RCR Event Preview – Daytona International Speedway

Richard Childress Racing’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Daytona International Speedway … Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 11 poles and collected five points-paying victories at the most-storied race track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit. RCR owns two Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt – 1998, Kevin Harvick – 2007), three Coke Zero 400 trophies (Earnhardt – 1990, 1993 and Harvick – 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 – 1999). In addition, RCR has earned the Advance Auto Parts Clash a total of eight times, with drivers Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013) and Earnhardt (1986, ’88, ’91, ’93, and ’95).

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,846 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,107 wins, 486 top-five finishes and 1,050 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 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.

Time to Duel … The Can-Am Duels at Daytona feature two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 will be set. Newman starts 11th in the first Duel after qualifying 21st on Sunday, while Dillon starts seventh in the second Duel after qualifying 14th on Sunday. Watch the Can-Am Duels live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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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.

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 and www.facebook.com/RyanNewmanNASCAR.

Catch the Action … The 60th running of the Daytona 500 will be televised live Sunday, Feb. 18 beginning at 3 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The Can-Am Duels at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races, will take the green flag Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

This Week’s Dow Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway … In nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway, Dillon has acquired one top-five and five top-10 finishes. The Welcome, North Carolina, driver, who grew up attending races at Daytona International Speedway with his family, has nine starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with one win, seven top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has two starts at the track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Pole Winner … Dillon earned his career-first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole award with a lap of 196.019 mph (45.914 seconds) in the 2014 edition of the Daytona 500. It marked the fourth time the No. 3 has won the pole for the Daytona 500, and its 67th Cup Series pole, overall. Dillon also started on the front row for the July 2015 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. Dillon’s starting position for this year’s Daytona 500 will be determined by his finishing position in the Can-Am Duels on Thursday.

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Meet Dillon … Dillon is scheduled to join his teammates, Ryan Newman and Ty Dillon, at Bass Pro Shops (1880 W Checkered Flag Blvd., Ste. N-100, Daytona Beach, FL 32114) at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. Dillon is also scheduled to participate in a Q & A on the Team Chevy Stage in the Daytona International Speedway fan midway area on Sunday, February 18 at 10 a.m. ET.

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
Can you compare the handling difficulty at Daytona International Speedway this year versus a year ago? Does the car feel more stable?
“No, I mean on the bottom, my car was just better than what we have been in the past, so that was nice. As far as speed goes, I feel about the same as far as handling has been in the past, but on the top, I was actually driving worse than I was on the bottom which is a good thing, because in the race if you can hold the bottom over the long run it’s good. I just kind of struggled on the top. Which is weird. It was good to complete in the Clash so that we kind of know what we can go to work on going into the Daytona 500.”

Do you think the Daytona 500 will be similar to the Clash, with a lot of single-file racing?
“When there are more cars out there certain guys race harder and get in there and mix it up. The beginning of that race is two-wide quite a bit the first 25 I thought was pretty good racing. We never really got single file around the top, we kind of swapped lanes at the front for a while, but with 40 cars out there it will be more of that and I think handling is going to be a key factor on those long runs during the 500. Guys are going to get loose like you saw the No. 42 and other cars get loose and they shuffle the field and then there will be pack break ups and stuff. It will be a 500, it will be interesting.”

 

This Week’s No. 31 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway … Newman will make his 585th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series returns to the World Center of Speed. Newman is the proud owner of a Harley J. Earl trophy by winning the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. In total, the South Bend, Ind. native has 32 starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, earning five top-five and eight top-10 finishes. His average start is 20.2 and finish is 19.6. He’s led 103 laps in competition.

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 … On Thursday, Newman is scheduled to sign autographs with Austin and Ty Dillon at 2:30 p.m. ET at the Bass Pro Shops in Daytona Beach, Florida. It’s located on 1880 W. Checkered Flag Blvd. across from Daytona International Speedway. Newman is also scheduled to participate in a Q & A on the Team Chevy Stage in the Daytona International Speedway fan midway area on Sunday, February 18 at 11:05 a.m. ET and he is scheduled to stop by the Alert Florida stage in the Fan Zone courtesy of Coca-Cola for a fan Q&A at 11:45 a.m. ET.

RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES:
What did it feel like to pull into the Daytona 500 victory lane in 2008?
“It’s pretty special and each time I watch it back, it’s a different kind of special. I think after you go two, three, four, 10 years, it changes your perspective on how special it was on that day. It was amazing because my dad was spotting for me and he and I had been in the grand stands watching the race and sneaking into the garage area for many years. You name it, we did it. To be able to share it with him and my family, Roger Penske and all the people and having Kurt there as my teammate with the 1,2 finish, so many parts of that day were so very special.”

Where were you and what to do you remember about Dale Earnhardt’s 1998 Daytona 500 win with Richard Childress Racing?
“I was watching it from the grandstands just at the end of pit road and the biggest thing about that day was nobody left. The race was over and like in years past, everybody runs to their cars to avoid traffic, but this time, nobody left. Every pit crew, every fan, everybody stood there and watched what was happening and that’s what made it special.”

What is it that you truly love about racing?
I love the competition of the sport. The fact that it takes so many people to be successful on a given day. Because it is so difficult it becomes so sweet that you can’t explain it. It’s not like any other sport where you have a 50-50 chance of winning. You have a one in 40 chance of winning and those wins do not come that easily.

 

 

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona International Speedway … In 87 Series starts at the 2.5-mile track, RCR has captured six victories with drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2002 and 2010), Kevin Harvick (2007), Clint Bowyer (2009), Tony Stewart (2013) and Austin Dillon (2015). The Welcome, N.C., organization has completed 9,424 laps of the 9,742 (96.7 percent) that they have competed. RCR has accumulated six pole awards, 33 top-five and 49 top-10 finishes, led 680 laps and averages a starting position of 10.4 and finishing position of 12.4.

RCR in the Xfinity Series … In 1,510 Xfinity Series starts dating back to 1995, RCR has earned 67 pole awards, 78 wins, 438 top-five and 821 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 11.2 and an average finishing position of 12.3. RCR has earned four driver championships; two with Kevin Harvick in 2001 and 2006, Clint Bowyer in 2008 and Austin Dillon in 2013. The organization has also earned five owner championships, doing so in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

2018 Driver Line-Up … RCR will field three full-time Xfinity Series entries in 2018. RCR newcomer Matt Tifft will pilot the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro for the full season with crew chief Randall Burnett. Daniel Hemric returns to RCR for his sophomore year after a championship-contending run last season behind the wheel of the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro. Danny Stockman will serve as Hemric’s crew chief for all 33 races this season. Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Shane Lee, Jeb Burton, and Brendan Gaughan will all share seat time in the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro this year, with veteran crew chief Nick Harrison calling the shots from the pit box.

Social Media … To keep up with the latest updates from RCR’s Xfinity Series teams, follow @RCRracing and @RCRNXS on Twitter. Updates can also be found via RCR’s Facebook Page and Instagram (@RCRracing).

Catch the Action … Coverage of this weekend’s Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, Feb. 17, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time on FS1. It will also be broadcast live on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, Channel 90.

 

This Week’s Nexteer Automotive Chevrolet Camaro at Daytona International Speedway … Matt Tifft will be making his first-career start with Richard Childress Racing at Daytona International Speedway this weekend in the No. 2 Nexteer Automotive Chevrolet Camaro. The 21-year-old driver is no stranger to the superspeedway, having collected three starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the track, with a highest finish of 11th. The Hinckley, Ohio native has completed 347 of the 348 laps he attempted in the series at the 2.5-mile track. Tifft also has one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start and one ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards start at the track.

About Nexteer Automotive … Nexteer Automotive joins RCR in 2018 for their third season of partnership together. Nexteer Automotive – A Leader in Intuitive Motion Control – is a multi-billion-dollar global steering and driveline business delivering electric and hydraulic power steering systems, steering columns, driveline systems as well as advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous technologies for original equipment manufacturers. The company’s global workforce of over 13,000 serves more than 50 customers in every major region of the world. The company has 25 manufacturing plants, three regional engineering centers and 13 customer service centers strategically located in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Nexteer Automotive’s customers include BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, GM, PSA Groupe, Toyota, VW, as well as automakers in India and China. Visit Nexteer.com to learn more.

