Category Archives: Wood Brothers

Menard Qualifies 18th At Kansas

Menard Qualifies 18th At Kansas

October 20, 2018

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/NIBCO team had a case of the second-round blues during Monster Energy Cup Series qualifying at Kansas Speedway Friday evening.

After posting top-10 speeds in opening practice and the first of three rounds of qualifying, Menard was just 18th fastest in the second round and therefore not among the elite 12 who ran for the pole. Continue reading Menard Qualifies 18th At Kansas

Menard Optimistic Heading Into Kansas

Menard Optimistic Heading Into Kansas

October 18, 2018

Fresh off a ninth-place finish in a typically topsy-turvy race at Talladega, Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/NIBCO team head to Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400.

The veteran driver said he’s feeling good about his team’s prospects for Sunday’s race.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to Kansas,” he said. “That’s been a pretty good track for me.”

Menard finished sixth in the KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas in May and has five other top-10s there in his career. He also is encouraged by the performance of his No. 21 Fusion showed in a recent test session at Kansas, and he’s interested to see how the race plays out.

“We had good speed at the test, and we were surprised how fast the top groove came in,” he said. “You run right by the wall to get the best speed.

“It’s definitely going to be a little different than the average race on an intermediate track.”

Looking back at Talladega, Menard said he was proud of the way his team kept its focus despite falling two laps down early in the race because of a flat tire and the resulting green-flag pit stop.

“We fought through a lot and got a good finish,” he said, adding that he believes his team’s perseverance at Talladega is a sign of ongoing improvement. “We’re still learning each other, and we’re getting more comfortable with the decisions we make throughout the weekend.”

Qualifying at Kansas is set for Friday at 7:10 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is scheduled to start just after 2:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday with TV coverage for both events on NBCSN.

Menard Overcomes Early Setback To Finish Ninth At Talladega

Menard Overcomes Early Setback To Finish Ninth At Talladega

October 14, 2018

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy team battled back from two laps down to finish ninth in Sunday’s 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

It was Menard’s seventh top-10 finish of the season and his third in the past six races.

Menard lined up 30th to start Sunday’s race and had worked his way up to 16th place when a flat tire sent him to pit road under the green flag. Continue reading Menard Overcomes Early Setback To Finish Ninth At Talladega

Wood Brothers Have Long History At Talladega

Wood Brothers Have Long History At Talladega

October 10, 2018

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy team head to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend hoping their No. 21 Ford Fusion will be as fast as it was in April when Menard scored a Stage win, led eight laps and was consistently among the front runners before being swept up in a Talladega “Big One” multi-car crash with just over 20 laps left to run. Continue reading Wood Brothers Have Long History At Talladega

Menard Finishes 16th After Long Day At Dover

Menard Finishes 16th After Long Day At Dover

October 7, 2018

Eddie Wood, long-time observer of all things NASCAR, knows his team’s 16th-place finish in Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway isn’t something he’d usually brag about – unless one considers how hard it was to come by.

His driver Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Tarkett team started Sunday’s race at a disadvantage, having to line up 18th when a shower on Friday led to the starting line-up being set by car owner points. Continue reading Menard Finishes 16th After Long Day At Dover

Menard Set To Start 18th At Dover After Rain Cancels Qualifying

Menard Set To Start 18th At Dover After Rain Cancels Qualifying

October 5, 2018

With a surprise shower washing out Friday’s qualifying session at Dover International Speedway, Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Tarkett Ford are set to start 18th in Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400.

The line-up was set by car owner points.

Menard and the Menards/Tarkett team were off to a good start at Dover on Friday. Menard and the team backed up the speed they showed at Dover in May with a 15th-place effort in Friday’s opening practice session. Menard ran just five laps and posted his best speed of 162.367 miles per hour on his first lap.

With qualifying a no-go, the team now begins working on fine-tuning a race set-up, and there will be two practice sessions on Saturday to prepare for Sunday’s 400-mile run on the high-banked, one-mile concrete oval.

The first practice session is set for 11 a.m. Eastern Time and will be broadcast on CNBC. The second should roll off at 1:30 p.m. with coverage on NBCSN.

Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400 is scheduled to get the green flag just after 2 p.m. with TV coverage on NBCSN.

Late Wrecks Spoils Strong Roval Run For Menard

Late Wrecks Spoils Strong Roval Run For Menard

September 30, 2018

Paul Menard took the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for quite a ride in Sunday’s inaugural Monster Energy Cup Series race on the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, leading the race at one point before a multi-car crash left him 33rd at the finish.

