Richard Childress Racing Event Preview:
Texas Motor Speedway and Rockingham Speedway
Race: Samsung Mobile 500
Location: Texas Motor Speedway
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Notes:
RCR in the NSCS … In 2,183 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, Richard Childress Racing has amassed 100 wins, 430 top-five finishes, 889 top-10 finishes and 42 pole awards with an average starting position of 17.9 and an average finishing position of 15.7 among all races contested. RCR has earned six Sprint Cup Series championships with Dale Earnhardt (1986, ’87, ’90,’91, ’93, ’94), 14 total championships (five NASCAR Nationwide Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR’s three national series.
RCR at TMS … In 65 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, dating back to 1997, RCR has recorded one win (Jeff Burton, April 2007), eight top-five and 26 top-10 finishes with drivers Burton, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Green and Paul Menard. Prior to TMS’s inaugural season, Richard Childress, a former driver in NASCAR’s top division, earned a pair of top-10 finishes at the now defunct Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas. RCR Sprint Cup Series teams boast a 20.4 average starting position, a 16.1 average finishing position and have completed 20,928 of the 21,740 contested laps (96.3 percent) with 139 laps led at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth-based race track.
The Collective RCR … Over the season’s first six races, RCR’s Sprint Cup Series entries have notched three top-five and eight top-10 finishes. RCR teams have completed 6,986 out of 7,185 total laps (97.23 percent) with drivers Burton, Harvick, Menard, Elliott Sadler and Brendan Gaughan. The group has led a combined 146 laps.
Get to the Points … Following the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Harvick fell to fifth in the driver championship point standings, tied at 214 markers with Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. who are ranked third, fourth and sixth, respectively. Menard fell three positions, to 14th, in the point standings, while Burton remained 15th.
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 winning organization can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRracing.com.
Catch the Action … FOX’s live coverage of the Samsung Mobile 500 begins Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio. Qualifying for the seventh points-paying event on the Sprint Cup Series calendar will air live on SPEED on Friday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway … Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 386 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet is a brand new addition to the RCR fleet and will log its first laps on the track during Thursday’s practice session.
Slightly different colors on the Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet in the Lone Star State … The No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet will sport a different look this weekend when the Sprint Cup Series rolls into Texas, carrying a special paint scheme of “Quaker State green” and “Menards yellow.”
Texas Tidbits …
Menard will make his 181st Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. In his 11 previous starts at TMS, Menard has one top-five and two top-10 finishes, completing 95.1 percent of his laps (3,503 of 3,684) and leading for two circuits. He has an average starting position of 20.4 and an average finishing position of 21.1, with his best finish of fifth coming in his April 2011 visit to the 1.5-mile facility. Menard logged his best start of fifth in the April 2009 NSCS event at TMS.
By the Numbers in 2012 … With the first six points-paying events in the books, Menard sits 14th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 23 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot. In his sophomore year with Richard Childress Racing, Menard has a 22nd-place average starting position, an average finishing position of 16.5 and maintains a 19th-place average running position. The Eau Claire, Wis., native ranks second in the NASCAR Loop Data category of Closers, improving an average of 2.5 positions in the final 10 percent of the six contested races.
Paul in Person – LIVE Q&A on PRN … Fans can see Menard live on Saturday, April 14 at 3:15 p.m. Central time on the SPEED stage for PRN’s Up to Speed. Located outside the facility’s frontstretch in the midway area behind the main grandstand, the RCR driver is scheduled to participate in a question-and-answer session with on-air talent from the Performance Racing Network.
There’s No Place Like Home … Traveling to Texas takes No. 27 team mechanic and interior specialist Chad Tigert as close to the Sooner State as the Sprint Cup Series gets. Though Tigert now calls North Carolina ‘home,’ he is originally from Caney, Okla., located two hours northeast of the Fort Worth, Texas-based motorsports facility.
Race Rewind … At Texas Motor Speedway in April 2011, Menard started 19th in the Saturday night affair. Within 25 laps, he moved into the top 15 and entered the top 10 by the halfway point. Reporting a tight-handling condition, the Slugger Labbe-led pit crew made adjustments during routine pit stops to improving the car’s balance. Menard took the checkered flag in the fifth position under the lights of TMS.
In the Rearview Mirror: Martinsville … Starting from the 11th position at the half-mile oval, Menard quickly moved the No. 27 Chevrolet into the top 10 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 Goody’s Fast Relief 500 provided limited opportunity for crew chief Slugger Labbe and the No. 27 team to make necessary chassis adjustments to assist the Eau Claire, Wis., native. Fighting to regain track position after major chassis adjustments improved the balance on the Libman/Menards machine, Menard was issued a speeding penalty on the final pit stop and finished the event in the 26th position.
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PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
It seems that the high-speed 1.5-mile race tracks are very well-suited to you and you proved it with your fifth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway last April. What can you tell us about that race?
“Honestly, we wanted more. Most of the night, we were a top-three car. The last run was a long green-flag run and I think we had at least one green-flag pit stop. We lost a little bit at the very end and finished fifth, but I think we could have done better than that.”
