When it was announced that Paul Menard would be joining the Wood Brothers for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, we all knew that it was a perfect situation for the team. Yes, they’d be losing out on a young up and coming driver like they’ve had over the last several years. From Trevor Bayne to Ryan Blaney, the Wood Brothers were well taken care of from Roush/Fenway Racing and now Team Penske. But, with Blaney moving over to a third Penske car for next season and beyond, what would the Wood Brothers do as far as an alliance?
They don’t have the budget to be as competitive as they were to make it on their own?
Well, Penske has a deal with John Menard on the Verizon IndyCar Series side and the two have wanted to team up in NASCAR too. With Paul Menard being a free agent, but Penske not having anywhere for him to go with his personal team on the Cup side, it made sense to not only keep the alliance with the Wood Brothers open, but to put Menard in that car. Also, they get the Menards sponsorship coming their way too.
But, what happens to Motorcraft?
Since 2000, the company has been the main supporter of the Wood Brothers? On Tuesday, both sides announced that they will remain with the team and will be the primary sponsor for 14 Cup races in 2018. Menards will fund the other 18 events.
That is great news for the team because they have a full slate of sponsorship and excess money now.