|Birthdate:||Aug. 21, 1980|
|Hometown:||Eau Claire, Wis.|
|First Career Cup race:||Aug. 10, 2003 (Watkins Glen)|
|Career Cup Poles:||1|
|Career Cup Wins:||1|
|Best Cup Championship Finish:||14th – 2015|
Paul Menard raced in several series – including the ARCA Racing Series and the SCCA Trans Am Series – prior to his NASCAR debut when joining Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as the driver of the No. 11 Chevrolet on July 24, 2004 at New Hampshire International Speedway for the Xfinity Series race.
From there, the highlights started mounting as his first Xfinity Series win came in 2006 at The Milwaukee Mile. He scored his first career Xfinity Series pole at Kansas Speedway.
Menard made his first Cup Series start on a superspeedway in 2006. He previously made two series starts on the road course at Watkins Glen International in 2003 and 2005, finishing 29th and 27th, respectively.
After racing part time in 2003 and 2004, Menard began running full time in the Xfinity Series starting in 2005. In two years, Menard scored one victory, 13 top fives and 31 top-10s.
Those results were impressive enough that he was announced to be the full-time driver of the No. 15 Menard’s Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series for DEI starting in 2007. He lined up alongside Martin Truex Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The 2007 season marked Menard’s first full-time effort in the Cup Series, but he failed to qualify for six of the races. He failed to score a top-10 finish and came in 34th position in point standings.
The following year, Menard raced in all 36 of the Cup Series races. He finished 26th in the point standings, while earning his first career pole at Daytona International Speedway and his first career top-five finish at Talladega Superspeedway.
Yates Racing officially announced Menard as the driver of the No. 98 Menards Ford for 2009 Cup Series competition.
Menard drove for Yates in 2009 and then joined Richard Petty Motorsports after the teams announced their merger. He finished out the season 31st in points.
In 2010 with Richard Petty Motorsports, Menard posted one top-five and six top-10 finishes en route to a 23rd-place standing in the points.
For 2011, Menard moved to Richard Childress Racing and recorded a breakthrough win – at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. He also notched seven other top-10 finishes en route to a career-best 17th-place finish in the final standings.
For the 2012 season, Menard improved one spot to 16th in the point standings. He had nine top 10s in 36 starts, with a best finish of third (behind Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr.) in the fall race at Kansas Speedway.
Menard also made seven starts in the Xfinity Series with a best finish of second twice – at Texas and Dover.
In 2013, Menard slipped back to 17th in points with just nine top 10s in 36 starts. His best finish was fourth place twice – at Michigan International Speedway in August and at Talladega Superspeedway in October.
Menard also made four starts in the Xfinity Series with a best showing of second (to Matt Kenseth) at Kansas Speedway.
In 2014, Menard finished 21st in the standings, but the next season he made the Chase and finished 14th in the standings after recording two top fives and five top 10s.
Menard failed to score a top five in 2016 and finished 20th in the standings. In 2017, he slipped to 23rd with a winless streak that reached 232 races. He’ll join Wood Brothers Racing for the 2018 campaign.