What does the speed sensation at Texas Motor Speedway feel like?
“The race really slows down and opens up, but qualifying there is a real eye-opener. The fall race is usually faster than the spring race for whatever reason. You are as close to not lifting in a Sprint Cup Series car as you’ll ever get outside of Daytona (International Speedway) and Talladega (Superspeedway).”
Is Texas Motor Speedway ‘maturing’ and giving you more options now since the surface has a few years of wear and tear on it?
“It is definitely getting a lot of bumps, especially over the tunnels on both ends. It’s a wide track. During practice sessions the outer groove doesn’t come in very well, but it does during the race.”
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Budweiser Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway … Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 391 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Harvick scored an 11th-place finish in this Chevrolet last month at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Solid Start for Harvick … As Sprint Cup Series teams embark upon the seventh race of the season, Harvick is off to one of the strongest starts of his career. In the first six races this year, he’s earned a career-best average starting position of 7.83. Harvick’s ninth-place average finish at this point of the season is the second-highest of his Sprint Cup Series career, trailing only his average finishing position six races into the 2008 season was 7.83.
Media Availability … Harvick will be available to members of the media at 3:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, April 12 in the Texas Motor Speedway infield media center’s deadline room.
Statistically Speaking … Harvick has made 18 Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway since 2001. During that time he has scored three top-five and eight top-10 finishes. He has completed 99.8 percent of the laps run in that time (6,008 of 6,022) and has led five laps at the track. Harvick holds an average starting position of 21.0 and an average finish of 12.9 at Texas.
Loop Data … Since the inception of NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics in 2006, Harvick has competed in 14 Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway and owns a couple impressive marks heading into this weekend’s event, including: first in Closers, having gained 29 positions in the last 10 percent of the races in that span; and fourth in Green-Flag Passes (1,030). In addition, Harvick ranked first in Quality Passes (82) in the fall event at the speedway.
Looking Back … In last year’s Samsung Mobile 500, Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team scored a 20th-place finish after struggling with handling problems for much of the race. In the fall race at the track, he took home a 13th-place result.
Ten-Gallon Hat … While Harvick has yet to don a cowboy hat in Victory Lane in Sprint Cup Series competition at Texas Motor Speedway, he has had the honor of wearing one four times in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition (March 2001 and November 2005, 2006 and 2007) and once in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (November 2011). Harvick’s Nationwide Series wins at Texas in 2006 and 2007 were under the leadership of crew chief Shane Wilson, who now serves in the same capacity on the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team.
In the Rearview Mirror … Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team started second and led the first 21 laps before handling issues dropped them back to a 19th-place finish two weekends ago at Martinsville Speedway.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team has been fairly solid so far this year. Do you feel like you guys can take it to the next level and get a top five or even have a chance to win at Texas Motor Speedway?
“Texas (Motor Speedway) was probably the worst track for us last year. We struggled with what we needed to get in the car to be able to have speed and race well. We’re going there with a different mindset this year to try to get some speed out of the car. In Las Vegas, we had a lot of speed, so our first mile-and-a-half race went really well and hopefully when we get to Texas we can have it all together.”
What are the keys to running well at Texas Motor Speedway?
“Texas (Motor Speedway) is a really fast race track, especially for qualifying. I think it’s probably the fastest race track we go to. If you’re going to qualify well or win the race, you’re going to have to have a car that’s comfortable to drive with a lot of throttle time.”
From the driver’s standpoint, can you feel the speed at Texas Motor Speedway?
“(Texas Motor Speedway) is a really fast race track and the banking is where you can really feel how fast you are going. It’s one of the few race tracks where you feel the speed in the car. The unique part about this race track is that you have that big speed for about three or four laps and as you go through the tire run the speed really drops off a tremendous amount. From a driver standpoint, you have a lot of options and the race track has a lot of bumps, which adds character. You have to make your car work good and you have to get up off Turn 2, but you can run all over the race track. Obviously we’ll run the bottom for qualifying, but when race time comes we will be moving around all over the place so it’s fun from a driver’s standpoint.”
No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Caterpillar Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway … Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 385 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend. This is a brand new No. 31 Chevrolet that will turn its first laps this weekend.
No Stranger to Victory Lane … Burton was Texas Motor Speedway’s first two-time Sprint Cup Series race winner after visiting Victory Lane in the inaugural Sprint Cup Series event in 1997 and again in 2007. Burton has also tallied three top-five and nine top-10 finishes while leading 180 laps at the 1.5-mile facility.
Loopy in the “Lone Star State” … Burton has garnered impressive NASCAR Loop Data statistics at Texas Motor Speedway since 2006. He has spent 2,591 laps running in the top 15 and made 982 green-flag passes (seventh-most).
Featured Cat Dealers … HOLT CAT, Mustang Cat and Warren Car will be featured on the deck lid of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
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Mustang Cat is the southeast Texas authorized sales, parts and service dealer for Caterpillar construction equipment and engines.The family of Mustang companies is comprised of:Construction Machinery – Caterpillar construction equipment and a selected group of allied lines, Power Systems – Caterpillar engines as well as the design, engineering and fabrication of state-of-the-art engine packages in a vast range of power ratings, Rental Services – The Cat Rental Store, offering Caterpillar and allied lines of large and small equipment for the building construction industry.For more information, visit www.mustangcat.com or call 1.888.NEXT.CAT.
