NASCAR Indianapolis Auto Racing

Kevin Harvick, left and Paul Menard lead the field into the first turn on the start of the NASCAR Brickyard 400 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Paul Menard will retire at the end of the season and Wood Brothers Racing has hired Matt DiBenedetto to replace him in the iconic No. 21 Ford.

Menard has driven for Wood Brothers for two seasons, but has spent 16 years in the Cup Series. On Tuesday, he cited a desire to spend more time with his wife and two young children in stepping away from NASCAR's grueling 38-race schedule.

The decision is a gift to DiBenedetto, who learned last month he wasn't being retained at Leavine Family Racing next year. With few available rides available, DiBenedetto was unsure if he'd land in a competitive seat.

Now he's got a job with one of the oldest teams in NASCAR and one that has an alliance with powerhouse Team Penske.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.