RCR Event Preview – Auto Club Speedway

by Official Release On Tue, Mar. 13, 2018

Richard Childress Racing’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series History at Auto Club Speedway … In 86 overall Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Auto Club Speedway, RCR Chevrolet teams have earned one win (Kevin Harvick – 2011), two pole awards (Mike Skinner – April 2000, Austin Dillon – 2016), 12 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes. RCR has a 19.6 average starting position and a 16.5 average finishing position at the moderately-banked D-shaped race track.

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,853 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 5969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,108 wins, 487 top-five finishes and 1,052 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 and an average finishing position of 16.1. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, ’87, ’90, ’91, ’93 and ’94, six NASCAR Xfinity Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR’s three national series.

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 … Chevrolet, the winningest brand in motorsports, debuts the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition this season. The Camaro ZL1 is the most advanced Chevrolet Cup Car ever developed and is also the most authentic, featuring rear-wheel drive, a fuel injected V8 engine and a manual gear box.

Interactive RCR … For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR’s corporate Twitter page – @RCRracing – along with the RCR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Twitter page – @RCRCup, and driver Twitter pages @austindillon3 and @RyanJNewman. Information about the 15-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRracing.com along with official driver pages – http://www.facebook.com/austindillon3 and www.facebook.com/RyanNewmanNASCAR.

Catch the Action … The Auto Club 400 will be televised live Sunday, March 18 beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


This Week’s Dow Coatings Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Auto Club Speedway … Dillon has four previous Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts to his credit at Auto Club Speedway, earning his best finish of 11th in 2014 and 2017. He sat on the pole in the 2016 edition of the race to earn his best starting position at the 2.0-mile track.

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#NASCARGOESWEST … As part of NASCAR Goes West, Dillon is scheduled to be an analyst on NASCAR Race Hub on Wednesday, March 14. The show airs live from 6-7 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1.

Okay. Big Picture. You’ve won the Daytona 500 and have had several top-15 finishes. How would you assess your season?
“I think we’ve done a good job this year so far. I’m proud of everyone on the Dow team for executing well. We’ve been lacking some speed on the mile and a halves that we will work through to improve for the rest of the season. I feel like our short track program is strong, so that’s a positive thing. We’ll keep working hard throughout the season. We have a lot more that we want to accomplish.”

Describe the racing at Auto Club Speedway.
“Tire wear is the biggest part. You’re running all the way against the fence, and all the way against the bottom. There’s a good mixture. You have to have speed at the beginning of a run and then hold it for a long run. If you can’t take off you get beat on the restarts and if you can’t hold on they’re going to lap you at the end of a run. You have to have a good balance between the short and the long run. If you can do that, you’ll be pretty good. We’ve done pretty well in the past there. We started on the pole two races ago. We’ll just keep working on it. I love the track. The fans are amazing there.”

Where does Auto Club Speedway rank for you among the West Coast swing races?
“I think my favorites now are between Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. I like Phoenix Raceway, too, but between Vegas and Fontana it’s a tight race.


This Week’s Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet Camaro ZL1at Auto Club Speedway … Newman will make his 589th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series competes in the fifth event of the 2018 season and the final of three NASCAR Goes West races. In 23 MENCS events at Auto Club Speedway, Newman owns one pole and has earned five top-five and nine top-10 finishes. His best result of third place was in the May 2004 race. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 13.3 and average finish of 16.6. When calculating points earned over the last eight races at Auto Club Speedway, Newman ranks third in most points earned.

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Current Standings … After starting 13th and leading a total of 23 laps in the closing laps before relinquishing the lead and pitting with 22 laps remaining, Newman’s solid run equated to an 11th place finish at ISM Raceway. The No. 31 team now ranks 13th in the driver championship standings, just 22 markers out of the top 10.

What are your thoughts heading into this weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway?
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Our 31 team has shown we’ve got the speed this year. If we hadn’t had the tire problem at Atlanta, I think we were the car to beat. Vegas was a little bit of a challenge and yet we still finished 11th. Phoenix we led more laps than we did in Atlanta, and frankly, we were pretty fast. Our team just needs to eliminate some of the mistakes we are making on pit road. We are by far, better than we were last year so I’m looking forward to building upon all our momentum and turning in a flawless performance this weekend. If we can do that, I feel it will translate into a win for us.”




Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Auto Club Speedway … In 56 Series starts at the two-mile speedway, RCR has captured two victories with drivers Jeff Burton in 2007 and Austin Dillon in 2016. The Welcome, North Carolina, organization has completed 8,121 laps of the 8,404 (96.6 percent) that they have competed. RCR has accumulated four pole awards, 17 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes, led 262 laps and averages a starting position of 10.3 and finishing position of 12.4.

Phoenix Review … Daniel Hemric was the highest RCR finisher in sixth place last weekend at ISM Raceway. Matt Tifft finished in the seventh position, while Ty Dillon finished 13th in the DC Solar 200.

The Points … Daniel Hemric and Matt Tifft currently sit fifth and 10th, respectively, in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver point standings. The No. 3 RCR team is currently 16th in the series owner point standings.

Meet the Drivers … Fans can meet Daniel Hemric and Matt Tifft on Friday, March 16th, beginning at 4:30 p.m. local time, as both drivers are scheduled to take part in the Xfinity Series autograph session located in the Auto Club Speedway Midway at the Fan Zone stage.

Social Media … To keep up with the latest updates from RCR’s Xfinity Series teams, follow @RCRracing and @RCRNXS on Twitter. Updates can also be found via RCR’s Facebook Page and Instagram (@RCRracing).

Catch the Action … Coverage of this weekend’s Auto Club 300 will be televised live on Saturday, March 17, beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on FS1. It will also broadcast live on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, Channel 90.


This Week’s Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet Camaro at Auto Club Speedway … Matt Tifft has one previous start at Auto Club Speedway. The 21-year-old driver made his debut at the two-mile speedway during last year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race, finishing 17th in the event.

About Anderson’s Maple Syrup … In 1928, Paul Anderson first shared the distinct taste of Wisconsin’s Northwoods by producing sweet pure maple syrup and starting a 90-year pure maple syrup tradition. Three generations later his grandson, Steve Anderson, still carries on this syrup making heritage by bottling pure maple syrup from the same sugar bush his grandfather tapped for so many years. Anderson’s Maple Syrup is pure, all natural and a healthy alternative for families. From its humble roots in Cumberland, Wisconsin; Anderson’s Maple Syrup is still made with the love your family would expect. Try Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup in coffee or tea as a sweetener, and on ice cream as a topping. Today, some of the top barbecue grillers and chefs in the country eye Anderson’s as one of the best ingredients and glazes for most meats, fruits & veggies for summertime use and ham glazes for the special occasions. From our farm to your kitchen Anderson’s can be found in grocery & specialty stores around the country. “Everything tastes better with Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup”. For more information on Anderson’s Maple Syrup visit andersonsmaplesyrup.com, and follow Anderson’s Maple Syrup Racing on Twitter via @AndersonMaple and Facebook via AndersonsMapleSyrup.

ISM Raceway Recap … Tifft earned his first top-10 finish of the season last weekend at ISM Raceway. The Hinckley, Ohio native qualified ninth for the second weekend in a row and stayed in the top 10 all day, running as high as fourth before finishing in the seventh position.

Meet Tifft … Tifft is scheduled to participate alongside his RCR teammate Daniel Hemric in the Xfinity Series autograph session on Friday, March 16 at 4:30 p.m. local time at the Fan Zone Stage in the track’s midway.

What types of challenges do you face at Auto Club Speedway?
“I’m looking forward to getting to Auto Club Speedway to have a chance at redemption for myself. Last year was the first year I had ever been to that track, and it was a tough place for me to figure out. I just didn’t know what I would need out of my car for the race, so I didn’t understand how to help my team dial in the handling during practice. Having that weekend of experience under my belt, I’m much more prepared for this track and know more of what I need during practice to help me on Saturday. Auto Club is a tricky place. The surface is older and has multiple grooves that can pull your car in directions and places you don’t want it to go. The good news about the multiple grooves is that there are a lot of different ways to find speed out there, and our challenge will be figuring out which setup works best for our No. 2 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet Camaro.”


