Event Preview: Bristol Motor Speedway
Race: Food City 500
Location: Bristol Motor Speedway
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Notes:
RCR in Thunder Valley … In 130 Sprint Cup Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing boasts nine wins – seven with Dale Earnhardt, one with Kevin Harvick and one with Jeff Burton – three poles, 32 top-five and 56 top-10 finishes. RCR Chevrolets swept the top three positions in the 2008 Food City 500 when Burton drove to Victory Lane, Harvick finished second and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top three.
The Collective RCR … Over the season’s first three races, RCR’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries have notched two top-five and five top-10 finishes. RCR-prepared Chevrolets have completed 3,069 out of 3,124 total laps (98.2 percent) with drivers Burton, Harvick, Paul Menard, Elliott Sadler and Brendan Gaughan. The group has led a combined 125 laps.
Get to the Points … Following the race weekend in Las Vegas, two of RCR’s three full time Sprint Cup Series teams advanced in the point standings. Harvick moved up one spot to second and Menard gained three spots, to 11th, while Burton fell to the 15th position.
Interactive RCR … To keep up-to-date with the latest news and to view exclusive content, visit RCR’s Twitter page – @RCRracing – along with the RCR Sprint Cup Series team Twitter pages – @RCR27PMenard, @RCR29KHarvick and @RCR31JeffBurton. Information about the 14-time championship organization can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at RCRracing.com.
Catch the Action … FOX’s live coverage of the Food City 500 begins Sunday, March 18 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio. Qualifying for the fourth points-paying event on the Sprint Cup Series calendar will air live on SPEED on Friday, March 16 at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
No. 27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet Impala
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Moen/Menards Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway … Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 347 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet Impala was last seen on track at Pocono Raceway in August 2011, where Menard started seventh and drove it to a 10th-place finish. Menard also drove this Chevrolet at Pocono in June when the Eau Claire, Wis. native started second and finished 14th, at Dover International Speedway in May where he brought home a 24th-place result and at Auto Club Speedway where he finished 16th.
Menard at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” … In his nine previous starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Menard has finished each contested races and completed 99.6 percent of his laps (4,490 of 4,509). He has an average starting position of 24.4 and an average finishing position of 21.7. Menard’s best start of fourth and his best finish of fifth came in last season’s March visit to the Bristol, Tenn.-based facility.
Three Down … With the first three points-paying events in the books Menard sits 11th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship points standings, trailing the 10th position by eight markers. In his sophomore year with Richard Childress Racing, Menard has an average starting position of 27.7 and maintains an average running position of 18.52. The Eau Claire, Wis., native is ranked fourth in the NASCAR Loop Data category Green Flag Speed and third in the Closers category, improving a total of 12 positions in the final 10 percent of the three contested races.
BMS Race Night … Menard and RCR teammate Jeff Burton will take part in the Bristol Motor Speedway Race Night fan Q&A session Friday, March 16 at 5:45 p.m. in the BMS hospitality village located outside turn four. For more information on the free event, log on to http://www.foodcity.com/community/racing/food-city-race-night.
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Race Rewind … In March 2011, Menard started the No. 27 Chevrolet from the second row in the Jeff Byrd 500 after recording the fourth-quickest lap during time trials at Bristol. The Slugger Labbe-led team made minor adjustments with each pit stop in an effort to improve the car’s handling and adjust to the track’s changing conditions. Menard battled his way into the top five, holding off challengers throughout a series of cautions and restarts, to finish fifth in the 500-lap event and recording his best finish to date at the half-mile facility.
In the Rearview Mirror: Las Vegas … Menard and the Schrock/Menards team started the Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from the 26th position and posted a seventh-place finish in the Kobalt Tools 400 after utilizing a series of routine pit stops to improve handling conditions on the No. 27 Chevrolet.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
You finished fifth at Bristol Motor Speedway a year ago – your best finish there so far. Did you feel like you finally tackled the challenging short track?
