News & Media

Menard guaranteed a spot in Daytona 500 field

February 04, 2011, Dave Rodman,

Owner points from No. 71 to be transferred to RCR's No. 27 Chevrolet

Paul Menard, who finished a career-best 23rd in the Sprint Cup points standings while racing for Richard Petty Motorsports will be a guaranteed starter in the 2011 Daytona 500 for Richard Childress Racing.

A spokesman for RCR confirmed an "equity partnership" had been formed between Childress, who will once again field four Cup Series teams this season, and Thomas Pumpelly. Pumpelly, who in 2010 was part of the partnership group involved with TRG Motorsports, "divested himself from his partnership with TRG and took with him the No. 71 car points," the spokesman said.

TRG Motorsports used eight drivers to finish 35th in the Cup Series owners' standings in 2010 and had been planning to come to Daytona's Speedweeks with a program in place to contest the full Cup schedule, owner Kevin Buckler said in early January.

As a new team, Menard's car was going to be forced to qualify on speed until at least the sixth race of 2011, but with the new deal, will be guaranteed a starting position for the first five races of the season, until 2011 owners' points are used.

The RCR spokesman said Pumpelly will be the listed owner of the No. 27 Chevrolet to start the season.