Points Finish 19th, 0 Wins, 1 Top Five, 7 Top Ten, 20 Top Twenties, 19.4 Average Finish, 18.7 Average Running Position, 14 Laps Led, 71.05 Driver Rating
Paul Menard is a steady driver and among mid-tier options he’s about as good as it gets at intermediate tracks. In 2019 I would view them as his “Bread and butter” tracks.
Menard should also be highly targeted at restrictor plate tracks where he has a knack for sneaking in good results.
The shorter the track, typically the worse of a venue it is for Paul Menard. In 2019 I would avoid him at short tracks (can target him at Bristol), and shorter flat tracks.
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – B
Paul Menard is a good option at intermediate tracks. Among mid-tier drivers you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option. Last year on this track type he scored the 14th most points and was the highest scoring non-Playoff driver. For the season he had a 16.9 average finish.
1.5 mile tracks were strong points for him. From an allocation perspective those would be the tracks I would really target him. Last year at those venues over the last 8 races minus Kansas #2 where he ran well but wrecked he had a 13.1 average result and only once finished outside the top 14.
One little fantasy note about him at intermediate tracks is that worn out venues aren’t always the best for him (Atlanta – 17th, Auto Club – 19th, Chicagoland – 13th, Homestead – 25th). I would avoid him at those tracks.
In 2019 on this track type from a “global perspective” I would view him as a mid-teens driver who has potential to finish marginally better.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – C+
Flat tracks really haven’t been an area of strength for Paul Menard. In 2019 I really don’t have high expectations for him on this track type.
Shorter flat tracks are arguably some of his worst tracks. At those venues you should likely expect him to be about 20th place good (New Hampshire, Richmond and IMS Raceway). Last year over the five races on that sub-track type he finished 17th or worse. Just avoid him at those venues.
At the bigger flat tracks I like him at Indy. He finished 9th last year and since 2010 he’s only once finished outside of the top 16. At Pocono his level of performance hasn’t been as high and in 3 of the last 4 races he’s finished between 19th and 21st.
Short Track Fantasy Value – C+
At short tracks I like Paul Menard at Bristol. At the other two short tracks I think he’s an easy pass.
At Bristol he wrecked early last summer, in 4 of the 5 races prior to that he finished between 13th to 16th. Last spring his result was 13th. In 2017 he had a pair of 16th’s. In 2019 I think he’ll likely be a mid-teens driver at “Thunder Valley.”
At Martinsville, I just don’t see any good coming from picking him. In 4 of the last 5 races he’s finished between 19th and 25th. Last year his results were 22nd and 13th.
At Richmond in 6 of the last 7 races he’s finished between 22nd and 28th. In the one race he finished outside of that range he wrecked. Last year his results were 22nd and 24th.
Plate Track Fantasy Value – B+
Paul Menard is a capable performer at plate tracks. Last year on this track type he scored the 8th most points and finished in the top 10 in his two incident free races. In 2017 on this track type he scored the 3rd most points and had a 7.3 average finish. At both plate tracks he’s capable of running well and competing for a top ten.
At Daytona he wrecked last summer, in the three races prior to that he swept the top six and had results of 6th, 3rd and 5th.
At Talladega he’s also run well. In 4 of the last 5 races he’s finished between 9th to 13th. Last year he had results of 9th and 30th.
Road Course Fantasy Value – B-
Paul Menard had a tough 2018 at road courses. He had a 29.0 average finish, scored the 29th most points and finished between 26th and 33rd in all three events. In the prior six years on this track type he scored between the 12th to 19th most points.
Last year at Charlotte he had a tough track debut. He wrecked and finished 33rd.
At Watkins Glen things also didn’t go smoothly and he finished 28th. In the two prior Watkins Glen races he finished 18th and 22nd.
Sonoma has historically been his best road course. He finished a disappointing 26th last year, in the five races prior to that he finished in the top 16 and had an 11.8 average finish.