After starting 22nd, Menard used some skilled driving and smart pit strategy from crew chief Greg Erwin to race his way forward. Continue reading Late Wrecks Spoils Strong Roval Run For Menard

Menard Qualifies 22nd For Inaugural Roval Race At Charlotte

September 28, 2018

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion are set to start 22nd on Sunday in the first-ever race on the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Menard and his fellow Monster Energy Cup Series drivers spent most of Friday’s practice session and qualifying time with the same mindset they had during earlier test sessions on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn course. Continue reading Menard Qualifies 22nd For Inaugural Roval Race At Charlotte

Roval Racing Is A Mystery For Menard

Roval Racing Is A Mystery For Menard
September 27, 2018

With the experience that comes from 427 career starts and 12 full seasons on NASCAR’s elite Monster Energy Cup Series, Paul Menard generally has a good idea what’s ahead of him when he heads to a race track.

But he’s never been to a track quite like the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where the Cup series races this weekend. The all-new Roval circuit is 2.28 miles in length, with 17 turns. It uses part of Charlotte’s oval track and the rest is on the updated road course. Continue reading Roval Racing Is A Mystery For Menard

Late Speeding Penalty Spoils Strong Effort By Menard, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

Late Speeding Penalty Spoils Strong Effort By Menard, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

September 23, 2018

The official results of Saturday night’s Monster Energy Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway will show that Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team started 21stand finished 22nd.

What those numbers don’t show is a determined effort by Menard and the No. 21 team.

After taking the green flag outside the top 20 on a track that often means going a lap down early due to the relative shortness of the three-quarter-mile oval, Menard finished both of the first two 100-lap Stages on the lead lap. He did so thanks to a short-pitting strategy in which he stopped for four fresh tires under the green flag midway through the stage, falling two laps down to the leader in the process. Continue reading Late Speeding Penalty Spoils Strong Effort By Menard, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

Menard Looking For Improvement At Richmond

Menard Looking For Improvement At Richmond

September 19, 2018

Richmond Raceway has never been a particularly good track for Paul Menard or for his Wood Brothers team.

Menard has just one top-five finish there, back in 2013.

The Woods have two Richmond wins but none since Kyle Petty’s victory there in 1986.

But Menard, who will be back in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane colors on the No. 21 Fusion this weekend, has hopes that his and his team’s Richmond fortunes are in for an improvement. Continue reading Menard Looking For Improvement At Richmond

Menard Rallies To Finish 10th At Las Vegas

Menard Rallies To Finish 10th At Las Vegas

September 16, 2018

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Aquafina team battled back from early-race adversities to finish 10th in Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was the second straight top-10 finish for Menard and the No. 21 team, the first being a ninth-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway a week ago. It was the second straight top-10 for Menard and the team at Las Vegas, where they finished ninth in March. And it extended the Wood Brothers’ streak of top-10 finishes at Las Vegas to four, with the first two of those coming in 2017.

On a hot Sunday at Las Vegas, where temperatures surpassed 100 degrees, Menard and the Menards/Aquafina team initially struggled to get the No. 21 Fusion handling properly after starting 20th. Continue reading Menard Rallies To Finish 10th At Las Vegas

Menard Qualifies 20th At Las Vegas

Menard Qualifies 20th At Las Vegas

September 14, 2018

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Aquafina Ford are set to line up 20th for Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Menard opened Friday’s practice session with a lap at 186.800 miles per hour, which wound up being the 14th fastest speed in that session.

In the opening round of knock-out qualifying on Friday afternoon, he turned a lap at 187.071 mph, which was 14th best and good enough to advance to the second qualifying round.

His forward progress ended there as he toured the track at 186.432 mph, which put him 20th on the speed chart.

Eddie Wood pointed out that the good news on a hot day at Las Vegas is that there are two practice sessions on Saturday to find more speed in the Menard/Aquafina Fusion.

“We were a little disappointed with qualifying” Wood said. “We’ve had good speed at the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, so we’ll be OK on Sunday.”

The South Point 400 at Las Vegas is expected to start just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBCSN.

Menards/Aquafina Team Hoping To Build On Recent Success At Vegas

Menards/Aquafina Team Hoping To Build On Recent Success At Vegas

September 13, 2018

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Aquafina team won’t be a part of the Monster Energy Cup Series playoffs as they had planned. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be racing just as hard over the final 10 events of the 2018 season.

Menard finished the 26-race regular season in 18th place in the points standings, which left him two spots shy of being among the 16 drivers who will start the playoffs this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which statistically is Menard’s best track.

It’s also been a good one lately for his Wood Brothers team, which has an average finish of 7.3 over the past three races including a ninth-place run by Menard back in March in the third race of the season.

Eddie Wood said he and his teammates are ready to show the team’s potential over the final 10 races, and Sunday’s 400-miler at Las Vegas offers them a good chance to shine.

“We ran well at Vegas in the spring, and we’re looking forward to going back,” he said.

Wood remains positive about his team’s prospects despite missing the cut for the playoffs.

“Although a lot of unfortunate circumstances kept us from making the playoffs, we’re going to go at these final 10 races as hard as we can,” he said. “Our goal is to win a race, and winning races is what this sport is all about.”

