Menard named as Blaney's 2018 replacement at Wood Brothers
Wood Brothers Racing will start a new chapter next season as Paul Menard pilots the iconic No. 21 Ford, in place of Penske-bound Ryan Blaney.
Menards will also become the sponsor for NASCAR’s longest running race team.
“It’s fantastic to have the ability to continue to race in the highest level of motorsports full-time and something we look forward to doing with Paul for years to come,” said team owner Eddie Wood.
“I know this will allow us to continue to perform as an organization and will give Paul a great opportunity to go out there and compete for wins.
“Paul is not only a great driver with a lot of experience in the Cup Series, but he’s great with partners, which is a big part of what we do these days.
"We are looking forward to finishing out this season with Ryan (Blaney), going for more wins and maybe even a championship, and continuing that with Paul in 2018.”
The Wood Brothers have amassed 99 Cup victories over the last 64 years in NASCAR competition — most recently with Blaney last month at Pocono.
Menard, 36, has competed in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series since 2007. His sole Cup victory came in the 2011 Brickyard 400. He’s also earned three Xfinity Series wins in 212 starts. Menard was also run a limited NXS schedule for Team Penske.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in NASCAR and as a Cup Series driver, but to get the chance to drive the iconic No. 21 for the Wood Brothers is the coolest thing I’ve ever got a chance to do,” said Menard.
“I’m looking forward to working with the team, working with Roush Yates, Ford Performance, and Team Penske to see what we can do.
“Ryan (Blaney) has done a fantastic job and is a constant threat to run up front. Hopefully, we can do the same thing and keep the momentum going into 2018 and beyond.”
For the last seven seasons, Menard has run with Richard Childress Racing. On Wednesday, team owner Richard Childress said he expects to announce plans for Menard’s replacement at a later date.
“Together, we have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, including Paul’s emotional win at Indianapolis in 2011,” Childress said. “He is a very talented driver and a good friend. Everyone at RCR wishes both Paul and Menards nothing but the best in the future.
“Our entire RCR organization is 100 percent focused on getting all three of our Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series programs in the playoffs this year, and bringing another Cup championship to RCR in 2017.”
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|Teams||Richard Childress Racing , Wood Brothers Racing|