“We had a good car all weekend. Bristol is a track-position track – most of them are that we go to. We had good track position all day. About halfway through the race, I think we had a spark plug go bad so we were slow down the straightaways but we had a ton of drive off. That really helped us to get out of the corner with the hammer down. It might have worked in our favor actually, and we learned something there. It was one of those races that was uneventful. We stayed up in the top 10 all day and walked away with a good finish.”
It’s kind of hard to have an uneventful day at Bristol Motor Speedway, isn’t it?
“Yes it is, and when those days happen, you’re pretty happy. When we went back again in the August race, basically with the same package that we had in the spring race and coming off of that top five, we just didn’t run that well. That’s something we fought a couple of times last year. When we went back to some tracks, we found the same things don’t necessarily apply the second time around with different weather conditions and such.”
Now that we have fewer cautions at Bristol Motor Speedway, is it a rhythm track more so now and how do you get in a rhythm when things are happening so fast?
“It’s a big rhythm track. It reminds me a lot of this quarter-mile track in Rockford, Ill. that we used to race. It has that progressive banking and you kind of run up the hill a little bit. You have to find your rhythm and just click off laps. You know you’ve found it when you understand your car and how it is going to react. Then you just sit back, try to drive smooth and do the same thing over and over again.
How physically demanding is a race at Bristol Motor Speedway now that we have fewer cautions?
“Honestly, it’s not one of the most physically demanding race tracks. I think places like Texas (Motor Speedway) and the high-speed intermediates are harder on your body. At Bristol, we average about 130 mph around a half-mile race track, which is still pretty fast, but it doesn’t quite have the loading. One thing we have to do every week is to stay hydrated and make sure that we’re comfortable in the car.”
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet Impala
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Budweiser Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway … Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team will utilize chassis No. 340 from the Richard Childress Racing stable for Sunday’s race. This Chevrolet Impala was raced four times in 2011 by the No. 33 team, scoring a ninth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway in April and a sixth-place finish at Richmond International Raceway that same month.
Statistically Speaking … Harvick has made 22 Sprint Cup Series starts at BMS. During that time the Bakersfield, Calif., native has earned one win, nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes at the short track. He has completed 98 percent of the laps run in those races (10,790 of 11,013) and led 427 laps. Harvick holds an average starting position of 18.2 and a 12.5 average finish position at BMS.
Loop Data … Harvick has earned impressive Loop Data statistics at BMS, including: first in closers; fourth in green-flag passes (662); sixth in fastest drivers early in a run; sixth in fastest drivers late in a run; sixth in green-flag speed; seventh in speed in traffic; eighth in average running position (13.872); eighth in driver rating (90.2); ninth in laps in the top-15 (4,094); and 10th in fastest laps run (232).
Save Water Drink Beer … Harvick selected RCA country music recording artist Chris Young’s song “Save Water Drink Beer” to walk out to for driver introductions during Sunday’s pre-race festivities.
Baby 101 … Bristol Motor Speedway will help celebrate the impending birth of Harvick and his wife DeLana’s baby boy at its fan event Friday night at the BMS hospitality village. NASCAR on FOX pit reporter Matt Yocum will serve as host of the event and the pair will play a variety of games to see which of them knows the most about babies. Baby 101 starts at approximately 7 p.m. and is free to fans.
Media availability … Harvick will be available to members of the media on Friday, March 16 at 10 a.m. ET in the BMS infield media center.
Last Year … In last spring’s race at BMS, Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team rebounded from a late-race accident to score a sixth-place finish.
In the Rearview Mirror … Last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Harvick earned an 11th-place finish and moved up to second in the NSCS driver point standings. He’s currently 10 points behind point leader Denny Hamlin.
Double Duty … In addition to driving the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet in Sunday’s NSCS race, Harvick will also race the No. 33 Armour Vienna Sausages Chevrolet for RCR in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition on Saturday. ESPN will provide live television coverage of the event starting with the pre-race show at 1 p.m. ET. PRN affiliates and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio will carry the radio broadcast.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
What are your thoughts on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway this week?
