News & Multimedia

Menard Rolls Into 2012 As Winner

For the first time in his relatively brief Sprint Cup career, Paul Menard enters a season without an ugly zero in the career win column.

In one of the big shockers of the 2011 season, Menard notched his first career win – and brought some magic along at the same time. Menard won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finally putting the Menard name – one long associated with the world’s most famous race track – in its victory lane.

Now, Menard said, it’s time to move on to the next level.

“Our realistic goal is to make the Chase,” he said. “We have the same group of guys from last year. We didn’t see a need to make many changes on the team. Everybody’s really happy. I come to the shop once or twice a week and see smiles on people’s faces.

“We had a really good test at Daytona, even in the single-car runs. We want to go down there and sit on the pole and see what happens.”

The Indianapolis win obviously was important and emotional, Menard said, but after the celebrations it was time to move on.

“What we did at Indy really didn’t affect what we did at Pocono (the following week),” he said. “You show up every week and do your job as hard as you can. If somebody wins four races in a row, I’m not sure that makes the fifth any easier.

“I’ve been racing for 25 years now. I’ve won at everything I’ve done. Obviously, as you get higher in the ranks, it gets more difficult. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever win in Sprint Cup, but I sure as hell was going to try. It makes you hungry for that second one and that third one.”

Menard rolls into his second season at Richard Childress Racing and his third with crew chief Slugger Labbe.

“A year ago I was a new guy, but I felt like I’d been here for a long time,” Menard said. “There were a lot of familiar faces from DEI that I had worked with. Having Slugger for a second year last year brought some familiarity.

“I just know everybody. I know how our system works. I know how everything operates. It makes me a little more comfortable.

“Slugger and I met at a coffee shop a couple of years ago. It was one of those ‘How you doing’ meetings. We thought it would be for about 45 minutes, but we sat there for two or three hours shooting the breeze. We talk every day, at least once a day. Our personalities are very different, but, at the same time, we’re very similar. It works.”

Now it’s time to make it work even better.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Menard Rolls Into 2012 As Winner
 
Menard Rolls Into 2012 As Winner
In one of the big shockers of the 2011 season, Menard notched his first career win – and brought some magic along at the same time. Menard won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finally putting the Menard name – one long associated with the world's most famous race track – in its victory lane.
Read More
Related Media
Will Power
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Power Takes First Step Towards May Sweep at IMS
After earning the Verizon P1 Award with a track-record qualifying lap for the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Will Power was asked about the prospects of a Month of May sweep at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Read More
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
 
Monday racing roundup: Earnhardt Jr. Scores Emotional Win at Talladega
Earnhardt, his team and Junior Nation could celebrate his 0.159-second victory over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 Sunday afternoon, his sixth Sprint Cup win here. It all but assures Earnhardt a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship for a fifth consecutive year.
Read More
Jeff Gordon
 
NASCAR Teams Slated to Test at IMS on Wednesday, April 29
As a prelude to the 22nd annual Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 26, 2015, 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 29.
Read More
Scott Dixon
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Dixon Lands 36th Career IndyCar Win at Long Beach
Dixon's first victory at Long Beach was his 36th overall, breaking a tie with Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car list. Al Unser is fourth with 39 victories. It was the 98th Indy car victory for team owner Chip Ganassi.
Read More
James Hinchcliffe
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Hinchcliffe Prevails in Wet, Wild Indy GP of Louisiana
James Hinchcliffe had a premonition midway through the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana when his crew ordered him not to make a pit stop like the rest of the Verizon IndyCar Series field leaders at NOLA Motorsports Park. The hunch came true when the Canadian took the checkered flag to win a wild and unpredictable series debut on the 2.74-mile road course outside New Orleans.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 605
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Fifteen Years Later, Montoya's The Man Again at Indianapolis by @pwilson24 - Read more here: http://t.co/djMsPwDfee #Indy500
about 6 hours ago