Paul Menard retiring from full-time NASCAR racing after 2019 seasonSporting News — (Gabrielle McMillen)
Paul Menard will be retiring after the 2019 season, Wood Brothers Racing announced Tuesday.
He has spent 13 full seasons in the Cup Series — with 16 seasons total racing — and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be his last start.
“I’ve enjoyed every moment of my career racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, and I’m so thankful for all the great memories and friendships I’ve made through this sport. But I’m looking forward to spending more time at home with my wife, Jennifer, and our two young children while moving forward with the next chapter of my life,” Menard said in a statement.
“I want to thank everyone at Wood Brothers Racing, along with Team Penske, and our partners at Menards, Motorcraft, Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers and Ford. It’s been a privilege to work with them and some of the true legends of our sport, including Andy Petree, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Robert Yates, Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Roger Penske and Glen and Leonard Wood. I’m excited for what the future holds and I’m looking forward to sharing the plans for 2020 and beyond in the coming weeks.”
Wood Brothers Racing signed Matt DiBenedetto, who will drive the No. 21 Ford in 2020.
“I am so excited about this opportunity to race for one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history beginning in 2020,” DiBenedetto said. “The No. 21 Ford is one of the most accomplished and iconic cars in our sport and it will be an honor to join Wood Brothers Racing and help carry on the team’s tradition of success in NASCAR. I want to thank Eddie and Len Wood, Kim Wood Hall, Menards, Edsel Ford and Ford Motor Company for this opportunity.”
Menard, 39, was the 2011 Brickyard 400 winner and has topped 460 Monster Energy Series starts in his career. He has been with Wood Brothers Racing for the past two seasons.
This year, Menard has four top-10 finishes, including a sixth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.
DiBenedetto, 28, currently drives for Leavine Family Racing, but the organization announced last month he would not return to the No. 95 Toyota.