Richard Childress Racing
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Driver: Paul Menard
Crew Chief: Slugger Labbe
- Driver, No. 27 Menards Chevrolet SS
- Date of Birth: 8/21/1980
- Hometown: Eau Claire, Wis.
- Residence: Charlotte, N.C.
- Marital Status: Married, Jennifer
- Twitter: @RCR27PMenard
- Hobbies: Skiing, Dirt Bikes, Shooting, Boating, Go-karting
2013 marks Paul Menard’s seventh full-time season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. Menard will pilot the No. 27 Menards Chevrolet SS for the third consecutive year at Richard Childress Racing. He will also join forces with some of his RCR teammates in the No. 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry, competing in three events during the 2013 season. The Eau Claire, Wis., native closed the 2012 season recording his career-best finish of 16th in the driver championship point standings on the strength of one top-five and nine top-10 finishes, and led all competitors in NASCAR’s premier series in laps completed (10,406 of 10, 442). Joining the RCR family for the 2011 season, the year was highlighted with his first Sprint Cup Series win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Brickyard 400. He went on to capture career-high numbers in 2011, including four top-five and eight top-10 finishes with 82 laps led, and finished 17th in the driver championship point standings.
Menard first climbed behind the wheel of a go kart at the age of eight and competed in the Wisconsin area. He won two Briggs Class Championships during his karting career. Before making his NASCAR debut, he raced in the International Ice Racing Association, winning 10 IIRA events. Menard moved to the NASCAR Challenge Series, earning his first pole award and win at Elkhart Lake’s Road America during his rookie season (2001). In 2002, he earned two wins in the NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series (Auto Club Speedway road course and Phoenix International Raceway).
In April 2003, Menard made his first career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start at Salem (Ind.) Speedway with Andy Petree Racing. That June, he made his first career Camping World Truck Series start at The Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile and that same year, made his first Nationwide Series start at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway (June) and his first Sprint Cup Series start at Watkins Glen International (August). The then 23-year-old competed in a total of four ARCA Racing Series events, earning his first pole award at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway (August) and drove to his first win at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (September) after starting from the 38th position.
Menard started the 2004 Nationwide Series season competing for Andy Petree Racing. Midseason, however, he joined forces with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and earned his first Nationwide Series pole award at Kansas Speedway in October. With six top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 2005, Menard finished the season a career-high sixth in the driver championship point standings. The following year, he tied the effort on the merit of his first career Nationwide Series victory came at The Milwaukee Mile, seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.
In 2007, Menard made the move to full-time competition in the Sprint Cup Series and won Rookie of the Race honors in four events. Menard’s first career Sprint Cup Series pole award came at Daytona International Speedway in 2008 in his 39th career start. Menard made the move to Yates Racing after the 2008 season and kicked off 2009 in the No. 98 entry. Heading into the 2010 season, Yates Racing merged with Richard Petty Motorsports with crew chief Slugger Labbe joining Menard under the RPM banner. The pair combined for a then career-best one top-five and six top-10 finishes.
Racing part time in the Nationwide Series in 2007 and 2009, Menard returned to full-time competition in 2010 driving the No. 98 entry for Roush Fenway Racing, capping the season off with a fifth-place finish in the driver championship point standings, his career-best in the NNS. Returning to part-time status in the Nationwide Series when Menard joined RCR in 2011, he earned two pole awards, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes in only seven starts while driving the No. 33 Chevrolet during Kevin Harvick, Inc.’s final season of competition. In 2012, RCR returned to the Nationwide Series and Menard returned in their No. 33 entry for seven events where he claimed one pole award, two top-five and six top-10 finishes.