Warren CAT proudly serves customers throughout sixteen locations in West Texas and the State of Oklahoma. Dedicated to providing customers complete solutions for their equipment needs, from heavy machinery to industrial engines, Warren CAT is segmented by five divisions to better serve the needs of our customers: Heavy Construction/Governmental, Rental/General Construction, Engines/Generators/Vocational Trucks, Ag, and Parts & Service. Warren’s capabilities extend beyond their ability to offer the leading name in heavy equipment by dedicating their focus to providing customers with the finest service in the industry. As part of the Caterpillar dealer network, Warren’s product support capabilities are vast, offering customers universal support at a local level.
Building a Legacy … During his 20-year Sprint Cup Series career, the veteran RCR driver has earned 21 wins, 131 top-five and 244 top-10 finishes in 625 starts. Burton has also tallied six pole awards and led 6,506 laps.
Race Rewind … 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.
Points Racing … Burton sits 15th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, just 25 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot.
JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
Is it frustrating to have had so much success at a track like Texas Motor Speedway and then recently have the kind of runs you have had there?
“That just shows you how hard the sport is. I know that no matter how well we ran one week, it doesn’t mean we are going to run that poorly the following week. It’s a constant test of where you and your team are and this is a very demanding sport. Honestly, none of our performances last year looked very good and it was just a continuation of what had gone on for the entire season. I think we have run better than many of our finishes indicated. Texas Motor Speedway is different anytime we run there. That is why we have seen so many different winners. That track doesn’t have a personality. Every time you go there, it is something different. I think that is why you see so many drivers run well there one race and then terrible the next. I don’t know why, but it is different every time we go there.”
Your finishes last year were 11th and 27th. Were those races the type of events where you said to yourself, “We ran better than that”?
“The 11th-place finish was about right, but we ran better than 27th in the November race last year. Again, last year it took a long time before we started finishing where we were supposed to. Even the 11th-place finish, I think we ran better than that during the race, and we had a problem late in the race which was frustrating, like much of our season. The fact of the matter is that we as a team can say we finished better than we ran or we finished worse than we ran, they give you points based on where you finish, and that’s what really matters. You have to understand what got you there because when you understand what got you there it gives you the opportunity to move forward, but you can ignore where you finished.”
You talked about Texas Motor Speedway changing. Is it changing in a certain way?
“It is definitely getting rough. The bumps are getting rougher and the track is losing some grip. When we used to go there, turn two was just horrible, You couldn’t get the car to turn off turn two and now everyone comes off of it pretty well and they have trouble off turn four. I don’t know why that is. It is part aging asphalt and part track officials changing it a few times. It is always going through the evolution of normal change. When that happens, it typically just loses grip. You go there one time and people run the bottom line, you go there the next and people run the top. That’s hard to explain.”
Race: O’Reilly Auto Parts 300
Location: Texas Motor Speedway
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Nationwide Series Race Notes:
RCR’s NASCAR Nationwide Series History at Texas Motor Speedway … RCR has earned four wins at Texas Motor Speedway in the Nationwide Series, and all four coming from Kevin Harvick with wins in 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The Welcome, N.C.-based organization has one pole award (Jeff Green in 2002), 11 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes in 36 starts.
Averages … RCR boasts an average starting position of 12.5 and an average finishing position of 13.4 among all Nationwide Series races the organization has competed in at Texas Motor Speedway. RCR drivers have completed 90.4 percent of the laps attempted at the track with 564 laps led.
Getting back to it … After two off weekends on the schedule, the RCR Nationwide Series program is ready to get back to the track. The organization has amassed nine top-five and 14 top-10 finishes, with 227 laps so far in 2012. After five races this season, Elliott Sadler notched RCR’s first Nationwide Series victory of the 2012 season at Phoenix International Raceway on March 3 and also earned the organization’s second win of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17. Sadler also brought RCR its first pole award of the year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 10.
RCR in the NNS … In 780 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts over the course of the last 15 years, Richard Childress Racing has earned 58 wins, 259 top-five finishes, 425 top-10 finishes and 34 pole awards, with an average starting position of 12.7 and an average finishing position of 12.9 among all races contested. RCR earned the Nationwide Series driver points championships in 2001 and 2006 with Harvick and in 2008 with Clint Bowyer. RCR earned the owner’s title in 2003 with Johnny Sauter and Harvick and again in 2007 with Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer.
To the Point … RCR’s two fulltime Nationwide Series entries rank first (Sadler) and third (Dillon) in the driver championship point standings heading into this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet team leads the owner’s point standings while the No. 3 AdvoCare/American Ethanol/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team ranks fourth. The No. 33 Menards/South Point Hotel & Casino/Hunt Brothers/Armour Brands/Fast Fixin’/OneMain Financial/Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet team driven by Harvick, Brendan Gaughan, Paul Menard and Max Papis sits fifth in the owner championship point standings.
