Paul Menard and Brandon Jones will run selected NASCAR XFINITY Series races next season, and Menards will serve as primary sponsor for some of those.
It continues a relationship Menards and Richard Childress Racing have had since 2012.
“Sponsoring the No. 33 RCR team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with drivers Paul Menard and Brandon Jones behind the wheel in 2015 is something we look forward to,” Jeff Abbott, Menards Promotions Manager, said in a release. “This partnership is special to us and we are ready for another successful XFINITY Series campaign.”
RCR’s XFINITY program will feature Brian Scott with a new crew chief, Brendan Gaughan, and Ty Dillon for full seasons, with the Menard/Jones entry a fourth part-time.
The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will be running its second consecutive road course Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN or streaming here).
Of the four remaining races in the six-race series, there’s a chance that three of them could be ovals: A Drivers’ Choice track April 11; a “Random Draw” April 18 and a non-IndyCar “Dream” track May 2 (the April 25 race will be at Circuit of the Americas).
IndyCar drivers are voting on next week’s track, and the options include high-speed ovals such as Texas Motor Speedway and Michigan Speedway.
Talladega apparently isn’t on the list for next week, but surely it could be considered for a future race if it meant having Earnhardt in the field. The 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver is a six-time winner at Talladega, and the NASCAR on NBC analyst’s family is synonymous with the 2.66-mile oval where his late seven-time champion father won a record 10 times.
“I hope he can make that happen,” Askew said of racing against Earnhardt. “I hope IndyCar can grant his wish on that.”
The addition of Earnhardt would fit well with an IndyCar iRacing Challenge that already features champions from NASCAR (Jimmie Johnson) and Supercars (Scott McLaughlin).
Will Power would like to see more of that.
“I think that would be great if we can get big-name drivers from other series,” Power said. “Getting a couple guys from Europe would be cool.”