RCR Event Preview – Charlotte Motor Speedway

Richard Childress Racing’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Charlotte Motor Speedway … In 160 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing teams have earned eight points-paying victories (four wins with Dale Earnhardt, one with Jeff Burton,  two with Kevin Harvick and one with Austin Dillon) and four All-Star race victories (three with Earnhardt and one with Harvick), giving RCR 12 total Cup Series checkered flags at the Concord, N.C.-based track. RCR boasts 23 top-five and 52 top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile track. Childress, a former driver on NASCAR’s senior circuit, contributed two of those top-10 finishes from 1978 to 1979. The Welcome, N.C. organization has led a combined 1,156 laps at the Charlotte facility.

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,825 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards, 107 wins, 485 top-five finishes and 1,048 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.7 and an average finishing position of 16.1. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, ’87, ’90, ’91, ’93 and ’94, six NASCAR XFINITY Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR’s three national series.

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Interactive RCR … For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR’s corporate Twitter page – @RCRracing – along with the RCR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Twitter page – @RCRCup, and driver Twitter pages @austindillon3 and @RyanJNewman. Information about the 15-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRracing.com along with official driver pages – http://www.facebook.com/austindillon3, www.facebook.com/PaulMenard27 and www.facebook.com/RyanNewmanNASCAR.

Catch the Action … The Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled to be televised live on Sunday, October 8 on NBC beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.

This Week’s No. 3 Dow Chevrolet SS at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Dillon has seven Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the most recent of which resulted in his career-first trip to Victory Lane. Dillon also has two top-10 finishes at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Cup Series, and is a two-time winner at the track in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

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A Family Tradition … Dillon grew up watching races at Charlotte Motor Speedway from his grandfather’s condo, which overlooks the racetrack.

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
You’ve got to be excited about getting back to Charlotte Motor Speedway where you got the win in the 600, but this is going to be a daytime race. How will that dynamic make things different?
“Charlotte is a slick track during the day.  It’s hard to get a grip on which I think is an advantage for us.  It’s obviously one of those places where I’ve run well at in the past.  We have won in both series there and knowing kind of what I want in the car I’ve got a good concept and feeling every time, we get there.”
This week’s No. 27 Schrock / Menards Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Menard has made 21 MENCS starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway since his first event at the 1.5-mile speedway in 2006. During that time, he has recorded two top-10 finishes and completed 93.6 percent of the laps attempted.

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PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
Is there anything you can take away from the Coca-Cola 600 in May that you can apply to this weekend’s race and do you notice the 100-mile difference between the two Charlotte races?
“One of the biggest changes is that this weekend’s race at Charlotte is a day race, where it’s usually been a night race in the past. The extra 100 miles does not really change a whole lot. You basically lose two sets of tires, but in the car, you don’t tend to notice the shorter distance. It is usually a little bit cooler in Charlotte in October than it is in late May, so there is usually more grip in the track and speeds are a little faster. Normally, the cooler it is the faster it is and the less you move around, but Charlotte is a place that we’ve seen guys qualify on the front row by running the top groove in qualifying so there’s grip all over the racetrack. It just kind of depends on what Mother Nature has in store for us when we get there this weekend with the Schrock / Menards Chevrolet.”

This Week’s No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Ryan Newman will make his 561st Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when he competes at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  In total at CMS, Newman has recorded runner-up finishes two times (fall, 2003; Coke 600, 2009) along with nine pole awards, five top-five, 15 top-10 finishes. The “Rocketman” has led 278 laps in competition. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 9.4 and average finish of 17.1. When calculating points earned in the last 10 events at Charlotte, Newman ranks fifth in most points accumulated.

#B31ieve … Newman is making his eighth appearance in what is now known as the NASCAR Playoffs. At Dover, the driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet missed making the Round of 12 by just two points. He now sits 13th in the standings. His highest finish in the championship standings is second place while driving in his first season for RCR and crew chief Luke Lambert.

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Meet Newman … On Sunday, Newman is scheduled to participate in a fan question and answer session at the Team Chevy Stage located in the Charlotte Motor Speedway midway starting at 10:40 a.m. ET.

Chevrolet Corn Maze … Back by popular demand is the nine-acre Chevrolet corn maze at Rescue Ranch in Statesville, North Carolina. It opens this weekend and operates on Friday and Saturday night’s in October. Families can weave their way through a custom designed corn maze featuring a Chevy Silverado and a Corvette. For more information, visit: RescueRanch.com.

RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES:
What are your thoughts heading into this weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway?
“Obviously, I’m disappointed that we did not make it into the Round of 12. Nothing has changed. We are still focused on winning more races for Caterpillar, Grainger, VELVEETA Shells and Cheese and all our partners. We’ll continue to work hard and improve our cars. We have some work to do. Our season is not over by any means. It just means we won’t get a chance to relive and improve upon 2014.

