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Menard becomes another first-time winner

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Monday 1st August, 2011 - 8:37am

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Paul Menard crosses the bricks to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory

Paul Menard crosses 'the bricks' to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory

Paul Menard stretched his fuel mileage and held off a charging Jeff Gordon to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The victory was Menard’s first as a Sprint Cup driver, and it has catapulted him into contention for a wildcard entry into the Chase.

Gordon, who closed rapidly in the final five laps, crossed the finish line 0.725s behind the season’s fourth first-time winner.

Regan Smith, who claimed his first career victory at Darlington earlier this year, came home third, followed by last year’s Brickyard 400 winner Jamie McMurray.

Matt Kenseth ran fifth, and Tony Stewart salvaged a sixth-place result despite a litany of problems throughout the race.

Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch completed the top 10.

Australian Marcos Ambrose was classified 34th after suffering from gearbox problems.

“It’s a shame we had the gearbox problem, we had overcome some earlier problems to put ourselves back into contention,” Ambrose said, who now sits 22nd in the standings.

“The race was decided on fuel consumption, and I think we would have had something for them at the finish.

“We’ll bounce back from this, Pocono next week will be a good track for us, and I can’t wait to get out there.”

RESULTS: BRICKYARD 400

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 15 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet NIBCO / Menards 47/4 160 Running
2 8 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 43/1 160 Running
3 27 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 41/0 160 Running
4 16 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 41/1 160 Running
5 9 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Crown Royal 40/1 160 Running
6 24 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Office Depot 39/1 160 Running
7 18 16 Greg Biffle Ford American Red Cross / Type O “Give Blood” 37/0 160 Running
8 12 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Quaker State / GoDaddy.com 36/0 160 Running
9 5 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 36/1 160 Running
10 29 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s 34/0 160 Running
11 19 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches 33/0 160 Running
12 23 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Haas Automation 32/0 160 Running
13 26 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 32/1 160 Running
14 10 99 Carl Edwards Ford Ortho Home Defense Max 30/0 160 Running
15 31 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 29/0 160 Running
16 22 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy / National Guard 29/1 160 Running
17 17 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Huggies Little Movers Slip-On Diapers 27/0 160 Running
18 2 4 Kasey Kahne Toyota Red Bull 28/2 160 Running
19 3 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools 26/1 160 Running
20 32 51 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Phoenix Construction / Thank A Teacher Today-Security Benefit 0 160 Running
21 4 22 Kurt Busch Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 23/0 160 Running
22 6 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Best Buy 22/0 160 Running
23 1 6 David Ragan Ford UPS / Ned Jarrett NASCAR Hall of Fame 22/1 160 Running
24 30 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Platinum Filter 20/0 160 Running
25 20 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 19/0 160 Running
26 39 71 Andy Lally * Ford Interstate Moving Services 18/0 160 Running
27 14 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 17/0 160 Running
28 7 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 16/0 160 Running
29 11 13 Casey Mears Toyota GEICO 15/0 160 Running
30 25 21 Trevor Bayne Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 0 160 Running
31 33 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Big Red 14/1 160 Running
32 42 32 Mike Bliss Ford TMone “We Drive Sales” 0 160 Running
33 37 34 David Gilliland Ford Front Row Motorsports 11/0 157 Running
34 21 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 10/0 157 Running
35 13 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 9/0 153 Engine
36 28 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 8/0 49 Accident
37 35 66 Michael McDowell Toyota HP Racing LLC 7/0 23 Electrical
38 36 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 0 19 Overheating
39 34 37 Scott Speed Ford Green Stuff Absorbent 0 19 Rear Gear
40 38 60 Mike Skinner Toyota Big Red 0 16 Electrical
41 43 223 Terry Labonte Ford CRMone “We Drive Service” 3/0 15 Transmission
42 40 150 T.J. Bell * Chevrolet Green Smoke 0 10 Brakes
43 41 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Speed Energy 1/0 5 Engine

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