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But that’s a mixed blessing for Menard, who will need better finishes to fend off the perception that he only has a ride because he has money.

“Earlier on, you heard a lot of that,” Menard said. “It’s all talk though. It’s all what you make of it and I’ve looked past that and grew past that. People will always be talking about it and there is nothing that you can do about that. Bottom line is we’re a racing family, we have a racing heritage, and I’m a race car driver and that’s what we enjoy doing. It’s kind of our hobby, it’s part of our business, and it’s worked in the past and will work in the future.”

Childress said he hears the same thing about his grandson, Austin Dillon, who drives in the truck series.

Paul does the job on the racetrack,” Childress said. “It’s something that he loves to do and a passion. It’s not just because he’s got the sponsor that comes along. He’s got the drive to go out and want to win just like Austin. I get that question and Austin gets the same thing. The difference is both of these guys really want to go out and win.”