“Bristol is probably the place that we’ve had circled on the calendar as the place that we ran the worst at last year. As a company, the last race was just bad. For us, we’ve talked about Bristol a lot. I’m looking forward to getting on the race track and running through some different theories and things that we think we needed to do different. Bristol is always a fun place. You never know what can happen there. It seems like it’s just a place where anything can happen at any time. It’s a fun race track and obviously short-track racing is something we all grew up doing.”
What do you think of Bristol Motor Speedway being the first short track race of the year?
“Well technically, it’s the second because we also consider Phoenix a short track. I think Bristol is the first full-contact, short track race that we’re going to go to. It’s obviously a lot different complexion than it used to be. You can race all over the race track, and you have to really work on your car to get it to turn sooner into the corner. You never know whether you’re going to end up at the top or the bottom. It’s become an interesting track.”
At Bristol Motor Speedway, we never know what kind of weather we’re going to get. Does that track change with the weather?
“I think with the concrete surface it’s a lot more consistent than a lot of the other race tracks. It allows you to not have to worry about the inconsistency with the weather. I think it’s a lot more consistent than a lot of places that we go to.”
No. 31 BB&T Chevrolet Impala
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s BB&T Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway … Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 359 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend. This No. 31 Chevrolet Impala was utilized three times last season including, Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600 (started-fifth, finished-21st), Pocono Raceway in August (started-eighth, finished-17th) and Dover International Speedway in October (started-13th, finished-11th).
No Stranger to Victory Lane … Burton claimed the 2008 Food City 500 trophy at Bristol Motor Speedway in a 1-2-3 RCR finish. He also visited Victory Lane in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition at BMS in April 1997.
Welcome Back BB&T … The No. 31 BB&T Chevrolet paint scheme will debut this weekend when competitors hit the track for Sprint Cup Series practice on Friday. The full-service financial institution will serve as primary sponsor for six races on the No. 31 Chevrolet including a special co-branded scheme with Caterpillar in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, retaining its status as official bank of the 43-year-old Welcome, N.C.-based organization. BB&T’s primary race sponsorship occurs within the corporation’s branch footprint, which covers 12 states and Washington D.C.
BMS Race Night … Burton and RCR teammate, Paul Menard, will take part in the Bristol Motor Speedway Race Night fan Q&A session on Friday, March 16 at 5:45 p.m. in the BMS hospitality village located outside turn four. For more information on the free event, log on to http://www.foodcity.com/community/racing/food-city-race-night.
Building a Legacy … Over his 20-year Sprint Cup Series career, the veteran RCR driver has amassed 21 wins, 131 top-five and 243 top-10 finishes in 622 starts. Burton has also tallied six pole awards and led 6,506 laps.
Rewind to Last Week … After spending a majority of the 267-lap event outside of the top 20, Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team bounced back for a 14th-place finish in the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Points Racing … With his 14th-place finish in “Sin City,” Burton currently sits 15th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 15 points out of the top 10.
JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
Since you won at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2008, this track hasn’t been very nice to you.
“Well, that’s Bristol. It will definitely do that to you. Bristol Motor Speedway is one of my favorite race tracks. We typically run well there with the exception of the August event last season. Every other time we’ve come here, we’ve run well, but just not got the finishes where we deserved. It’s a track that I really like and RCR typically performs well. It’s a hard race. Early in the season, everyone is trying to find their rhythm. Some teams are playing catch up, some are trying to protect their points cushion and some are being really aggressive. You always want to go there and feel you can be aggressive and go attack the race track. Even though it is a track that will bite you, the only way to go fast and win is to attack it. You can’t be passive, you have to be aggressive.”
With the new track layout, there haven’t been as many caution-flag periods. Is it more physical on drivers now that there aren’t as many laps under caution?