“The timing is right to be back home and race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. We’ve been traveling so much that I am so happy to be spending this week racing at home with my family. I love Charlotte. It’s such a unique place. The banking carries a lot of speed especially through Turns 1 and 2. If we have the right weather conditions, you can carry all that speed through Turns 3 and 4. It’s such a fun place to drive. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway … In 87 Series starts at the 1.5-mile speedway, RCR has captured four victories with drivers Jeff Green (2002), Jeff Burton (2007) and Austin Dillon (2015 sweep). The Welcome, North Carolina, organization has accumulated eight pole awards, 23 top-five finishes, 48 top-10 finishes, led 741 laps and averages a starting position of 10.6 and finishing position of 12.6. RCR has completed 16,534 laps of the 17,407 (95 percent) that they have competed.

Dover Review … Daniel Hemric was the highest RCR finisher in fourth, Brendan Gaughan 10th, Ty Dillon 13th, Austin Dillon 23rd and Brandon Jones 39th, respectively, at Dover International Speedway.

XFINITY Series Playoff Update … Both Daniel Hemric and Brendan Gaughan remain in contention for the XFINITY Series championship. Daniel Hemric is currently seeded fifth in the Playoff standings, and Brendan Gaughan is seeded ninth, two points outside the cut-off line. The first round of eliminations will take place following Saturday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Points … The No. 3 RCR team is currently 10th in the owner point standings while the No. 2 RCR team is just behind in 12th. Brandon Jones is currently 17th in the driver point standings. Daniel Hemric is currently second in the XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings.

Catch the Action … Coverage of this weekend’s Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, Oct. 7, beginning at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. It will also be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.

This Week’s Rheem Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Austin Dillon is a two-time race winner and three-time pole award winner at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his hometown track. In nine NASCAR XFINITY Series starts, the Welcome, N.C., native has acquired an average starting position of third and an average finish position of sixth, leading 248 laps.

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AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
What do you like best about racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway?
“Charlotte’s always been good for me. We swept both XFINITY Series races there in 2015. It was a blast. It’s always fun to race in front of your hometown crowd. A lot of family and friends come out to watch. Victory Lane was crazy with all my family and friends that were there to celebrate with the No. 2 Rheem team. I personally like Charlotte a lot on long green flag runs. It’s a fast-paced track and a lot of fun to drive. Hopefully we can put some steam to her and see what we can do this weekend.”

This Week’s No. 3 Advil® Liqui-Gels® minis Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway …Ty Dillon will make his eighth start at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend. In his seven previous starts, Dillon has scored four top-10 finishes. His highest finish of sixth place came in the fall of 2015. He has two starts at the intermediate track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, starting from the pole in 2012 and in the second position in 2013. He earned top-10 finishes in each start. Dillon will also compete in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

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Meet Dillon … Fans will have the opportunity to meet Dillon on Thursday afternoon at Walmart in Concord, N.C. (5825 Thunder Rd NW). He will be onsite signing autographs and meeting with fans beginning at 4 p.m. EST. There will also be a chance for fans to see Dillon at the racetrack on Sunday morning when he visits the Pit Party presented by Advil® Liqui-Gels® minis prior to the start of the race on pit road. He’ll be on stage and visiting with fans at 11:15 a.m. EST.

TY DILLON QUOTE:
What are your thoughts as we head to Charlotte for the second time this year?
“Earlier this year certainly wasn’t our best outing at Charlotte in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. We missed it a little bit on our setup and finished 18th. The entire team has been working hard to improve our intermediate-track package, and I think we’ve shown big gains since the start of the summer. My No. 3 Advil® Liqui-Gels® minis Chevrolet team is competitive each week, and we’re getting closer and closer to hitting on what we need to make it to Victory Lane. We need a win to stay in the owner’s championship hunt, and there’s no better weekend than this one to make it happen.”

Daniel Hemric and the No. 21 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet Camaro at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Hemric will be making his second NASCAR XFINITY Series start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Kannapolis, North Carolina native started fourth and finished 14th in the spring race at the 1.5-mile track.

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Meet the Driver … Hemric will join fellow RCR XFINITY Series driver Brendan Gaughan at the Chevy Stage for a question-and-answer session in the fan zone on Saturday, Oct. 7, starting at 11 a.m. local time.

