Paul Menard started the Meijer 300 Nationwide Race in the seventh position at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, but after trouble in the pit followed by a collision, he finished the race in the garage.
Driving the Certain Teed/Menards Ford Fusion, Menard worked his way up to fifth position in the first 10 laps of the race and ran in the top 11 through the 157 laps he completed.
Happy with the car early on, Menard said it was a bit tight center off. The team, led by crew chief Matt Puccia, tried to adjust for it on Lap 22 in the pit, sending Menard back out in 10th position.
On Lap 71, Menard picked up three-tenths of a second and ran the fastest lap time on the track. He continued to post solid lap times until the caution came out on Lap 73. Menard told Puccia the car was too tight and asked to have the left rear spring rubber removed, but the team was unable to correctly pull the spring rubber.
On Lap 111, Menard reported that the car was still tight center and losing its grip, carrying up off a turn.
By Lap 133, Menard said it felt like the nose was up, the steering was light and the front "felt numb." Puccia called him to the pit for right-side tires, air pressure, fuel and a right front shock adjustment to fix the steering issue.
In 14th position on the restart, Menard worked his way back up to top 10 — but not for long.
On Lap 157, he was involved in heavy contact with two other cars, got spun and was sent into the wall by Jason Leffler in the No. 38 car. Menard was able to get back into the pit stall, but the car was beyond repair, ending his race.
Joey Logano won the Meijer 300.
Despite placing 32nd on Saturday, Menard remains sixth in Nationwide Points Standings.
Nationwide Series will be in Elkhart Lake, Wis., at Road America for the Bucyrus 200 on June 19.