Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion are set to start 22nd on Sunday in the first-ever race on the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Menard and his fellow Monster Energy Cup Series drivers spent most of Friday’s practice session and qualifying time with the same mindset they had during earlier test sessions on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn course.
“Everybody was just trying to stay on the race track,” Menard said of the three pre-race test sessions.
In Friday’s opening practice, Menard ran 10 laps and posted his best speed of 104.442 miles per hour on his final lap.
Then in qualifying, he ran three laps in the opening round and posted his best speed of 105.095 mph on his first try.
The Roval, while challenging to drivers throughout the field, does offer Menard a chance to capitalize on his road-racing skills. He raced sports cars early in his career and won an Xfinity Series race at Road American in 2015.
Menard and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team have one more practice session on Saturday before the green flag drops for the 109-lap Bank of America 400 on Sunday at 2 p.m. TV coverage of the race will be provided by NBC.
WBR PR/Photo Credit Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images