Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Menard and RCR - a Win-Win Partnership

It may not have made as much news as Kasey Kahne's temporary move to Red Bull Racing, but Richard Childress Racing announced today that Paul Menard will be the team's newest driver in 2011.

Menard will bring a fourth car back to its stable next year, and Menard is the guy who's going to wheel it.  What sweetened the deal is that Menard comes with a multi-year sponsorship courtesy of Menards  (the third-largest home improvement company) which happens to be owned by his father.

The move gives Menard, who has four full seasons of Cup racing to his credit, an opportunity to prove himself with one of the best teams in the biz.

RCR is having a banner year.  Its drivers currently hold first and third place in the Chase standings - and Clint Bowyer is on the bubble, in 13th spot.

From the more mercenary finance side, the move gives RCR the relief of knowing its fourth car will have solid financial backing for the entire season. And that's nothing to be sneered at in the current NASCAR economy.

Although Menard hasn't been to Victory Lane on the Cup side, this year has been his best. So far, Menard has racked up one top five and three top 10 finishes.  In 2009, he failed to finish in the top 10 even once.

From RCR's official press release:

"Paul has developed into a very good race car driver, and we see his move to RCR next year as an opportunity for him to continue that progress," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR.

"Richard Childress Racing has shown this year that they're headed on the right track," said Menard. "Having three cars competing for the Chase and, ultimately, the championship is no small feat and they're on top of their game. With that in mind and having known Richard for the past 10 years or so, when this opportunity to join RCR came about it was a no-brainer. I have always had the utmost respect for Richard and what his organization has accomplished in the past and what they're capable of achieving in the future."

What's not to love?


  1. You neglected to point out that at RCR Menard is pretty much guaranteed having as good a car to drive each week as his team mates. Richard's crews seem to be able to field identically capable cars and you're not going to see a R&D team out there. Maybe all 3 teams share their information now, and a 4th won't change a winning scenario. I've liked Paul since his DEI days, and wish him the best. I am really hoping that RCR continues its upward spiral.

  2. Unlike a lot of people, I like Paul Menard. He seems to be a genuinely good person and he's a good race car driver. Yes, having your father's company backing you certainly helps, but he's shown (especially this year) that he's pretty good behind the wheel as well.

    I'm not sure this is the best move for RCR, though. Only time will tell. They had a pretty good 2008 before expanding to four cars in 2009, and had a dismal season. I think some organizations just work better with 3 cars instead of 4 for whatever reason. Next year will tell us for sure whether or not RCR is among those organizations.

  3. Does this mean that RCR will get the Menards sponsorship for one of it's truck teams next year?