Menard, No. 21 Honoring American Racing Hero at Kentucky

The Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford, driven by Paul Menard will be honoring an American racing hero throughout the weekend and in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. The Quaker State-sponsored Ford Mustang will carry a paint scheme reminiscent of the Quaker State colors that appeared on the No. 11 World of Outlaws sprint car driven by Steve Kinser in 2005, the year he won his 20th series championship.

Paul Menard - No. 21
Photo courtesy of Wood Brothers Racing
The metallic green-dominated paint scheme was chosen in a fan poll that included Quaker State colors carried in NASCAR by Ricky Rudd in 1988, when his No. 26 Buick delivered Quaker State its first NASCAR win, at Watkins Glen. Fan’ other voting options included a design carried by Eddie Cheever and his No. 27 Lola in 1996, when he ran the fastest Indy 500 lap ever with a speed of 230.103 miles per hour on the 78th lap of that race.

Carrying Familiar Green

Menard said carrying Kinser’s familiar green Quaker State paint scheme is an honor.

“When I was a kid, Steve Kinser was at the top of his game,” Menard said.

Steve Kinser won a total of 690 A-Main events in his career.

“I definitely have a lot of respect for what he’s done,” Menard said.

The No. 21 Wood Brothers driver also has a lot of respect for Kentucky Speedway. Menard said it can be a challenge — especially its third turn.

“Turn three at Kentucky is the trickiest turn of any track we go to,” he said.

“Turns one and two are pretty straightforward for a mile-and-a-half track, then three is flatter on entry. You’re loose on entry, then you pick up the banking as you go into turn four.”

The first two turns at Kentucky are banked 17 degrees, with three and four being banked at a reduced 14 degrees. The majority of other intermediate tracks are banked between 18 to 24 degrees in their turns.

Menard said that while Kentucky Speedway is flatter than most mile-and-a-half tracks, it makes up for it by being wider than most.

“It’s definitely a unique track,” he said.

Menard and the Menards/Quaker State team enter Saturday’s race 20th in the points standings and still hopeful of securing a playoff berth. He said he feels like he missed a chance to gain points on the drivers he’s battling to be one of the 16 in the Playoffs in Sunday’s rain-shortened race at Daytona. He said his Mustang had speed while many of the drivers he’s battling for a playoff berth had problems, but the race was called for rain before he could capitalize.

“It’s an uphill battle,” he said.

“Our best bet is to go out and win a race.”

Qualifying for the Quaker State 400 is set for Friday at 6:05 pm. The race is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm on Saturday with TV coverage on NBCSN.

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