“We now have green-flag pit stops at Bristol Motor Speedway which is crazy. Bristol is the most physically-demanding race track we go to on the circuit. You get into a deal where you run 150 green-flag laps in a row and it is very difficult. It’s a strain, but you have to be aggressive and attack the track. There are a lot of G-forces. You are constantly turning. Accelerating out of the corners is very difficult when trying to keep your rear tires from coming out underneath the car. It’s a challenge to make one lap, let alone a long string of them together. We have seen less caution-flag periods and you can make a case that the racing is worse, but I say the racing is better and the wrecking is better. From a driver’s perspective, the wrecking is better. Some of the fans want to see more accidents and more stuff going on. We are actually seeing better racing just not as many wrecks. Some people define good racing as a bunch of wrecks and it just depends on how you look at it. This track now has an escape route. If you looked and watched the racing, the reason we had a bunch of wrecks in the past is because something happened and five or six cars had nowhere to go. Today, you don’t have to be bumper-to-bumper because the cars can be offset a little bit. It give you a little bit of room to move when that accordion thing starts happening. That’s why the racing isn’t any less aggressive. We just aren’t seeing those multi-car pileups.”
What’s it like to have Bristol Motor Speedway pop up as the first short track on the 2012 schedule?
“It’s typical NASCAR. Make it hard. Martinsville Speedway is hard too. Early on in the season, we have the two hardest tracks we do all year, in my opinion. They’re physically hard on the car and mentally hard on the driver. Those two races come early in the season and they are very demanding on the drivers and teams.”
No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Chevrolet Impala
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway … Brendan Gaughan will pilot Chassis No. 325 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This RCR racer was last seen as a No. 29 entry that scored a third-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2010 and a 17th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011.
Bullring Stats … Gaughan has two previous Sprint Cup Series starts Bristol Motor Speedway, both in 2004, posting finishes of 20th and 35th. He earned a career-best starting position of seventh in March 2004. Aside from Gaughan’s two Sprint Cup Series starts at the Bristol, Tenn., facility, the Las Vegas native has four starts in the Nationwide Series, earning the pole award in March 2009, and six Camping World Truck Series starts at the half-mile speedway, where he holds two top-five finishes with an average starting position of 9.7 and an averaging finishing position of 15.3.
Rearview Mirror: Sin City … Gaughan and the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino team started Sunday’s 267-lap affair from the 23rd position, but early contact with the wall resulted in a less-than-desired 34th-place finishing position. Before running in the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, the 36-year-old driver made his first Nationwide Series start after a one-year hiatus. Starting from the ninth position, Gaughan drove his black and gold Chevrolet to a career-best fifth-place finish on Saturday afternoon.
Go Hoyas … Gaughan, a very proud Georgetown University alum and former basketball player, watches as the Georgetown University Hoyas Men’s Basketball Team heads into March Madness with the third seed in the Midwest Regional. Gaughan attended Georgetown from 1994 to 1997 where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management. He was a walk-on for the Hoyas basketball team and saw court action in 25 games.
Helping Hands … For the third week in a row, Gaughan’s No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino team will utilize RCR teammate Austin Dillon’s pit crew. The pit crew will service the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet during Saturday’s Nationwide Series event and then head to the Sprint Cup Series garage to pit the No. 33 Chevrolet on Sunday.
Did you know … Brendan Gaughan owns a full-service mobile diner called the Rusty Pickle? The Rusty Pickle brings southern dining to the streets of Las Vegas. The mobile diner offers a wide range of dishes including salads, pulled pork and homemade potato chips. Gaughan made a personal appearance at the Rusty Pickle after his top-five finish in the Nationwide Series race in Las Vegas. To learn more about Gaughan’s latest food endeavor, visit www.rustypickletruck.com.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTES:
This will be your third of four races with RCR in the Sprint Cup Series. What are your thoughts going into your third weekend?
“I have a lot of confidence going into this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. I have learned a lot over the past few weeks running in the Cup car. The more seat time I have, the more comfortable I feel and the more I learn about these cars.”