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 Nationwide Series driver Twitter pages – @Elliott_Sadler and @AustinDillon3 and the official Facebook fan pages – facebook.com/ElliottSadlerOfficial and facebook.com/adillon3.
Under the Lights … Flag-to-flag coverage of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 will be televised on ESPN 2 beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, April 13 and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s OneMain Financial Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway … Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team will unload Chassis No. 104 from Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series stable at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. The No. 2 team utilized this chassis in March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where Sadler earned the team’s first pole award of the season and notched a third-place finish.
Racing in the Lone Star State … With eight starts at Texas Motor Speedway in the Nationwide Series, Sadler has earned two pole awards, three top-five and five top-10 finishes with 35 laps led at the 1.5-mile track. Sadler also brings NASCAR Sprint Cup Series experience at the Fort Worth, Texas-based track with 18 starts, earning one win in 2004, one pole award in 2010, one top-five and three top-10 finishes. He also made one appearance at the speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2010, where he started second and finished fifth.
Last Time By … Last season, Sadler competed at Texas Motor Speedway twice on the Nationwide Series circuit, scoring a solid fifth-place finish in the first event at the 1.5-mile facility. When Sadler returned to the 1.5-mile track in the fall, he earned his fifth pole award of the season but a loose-handling condition relegated the driver to a ninth-place finish.
Just the Stats … Sadler is off to the best start in his NASCAR career, notching two wins (Phoenix International Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway), one pole award (Las Vegas Motor Speedway), four top-five and five top-10 finishes. He has led in each of the first five races, a first for Sadler, with 98 laps led. According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Season-to-Date statistics, Sadler leads the Nationwide Series in average start (4.3), average finish (3.4), laps in top 15 (935) and total laps completed (970).
Race Rewind: Auto Club … Prior to back-to-backoff weekends, Sadler competed at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., where the No. 2 team fought tight-handling conditions to bring home a ninth-place finish.
To the Point … Sadler leads the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings after five races, sitting 18 points ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The No. 2 Chevrolet team also leads the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, leading the No. 6 team by 18 points.
Autism Awareness Month … April is National Autism Awareness Month, and Sadler will show his support for the cause throughout the month wearing a special helmet. The helmet design features puzzle pieces, the symbol of Autism Awareness, and he will wear the specially designed helmet at Texas Motor Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. Sadler is a large supporter of the cause, and along with his family, created the Hermie and Elliott Sadler Foundation to help with education and research of the disease. For more information on the foundation, please visit SadlerFoundation.org.
Seeing Pink … For the remainder of the season, Sadler will have a little more color to his outfit on race days. The Emporia, Va., native will sport pink driving shoes, showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness. Sadler’s mother, Bell, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and is now a survivor.
Trackside … Sadler will serve as co-host on Friday for SPEED’s NASCAR Trackside from Texas Motor Speedway. The show will air on Friday at 11 p.m. ET and will re-air at 3 p.m. on Saturday on SPEED.
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTES:
How do you feel going into this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway?
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to Texas Motor Speedway. Coming off two off weekends on the Nationwide Series schedule, we are going to be ready to get back to the track. I really feel like the track at Texas fits my driving style. Ever since I came to Texas for the first time in 1997, I feel like I have been successful there. We always seem to unload quick and find a lot of speed right off the bat. I had a great car when we came here last fall when we won the pole with Kevin Harvick Inc. I think that we’ve made improvements as a team, and I know I have made improvements as a driver since then, so it is going to be really fun to get back. It’s a great race track for not only the drivers, but the fans. The night race is something special. Eddie Gossage is one of the best track promoters in the industry, and he always puts on a show for the fans. I’m pumped to get back to Texas with my new RCR OneMain Financial team with a fast car to compete for that cowboy hat.”
No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s American Ethanol Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 102 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. This is the same Chevrolet that Dillon drove to a seventh-place finish after starting third at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.
Dillon in the Lone Star State… In four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Dillon has earned two top-five finishes, one pole award and led 76 laps, acquiring a third-place average starting position and a 14th-place average finish position. This weekend marks his first Nationwide Series attempt at the track.
The Season so Far … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Dillon has an average running position of 9.818 in the season’s first five Nationwide Series races, ranking him seventh among all drivers. He has a driver rating of 98.8, ranking him seventh. He leads the Closers category, improving an average of 4.2 spots in the last 10 percent of each race and is the sixth-fastest driver late in a run and eighth-fastest driver early in a run. He is ranked eighth in the Fastest Laps Run category with 50 laps so far this season, has the seventh-fastest speed in traffic and the fifth-fastest green-flag speed. Dillon has completed 93.2 percent of his laps in the top 15, ranking him third among all drivers and has completed 99.9 percent of laps on the lead lap, ranking him second.
