Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team spent most of Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway working to make up lost ground.
Despite their best efforts, Menard wound up 28th at the finish.
Starting 24th in the 400-lap race meant the team’s best bet was to try some pit strategy in the opening 100-lap stage to hopefully move up through the field.
Crew chief Greg Erwin called Menard to pit road midway through the stage, with the idea being that Menard could use the fresher tires to rejoin the lead lap and be in a better position entering Stage Two.
He was able to gain positions through the strategy but came up a couple of spots short of getting back on the lead lap.
From that point on, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team was in catch-up mode, but the breaks didn’t go their way. The team opted to take the wave-around, sometimes with success and sometimes without, as taking the wave-around means restarting at the back of the pack, which makes it difficult to keep from being lapped again.
Making matters worse was damage to both front fenders due to contact when drivers became bottled up just after restarts.
Eddie Wood said that his team didn’t run as poorly as a 28th-place finish indicates, but the results show just how difficult it is to make up lost ground on a track like Richmond.
“We didn’t qualify that well, and that makes you have to take chances, like short pitting,” Wood said. “When you gamble, there’s always the chance that the cautions won’t fall like you need them to. And once you get a lap or more down, it’s a struggle to make it up.
“You kind of have what you have, and that makes for disappointing finishes like tonight’s.
“We’ll just have to put this one behind us and move on.”
Next up for Menard and the No. 21 team is the Bank of America 400 on the ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sept. 29.
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.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
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 120 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 Mustang driven by Paul Menard in the famous No. 21 racer.