Some drivers like Bristol Motor Speedway, while others don’t. What is your take on the half-mile race track?
“I love going to Bristol, it’s one of my favorite tracks. I earned the pole there in the Nationwide Series in 2009. It’s a fast track with a lot of action. It keeps you on your toes.”
Race: Bristol 300
Location: Bristol Motor Speedway
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Nationwide Series Race Notes:
RCR in the NNS … In 774 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts over the course of the last 14 years, Richard Childress Racing has earned 57 wins, 257 top-five finishes, 420 top-10 finishes and 34 pole awards, with an average starting position of 12.7 and a 13th-place average finishing position among all races contested. RCR earned the Nationwide Series driver’s points championships in 2001 and 2006 with Kevin Harvick and in 2008 with Clint Bowyer. The Welcome, N.C.-based team earned the owner’s title in 2003 with Johnny Sauter and Harvick and again in 2007 with Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer.
Welcome Back … The Richard Childress-owned organization has yet to finish outside of the top 10 in 2012, making for a strong return to Nationwide Series competition after a one-year hiatus from the series and a recent merger with Kevin Harvick Inc. Elliott Sadler notched RCR’s first Nationwide Series victory of the 2012 season at Phoenix International Raceway on March 3 and brought RCR its first pole award of the year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend.
The Starting Line-up … Sadler (No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet) and Dillon (No. 3 AdvoCare/American Ethanol/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) will compete full time for RCR in the Nationwide Series this season while Harvick, Brendan Gaughan, Paul Menard and Max Papis will share driving duties in the No. 33 Menards/South Point Hotel & Casino/Hunt Brothers/Armour Meats/Fast Fixin’s/One Main Financial/Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet. Harvick is driving the No. 33 Armour Vienna Sausages Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.
RCR’s NASCAR Nationwide Series History at Bristol Motor Speedway … In 47 previous Nationwide Series appearances at Bristol Motor Speedway, RCR leads all organizations with six wins at the half-mile bullring, last visiting the Winner’s Circle at the track in March 2008 with driver Clint Bowyer. Harvick has contributed four wins for RCR with victories in March 2005, March 2003, August 2001 and August 2000, while Jeff Green won in an RCR entry at Bristol in March 2002. RCR also has five pole awards at Bristol: Scott Wimmer in March 2008, Kevin Harvick in March 2006, March 2001 and August 2000 and Mike Skinner in August 2001
Averages … RCR boasts an average starting position of 10.3 and an average finishing position of 13.1 among all Nationwide Series races the organization has contested at Bristol Motor Speedway. RCR drivers have completed 93.6 percent of the laps attempted at the half-mile track (11,142 of 11,901 laps), with 1,588 laps led. In addition to six wins and five pole awards, RCR has earned 20 top-five finishes and 27 top-10 finishes at the track.
Social Media … To keep up-to-date with the latest news and information and to view exclusive content, visit RCR’s Twitter page – @RCRracing, RCR’s NASCAR Nationwide Series team Twitter pages – @RCR2ESadler, @RCR3ADillon and @RCR33NNS, RCR’s NCWTS driver Twitter pages – @Elliott_Sadler, @AustinDillon3 and @KevinHarvick, and the official Facebook fan pages – facebook.com/ElliottSadlerOfficial, facebook.com/adillon3 and facebook.com/KevinHarvickOfficial.
Catch the Action … Flag-to-flag coverage of the Bristol 300 will be televised on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, March 17 and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet Impala
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s OneMain Financial Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway … Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet team will unload Chassis No. 101 from Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This is the same chassis that Sadler drove to Victory Lane two weeks ago at Phoenix International Raceway for the team’s first victory of 2012. No. 101 also saw action in 2011 at Kevin Harvick Inc., where Sadler earned the pole award and ninth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway, as well as a sixth-place result at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Battling at the Bullring … Sadler has 10 Nationwide Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, including one win in 1998. He has earned one pole award (2010), three top-five and four top-10 finishes, including 125 laps led. Sadler also has experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the half-mile track with 25 starts, one win (2001), one pole award, three top-five and four top-10 finishes. Additionally, Sadler has two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, with one pole award he earned last season and a high finish of ninth.
