June 29, 2012; Sparta, IN, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Paul Menard during practice for the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

2013: Paul Menard News & Nuggets

The Eau Claire native Paul Menard has got to do one of two things this year. He either has to win more than one race this year or he has to make the chase. Menard finished 16th last year and with no wins at all it can be considered a disappointing season.

Paul Menard’s first Sprint Cup Series race was in 2003 at Watkins glen and his first full time season was 2007 where he ran 30 races and in 2008 he ran a full 36 race schedule. The only win for Menard came in the 2011 Brickyard 400. The reason that I am saying this is an important year for Menard is this is his 7th fulltime season and he only has one win. That is not acceptable if you want to be a top NASCAR driver.

Look at Casey Mears for instance. His only win came driving for Hendrick Motorsports in the 2007 Coca-Cola 600. He now drives for Germain Racing. If Menard does not win this year there is a good chance he might find himself driving for a lower team.

What keeps team owners coming to Menard is his guaranteed sponsorship. He father John Menard Jr is the founder of Menards and that gives Paul Menard sponsorship which is extremely important in today’s racing. Menard is lucky in that situation because it is only a matter of time before either him or Jeff Burton is released by Childress. I’m saying this because with Harvick leaving the team, that means Austin Dillion is taking that spot and then when Ty Dillion is ready to come to Sprint Cup someone else has to leave.

So if Paul Menard wants to keep racing for the great Richard Childress he has to pull out a few wins and making the chase wouldn’t hurt either. It is possible to do this. All Paul has to do is stay focused and focus on his positives and fix his negatives.

Tags: NASCAR Paul Menard Sprint Cup Series

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