No. 21 driver, Paul Menard has now completed his final practice session in his full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, doing it in the final track on the 2019 season schedule, Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Menard’s final practice session ended with the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang recording a best lap at 166.446 miles per hour.
That speed put him 12th on the speed chart for an abbreviated practice session. He’ll start today’s Ford EcoBoost 400 from 19th place after qualifying was cancelled due to rain on Friday at the Southern Florida racetrack. The starting line-up set by car owner points.
President and Wood Brothers co-owner, Eddie Wood said he feels good about the speed of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang heading into Sunday’s season finale.
“Paul and [crew chief] Greg [Erwin] seemed happy with the car,” he said.
“We’re all hoping for a good run for Paul’s last race as a full-time Cup driver.”
Wood said that no matter how things work out in the finale race, it will be bittersweet for the entire organization.
“Having a driver retire while driving our car is a rare thing for us,” Wood said.
This afternoon’s race will be Menard’s 471st in the MENCS division. Only nine drivers in Sunday’s line-up have more starts than Menard.
The No. 21 drive has a chance to finish the season with the most laps completed and most miles run this season. With 9,951 laps, Menard’s count is second only to Joey Logano’s 9,954. Menard’s miles run, 13,315.79, also are second to Logano, who has 13,339.23.
Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 is set to start just after 3 p.m. today with TV coverage on NBC.