By the Numbers … Heading into this weekend, Sadler and the OneMain Financial team has earned three top-five finishes in three events thus far this season, including a win at Phoenix International Raceway. According to NASCAR Loop Data, Sadler is the season leader for average starting position (4.0), average finishing position (2.3), percentage of laps led (11.5 percent) and driver rating (113.1). He also sits in the second position for laps in the top 15 with 93.5 percent.
Last Time By … In the spring event at Bristol Motor Speedway last season, Sadler battled back from bad luck after a cut tire in the first practice forced the team to go to the backup car. The Emporia, Va., driver climbed from the back of the field to earn a fourth-place finish. Sadler followed that success with an eighth-place finish under the lights in the August 2011 event.
Race Rewind: Las Vegas … The No. 2 OneMain Financial team showed speed early last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, leading the first practice and earning their first pole award of the 2012 season. Leading the field to the green flag in the main event, Sadler reported that the Chevrolet was hitting the track, forcing a long pit stop to lift the front end off the track. Restarting from the 20th position at the halfway marker, Sadler was able regain track position quickly and worked his way to a third-place finish.
To the Point … Sadler remains at the top of the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings for the third week in a row, edging out RCR teammate Austin Dillon by 15 points. The No. 2 OneMain Racing Chevrolet also sits atop the Nationwide Series owner’s point standings, leading by 14 points over the No. 33 RCR Chevrolet.
Going for Four…Boxing titles? … Sadler has a lofty goal this weekend: to defend his three-straight Wii Boxing Championships at the Food City Race Night festival at Bristol Motor Speedway. Fans have the opportunity to watch Sadler go for four-consecutive championships as he competes against other drivers and NASCAR personalities, including his brother Hermie, on Friday night at the Bristol Motor Speedway tent beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Meet The Driver … Before Sadler defends his Wii Boxing title, fans have the opportunity to meet Sadler at the Food City Race Night festival autograph session on behalf of Armour Vienna Sausage. Starting at 4 p.m., 200 wristbands will be handed out at the Bristol Motor Speedway tent with Sadler’s appearance beginning at 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.foodcity.com.
Special Ticket Package … Fans still have time to purchase the Elliott Sadler ticket package for this weekend’s events at Bristol Motor Speedway. The package includes a ticket to the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, access to an exclusive Q&A session with Sadler and a No. 2 OneMain Financial hat, all for only $67. For more information, go to www.bristolmotorspeedway.com or call 1-866-415-4158.
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTES:
Why does Bristol Motor Speedway mean so much to you?
“I love Bristol. Those two weekends at Bristol Motor Speedway are always circled on my schedule because that track means so much to me. It’s heaven on earth. I always tell race fans that if you haven’t been to Bristol, you have to make the trip there. It’s one of the most exciting venues that we race. It’s where I grew up and really fell in love with racing. I went there as a fan first, which is really special. My dad took me there as a kid, and then I went there as a crew member for my brot0her. Being able to sit in the stands, work behind the wall and then be able to race there in all three NASCAR series is a pretty cool feeling.”
You have had a lot of success at Bristol Motor Speedway. How are you looking forward to capitalizing on that success?
“I have pole awards and wins in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series there, as well as a pole in the Camping World Truck Series. I think it is one of my best tracks as a driver. Last season, we had two good runs there in the Nationwide Series program, and we are heading there this weekend with something to prove. We will be taking the same car that we won at Phoenix International Raceway with two weekends ago, and my crew chief Luke Lambert has a really good setup to help us unload quickly at the track and hopefully be there in Victory Lane at the end of the race.”
March Madness is upon us. What is your strategy on picking your bracket?
