By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) Lost in all the hoopla over Kurt Busch's victory and the feud between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski was one of the best days of Paul Menard's mediocre career.
The driver of the No. 98 car had the lead for one lap late in the race and held on for a fifth-place finish. The only other time he finished higher was a runner-up showing at Talladega in 2008.
``It felt really good,'' said Menard, who climbed to ninth in the points. ``The car was fast and a top five is a great way to start the year. The guys did their homework in the offseason and improved these cars so much.''
Menard has finished no lower than 18th in the first four races.
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