Menard to drive for RCR in 2011

Paul Menard will drive for Richard Childress Racing beginning with the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

RCR has signed a multi-year partnership agreement with sponsor Menards to back the driver in a fourth car Cup beginning next season, according to a team release.

"Paul has developed into a very good race car driver, and we see his move to RCR next year as an opportunity for him to continue that progress," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "At the same time, we feel Paul will contribute to the continued progress and success of RCR. Paul will fit in perfectly with our team of drivers at RCR, and they are all looking forward to working with him. We're also very proud to be aligned with Menards, one of the great family business success stories in American history."

Menard, who turns 30 on Aug. 21, is in his fourth full season of Cup competition. He began his full-time Cup career with Dale Earnhardt Inc., then moved to Yates Racing for the 2009 season. He remains with that group, but now competes under the Richard Petty Motorsports banner following an offseason merger between the teams.

Menard is 23rd in the driver standings this season. A native of Eau Claire, Wis., he also competes in the Nationwide Series. He is currently sixth in that series, driving a Roush Fenway Racing Ford. He has five career top-10 finishes in the Cup series, two of them top fives. In the Nationwide Series, he has one win, 51 top-10 and 17 top-five finishes in seven years of running at least a limited schedule there.

He will join current points leader Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer in the RCR Cup alignment. According to sources, he is expected to drive with either the No. 30 or 32.

"Richard Childress Racing has shown this year that they're headed on the right track," Menard said. "Having three cars competing for the Chase and, ultimately, the championship is no small feat and they're on top of their game. With that in mind and having known Richard for the past 10 years or so, when this opportunity to join RCR came about it was a no-brainer. I have always had the utmost respect for Richard and what his organization has accomplished in the past and what they're capable of achieving in the future."

Sponsor Menards is a family-owned business based in Eau Claire, Wis., with 255 retail store locations throughout the Midwest.