Qualifying for the South Point 400 is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is expected to start just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage for both events on NBCSN.

Menard Finishes Ninth At The Brickyard

Menard Finishes Ninth At The Brickyard

September 10, 2018

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy team battled back from an early flat tire to finish ninth in Monday’s rain-delayed Big Machine Vodka 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It was Menard’s fifth top-10 finish of the season and the best-ever finish at Indianapolis for the Wood Brothers, who finished 10th in the first two Brickyard 400s with Morgan Shepherd driving the famed No. 21. Continue reading Menard Finishes Ninth At The Brickyard

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Is A Special Place For The Menard Family

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Is A Special Place For The Menard Family

September 6, 2018

For members of the motorsports community, and lots of others too, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is hallowed ground.

For Paul Menard, driver of the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Fusion, the world’s most famous race track holds an extra special place in his heart.

“Every time I drive into the track there it gives me goose bumps,” Menard said. “It’s exciting. Being a driver at Indy is the coolest thing in the sport.”

He attended races there as a youngster, tagging along with his father John Menard, a veteran car owner who fielded entries in the Indianapolis 500 for a Who’s Who list of drivers including Gary Bettenhausen, Al Unser, Tom Sneva, Danny Ongais and Tony Stewart. But John Menard never tasted victory at Indianapolis until 2011, when his son Paul won the Brickyard 400.

Although his father was a big figure in open-wheel racing, Paul Menard took a different route to Indianapolis.

Growing up in Wisconsin, there were several asphalt short tracks within reasonable driving distance of his home in Eau Claire, so that’s where he began his racing career.

“There were a lot of short tracks within two hours of home, so Indy car racing really wasn’t an option,” he said. “I would have liked to run the Indy 500, but it’s too late to do that now.”

He did get to the Speedway through his NASCAR career and scored his biggest career victory there in 2011.

“That was definitely a day I’ll never forget,” he said of his run there while driving for car owner Richard Childress. “We were pretty competitive all day long, and then I was involved in a caution flag.”

That yellow flag flew on Lap 121 of 160 for an incident involving Landon Cassill and David Ragan.

“I had to go to the grass to miss them and got grass on the grille and a little damage,” Menard recalled. “We were just outside our fuel window at that point, so they packed it full of gas and I was saving fuel as I headed down pit road.”

Over the final 34-lap, green-flag run to the finish, Menard spent the early laps saving fuel, and as other drivers began making late pit stops he cycled into the lead.

But it was no cakewalk to the finish line.

“The last four or five laps I started running hard again and held them off.”

Menard, who led the race on four occasions, took the lead for good with four laps remaining, and at the checkered flag was .725 seconds ahead of runner-up Jeff Gordon.

“It was pretty cool, pretty special,” he said.

Menard said that looking back, the best part of the victory celebration was enjoying the moment with his family and teammates.

“My dad, my mom and my sister were there, and I talked to my brother on the phone in Victory Lane,” he said. “And riding around the track in the pace car with Richard Childress and my dad was really special.”

Menard is hoping to make some more Indy memories this weekend in the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard.

He said a recent test session at Indy gives him reason to be optimistic.

“I feel like we learned some things that will apply,” he said. “It was hot and rainy at the test, and it’s looking like the weather will be similar this weekend although a little cooler.”

Qualifying is set for Saturday at 6:15 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage for both events on NBCSN.

Menard Finishes 17th In Southern 500 at Darlington

Menard Finishes 17th In Southern 500 at Darlington

September 3, 2018

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team came away with a 17th-place finish after a long, hard night in the Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Menard started the race from 14th place but fell back early due to contact related to some tight-quarters racing on the Track Too Tough To Tame. Continue reading Menard Finishes 17th In Southern 500 at Darlington

Menard Set To Start 14th In Southern 500 At Darlington

Menard Set To Start 14th In Southern 500 At Darlington

September 1, 2018
Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford will line up 14th for the 69th annual Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway as the sport celebrates its annual Throwback Weekend.

Appropriately, the No. 21 Fusion will carry a paint scheme reminiscent of the No. 21 Mercury Cyclone that Cale Yarborough drove to victory in the 1968 Southern 500, 50 years ago to the day from Sunday’s race. Continue reading Menard Set To Start 14th In Southern 500 At Darlington

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team To Honor A Legend And A Family Of Loyal Ford Fans At Darlington

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team To Honor A Legend And A Family Of Loyal Ford Fans At Darlington

August 28, 2018
Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will be honoring a legendary driver and a family of loyal Ford fans during this weekend’s fourth-annual throwback-themed Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

The No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion will carry a red-and-white paint scheme reminiscent of the Wood Brothers’ 1968 Mercury Cyclone that Cale Yarborough drove to victory in the 1968 Southern 500, which was held 50 years ago to the day from Sunday’s 500. Continue reading Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team To Honor A Legend And A Family Of Loyal Ford Fans At Darlington