Meet the Press … Hemric will address the NASCAR Media as part of a panel of XFINITY Series Playoff contenders on Friday, Oct. 6, starting at 1 p.m. local time. Fans can watch a live stream of the media availability session on nascar.com/PressPass.Rearview Mirror: Dover … Qualifying in the ninth position, Hemric had a strong No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet from the drop of the green flag. Hemric and crew chief Danny Stockman continually adjusted on the handling of the car, which helped the XFINITY Series Playoff contender move forward throughout the event and score points in both stages. Over the final run of the race, Hemric’s car continued to be one of the fastest on the track and he was able to move to the fourth position when the checkered flag flew.

DANIEL HEMRIC QUOTES:
Do you feel pretty good heading into Charlotte with it being the first cut-off race of the XFINITY Series Playoffs?
“Anytime you go back home to race it’s cool, but to do it and know you’re a part of the NASCAR Playoffs it is extra special. It will also be great to have Anderson’s Maple Syrup on the No. 21 Chevrolet for this big weekend. It is always a good feeling to know you have family, friends and people that have been around your racing career for your whole life sitting in the grandstands cheering you on. With it being a cut-off race for the XFINITY Playoffs and knowing we have the opportunity to go there and do something special by advancing to the next round is going to be fun.”

Charlotte is a home track, but this is only your second XFINITY Series race there. What are your thoughts on Charlotte Motor Speedway in this series?
“Charlotte is a place I’ve always enjoyed racing, in the Camping World Truck Series and with the XFINITY Series cars. It’s a place that is easy to test, so whenever we’ve had that opportunity to test there as a rookie in either series we’ve taken advantage of that. I’ve probably ran more legitimate laps around Charlotte Motor Speedway than any other track. I feel comfortable there and have always found a way to go fast. I got myself in a little bit of trouble there earlier in the year, but I feel like I know what I need in terms of the balance of the race car heading there again this weekend. I definitely look forward to going there this weekend.”

Brandon Jones and the No. 33 Nexteer Chevrolet Camaro at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Brandon Jones has three previous NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with his best finish of seventh coming in spring 2016. He finished 16th at the 1.5-mile speedway earlier this year. The 20-year-old driver also has three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, with a best finish of 11th also coming in 2016. Jones has completed 94.6 percent of laps attempted at the track.

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Meet Jones … Jones is scheduled to appear for a Q&A session at the Team Chevy display located in the track’s Fan Zone on Saturday, October 7 at 10:45 a.m. local time.

BRANDON JONES QUOTE:
It was an afternoon race in May earlier this season at Charlotte Motor Speedway when you finished 16th. It will be an afternoon race again this weekend. Any takeaways from that spring race that will help you out?
“We ran really well at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this year. We just got a little too free and I spun coming to pit road one time, which put us in a hole too late for us to make anything back up position-wise. Still, all in all it was a good weekend for us. I believe we have some good packages to work with there. It was a couple of months ago before the spring race that we tested at that track and were able to build a good set-up off of those notes.”

Everyone says Charlotte Motor Speedway is very temperature sensitive. Is that true?
“Charlotte is probably one of the most temperature-sensitive tracks we visit. You see it a lot during qualifying when a cloud will come over the track, a driver will go out and go straight to the top of the board. We’ll have to pay attention to that, especially if it’s hot out, but if it cools off everybody will be more equal throughout the field with the track picking up speed and grip.”

Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Brendan Gaughan has 11 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Among those starts, the veteran driver has a best finish of second, along with three top-10s which include a ninth-place finish from earlier this season. Gaughan has eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, collecting three top-five and four top-10 finishes. He also has two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts and one ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards start at the 1.5-mile speedway.

XFINITY Series Playoffs Update … Gaughan and the No. 62  South Point Hotel & Casino team collected a top-10 finish in the second Round of 12 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff race at Dover International Speedway. Gaughan is now ninth in the Playoff standings, just two points out of the final transfer spot. The first elimination of four drivers will occur this weekend after Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Drive for the Cure 300.

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Press Pass … Gaughan will be taking questions from the media as part of a NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff media panel on Friday, October 6 at 1 pm. EST. Fans can tune in via NASCAR.com/presspass.

Meet Gaughan … Gaughan is scheduled to take part in a Q&A at the Team Chevy display located in the track Fan Zone beginning at 11 a.m. local time on Saturday, October 7.

BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
This weekend marks the first elimination race for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. What are your thoughts on it taking place at Charlotte Motor Speedway?
“Charlotte Motor Speedway is just a great track. It’s got a lot of character, a lot of bumps that make it unique and fun to race on as a driver. Our recent history there has been good, as well as during past years in my career. I’m excited to be headed to the track again this weekend with the new car model I tested out back in Kentucky. It ran really well for me, so I have high expectations for this race. We gained points last weekend after a great effort in Dover. We’re just two points outside the cut-off line. Two points, that’s nothing. The boys and I just have to keep our cool this weekend, gain two more points and move on to the Round of 8.”


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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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