Menard Set For Final Start in The Motorcraft/Quick Lane – Menards Ford Mustang

The season-ending Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway often is a time for mixed emotions.

A long season that began back in February is coming to a close, and often there will be changes to the sport and its race teams before the new season comes around.

For Paul Menard, this weekend marks the end of his 16-year, full-time driving career.

After Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400, he’ll turn the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford Mustang that he’s driven for the past two seasons over to Matt DiBenedetto and head off into a new phase of his life.

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As much as he’d like to treat this weekend like any other in his career, Menard knows that isn’t a realistic expectation.

“Honestly, I’m trying to take it as just another race,” he said. “But I know that will change when I get down to Homestead.

“I’ll probably get emotional at some point, but I’m still down there to drive the car and try to get the Wood Brothers their 100th win.”

Menard said the NASCAR community has been a big part of his life since he decided to pursue a career at the top levels of the sport.

“The people are what I’ll remember most,” he said. “I’ve been in North Carolina for 16 years and met a lot of great people and made a lot of friends.”

He counts the members of the Wood family among those that have meant a lot to him.

“Eddie and Len are like father figures to me,” he said. “And Leonard always has a smile on his face and a story to share.

“I’ll always cherish my time with them.”

Eddie Wood said that for him and his family the feeling is mutual.

“We had a great couple of years together, and we are sad to see Paul go,” Wood said. “But we understand and support his decision. He’ll get to spent more time with his wife and children at an important time in their young lives.”

Wood also said Menard leaves a strong legacy in NASCAR.

“He’ll be remembered for his professionalism and for all he and his family have done for this sport.

“Paul will always be a part of our family, and we’re honored to have his picture hanging in our museum in Stuart along with all the other drivers who have driven our cars over the years.”

Qualifying for the Ford EcoBoost 400 is set for Saturday at 2:05 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is scheduled to start just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBC.

About Motorcraft
Motorcraft® offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended and approved by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to under-hood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer exceptional value with the highest quality and right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers are backed by Ford Motor Company’s two-year, unlimited-miles Service Parts Limited Warranty. Ask for Motorcraft by name when you visit your local auto parts store or your favorite service facility. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.com.

About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers
Ford’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center offers routine vehicle maintenance such as oil and filter changes, light repair services including brake repair, and tire replacements on all vehicle makes and models. With more than 800 locations and growing, customers can visit www.quicklane.com to find a center that is closest to them, print savings coupons and review maintenance tips to keep their vehicles running at peak efficiency. This site includes information on how to spot tire wear, how to jump-start a battery and even a series of tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Wood Brothers Racing
Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 99 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 120 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop. The team currently runs the Ford Mustang driven by Paul Menard in the famous No. 21 racer.

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