Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Non-Chaser of Note: Paul Menard

Lately, Paul Menard is making Richard Childress look like a talent acquisition genius.

When Childress announced in August that Menard would join RCR's Cup stable in 2011, there were those in NASCAR circles who openly scoffed.

Certainly, they said, Childress was just bringing the driver on board for the Menards sponsorship alone. A few even claimed Childress was pretending Menard had talent just to get the bucks.

Take this quote from SB Nation writer, Jeff Gluck:

"People can convince themselves of many things, and when it comes to Paul Menard, that seems to be the case with Richard Childress.

Childress kept a completely straight face on Friday when he discussed Richard Childress Racing's new three-year deal with Menard, a below-average driver who has gotten elite rides due to the Menards sponsorship he brings."

Well who's convinced now?

In the last two races, this below-average driver has finished in the top ten.  At Kansas Speedway, Menard was the highest-finishing non-chaser with an eighth-place finish.  He qualified second.

So far, Menard has posted his best season to date - earning one top five finish and five top tens.  He's currently 23rd in points (his highest points standing ever) and he's looking better and better as the races wind down.

Guess Childress isn't so crazy after all ...

1 comment:

  1. Menard is a good driver. As Jeff Burton said, he's always going to be looked at as having special privileges because of his father's wealth. Childress was burned by the Townley fiasco, so on the surface, it seems he may be making the same mistake with Menard. But, Menard has proven to be a much better driver than Townley. Menard won't tear up Richard's equipment and will be solid. Don't look for him to make the chase next year, but a top 15-20 finish in the points is realistic.