“I have so much passion for college basketball. I have so much respect for what they do on and off the court. I have been there, done that, so I understand how much work and how hard these guys have to play to even make the tournament. We all know that I am a huge supporter of the North Carolina Tar Heels, all the way to the end. I pick my bracket based off my gut. I read a lot of articles about who is hot, which teams have a lot of momentum and how they played in their own conference tournaments. I join a few office pools to see how I match up against some of my friends and just have fun with it.”
No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet Impala
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s AdvoCare Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 086 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in the Bristol 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. This Chevrolet Impala is a former Kevin Harvick Inc. racer which Dillon drove last season at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind. under the KHI banner. The car was completely refurbished by the RCR team during the off season.
Dillon at Bristol … Although this weekend marks Dillon’s first attempt at Bristol Motor Speedway in a Nationwide Series car, he has two starts at the half-mile track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, finishing 17th in 2010 and 23rd in 2011.
The Season so Far … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Dillon has an average running position of 10.035 in the season’s first three Nationwide Series races, ranking him sixth among all drivers. He has a driver rating of 100.4, ranking him fifth. He leads the Closers category, improving an average of six spots in the last 10 percent of each race and is the fifth-fastest driver late in a run. He is ranked fifth in the Fastest Laps Run category with 31 laps so far this season, has the fourth-fastest speed in traffic and the fifth-fastest green flag speed. Dillon has completed 87.5 percent of his laps in the top 15, ranking him fifth among all drivers and is one of three drivers who have completed 100 percent of laps on the lead lap.
Get to the Points … Dillon is currently second in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing his RCR teammate, Elliott Sadler, by 15 points.
Flash Back … Dillon finished seventh at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after starting third, earning his third consecutive top-10 finish in the Nationwide Series.
Sit in the Austin Dillon Section at Bristol … Dillon is featured in a Bristol Motor Speedway ticket package which includes a ticket to the race on Saturday, a special Austin Dillon No. 3 hat and an exclusive Q & A session with the driver in the Bristol Motor Speedway Hospitality Village prior to the event. Fans interested in purchasing the special Austin Dillon package can do so by calling the ticket office at (423) 989-6900.
Questions, Please … Dillon and fellow Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender Cole Whitt will answer questions from the motor sports media in the Bristol Motor Speedway Infield Media Center at noon E.T. on Friday.
Meet Dillon … Austin “The Hurricane” Dillon will battle RCR teammate Elliott Sadler, along with Hermie Sadler, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Justin Allgaier in a Wii Boxing competition as part of Bristol Motor Speedway’s Food City Race Night event on Friday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. E.T. More than 20,000 fans attended last year’s Food City Race Night, a free event that includes show cars, simulators, souvenir trailers and live entertainment.
Luck of the Irish … While many drivers and teams have race weekend superstitions, Dillon and the No. 3 AdvoCare team have just one race day “Lucky Charm”. The team places a bible verse in the cockpit before every race.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
It must be comforting to find success so early in the NASCAR Nationwide Series?
“I’m enjoying the momentum we have right now. Our performances at RCR are a testament to all of the hard work the guys put in during the off season. Our testing and note-taking paid off.”
What do you think about Bristol Motor Speedway?
“I love Bristol Motor Speedway. The track is really challenging. I haven’t had the best luck there in the Camping World Truck Series, but I am hoping that changes this weekend. I like Tennessee race fans, too. I’ve been fortunate enough to race near Bristol Motor Speedway a lot in my Dirt Late Model at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn., and it’s really cool when those dirt fans come out to Bristol to watch the NASCAR races.”
No. 33 Armour Vienna Sausages Chevrolet Impala
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Armour Vienna Sausages Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway … Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 106 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This is a brand new Chevrolet Impala which will be put through its first competitive paces this weekend.
Bristol Tidbits … Harvick has competed in 21 Nationwide Series events at the Bristol Tenn., facility and boasts a track record of five wins, 13 top-five, 17 top-10 finishes and two poles. He has completed 98.6 percent (5,363 of 5,439) of the contested laps at BMS, led 1075 of those laps and holds an impressive average finish of 7.4.
