Racing Toward the Checkered Flag

The Atlas 100-ARCA Menards Series

Angie Lewis, Writer
Reading Time: 5 minutes
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For the first time in our racing sponsorship history, Atlas will be the title sponsor of an ARCA Menards Series race. The Atlas 100 takes place the final weekend of the Illinois State Fair on a clay oval track known as the Springfield Mile.

The partnership between Atlas Roofing and Menards began in 2003. Today, Menards carries all product components of the Atlas Signature Select® Roofing System, including Briarwood Pro™ and Castlebrook™ architectural shingles, which are exclusive to the Midwest home improvement retailer.

In 2017, the partnership extended to Menards Racing and has been supporting the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity racing teams every year since.

“Menards became the ARCA Series entitlement sponsor in 2020 and, after four straight years of successful sponsorship of their other racing teams (along with hosting hospitality events at our sponsored races), they approached us with the opportunity to sponsor an ARCA race,” explains Matthew Erdman, senior national account manager for Atlas.

Getting on Track

The Menard name has been well recognized in racing for decades. John Menard, a Wisconsin businessman who is founder, owner and president of the Menards retail chain, is the father of former driver Paul Menard. He has also been a team owner, team sponsor and engine builder in the sport.

According to a 2021 article titled “Menards Racing Roots Run Deep” on “The unmistakable Team Menard colors of the early 1990s were famously fast at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team utilized the powerful turbocharged Buick V-6 engines, eventually rebadged as the Menard V-6, which propelled the late Scott Brayton to the pole at Indy in both 1995 and 1996.

“The team found success in the Indy Racing League with driver Tony Stewart, who earned the team’s first championship in 1997, and with Greg Ray, who earned a handful of wins in the late 1990s and early 2000s.”

Revving to Race

Paul Menard, who got his start ice racing at the age of 15, began his NASCAR driving career in the mid-2000s and had 471 Cup Series starts. In 2011, he fulfilled his father’s lifelong dream of making it to victory lane, winning the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Menard, who stepped away from full-time NASCAR racing in 2019, is still racing a few times a year — for the time being.

“I’ve just tried to live my life,” he said in a July 2022 Q&A with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Got out of it. Made a decision. Got away from it.

“The direction the sport was going, the way the rules were working, it wasn’t fun racing anymore. No sense being away from home 40 weeks a year with two little kids and not having fun driving the cars that they were. Now I get to race a few times a year, and these cars a blast to drive.”

Technically, there’s one particular car to which he’s referring — his No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro, owned by Ken Thwaits. It was behind the wheel of that car that he took the checkered flag in the March 2022 Trans Am (TA) Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Having set a record-breaking lap time of 1:17.010 during qualifying, Menard started the race in the pole position.

“I’d like to put a program together to do a full-time season next year,” he said in the Q&A article, referring to the TA Series. “It’s a great series. I could run 11 races a year and be pretty happy, I think.”

Drafting to Victory

“After a dozen years as the presenting sponsor of what was then known as the ARCA Racing Series, Menards signed on to become the series’ title sponsor in 2019, rebranding the series as the ARCA Menards Series,” according to the previously mentioned article.

Menards Racing, in partnership with two Team Penske cars, won the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship with driver Austin Cindric.

In February 2021, Cindric made his NASCAR Cup Series debut, on a part-time schedule, starting in the Daytona 500, where he came in 15th place after being involved in a fiery crash during the last lap.

However, making his full-time debut the following season in the No. 2 Ford Mustang, Cindric, a rookie, won the 2022 Daytona 500 — in only his eighth career Cup Series start.

Menards also sponsors NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney in the No. 12 Ford Mustang, who claimed three wins during the 2021 season, including the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. He also won the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Start Your Engines...

The green flag for the Atlas 100 is scheduled to drop at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT on Sunday, Aug. 21. The race will be televised live on the Motorsports Network (MAVTV).

For ticket information, visit For complete event information, visit