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Menard signs for Childress for 2011

Paul MenardPaul Menard will race a fourth car for Richard Childress Racing in 2011 and beyond, the NASCAR Sprint Cup series team announced on Wednesday.

Having downsized from four to three cars for this season after losing one of its main sponsors, RCR will get back to be a four-car outfit from next year, having signed a deal with Menards, the third largest home improvement retail company in the US, which is owned by Paul Menard's family.

The 29-year-old is currently in his fourth full season in the Sprint Cup and driving for Richard Petty Motorsports this year, he has achieved a top-five and three top-10 finishes, ranking 23rd in the drivers' standings at present.

"Richard Childress Racing has shown this year that they're headed on the right track," said Menard. "Having three cars competing for the Chase and, ultimately, the championship is no small feat and they're on top of their game. With that in mind and having known Richard for the past 10 years or so, when this opportunity to join RCR came about it was a no-brainer.

"I have always had the utmost respect for Richard and what his organisation has accomplished in the past and what they're capable of achieving in the future."

RCR currently leads the point standings with Kevin Harvick, while Jeff Burton is also among the top 12 in the ranking and Clint Bowyer is just outside the cut for the Chase with four races remaining, sitting in 13th place.

"Paul has developed into a very good race car driver, and we see his move to RCR next year as an opportunity for him to continue that progress," said team owner Richard Childress. "At the same time, we feel Paul will contribute to the continued progress and success of RCR. Paul will fit in perfectly with our team of drivers at RCR, and they are all looking forward to working with him."

Menard is also competing full-time in the Nationwide Series this year, ranking sixth in the points thus far.

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