Number 27 Chevrolet
Richard Childress Racing
August 21, 1980
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Paul Menard started in NASCAR as a road race ringer. In 2003 he attempted to qualify in Sonoma and failed to make the field. Later in the year he squeaked into the Watkins Glen starting lineup to make his first start. Menard started dead last but finished a respectable 29th for Andy Petree Racing.
In 2005 he ran another single race, also in Watkins Glen. Menard started 42nd and finished 27th in another very respectable run. This time his car owner was Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In 2006 Paul Menard started seven races for Dale Earnhardt Jr's Sprint Cup team with his best effort coming in a seventh place effort in Atlanta.
Finally Menard joined the NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie class of 2007 bringing his entire Nationwide Series team with him to run as the #15 for Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Menard had a frustrating year in his first Cup Series campaign. He failed to qualify for six races and was unable to crack the top ten in his thirty starts. Menard's best finish of the year was a twelfth place effort in Michigan.
Juan Pablo Montoya easily won the 2007 Rookie of the Year title with a win and six top ten finishes on the year.
2003 - First NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start
2006 - First NASCAR Nationwide Series Victory (Milwaukee)
2007 - First Full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season
2009 - Left Dale Earnhardt Inc for Robert Yates Racing
2010 - Robert Yates Racing Merges with Richard Petty Motorsports
2011 - Left Richard Petty Motorsports for Richard Childress Racing
2011 - First NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Victory (Indianapolis)
Paul Menard: Gaining Traction:
Paul Menard cut his racing teeth in Karting and Ice Racing before moving up to Late Models and other stock car racing series.
In 2001 Menard ran his first full season in the ARCA series and scored a win at Road America. Menard would drive anything with wheels and excelled at the road races. The next season he continued in ARCA but also ran well in the Grand Am and SCCA Trans Am series events that he entered.
He finally caught a big league ride in 2003 as a road race ringer for Andy Petree Racing. An impressive run in that car earned him an opportunity for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Once again he performed well and was given the opportunity to go full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing for DEI, Robert Yates Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing.
The bright spot for Menard is that he has been running up front more often and showing steady progress in the points. In 2009 he ended the season 31st. Then in 2010 he improved to 23rd. The next season he improved to 17th and again in 2012 he moved up a spot to 16th. If he can continue his steady march forward Paul Menard can become a threat to make the Chase and battle for the Championship.