Loopy in Bristol … Since the inception of NASCAR’s loop data statistics in 2006, Harvick has competed in 11 Nationwide Series races at BMS and has posted some pretty impressive figures during this time: first in average finishing position (5.0) and average running position 8.7), first in green-flag speed, second best Driver Rating (110.2), second in laps led (372), second in laps in the top 15 (2454), second in fastest driver on restarts, third in fastest driver early in a run, third in fastest laps run (220), and third in green-flag passes with 313.
Success on the track with the Armour Brand… The Bristol 300 this weekend will mark the fifth time since 2009 that Harvick has raced with the Armour brand serving as primary sponsor. In the four previous Armour-sponsored races, the 37-time NNS race winner has captured the checkered flag in three (Bristol 2009, Nashville/Richmond 2010).
Armour Brands … The Armour® Star story began when Phillip Danworth Armour founded Armour & Co. in 1867, in Chicago, IL. Armour & Co. is recognized as the first business in the nation to produce canned meat while using an assembly line for production purposes. Known for being one of the most important businesses in Chicago, there is no question as to why Armour ® Vienna sausage, Potted Meat, Chili, Stew, Hash, Corned Beef, Slice Dried Beef, and Luncheon Meats are one of America’s favorite brands. For more information on Armour® Star products, log onto www.armour-star.com Armour is a portfolio brand of Pinnacle Foods Group LLC.
Double Down … In addition to competing in this weekend’s Bristol 300, Harvick will participate in Sunday’s Food City 500 race, driving RCR’s No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet. The fourth race on the 2012 Sprint Cup Series schedule will air live on FOX, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will also be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Testing Baby Knowledge … Bristol Motor Speedway will help celebrate the impending birth of Harvick and his wife DeLana’s baby boy at its fan event Friday night at the BMS hospitality village. FOX pit reporter Matt Yocum will serve as host of the event and the pair will play a variety of games to see which of them knows the most about babies. Baby 101 starts at 7 p.m. and is free to fans.
2012 Schedule … In addition to competing for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series championship, Harvick is slated to compete in 14 Nationwide Series races, driving RCR’s No. 33 Chevrolet with crew chief Ernie Cope. Tracks on Harvick’s NNS schedule include Phoenix International Raceway (March) Bristol Motor Speedway (March and August), Richmond International Raceway (April and September), Talladega Superspeedway (May), Charlotte Motor Speedway (May and October), Kentucky Speedway (June), Daytona International Speedway (July), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July), Atlanta Motor Speedway (September), Texas Motor Speedway (November) and Homestead-Miami Speedway in (November). The Cope-led team is competing full time in NASCAR’s junior division, vying for the 2012 Nationwide Series owner’s title.
Meet the Press … Harvick will field questions from the gathered media inside the BMS infield media center on Friday, March 16 from 10 a.m.
Last Time Around … When Harvick took the wheel of the No. 33 South Point Casino Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series event at Phoenix International Raceway earlier this month, it marked his first NNS start at RCR since Nov. 2007. The Bakersfield, Calif. native dominated the Bashas’ Supermarket 200 early but ultimately settled for a fifth-place finish after taking four-tires on the final pit stop of the day and running out of time to return to the front spot. Harvick’s RCR teammate Elliott Sadler went on to claim the victory, marking his first win in the series since 1998.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
You’ve had tremendous success in the Nationwide Series at Bristol Motor Speedway both at RCR and with KHI. Why is Bristol so special to you?
“Bristol is one of my favorite tracks we go to. It’s such a unique track with the steep banking and a fast concrete surface. I always look forward to racing at Bristol. We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of success there. I won four Nationwide Series races with RCR and my first Nationwide Series race in my own equipment in 2009, which was special in itself, but pretty cool that it came at a place where I’ve had so much success in the Nationwide Series.”