Menard joining Wood Brothers for 2018

Menard joining Wood Brothers for 2018

Menard joining Wood Brothers for 2018

Martin Truex Jr., with three victories and seven Top 5 finishes continues to lead the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 780 points, 48 more than second-place Kyle Larson.

Ryan Blaney will drive a third entry for Team Penske in NASCAR's top series next year.

Simultaneously, Wood Brothers Racing announced that Paul Menard, now of Richard Childress Racing, will join their Ford team in 2018 to run the No. 21 Fusion vacated by Blaney and a select number of NASCAR Xfinity Series races for Team Penske next year.

He also will drive in select Xfinity Series races for Team Penske, which has had sponsorship from Menards for select IndyCar races the past two years.

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"For some time now, we have wanted to bring Ryan in to run a third auto for us, but things just needed to make sense from a timing and business perspective", added Roger Penske in the release. "We've been working on making this a reality and 2018 is the right opportunity to make this move and return our organization to a three-car team".

With six races to go before the start of the Cup championship playoffs, drivers get ready to go racing at the Tricky Triangle for the Overton's 400 at Pocono Raceway Sunday. That was also announced Wednesday morning as Blaney is going in house to Team Penske.

"This is a huge opportunity for me and my career", Blaney said in a release.

Wood Brothers President Eddie Wood said in a teleconference Wednesday that with Menard, it's nice to have a driver who the team sees sticking around long term.

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Blaney will join Penske staples Brad Keselowki and Joey Logano. "Hopefully, we can do the same thing and keep the momentum going into 2018 and beyond". The multi-year extension ensures that the 2012 Cup champion and 23-time MENCS race-winner will continue to be an integral part of Team Penske_ the only team he has driven for fulltime over the course of his 10-year MENCS career. Kind of growing up in the sport, I looked up to teams like this: the Wood Brothers and the Penske organization. "Brad and Paul have established a terrific, winning combination and they are both real leaders within our team". Along with the change in teams, Menard will switch from driving the 27 Chevrolet, to the 21 Ford vehicle. I'm just a small piece of this whole puzzle through the years. Larson has two series wins to his credit and has finished in the Top 5 nine times.

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"We had a really fast auto at Indy", Wood said. He is a very talented driver and a good friend. We have a wall on our museum in Virginia of all the guys that have won races in our vehicle. Menard was a team owner and sponsor in the series but walked away after the 2004 season to back his son in NASCAR.

In addition, Menard will run a handful of Xfinity Series races for Team Penske beginning in 2018. The 2018 MENCS season will begin February 18 with the 60 th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

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