Get to the Points … Dillon is third in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings. He trails his RCR teammate and current point leader Elliott Sadler by 27 points and is nine markers shy of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in second. He currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
Think Green … The No. 3 team will sport the black and green colors of American Ethanol this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. American Ethanol, a renewable source of cleaner burning energy from the bounty of America’s farmers, helps create new green jobs and a renewed sense of pride for the American worker, while helping to achieve greater energy security for our country. Led by Growth Energy, more than 100 different entities, from farmers and state corn growing boards to ethanol producers and biotech companies, are working with NASCAR to introduce a cleaner-burning fuel to America. The partnership with American Ethanol takes NASCAR’s environmental commitment to the next level.
Flashback … In his first appearance at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Austin Dillon started fourth and recorded a fifth-place finish in the Royal Purple 300. He was a mainstay in the top five during the early portions of the race but slipped as far back as 18th in the running order after developing a loose-handling condition in the middle of the race. Following a lap-135 pit stop, the team restarted in the 11th position on lap 138 and Dillon spent the remainder of the race driving through traffic, gaining six positions in the final 12 laps of the race.
Names Are Made Here … An ESPN promotional spot themed around Austin Dillon and entitled “The Next Generation” debuts this week. The 30-second spot, which continues ESPN’s “Names Are Made Here” marketing campaign for the Nationwide Series, traces Dillon’s career through go karts, dirt tracks and the Camping World Truck Series. The spot was produced by Wieden + Kennedy New York and will run across ESPN platforms. For a look at the spot, visit rcrracing.com.
Racing School, Chevy Style … Dillon and his younger brother, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Ty Dillon, traveled to Philadelphia, Pa., last week to attend the Urban Youth Racing School Awards Banquet on behalf of Chevrolet. Since it was established in 1998, the Urban Youth Racing School has served 3,000 students (85 percent from city areas that are below the poverty level), with opportunities to meet high achievers from the racing industry, scientists, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders whom the students may never have the ability to access, or who may have shared their life experience.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
What are your thoughts on racing at Texas Motor Speedway?
“I feel really good at Texas Motor Speedway. That’s a place where we can go out and have a shot to win. I’ve led a lot of laps there in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Once we get there we will know how we stack up but I think we’ll have a great shot, once again, to run up front and get a top-five finish. Texas Motor Speedway is very fast but I like the grip levels there. You feel pretty good at that track unless your car is handling bad. A bad car there can make for a long day. I think Danny Stockman and the crew will have us fixed up and ready to go and hopefully we will be comfortable driving around there.”
You’re familiar with Texas Motor Speedway. That must be comforting …
“I know the track–that’s the biggest thing–and how to get around it. I think in these Nationwide cars we have a great shot at winning. Elliott Sadler did some testing at Nashville Superspeedway recently, and we will be able to use that information. I think it will be a battle between our cars and the Roush Fenway Racing cars.”
How did you spend your Easter weekend?
“I spent the off weekend at the beach. The whole Dillon family went down there and had a little bit of fun. It was a much-needed chance for relaxation. We went shopping at Bass Pro Shops and did a little bit of fishing and golfing. Since the beginning of the season I’ve been working out Monday through Wednesday with the guys on my pit crew and then racing Thursday through Sunday, plus fitting in a lot of sponsor and media appearances in between so it was good to take a weekend off and spend some time with the family.”
No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Rheem/Menards Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway … Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 107 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This No. 33 Chevrolet is a brand new addition to the RCR fleet and will log its first laps on track during Thursday’s practice session.
Deep in the Heart of Texas …
Menard will make his 173rd Nationwide Series start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. In 10 previous starts at TMS, Menard has two top-five and six top-10 finishes, completing 99.7 percent of his laps (2,005 of 2,011) and leading for two circuits. He has an average starting position of 12.3 and an average finishing position of 11.9, with his best finish of third coming in his April 2011 visit to the 1.5-mile facility.
Kicking off 2012 in the NNS … This weekend marks Menard’s first of seven starts in the Nationwide Series for RCR for the 2012 season. He will also be behind the wheel of the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway (June), Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Chicagoland Speedway, Dover International Speedway (September) and Kansas Speedway (October).
Race Rewind … At Texas Motor Speedway in April 2011, Menard made his first Nationwide Series start of the season and his first start behind the wheel of the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick, Inc. in the Friday night showdown. Menard put the No. 33 machine in the fifth position for the start of the 200-lap race and remained in the top 15 for 197 circuits, finishing third.
A Little Loopy the Last Time Around … Menard posted some impressive NASCAR Loop Data Statistics with his third-place performance at TMS in April 2011. The Eau Claire, Wis., native ranked fifth in the category Average Running Position (5.725), tied for first in Closers gaining two positions in the final 20 laps of the race, third in Driver Rating (114.6), third in Drivers Fastest Early in a Run (137.817 mph), sixth in Fastest Laps Run (11), second in Green-Flag Passes (59), third in Green-Flag Speed (170.885 mph), sixth in Laps in the Top 15 (197), second in Quality Passes (43) and third in Speed in Traffic (170.477 mph).
About Rheem … Rheem Manufacturing Company (www.rheem.com) is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. In its 86th year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company’s premium brands, including Rheem, Raypak, Ruud and Richmond have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality. Rheem is the official heating, cooling and water heating supplier to Richard Childress Racing, and is a primary sponsor of RCR’s No. 29 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
Are you looking forward to making your first Nationwide Series start of the season at Texas Motor Speedway?
