Mr. Menard Meet Mr. Borland

Photo – Getty Images

In a late-season move in early November, Richard Childress Racing hired veteran Matt Borland as crew chief of the No. 27 Chevrolet driven by Paul Menard.

Though Borland had worked extensively with Menard’s teammate, Ryan Newman, dating to Newman’s days at Team Penske, Menard and Borland didn’t know each other, but that’s a situation both driver and crew chief have been working hard to correct.

“Every time Matt and I spend time together, I get more impressed with him,” Menard said. “We’ve spent quite a bit of time together in the offseason, more so than a normal driver-crew chief relationship, I think, just because we don’t know each other. We made an effort from early November to current to just talk all the time, get lunch, get breakfast, do walk-throughs at the shop.

“He has a particular way about asking questions. He knows the answer, but he’s going to ask you the question to see how you perceive it, and he’s always pushing you to think outside the box a little bit. I’m really looking forward to working with him. We have a really good team built. He’s brought some new guys, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better throughout the year. I’m looking forward to good things.”

With Borland on the pit box, Menard is looking for improvement this season. In 2016, for the first since 2009, he failed to post a top five in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Menard’s only victory in the series came in the 2011 Brickyard 400.

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