RCR Post Race Report — Richmond International Raceway
by Official Release On Sun, Sep. 08, 2013
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Richmond International Raceway
September 7, 2013Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished fifth (Paul Menard), 11th (Kevin Harvick), and 18th (Jeff Burton) in the Federated Auto Parts 400.
Following the event at Richmond International Raceway, Harvick is tied for the fourth seed in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, six markers out of the lead, while Menard is 17th in the driver championship point standings and Burton sits 22nd.
The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 18th in the standings and the No. 31 team 24th.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Menard was the ninth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run.
Menard posted the eighth-fastest Speed in Traffic.
Completing 38 passes while running in the top 15, Harvick was fourth in the loop data category of Quality Passes.
Harvick gained two positions during the final 10 percent (40 laps) of the 400-lap event, ranking him sixth in the Closers category and was the sixth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run.
With a 9.185 Average Running Position, Burton held the eighth-best average position of the 43-car field.
Burton spent 84.5 percent of the 400-lap race running in the top 15 (338 laps).
Carl Edwards earned his second victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray and Menard.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 15. The 27th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Menard Earns a Fifth-Place Finish Under the Lights at Richmond International Raceway
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards team brought home a fifth-place finish after starting from the 22nd position Saturday evening at Richmond International Raceway. Throughout the opening segment of the 400-lap event, the Eau Claire, Wis., native reported that his Chevrolet was free in and needed better drive off the corners. While running in the 21st position, Crew chief “Slugger” Labbe called the No. 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to pit road on lap 92 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment under green-flag conditions. The evening’s first caution flag was displayed on lap 135, allowing Menard to pit for a second time taking four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. During the next lengthy green-flag run, Menard moved inside the top-15. Throughout the evening, the crew continued to adjust the handling on the Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet SS allowing Menard to turn the fastest lap times of the field. By lap 341 he was shown in the fifth position and charging forward. For the final 50 laps the Richard Childress Racing driver battled inside the top five. Labbe brought Menard to pit road for right-side tires only when the caution flag waved with eight laps remaining, giving him the lead for the green-white-checkered finish. Menard ultimately brought home a fifth-place result and his second top-five finish of the 2013 season. Menard remains 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into the next race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Start – 22 Finish – 5 Laps Led – 3 Points – 17th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“We had a great Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet tonight. We started out a little loose but, “Slugger” (Labbe, crew chief) called for the right adjustments all night and we got dialed in to run up front. We tried strategy in hopes of bringing home a win, but two tires couldn’t hold off the guys with four. I’m proud of our efforts this weekend in the garage and on pit road. I’m looking forward to Chicagoland (Speedway) next week.”
Harvick Finishes 11th at Richmond International Raceway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team collected an 11th-place finish under the lights of Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night after battling handling issues and experiencing an untimely caution. The California native started the 400-lap event from the 17th position and fell back into the top 20 during the early laps as he battled handling issues on the red and white Chevrolet. The Gil Martin-led pit crew made multiple chassis adjustments during routine four-tire pit stops on laps 91 and 137 to improve the handling of the car. As the race progressed, Harvick worked his way into the second position on lap 307, but a powerful run was halted by bad luck when the caution flag was displayed while the No. 29 Chevrolet was on pit road for a scheduled pit stop on lap 342. Harvick returned to the track in the 15th position, one lap down to the leader. Before going back to green-flag racing, the Richard Childress Racing driver took the “wave around” and returned to the lead lap in the 14th position for the ensuing restart. Harvick slowly worked his way forward during the final laps, ultimately crossing the finish line 11th. Harvick is tied with Carl Edwards for the fourth seed heading into the first event of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway.
Start – 17 Finish – 11 Laps Led – 0 Points – 4th
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“Well, if the caution didn’t come out I feel like we could have won the race tonight. The Budweiser Chevrolet was really good, but we had made a lot of adjustments. The car was just really loose to start the race, so when you can do things to adjust your car and take it from a 25th-place car to a winning car in the same night, that’s a sign that things are going to be okay. We are as good as we’ve ever been, and hopefully we can continue to get better over the next few weeks. I’m just really proud of everybody for their work tonight.”
Untimely Caution-Flag Period Thwarts Burton’s Top-Five Run at Richmond International Raceway
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 18th at Richmond International Raceway after an untimely caution-flag period trapped the Richard Childress Racing driver one lap down to the leader late in the race. Starting the 400-lap affair from the 19th position, Burton entered the top 15 early and was scored in seventh place after a fast pit stop by the Caterpillar pit crew on lap 91. Finding speed on multiple long green-flag runs, the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner cracked the top five by the halfway point of the 300-mile event. Burton maintained a top-five running position throughout the majority of the race, running as high as third while turning some of the fastest laps in the 43-car field. After making a routine four-tire pit stop on lap 339 under green-flag conditions, disaster struck when Jimmie Johnson made contact with the outside retaining wall, bringing out the yellow flag. The untimely caution-flag period trapped Burton one lap down to the leader and forced the 46-year-old driver to take the “wave around” and earn his lap back under caution. Restarting 15th, Burton reported handling issues as the black and yellow machine was trapped in heavy traffic and the RCR driver battled hard to an 18th-place finish when the checkered flag was displayed. Burton remains 22nd in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 19 Finish – 18 Laps Led – 0 Points – 22nd
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
“That’s the story of our season right there. We had a top-five effort taken away from us with bad luck in the form of an untimely caution. I am proud of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team. We will keep working hard until the end of the season and try to get to Victory Lane.”