Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Paints Ford Mustang came away with an 18th-place finish in Sunday’s Go Bowling at the Glen.
Menard started the 90-lap race on the historic Watkins Glen road course from 22nd place and moved up to 16th in the opening 20-lap Stage.
In Stage Two, he wound up 20th as team began putting their strategy in place for the finish of the race.
During the final 50-lap segment, Menard and the Menards/Dutch Boy team elected to run long before making their final pit stop, a move that, if events played out in their favor, would have put them at an advantage tire-wise in the closing laps.
Menard cycled into the lead and held the top spot for three laps before the yellow flag flew on Lap 63 for an incident between Kyle Busch and Bubba Wallace.
The caution flag foiled the No. 21 team’s strategy, so Menard made his pit stop at that point and worked his way back to 18th at the finish.
Track officials announced before the race that the event drew a sold-out grandstand crowd with thousands more watching from their campsites spread all along the 2.45-mile race course.
“Our strategy didn’t work out due to the last caution and that cost us a few spots,” Wood said. “But I was happy for the folks at Watkins Glen. They’ve built a good fan base here, and having a sellout crowd is a big achievement for NASCAR as a whole.”
Menard and the Wood Brothers team now head to Michigan International Speedway for next week’s Consumers Energy 400.