Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang qualified 17th for Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Menard toured the “Magic Mile” in Loudon at a speed of 134.577 miles per hour in his official run against the clock on Friday afternoon.
In the opening practice session earlier on Friday he was 18th fastest on the speed chart with a best lap at 135.709 mph, which he turned on the 10th of 13 laps he ran in that session.
Menard was optimistic about his prospects for the remainder of the weekend in his post-qualifying comments to the media.
“The car drove pretty decent, really,” he said. “I have to go back and look at it on where I lost some time. I felt like I attacked the corner pretty hard.
“Maybe I used a little bit too much brake just to get it to point, but I was fairly happy with how it drove and all that. I don’t know how it’s going to shake out, but we’ve got all day tomorrow to get it right for the race, and that’s what we’re here for.”
Menard and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will have two opportunities on Saturday to fine-tune for Sunday. A morning practice session at 9:30 a.m. will be followed by Happy Hour at 12:30 p.m. as NASCAR is using a more traditional weekend schedule at New Hampshire.
Menard also will get more track time on the Magic Mile as he’s driving the No. 12 Menards/Richmond Ford in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.
The 27th annual Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 is set to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday with TV coverage on NBCSN.