“I am looking forward to making my first Nationwide Series start this season. We had a lot of good runs in KHI’s No. 33 Chevrolet last year. We got a couple of pole awards and a number of top-five finishes in the seven races that I ran with them. We’re doing the same number of races this year in the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet with RCR. It’s almost the same schedule. We did swap a couple of different tracks. After seeing how the RCR Nationwide teams have performed so far this year with wins at Phoenix (International Raceway) and Bristol (Motor Speedway), I am definitely excited to get back in it.”
Does it help you on a race weekend to run both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races?
“Yes and no. It takes away from the Sprint Cup Series effort because you’re splitting your time between the two garages and teams, but then you learn some things during the race itself. The ideal situation would be to just get in the car and race it on Saturday afternoon once all of your (Sprint) Cup stuff is done.”
Do you think you have a good chance of putting the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet in Victory Lane this year?
“Absolutely. (Crew chief) Ernie Cope and all those guys ran really well last year. Moving the program to RCR with their resources took the level of competition up another notch.”
Race: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200
Location: Rockingham Speedway
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Notes
RCR’s NCWTS History … In 214 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, Richard Childress Racing has earned 25 wins, 83 top-five finishes, 133 top-10 finishes and 29 poles, along with the inaugural series championship in 1995 with Mike Skinner and Austin Dillon in 2011. The organization has an average starting position of 9.7 and an average finishing position of 10.3.
Truck Line-up … Tim George Jr. will pilot the No. 2 Applebee’sChevrolet at Rockingham Speedway in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200. The No. 2 team will join Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team and Joey Coulter and the No. 22 RCR Chevrolet team for the 250-lap affair on Sunday.
Return to “The Rock” … The Camping World Truck Series will make its inaugural trip to Rockingham Speedway this weekend for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200. Originally opened on October 31, 1965, “The Rock” held NASCAR sanctioned races in all three touring divisions for more than 40 years. The one-mile track was purchased by Andy Hillenburg in 2007 with hopes of restoring its position on a NASCAR touring schedule. With the addition of safer barriers, the historic speedway joins the Camping World Truck Series schedule.
RCR at Rockingham … RCR will make its first appearance at Rockingham Speedway with the Camping World Truck Series returns at “The Rock” this weekend. Although the Welcome, N.C.-based organization has no previous starts in the Camping World Truck Series at the one-mile asphalt oval, RCR has 80 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Rockingham Speedway earning three wins with Dale Earnhardt, 13 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes. In the NASCAR Nationwide Series, RCR has accumulated three top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 19 starts at “The Rock”.
To the Points … With two races on the 2012 Camping World Truck Series schedule in the books, Dillon sits fourth in the drivers championship point standings four markers behind the leader, while Coulter slipped to 24th in the standings after a 30th-place showing at Martinsville Speedway, 42 points outside the top spot.
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 Camping World Truck Series team Twitter pages – @RCR3TDillon, @RCR22JCoulter and @RCR2CWTS. RCR’s NCWTS driver Twitter pages – @tydillon, @JoeyCoulter, @timgeorgejr, @Brendan62 and @kevinharvick.
Catch the Action … Flag-to-flag coverage of this weekend’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 will be televised live on Sunday, April 15, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on SPEED and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Tim George Jr
No. 2 Applebee’s Chevrolet Silverado
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Applebee’s Chevrolet at Rockingham Speedway … Tim George Jr. will pilot Chassis No. 047 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stable in this weekend’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200. RCR acquired this Chevrolet Silverado from the Kevin Harvick Inc., merger at the end of the 2011 season and transformed it into a RCR racer during the off season.
Welcome Aboard … This weekend’s 200-miler marks George Jr.’s first appearance behind the wheel of the No. 2 Applebee’s Chevrolet Silverado for the 2012 season. George Jr. is slated to compete in a total of 12 Camping World Truck Series races for RCR this season. The New York City native will share the No. 2 Chevrolet seat in Camping World Truck Series competition with RCR teammates Kevin Harvick and Brendan Gaughan with Marcus Richmond serving as crew chief. The 31-year-old driver will also see on-track action at Kansas Speedway (April. 21), Texas Motor Speedway (June 8), Iowa Speedway (July 14 and Sept. 15), Kentucky Speedway (June 28 and Sept. 21), Pocono Raceway (Aug. 4), Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 18), Atlanta Motor Speedway (Aug. 31), Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 6) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 16).
No Stranger Here … George Jr. has three previous starts at the historic one-mile track in the ARCA Racing Series. In his first-career appearance at Rockingham Speedway, George Jr. earned his best finish of 15th after starting in the 22nd position. The veteran RCR driver completed 89.9 percent (539 of 600) of the contested laps at “The Rock.”
No Place Like Home … Five members on George Jr.’s No. 2 team call North Carolina home including crew chief Marcus Richmond (Leasburg), truck chief Mark Setzer (Newton), jackman Adam Crigger (Asheboro), rear-tire carrier Chris Martin (Mount Airy) and tire specialist Richard Boyles (High Point).
