Team Penske has just made a big announcement about the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. The championship-winning organization revealed that Menards will return for 2022 and will build upon its existing partnership.
Team Penske issued a press release on Tuesday, November 30, and announced that the home improvement store chain will return to Ryan Blaney’s No. 12 Ford Mustang as a primary sponsor. Menards will also sponsor the No. 2 Ford as Austin Cindric begins his rookie season. Finally, Menards will continue to support the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford as Harrison Burton takes on his rookie season.
“We’ve been really blessed through the years to have outstanding drivers who were also great ambassadors for our company,” said Menards President John Menard in the press release. “This longstanding tradition continues with Austin and Ryan, two tremendous young talents who are not only capable of winning on any given weekend, but also great role models for America’s youth. Our continuing partnership with Team Penske and all of our great racing partners will make 2022 an exceptional and thrilling year with much success.”
Team Penske did not reveal the number of races in which Menards will join Blaney, Cindric, and Burton. These details will surface at a later date. For now, the trio of drivers will move forward with the knowledge that a top sponsor will support their pursuit of wins.
Blaney First Broke the News With a Special Interview
The Team Penske press release confirmed that Menards will return to the organization, but one of the drivers broke the news during an interview. Blaney made an appearance on the “Garage Talk” YouTube show and confirmed that Menards would be back for the 2022 season.
“Yeah, Menards is with us next year,” Blaney said during the November 30 episode. “So that’s great. They’ve been awesome to get to know. … Getting to know the Menard family, you know, John Menard is a huge race fan. Obviously, he’s been a part of motor racing forever. Very humble family up in Wisconsin, and I enjoy getting to go visit them.”
Blaney first ran a Menards primary scheme during the 2018 season, his first with Team Penske, and featured the store chain in 15 different races. This includes the Charlotte Roval race where Blaney won with both Menards and Pennzoil on the No. 12 Ford Fusion.
Menards Will Be a New Addition to the No. 2 Ford
The No. 12 and No. 21 Fords have both showcased the Menards scheme frequently since the store chain expanded into NASCAR in 2017. However, the move to the No. 2 Ford will mark a change for the brand.
Brad Keselowski, the former driver of the No. 2, had a sizable list of partners that he featured on the stock car during his run with Team Penske that began in 2010 and ended in 2021. He took on Cup Series races with Miller Lite, Discount Tire, Wurth, Dent Wizard, and Autotrader among others on the No. 2.
This trend will now change with Cindric taking over the entry. He will also run Menards colors during the 2022 season as the store chain expands its partnership, continuing a relationship that he enjoyed during his championship-winning Xfinity Series career. Though Cindric will also continue working with Discount Tire.
“I’m very proud of the success I’ve shared with Menards over the past few years in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” the 2020 Xfinity Series champion said in a statement. “As I transition to the NASCAR Cup Series, there will certainly be challenges as a rookie at the top level, but I really look forward to accomplishing more together, and most importantly adding to the great pedigree that Menards has established in this sport. They are a key partner to our race team, and I think the No. 2 is going to look great in neon.”