Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why Paul Menard is a great addition to Yates Racing

It's very simple. Paul Menard brings to Yates what all NASCAR teams need, in order to survive. $. Yep that's it.

It doesn't matter that Menard has not won a race in the Sprint Cup series. He did win one in the Nationwide series, back when it was still called the Busch series. In the Cup series, he has exactly one top 10 finish, which came as a 7th place finish at Atlanta in 2006. That's out of a total of 68 races thus far in the Cup series.

I'm not saying that Paul Menard is not a good race car driver. I'm just saying that a driver without a built in sponsor, which is what Paul brings to the game, would not even be in the series at all. Paul's father, John Menard, is the owner of Menards, a major mid western home improvement chain. John Menard is the richest person in the state of Wisconsin, as of 2007, according to an online encyclopedia.

Having a rich father certainly helps a young race car driver succeed. Many people attribute Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s success to the fact that his father was a successful race car driver, and not that Dale Jr. could possibly have any talent of his own. That point of view is foolish at best, and ridiculous at worst, because drivers with no talent who win the Busch series championship 2 years in a row and 18 Cup races by the time they are 33 years old are rare indeed.

Paul Menard is not among the top tier of drivers in NASCAR, and never has been. However, as long as Menard's keeps doing business, and as long as his father believes in his son, Paul Menard will have a sponsor. Is this a trend that will become more prevelant in NASCAR in the future? It's difficult to say.

As long as money is the life blood of all NASCAR teams, any driver with a built in sponsor will be poplular. Race wins or championships will not make any difference, as long as the bucks keep pouring in. Yates Racing, now run by Doug Yates, has done what his organization needed to do to keep the doors open for next year. They hired a guy with a rich dad. Does this cheapen the sport in any way? I say yes, it does.

There are drivers out there that cannot get a job anymore. They have won races in the past. Steve Park comes to mind. Though he's had some terrible accidents, Steve is a proven Cup winner. He drove for DEI, basically as the company's first Cup driver. His dad doesn't own a multimillion dollar business though.

Once again, I have no beef with Paul Menard. If racing is what he wants to do, then so be it. I find it somewhat of a shame when Paul gets a ride with Yates Racing, and Steve Park is still on the outside, looking in.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jimmy,

    My name is Dave and I'm a big Paul Menard fan. Just a brief rundown on why: I grew up in Washington State which isn't exactly a hot-bed haven for hardcore NASCAR fans. Thus, growing up, I was like a lot other out-of-touch sports fans: Thinking NASCAR was for rednecks and ruffians.
    For some reason, the Daytona 500 in which Dale, SR. was killed was the first race I ever actually watched from start to finish. I was bitten by the bug and became an instant NASCAR fan from that day forward. Problem was, I had no favorite driver to root for. Solution? Well, of course, I'll pay homage to the old man and root for Junior. Soon, I began rooting DEI in general. Then starting watching the Busch (N'Wide) races. But again, no driver to root for. Solution? I'll root for Martin Truex, Jr. Then came along Paul Menard! So, Junior leaves to Hendricks which I don't and can not root for, so I no longer root for Junior. Now my loyalty lies with Truex and Menard only. Okay, now you know my story.
    As for your comments, I pretty much well agree despite being a huge fan of Menard. Granted, he hasn't proven too awfully much. But I am hoping his move to Yates will jump-start his career.
    I keep thinking of a very nice compliment Tony Stewart once paid to paul Menard by saying: "Menard has just enough talent to get in the way!"
    Hopefully his move to Yates will change all that.


Feel free to leave comments. All I ask is that you keep it clean here.