Meet the Driver … George Jr. is scheduled to participate in the Camping World Truck Series autograph sessionfor Rockingham Speedway on April 13.He will sign for gathered fans beginning at 7 p.m. on the Harrington Square located in downtown Rockingham.Prior to the autograph session, fans can participate in the 2012 Rockingham Thunder Fest. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday. George Jr. is also scheduled to participate in a Rheem® autograph session on Saturday, April 14 at 12:30 p.m. in the Fan Zone at Rockingham Speedway.
Double Header … Before competing in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200, George Jr. will pilot the No. 2 Applebee’s Chevrolet UARA Late Model for Team Dillon Racing on Saturday, April 14. George Jr. is slated to run 12 events under the TDR banner this season in the UARA Late Model.
Beyond the Track … George Jr. had an adventurous off season. His travels include trips to the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Fla., and the Masters Golf Tournament last week in Augusta, Ga. The RCR driver also scored his first 10-point buck in South Carolina during a hunting trip with family.
TIM GEORGE JR. QUOTES:
This is your first Camping World Truck Series race of the 2012 season. What are your goals for the year?
“My goal for Rockingham Speedway this weekend is to do everything to the best of my ability. There are a few new guys in the mix for my team that I’d like to get to know better. Coming off the win at Martinsville with Harvick, everyone is in good spirits and that is a good way to start the weekend.”
You’ve raced at Rockingham Speedway on previous occasions; will racing there before help you at all this weekend?
“I have raced at Rockingham Speedway a few times in the ARCA Racing Series. I will be racing in both the Camping World Truck Series race and UARA Late Model race this weekend. Those two vehicles are extremely different. The late model is very light, you need to keep it wound up and have higher mid-corner speed. The ARCA car has the most horsepower out of all three vehicles, and takes a different driving style. I think the truck will be the most challenging to drive and race at “The Rock” because it has a lot more down force. The equipment is great at RCR. My new crew chief, Marcus (Richmond) feels confident that I can be comfortable and go fast. I’m looking forward to it.”
What is the transition like between racing in the ARCA Racing Series and the Camping World Truck Series?
“There are a lot of differences between the ARCA Racing Series and Camping World Truck Series. The ‘no testing’ rule is something that I haven’t had to deal with before but at least we get an extra set of tires for practice. I look forward to working with my crew, and the experience of racing with a team like RCR in the will give me.”
No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Silverado
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet at Rockingham Speedway … Ty Dillon will pilot chassis No. 005 from the Richard Childress Racing stable in Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway. Dillon made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in this Chevrolet Silverado at Kentucky Speedway last October, finishing 18th after starting 15th. The 2011 ARCA Racing Series champion also piloted this entry when he earned his first top-five finish in only his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Texas Motor Speedway last November. Following his top-five showing at Texas, Dillon qualified this Chevrolet Silverado second at the season finale race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and earning a top-10 result. Prior to a makeover last September, this truck was used frequently by Dillon’s older brother, Austin. The elder Dillon won his first Camping World Truck Series race with this Chevrolet Silverado at Iowa Speedway in July 2010. Accompanying the win, Austin earned six top-five finishes in 10 starts with this truck.
Winner, Winner … Dillon is no stranger to the one-mile race track earning a win in 2010 at the Rockingham, N.C., speedway in ARCA Racing Series. The 20-year-old racer started from the sixth position and leading 41 laps before taking the checkered flag for the second time in his third appearance in the ARCA Racing Series.
Martinsville Speedway Recap … Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team proved their debut at Martinsville Speedway was a learning experience. Struggling with the handling of the Chevrolet Silverado during the two practice session at the half-mile race track, the team worked through adversity to qualify the black No. 3 on the outside pole for the 250-lap affair. Working with RCR teammate Kevin Harvick, the duo led all of the contested laps at the short track and Dillon earned the runner up position when the checkered flag was displayed.
Points Racing … After Dillon’s second-place showing at Martinsville Speedway, he currently sits fourth in the Camping World Truck Series driver’s championship point standings just four markers behind the leader.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update … Dillon is tied for the lead with John King for the 2012 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. The two drivers have a total of 32 points after two races on the Camping World Truck Series schedule.
Welcome Home … Marty Houston, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops truck chief hails from Hickory, N.C., a town 139 miles from Rockingham Speedway. Houston, a former racer, was the car chief on Dillon’s No. 41 Chevrolet in 2011 when he won the ARCA Racing Series championship. This year marks the Houston’s third season with the Welcome, N.C.-based organization.
Can I Have Your Autograph? … Dillon is scheduled to participate in Camping World Truck Series autograph sessionfor Rockingham Speedway on April 13.He will sign for gathered fans beginning at 7 p.m. on the Harrington Square located in downtown Rockingham.Prior to the autograph session, fans can participate in the 2012 Rockingham Thunder Fest. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday. Dillon is also scheduled to participate in a Rheem® autograph session on Saturday, April 14 at 12:30 p.m. in the Fan Zone at Rockingham Speedway.
