Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

print article archives RSS

20. Paul Menard

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Paul Menard got off to a strong start in the Daytona 500 with a third-place finish and 28 place-differential points. It was to be, by a big degree, his best effort of the season and it underscored his strength on restrictor-plate, superspeedways. He swept the top five on that restrictor-plate, superspeedway with a third in July—this time after starting 24th. He finished ninth in the Geico 500in May and narrowly missed a sweep of the top 10 there with a 12th in October. The good news is that plate tracks allow fantasy players to spread their wealth around; the bad news is they are unpredictable even when a driver is strong on them.

Where Menard truly shone, however, was in his ability to keep his car mostly out of trouble. In 36 races, he sustained crash damage four times and managed to keep his car running at Talladega to score his top-15. Twenty of his races ended on the lead lap and most of those came in blocks. In June and early July, he scored complete races four times and repeated that feat in October. That gave fantasy players ample time to place him on their roster when it was apparent his momentum was shifting. Moreover, each of those streaks was closely linked to at least two more lead lap results with isolated outliers.

Menard cut his teeth in the Trans-Am series during his formative years. He makes a great sleeper on the road courses with his fourth-best finish of the season coming at Sonoma Raceway. He was not quite as strong at Watkins Glen International, but his 18th-place finish there was one of his lead lap results and that meant that with a little more attrition or a different pit strategy, he could have been a top-10 points earner after starting 21st.

One concern for Menard is his move to the Wood Bros. New teams always bring uncertainty, even if they are as strong as the No. 21—with a newly obtained charter.

Menard is going to be front of mind for many players when the 500 rolls around and that is not only because of his sweep of the top five at Daytona International Speedway. He ended the season on a high note with six top-20 finishes and a 23rd to help improve his average finish. Four of those races earned notable place-differential points to raise him to a +2.03, making him the fourth-best driver in that category.

Victories: None
2017 Average Finish: 19.64
Top-fives: 2 (.056)
Top-10s: 3 (.333)
Top-15s: 9 (.250) 

 

Track

3-Yr
Avg.
Fin

Career
Avg.
Fin

Career
Attempts

Career
Top-5s

Career
Top-10s

Race 1

Race 2

Talladega SuperSpeedway

11.50

18.87

23

3

6

9

12

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

13.33

20.75

12

1

2

16

 

Sonoma Raceway

13.33

22.17

12

1

1

11

 

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

15.33

16.73

11

1

3

19

 

Auto Club Speedway

15.67

20.73

15

1

3

28

 

Homestead - Miami Speedway

17.00

20.67

13

1

1

16

 

Daytona International Speedway *

17.17

21.96

23

2

5

5

3

Chicagoland Speedway

17.33

23.92

12

 

1

14

 

Watkins Glen International

17.67

22.36

14

 

 

18

 

Kentucky Speedway

18.00

19.29

7

 

 

21

 

Martinsville Speedway

18.33

21.00

22

 

2

19

20

Phoenix International Raceway

18.50

21.05

22

 

3

21

15

Michigan International Speedway

18.67

18.48

23

4

6

22

34

Atlanta Motor Speedway

18.67

20.13

16

1

3

25

 

Bristol Motor Speedway

19.00

19.23

22

1

6

16

16

Darlington Raceway

19.33

24.09

11

 

 

16

 

Dover Downs International

20.83

20.73

22

 

3

33

26

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

20.83

63.82

22

 

 

22

20

Charlotte Motor Speedway

22.17

23.61

23

 

2

13

19

Kansas Speedway

24.00

18.39

18

1

5

35

12

Pocono Raceway

24.83

23.59

22

 

2

20

19

Richmond International Raceway

26.00

24.59

22

1

1

25

28

Texas Motor Speedway

27.83

21.83

23

1

3

36

23

 

+ Top-five sweeps

21. Bayne, Trevor
22. Dillon, Ty 
23. Buescher, Chris 
24. Allmendinger, AJ 
25. Kahne, Kasey



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



Highest Searched Drivers over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Must Have: Rex Burkhead

    Must Have: Rex Burkhead
  •  
    Must Have: Marvin Jones

    Must Have: Marvin Jones
  •  
    Must Have: Kenny Stills

    Must Have: Kenny Stills
  •  
    Must Have: Nyheim Hines

    Must Have: Nyheim Hines
  •  
    NASCAR Fantasy: Watkins Glen

    NASCAR Fantasy: Watkins Glen
  •  
    Waiver Wire: Snag Bradley Jr.

    Waiver Wire: Snag Bradley Jr.
  •  
    MLB: Avoid Inciarte

    MLB: Avoid Inciarte
  •  
    Waiver Wire: Get It Rodon

    Waiver Wire: Get It Rodon