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Menard (Buick)
Years in Existence
1991-1996
Years Active
Championships
0
Indianapolis 500 Wins
0
Notable Drivers
Notable Teams


The Menard engine was a Buick V6 engine modified for the IndyCar Series by John Menard, owner of Team Menard. The engine only lasted through 1996, the IRL's only season without its own unique chassis and engine combination. Before its IRL use, the Menard engine was used almost exclusively in the Indianapolis 500. First appearing on the starting grid in 1993, Menard engines powered future IRL drivers such as Scott Brayton, Eddie Cheever Jr., Arie Luyendyk, and Buddy Lazier in various Indianapolis 500s before the IRL was formed.

1996Edit

The only drivers to start the IRL's first season with Menard engines were Brayton, Cheever, Tony Stewart, and Johnny Parsons. Of those four, only Parsons did not drive for Team Menard. John Paul Jr.'s team made the switch after one race, and Jim Guthrie's Blueprint Racing used Menard engines upon entering the series. At Indianapolis, Menard's fourth car, driven by Mark Dismore, also ran the engine. Danny Ongais was also credited with one start in with the engine after replacing Brayton at Indianapolis after his fatal practice crash.

Menard engines did not win any races in the short 1996 season, but won the pole at Indianapolis with Brayton. When Ongais, as a replacement driver, was moved to the back of the field, fellow Menard driver Stewart inherited the pole.

The engine's best 1996 finish was 2nd at Disney World, in the league's inaugural race, with Stewart behind the wheel. Its best driver overall was also Stewart, who finished 8th in the series' standings that year.

1996-97Edit

Menard engines were only legal for the first two races of the 1996-97 season, the last two run with old CART equipment. The best finish any Menard driver could muster in the old equipment was a 10th place at New Hampshire by Paul, who was ten laps off the pace. Eventual season champion Stewart failed to finish his last two races in the old equipment, dropping out with electrical problems at New Hampshire despite leading 165 laps and crashing at Las Vegas.

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