Paul Menard: Father's Day, family, strong finish

June 15, 2014, Paul Menard, Special to,

Richard Childress Racing driver celebrates special holiday with second top-five of 2014

Editor's Note: Paul Menard chronicled his weekend at Michigan International Speedway for The Richard Childress Racing driver won Saturday's Nationwide Series Ollie's Bargain Outlet 250 in the No. 33 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet. He finished fourth in the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400.

Sunday, June 15 (all times ET)

8:00 a.m.
-- I slept in this morning a bit. I was pretty tired from the Nationwide Series race yesterday plus I was up watching the Camping World Truck Series race in St. Louis until 11:00 p.m. Coffee, news, two hardboiled eggs and out the door.

The No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet sits in the garage, awaiting the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400.
(Photo courtesy of Richard Childress Racing)

9:45 a.m. -- We typically always have a meet and greet with Menards partners who get passes to the race. This will happen one hour before the driver/crew chief meeting with anywhere from three to 20 people. I like to spend time talking with them and answering any questions they may have. The group also comes out to pit road before the race to have pictures taken near the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevy.

10:00 a.m. -- I meet with a group of eight guests who work for our partners CertainTeed, Pittsburgh Paints and Quaker State. We talk about yesterday's Nationwide Series win, and they ask how our Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevy is for today's race.

10:20 a.m. -- Now that our meet and greet is over, I hang out in the hauler until our driver/crew chief meeting, which is at 11:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m. -- It's time for the driver/crew chief meeting. They typically go over the same rules each weekend but certain things change depending on the track.

11:15 a.m. -- After the driver/crew chief meeting, I head back to my motor coach to eat and spend time with my family.

Richard Childress Racing teammates Paul Menard and Austin Dillon sign autographs for fans on their way to driver introductions.
(Photo courtesy of Richard Childress Racing)

12:20 p.m. -- Driver introductions start at 12:30 p.m. today so we head to the stage 10 minutes early. Along the way, I make sure and stop to sign autographs for fans that are lined up near the stage.

12:45 p.m. -- After introductions, I will typically find a bathroom before heading to the car. Four hundred miles is a long time, if you know what I mean!

1:00 p.m. -- Today, I get to enjoy time on pit road with my daughter, wife and father. It's been a good Father's Day weekend so far, and I'm glad my family has been here with me. Today's race is 400 miles and may come down to fuel strategy. We have a good car, and I know it's capable of at least a top-10 finish if everything goes our way.

Richard Childress Racing's No. 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crew stands on the wall but crew chief Slugger Labbe stays out to give Paul Menard better track position.
(Photo courtesy of Richard Childress Racing)

4:30 p.m. -- The 200-lap race is over, and we finished fourth! Slugger Labbe and my guys made a good call to stay out during a caution, which gave us good track position. We were able to save fuel and make it all the way to the end for our second top-five finish of 2014.


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