Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are set to start the Daytona 500 from seventh place thanks to Menard’s third-place finish in the first of two Gander RV Duels on Thursday night.
Menard started the 150-mile qualifying race from sixth position but settled out in fourth place, where he ran until a green-flag pit stop at lap 12 of 60.
Once the pit stops cycled out, Menard was running second to eventual winner Kevin Harvick. Menard lost a spot to third place when the bottom line briefly gained momentum midway through the race.
On the last lap, he made a bold move on second-running Ricky Stenhouse Jr. but came up just inches short.
Nonetheless, it was a cause for celebration in the Ford Motor Company camp as Mustang drivers swept the top three finishing positions, a feat the Blue Oval contingent was able to duplicate in the second Duel.
“We really had a bunch of fast Fords up front, and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang was really good,” Menard said in his post-race comments. “Ricky [Stenhouse] and I had some fun at the end there. He came over after the race, and we were trying to figure out if we should have gone earlier, later, whatever else might’ve worked.
“I was faster than him through the Tri-Oval, he had me by a bit down the back… at the end I had a little run and I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep tonight if I didn’t try at least something there.”
The Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, which also earned eight Stage points in the Duels, now turns its focus to practice sessions on Friday and Saturday as they make final preparations for Sunday’s Great American Race.
The green flag for the 61st annual Daytona 500 is set to fly at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2:30 p.m., with TV coverage on FOX.
Motorcraft® offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended and approved by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to under-hood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer exceptional value with the highest quality and right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers are backed by Ford Motor Company’s two-year, unlimited-miles Service Parts Limited Warranty. Ask for Motorcraft by name when you visit your local auto parts store or your favorite service facility. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.com.
About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers
Ford’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center offers routine vehicle maintenance such as oil and filter changes, light repair services including brake repair, and tire replacements on all vehicle makes and models. With more than 800 locations and growing, customers can visit www.quicklane.com to find a center that is closest to them, print savings coupons and review maintenance tips to keep their vehicles running at peak efficiency. This site includes information on how to spot tire wear, how to jump-start a battery and even a series of tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
Wood Brothers Racing
Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 99 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 120 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop. The team currently runs the Ford Mustang driven by Paul Menard in the famous No. 21 racer.