Paul Menard from Eau Claire wrapped up an exciting and emotional weekend for the Wood Brothers Racing Team with a 15th Place showing at the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
The home track for the Virginia-based team, the team began the weekend with a tribute to Glen Wood, the founder of the Wood Brothers team at the Wood Brothers Museum in nearby Stuart, VA. The weekend marked the first time the team was as the home track without the team’s mentor who was honored by more than 1000 in attendance.
Glen Wood passed away on Jan. 18 at the age of 93.
Leonard Wood, Glen’s brother paced the field at the start of the race on Sunday in Glen’s Modified racecar knowns as the ‘Backseater.’
Menard qualified 14th in his #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang and slid up into luck 13th as a result of another racer failing a post-Qualifying inspection.
Through the first 130 Laps on the half-mile Martinsville oval, Menard jostled between 15th and 20th, finishing 17th. Stage Two was similar with Menard crossing the line 17th and he collected a couple more spots in the final run for a 15th place finish. Brad Keselowski collected the win at Martinsville, which is popular with the drivers as instead of a trophy, the winning racer is presented with a Grandfather Clock.
Menard sits 20th in the Series Standings with 120 points, 153 off the pace of Series leader Kyle Busch.
He needs to improve to 16th by the end of the regular season or win a race in order to qualify for the NASCAR Playoff Rounds.