Eight Clash Wins for Richard Childress Racing … RCR has earned eight checkered flags in the Advance Auto Parts Clash (1986, 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1995 with driver Dale Earnhardt and 2009, 2010 and 2013 with Kevin Harvick).
Welcome, Dillon and Newman … Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman are scheduled to compete in this year’s exhibition event for RCR, which features 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole winners, past winners of the Advance Auto Parts Clash, Daytona 500 pole winners who competed in the Series full time last year (Dillon) and drivers who earned a berth in the 2017 Playoffs (Newman). This is the 32nd season that the Welcome, N.C.-based organization has fielded an entry in the 39-race history of the Advance Auto Parts Clash.
The Format … The season-opening 75-lap Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway consists of two segments with a competition caution at lap 25 separating the segments in the non-points event. Crew chiefs participate in a random drawing to determine each team’s starting and pit road positions.
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 … Chevrolet, the winningest brand in motorsports, debuts the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition this season. The Camaro ZL1 is the most advanced Chevrolet Cup Car ever developed and is also the most authentic, featuring rear-wheel drive, a fuel injected V8 engine and a manual gear box.
Catch the Action … Flag-to-flag coverage of the Advance Auto Parts Clash will be televised live Sunday, February 11, beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on FOX Sports 1 and will be broadcast worldwide on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio Channel 90.
This Week’s Dow Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway … Austin Dillon is one of 20 drivers scheduled to compete in the pre-season event recognizing 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole winners, past winners of the Advance Auto Parts Clash, drivers who earned a berth in the 2017 playoffs and Daytona 500 pole winners who competed in the Series full time last year.The 75-lap race is split into two segments, with a competition caution at lap 25 serving as the breaking point.
The Starting Position … Dillon’s crew chief, Justin Alexander, will draw for the team’s starting position for the Clash from the main stage of the UNOH Fanzone on Saturday, February 10 at 6:30 p.m. ET with assistance from young USAC .25 Midget fans.
Past History … This will be Dillon’s fourth start in the Advance Auto Parts Clash. He finished 12th last year.
Dow Delivers Solutions at the Intersection of Sport and Science … Dow is dedicated to delivering innovative and sustainable technologies and solutions that create value and competitive advantage while positively impacting the world we live in. From improving engine performance and luge aerodynamics that help develop faster, more tuned and precise vehicles to energy-efficient insulation in Olympic Games venues, Dow continues to provide high-performance solutions for the science of speed. Learn more about Dow’s unmatched capabilities www.dow.com/sports and follow on Twitter @DowSports & @DowChemical.
Meet Dillon … Dillon is scheduled to join other drivers competing in this year’s Advance Auto Parts Clash in a fan event in the UNOH Fanzone from 7-8 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 10. The interactive event brings families and drivers together to kick off the 2018 NASCAR season.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
What are your thoughts heading into your fourth Clash?
“It’s a fan’s race. It’s a race that’s fun for the fans to watch and fun for the drivers to race in. I’m thankful that I have a chance to compete in it. Our expectations are to go out and try to win it. It’s a really cool race with a lot of prestige and to win it would help set the tone for the rest of Speedweeks. Our entire organization has worked really hard during the off season to make gains, and I’m really excited about the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that we are running.”
What would you like to see happen this year to build on what you were able to do last year?
“I think you need to see us consistently running in the top five and top 10 more often. We hovered from about eighth to 14th all year long. I felt like we were able to win a race last year, but to be able to have shots to win races consistently, we need to move that little group of cars forward. When you’re running from the fourth to the eighth position, you have a lot more opportunities to win. That top-five area is key. So consistently, I would like to run further forward this year. You put yourself in that position enough, you get good at it and you’re comfortable running in it.”
You have a smaller, leaner RCR this year. Is that good or bad?
“That was something I was really excited about in the off-season, when we decided to go to a little bit of a smaller organization. We did add the Petty organization to the group, so that was a good hit to bring in another driver. That’s what I was most excited about – to have another driver to look and see what he does with the throttle pedal and the brake. Bringing different perspectives into the group is good for me as a driver, so I can learn more. RCR as an organization, I see a lot of two-car teams being successful. I’m really positive about that. It’s nice to be able to focus on two cars, and our crew chiefs are best friends. They’ll be working hard and they want to put RCR where it needs to be, and that’s winning championships.”
Do you have the depth that you need?
“I think we grew stronger in areas that we needed to grow and that was in engineering. It is leaner and meaner, but as far as the depth in the places you need it’s probably better – as far as the speed factory goes.”
This Week’s Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway … Ryan Newman helps debut Chevrolet’s new Camaro ZL1 in the pre-season event recognizing 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole winners, past winners of the Clash, drivers who earned a berth in the 2017 Playoffs and Daytona 500 pole winners who competed in the Series full time last year. Newman is one of 17 drivers participating in the 75-lap race and earned his spot by qualifying for the Playoffs. Sunday’s race format consists of two segments with a competition caution at lap 25 to separate the segments.
Welcome Aboard … Newman, an avid outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman and conservationist will have Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s on board the No. 31 Camaro ZL1 for select races in 2018. Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”
Meet Newman … Newman is scheduled to join his teammate Austin Dillon along with select drivers competing in this year’s Advance Auto Parts Clash in a fan event in the UNOH Fanzone from 7 to 8 p.m. ET. It happens on Saturday, February 10.
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES:
What makes the Daytona International Speedway so special?
“I think as a racecar driver you know that the track is special. You know that the competition is special. You know that the history of our sport and the history of it is super special. Everybody’s perspective of it is what I think makes that place what it is.”
What would it mean to you to be the first driver to take the new Camaro to victory lane?
“I believe last year I was the first driver to take a Chevy to victory lane in 2017 so to take the new Camaro ZL1 in the first race of the year during Daytona 500 Speedweeks would be super cool. It would be spot on.
“What Chevrolet has done to build a car around these templates, these rules and this aero package is what really makes the difference. It is cool because there is a lot of history with Camaros, but I think what Chevrolet has done is to build a car that will give us a competitive advantage is what I am super excited about. It was built and designed to do that regardless of what track it is … a restrictor-plate track, road-course, short-track, you name it, I look forward to reaping the benefits of this design.”
We’ll get to see the new five-guys over the wall format in Daytona for the first time. Do you like change?
“Realistically we are only going back to the way it used to be. Those guys are athletes and they must do their job better than anybody else each and every time so that we are not taken out of a race or put in a bad situation. It’s just another opportunity for us to do better than other teams.”