, ranking 21st the first time out, then improving to 20th in the second test session and 16th in the final session. Ironically, his best time, a 25.844-second lap came in the first session.
He posted a time of 25.948 in qualifying which had him starting 17th.