This Week’s Red Kap/Prudential Overall Supply Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway … In four previous NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Auto Club Speedway, Dillon has one win (2016) among three top-five finishes. His best starting position in Xfinity Series competition at the track is fourth in 2012.

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The Lineup … Dillon, the 2013 XFINITY Series Champion and 2012 Rookie of the Year, returns to regular Xfinity Series competition this season. He’ll share driving duties with his brother, Ty Dillon, along with Shane Lee, Jeb Burton and Brendan Gaughan.

Is Auto Club Speedway a place where you get a real sensation of speed or is it just a lot like the other intermediate tracks?
“You definitely have a sensation of speed at Auto Club Speedway. You’re rolling at Fontana because the straightaways are so long you have to get going at some point. It will be fun.”

Talk about the seams at Auto Club Speedway. How do they affect your line around the track?
“The seams can really make or break a corner if you get caught on one. You have to really focus on your entry and how you straddle them because you’re looking at that seam all the way around the track and you can kind of get lost in it, so you don’t want to put your right front against it or right under it. It’s one of those places that you want to center it up and try to skip it.”

This Week’s South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro at Auto Club Speedway … Hemric will be making his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Auto Club Speedway during this week’s 300-mile event. In his first start at the 2-mile track in 2017, Hemric qualified on the outside of the front row and finished 11th.

Rearview Mirror: ISM Raceway … In the second race of NASCAR’s West Coast swing, Hemric started the day in the eighth position and ran inside the top 10 for much of the day. The No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet was fifth at the end of Stage 1. Crew chief Danny Stockman kept Hemric out on the track when rain threatened the race for a second time at the end of Stage 2, which led to a second-place finish in the stage and additional stage points. After pitting at the stage break, Hemric worked his way back into the top five, but faded to sixth by the time the checkered flag fell. It was Hemric’s second-consecutive top-10 finish of the 2018 Xfinity Series season.


This Week at the South Point Hotel & Casino … Classic three-piece harmony group The Letterman return to The Showroom at the South Point Hotel & Casino for a three-night run on March 16 – 18. Tickets are available at southpointcasino.com.

The asphalt at Auto Club Speedway is aged and the track has wide, sweeping turns. Does that allow drivers to choose their own lane and move around as opposed to being forced to run one or two grooves?
“Last year was my first time going to Auto Club Speedway and now I know what to expect going back there this year. When you get on that track for the first time, it is so big and so slick and worn out that when you turn into the corner you just slide. It is one of the longest slides you ever feel in a race car. Once you get the hang of it, it is similar to a long, stretched out Atlanta. How you have to attack it, the feel of the track, a lot of it is similar to Atlanta. If you can leave Atlanta with a solid balance, you can have similar speed in Fontana. It puts a lot back in the driver’s hands. You will have a lot of comers and goers throughout the race, and that’s a lot of fun. Anytime you can make speed and find more than the guy in front of you by searching around in different grooves, that’s fun.”

Do you enjoy the West Coast swing? Have you stayed out there the entire time?
“I really enjoy the West Coast swing at this point in the season. I have stayed out here the entire time, spent a lot of time at the South Point Hotel & Casino. They have such a great facility and there are so many amazing things you can do there from excellent restaurants, gambling, watching great shows and movies, bowling – you name it they have it. We did some off-roading with the No. 21 guys thanks to Zero1 Tours, which was a lot of fun. I went out and saw the Grand Canyon before heading to Phoenix, and just tried to enjoy my time out here. I have some key partners in California that have been associated with my career over the last few years – Poppy Bank, who was on my car in Homestead last year. I get to spend some time with those folks before this weekend’s race, so that is always important. I never really got to do anything fun on the West Coast growing up, so I try to take it all in for what it’s worth. I’ve played a little bit of golf, taken some time for myself and tried to enjoy it as much as I can.”

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