The 2017 NASCAR premiere series season marks Paul Menard’s 11th year at NASCAR’s top level. Menard completed the 2016 season with three top-10 and nine top-15 finishes with crew chief Danny Stockman on the pit box. The Eau Claire, Wisconsin native also competed in eight NASCAR XFINITY Series events resulting in four top-five and six top-10 finishes.
Joining the RCR family for the 2011 season, Menard earned his first premiere series win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400. His total RCR numbers include 15 top-five and 47 top-10 finishes in competition.
The Eau Claire, Wisconsin, native 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. In June, he made his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at The Milwaukee Mile. That same year, he made his first XFINITY Series start at Nashville Superspeedway (June) and his first premiere 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 Speedway (August) and driving to his first win at Talladega Superspeedway (September) after starting from the 38th position.
Menard started the 2004 XFINITY Series season competing for Andy Petree Racing. Midseason, however, he joined forces with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and earned his first XFINITY 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 XFINITY Series victory at The Milwaukee Mile, seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.
In 2007, Menard made the move to full-time competition in the premiere series and won Rookie of the Race honors in four events. His first career premiere series pole award came in his 39th career start at Daytona International Speedway in 2008. Menard made the move to Robert 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 and crew chief Slugger Labbe joined Menard under the RPM banner. The pair combined for a then career-best one top-five and six top-10 finishes. The Wisconsin native also returned to full-time XFINITY Series competition that year 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 series.
Joining the RCR family for the 2011 season with Labbe still in command, the year was highlighted with his first premiere series win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400. He went on to complete 2011 with four top-five and eight top-10 finishes with 82 laps led, and finished 17th in the driver championship point standings. The 2012 season was a stellar year for the Richard Childress Racing driver as he recorded a career-high finish of 16th in the points, accumulating one top-five and nine top-10 finishes, while leading all competitors in NASCAR’s premier series in laps completed (10,406 of 10,442). In 2013, consistency played
a role as Menard finished 17th in the championship standings on the strength of three top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
The 2014 season was a solid year for Menard as he recorded a career-best five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes en route to a 21st-place finish in the standings. Menard carried the momentum from 2014 to 2015, earning his first berth in the Chase for the premiere series championship with a 14th-place point finish in the familiar No. 27 Menards Chevrolet SS. He completed the 2015 season with two top-five, five top-10 and 21 top-15 finishes.
Matt Borland joins the No. 27 Chevrolet team as a seasoned NASCAR engineer and crew chief. He brings to Richard Childress Racing more than 20 years of motorsports experience. Most recently, he served as vice president of technology for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) where he oversaw the team's NASCAR and Formula 1 operations, while managing its engineering staff of 30.
From 2009 to 2016, Borland served in several roles at SHR, including vice president of competition and crew chief. His crew chief record in the NASCAR premiere series includes 13 wins, all coming with current RCR driver Ryan Newman behind the wheel.
Growing up near Detroit, Michigan, Borland was attracted to cars early in life. He graduated from the General Motors Institute, known today as Kettering University, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and began his career in motorsports at Pi Research. His role at the engineering organization was to work on racing simulations for multiple racing series including NASCAR, Formula 1 and IndyCar.
Borland made the move to PacWest Racing in 1998 where he worked as race engineer for IndyCar Series driver Mark Blundell. In 1999, NASCAR team owner Roger Penske asked Borland to join his team as a simulation engineer for their premiere series program. Thus, his career in NASCAR began.
The 2000 season brought change to Borland’s new role as he was tasked with building a race team surrounding Penske’s newest driver Ryan Newman. The duo prepared for Newman’s rookie season in the premiere series by participating in select ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and premiere series events. In 2002, they began full-time racing in the premiere series. Borland and Newman worked as a team through the 2006 premiere series season and secured an impressive 13 wins, 37 pole awards, 54 top-five and 83 top-10 finishes. The pair also finished top 10 in the point standings in their first four seasons of full-time competition.
Borland made the switch to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007 for a short period to serve as crew chief for Dale Jarrett. Soon after, he joined CNC Haas Racing (now Stewart-Haas Racing) as director of competition and was promoted to technical director in 2009, then vice president of competition in 2011. As vice president of competition, Borland led an engineering staff, the wind-tunnel group, the information technology department and the pit department.