TY DILLON QUOTES:
Before you ever became a race car driver, did you ever go to Rockingham Speedway to watch races? Do you remember anything about the track or is it all new to you?
“I was able to go a lot when I was younger with my grandfather. I was probably six or seven years old. From then on, I would always ride up there with him in his Corvette, and we’d go up there and spend the whole weekend up there. It was kind of a cool deal for me, because it was the time that I would go to the race track with just my grandfather, and we would hang out all weekend. I think it’s a really cool track. I’ve been there a lot. Most of the races that we ran there, I was at them. It’s really cool to be able to go back for the second time and be able to race again.”
You won there in the ARCA Racing Series at Rockingham Speedway. Do you feel like that is an advantage for you at all going into this weekend?
“I feel like it’s a huge advantage. I’m the last race winner there as far as a NASCAR style race car. I feel like I’ve got a really big advantage. My team has a good set-up, I believe, going there. It’s going to be tough to dial in a truck compared to an ARCA car, but I feel like I’ve got a good understanding of the race track. It will be somewhat of an equal playing ground for the only time this year, everybody’s going there for the first time in a long time. We’ve been there earlier than anybody else has, so I feel like we might have a little bit of an advantage.”
With your background and your family, could you talk about how cool it is to be able to race in at place like Rockingham Speedway with so much history? I’m sure you felt that way when you were there in the ARCA car, but this is a little bit different with NASCAR making the return there.
“It’s going to be really special. I know when I won the ARCA Racing Series race, they still gave out the old style Rockingham trophy, the old wooden one. That was really cool. Just the history that goes into that place, the race track is worn out, it’s going to be great racing. These trucks have great races anyway. You can go out two or three-wide on that track, so I can’t wait. All the history that goes into a place like this, it’s almost like if you can get a win, it’s like winning at Martinsville Speedway or Daytona International Speedway or the tracks that have been around for a very long time.”
No. 22 Richard Childress Racing
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at Rockingham Speedway … Joey Coulter will pilot Chassis No. 009 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stable in this weekend’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200. Coulter has raced this Chevrolet Silverado on eight occasions, most recently finishing 12th after starting 11th at Chicagoland Speedway in September 2011. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte student has earned five top-five finishes with this RCR entry. Coulter started 23rd with this Chevrolet Silverado and was on his way to another top-10 finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May 2011 before transmission issues transpired with less than 45 laps to go resulting in a 16th-place finish effort for the Miami Springs, Fla., native.
Welcome Back … Coulter has made three appearances at the Rockingham Speedway in the ARCA Racing Series. The Miami Springs, Fla., native earned one top-10 finish in 2009 and completed 91.3 percent (548 of 600) of the contested laps at the one-mile race track. Coulter holds a 13.3 average starting position coupled with an 18th-place average finishing position. The No. 22 Camping World Truck Series team will make their first appearance at “The Rock” this weekend in the 200-lap event.
Home Sweet Home … Five members on Coulter’s No. 22 team hail from the Tar Heel State, including engineer Matt McCall (Denver), front-tire carrier Richard Gray (Winston Salem), rear-tire carrier Thad Wymer (Thomasville), rear-tire changer Cameron Carter (Belews Creek) and hauler driver Gary Hartley (Grantham).
Martinsville Speedway Rewind … Coulter and the No. 22 Steak-umm Chevrolet team started 21st in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. After reporting a tight-condition on the Chevrolet Silverado in the early stages of the event, Coulter made contact with the outside wall on lap 76. The 21-year-old maneuvered the battered truck around the half-mile short track to finish in the 30th position at his third Martinsville Speedway appearance.
Sign Here … Coulter is scheduled to participate in Camping World Truck Series autograph sessionfor Rockingham Speedway on April 13.He will sign for gathered fans beginning at 7 p.m. on the Harrington Square located in downtown Rockingham.Prior to the autograph session, fans can participate in the 2012 Rockingham Thunder Fest. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday. Coulter is also scheduled to participate in a Rheem® autograph session on Saturday, April 14 at 12:30 p.m. in the Fan Zone at Rockingham Speedway.
Hey Coach … With the Camping World Truck Series off last weekend, Coulter made his way to Dillon (S.C.) Motor Speedway to help out his Coulter Motorsports UARA Late Model team. Coulter served as driver coach for Tyler Laing, driver of the No. 16 Biscayne Roofing Chevrolet in the UARA Stars 150.
JOEY COULTER QUOTES:
You’ve raced at Rockingham Speedway in the ARCA Racing Series. Do you think this will give you an advantage going there in the Camping World Truck Series?
“I know there are some people that have never raced there before, so that will give us a little bit of an edge going there this week. Racing in the Camping World Truck Series will be a lot different than running in the ARCA Racing Series, but I think I will be able to help get the truck dialed in better just from having past experience there.”
Rockingham Speedway added safer barriers over the off season. How do you think that will affect racing at the track?
“It will definitely be safer. The barriers will create a narrower racing surface, but I think for the people that have never raced there, they won’t know the difference. I don’t think it should impact the racing too much. It’s more of a tire game there because tire wear is huge at Rockingham Speedway.”