RCR Post Race Report — Martinsville Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
RACE: Goody’s Fast Relief 500
TRACK: Martinsville Speedway
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 19th (Kevin Harvick), 22nd (Jeff Burton) and 26th (Paul Menard). Harvick made 53 green-flag passes during the 500-mile event ranking him 13th in NASCAR Loop Data Statistics. Harvick and the Budweiser is Back team led for 21 laps in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500. Burton spent 252 laps running in the top 15 before suffering electrical issues. Burton and the No. 31 BB&T team were credited with running the fastest lap of all competitors 13 times during the event. Burton made 50 green-flag passes during the event which was extended to 515 laps.
Menard and the No. 27 Libman/Menards team ran as high as fifth and maintained an average running position of 21.56.
Menard completed 26 green-flag passes throughout the Goody’s Fast Relief 500. Ryan Newman scored the win in Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. He was followed to the checkered flag by AJ Allmendinger, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 14, televised live on FOX beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio beginning at 6:30 p.m. EST.
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Team Endure Long Day at Martinsville Speedway to Finish 26th
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Libman/Menards race team finished 26th in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Starting from the 11th position in front of an estimated crowd of 63,000 at the half-mile oval, Menard quickly moved the No. 27 Chevrolet into the top10 but began to experience handling conditions that plagued the team throughout the course of the event. Long green-flag runs during the first half of the 500-lap event provided limited opportunity for crew chief Slugger Labbe and the No. 27 team to make the necessary chassis adjustments to assist Menard, and the bright yellow machine dropped to the 22nd position on the leaderboard by the halfway point of the event. The Eau Claire, Wis., native fought to regain track position after major chassis adjustments by Labbe during a pit stop on lap 324 greatly improved the balance on the Libman/Menards Chevrolet. A speeding penalty on their final pit stop of the day, however, required a return trip down pit road for the No. 27 Chevrolet and dropped Menard to the 26th position, where he ultimately finished the event. The 26th-place result puts Menard 14th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings. .
Start – 11 Finish – 26 Laps Led – 0 Points – 14
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“Today was a tough day for the No. 27 team and the RCR organization. We felt like we had a good setup coming off of our practice sessions but we struggled with the early long green-flag runs. Then the speeding penalty toward the end of the race hurt us even further. We’ll regroup and get back after it at Texas (Motor Speedway).”
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser is Back Team Finish 19th at Martinsville Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser is Back Chevrolet team notched a 19th-place finish in Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Starting from the front row at the half-mile short track, Harvick initially took the lead but dropped back in the field as a loose-handling condition developed on the No. 29 machine. Despite numerous chassis adjustments made by the Shane Wilson-led crew during routine pit stops throughout the 515-lap affair, Harvick ran in the top 20, unable to make up ground on the leaders. The caution flag waved at lap 497, setting the field up for a green-white-checkered finish. Wilson called Harvick to pit road to make one final attempt to improve the handling of the white and black Budweiser is Back Chevrolet. A multi-car incident brought out the caution flag once again to set up the field for a second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. Harvick gained one spot in the final laps and the No. 29 Budweiser is Back Chevrolet team took the checkered flag in the 19th position. The top-20 result places the Bakersfield, Calif., native fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 2 Finish – 19 Laps Led – 21 Points – 5
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“We just went in the wrong direction with the setup for today and learned what not to do when we come back in the fall. It was just Not a good day at all. As a group we probably made some wrong decisions before the race but as a group we will fix them for the fall race.”
Burton Earns 22nd-Place Finish at Martinsville After Electrical Issues Hamper Day
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 BB&T Chevrolet team finished 22nd in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway after suffering electrical issues just past the halfway mark of the event. The South Boston, Va. native started 18th in his 37th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at the half-mile track and immediately showed the No. 31 Chevrolet was a top-10 contender. Burton climbed six positions on the leaderboard within the first 50 laps and was scored in the top 10 by the first pit stop of the day on lap 100. After spending the next 25 laps with fresh Goodyear tires in the top five, the No. 31 Chevrolet began to lose rear grip and the 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner settled into the 15th position. Just past the halfway point of the race, Burton reported to crew chief Drew Blickensderfer the No. 31 car’s engine was losing power. As Burton continued to complete laps on the paperclip-shaped race track, the No. 31 pit crew discussed the potential electrical issue. The RCR veteran brought his machine down pit road under caution-flag conditions for routine service on lap 366 and again on lap 367 for RCR crew to remedy the electrical issue under the hood. Burton returned to the track and completed the remainder of the race running in the top 25, settling for a 23rd-place finish. He remains 15th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, just 25 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot.
Start – 18 Finish – 22 Laps Led – 0 Points – 15
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
“It is very frustrating to have another race where we had a competitive car and suffered terrible luck.”