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TBT: Paul Menard Victorious at the Brickyard 400

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With the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heading to the infamous Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for the Brickyard 400, here at Rubbings Racing we look back at Paul Menardís win back in 2011.

July 31, 2011 was a day that would change Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menardís Impala Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, forever. Menard had never won at NASCARís highest level until that day. Not only would Menard capture his first career victory in his 167th start, it would be in one of NASCARís most prestigious races.

While Menard never dominated early on in the race his crew chief and team would make the right calls at the right time.

Menardís crew chief Slugger Labbe had the perfect strategy. The team would last pit at lap 36. Than Labe chose to have Menard give up the lead with just 9 laps remaining to Jamie McMurray in order to save fuel because he knew McMurray didnít have enough fuel to make it to the finish.

With 3 laps remaining Labbe gave his driver the green light as he would retake the lead from McMurray and cruise to the checkers.

As Menardís team was screaming over the radio, Menard was quiet as he asked, ďthat’s the checkered, right?”

Jeff Gordon would end up finishing second as he ran out of time to try and catch Menard after a late fuel stop put him 12 seconds behind at one point.

It was not only a special win being Menardís first in the MENCS but his family was all in attendance including his father who ownís Menardís which is a mid-west based hardware store and has been involved in racing for decades.

“I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid, my dad tried to win this race for 35 years, so this is for my dad,” Menard said.

Noted: Menard joined fellow drivers Trevor Bayne, Regan Smith, David Ragan, and Marcos Ambrose as first-time winners in the 2011 season.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah is going into her third year covering NASCAR for Rubbings Racing as well as helping run their Social Media platforms. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah is an avid racing fan as well as a fan of the major New England sports teams. She is currently studying Public Relations and Marketing at SNHU with plans to move to North Carolina after graduation. Sarah also enjoys visiting her home track of NHMS each year, reading, running and photography.

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