Snapchat Takeover … Tifft will be taking over Daytona International Speedway’s Snapchat account on Saturday, Feb. 17. Add ‘disupdates’ on the social platform to see a behind-the-scenes look at everything Tifft does up until he gets in his Chevrolet Camaro for the first race of the season.

Meet Tifft … Fans can have the chance to meet Tifft when he visits the Team Chevy display in the Daytona International Speedway Fan Zone on Saturday, Feb. 17, beginning at 12 p.m. ET for a Q&A session.

MATT TIFFT QUOTES:
You’re with a new team this year. Are you ready to get the season started and see what you’re able to accomplish together? What has the offseason been like for you?
“The biggest thing when you join a new team is all the prep work you have to do. It’s one thing to get everything set and rolling, but it’s another to actually get to the racetrack and get to work. That’s when the performance part comes into play. I’m excited to be going to Daytona with the amount of success RCR has had there in the past. The organization has had really strong cars at superspeedways in years past, so that’s a huge confidence booster going in. It seems like forever since we’ve been racing and while it’s been fun getting to know everyone at RCR, I’m ready to get going and get racing again.”

Kicking off the season at Daytona International Speedway, do you like restrictor plate races?
“Daytona is all situational, so a lot of the experience is based on how it ended up going for you. For me, I think getting more experience in plate races is key. I feel like I’ve been in such big learning periods the past few times I’ve gone to Daytona, but this year is the first time we’re heading down there where I truly feel like I can win it. I think we’ve got a real shot at it with how everyone on the No. 2 Nexteer Chevrolet Camaro team has come together during the offseason.”

 

This Week’s Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway … In nine previous NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Daytona International Speedway, Austin Dillon has earned one victory (2015), seven top-five finishes and two pole awards. The Richard Childress Racing driver holds an average starting position of 9.2 coupled with an average finishing position of 8.4.

Welcome Aboard … Dillon, an avid outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman and conservationist will have Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s on board the No. 3 Camaro in the NASCAR Xfinity Series 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.”

The Lineup … Dillon, the 2013 XFINITY Series Champion and 2012 Rookie of the Year, returns to regular Xfinity Series competition this season. He’ll share driving duties with his brother, Ty Dillon, along with Shane Lee, Jeb Burton and Brendan Gaughan. Veteran NASCAR crew chief Nick Harrison will call the shots on top of the pit box.

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
What would you like to see happen in the NASCAR Xfinity Series 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 more often. We weren’t able to win in the Xfinity Series last year, and we need to change that. Running up front consistently gives you those opportunities, so consistently running further forward is a goal this year. Danny Lawrence and everyone in the Xfinity shop has been working really hard during the off season and I think you’ll see a lot more success from the RCR Xfinity program this season.

RCR is smaller and leaner this year. Do you have the depth that you need?
“I think we grew stronger in areas that we needed to grow, especially in our engineering department. RCR 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 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro at Daytona International Speedway … Hemric will be making his third NASCAR Xfinity Series start at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. In his previous two starts at the ‘World Center of Racing,’ Hemric recorded an average start of 4.5.

Meet the Driver … Fans will have multiple opportunities to meet the 2017 Xfinity Series Championship 4 Playoff contender at Daytona International Speedway. On Friday, Feb. 16, Hemric will be at the Team Chevy Stage for a Q&A and autograph session, starting at 3:45 p.m. ET. Hemric will also be at the newly redesigned Xfinity Zone for a Q&A and autograph session on Saturday, Feb. 17, starting at 12:45 p.m. ET.

Going Social … Hemric will join fellow RCR Xfinity Series driver Matt Tifft for a takeover of the RCR Instagram account during Thursday night’s Duels at Daytona. Follow along at instagram.com/rcrracing/ as Hemric and Tifft provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Daytona 500 qualifying races. Hemric will also recap his practice sessions with a Facebook Live video on Friday, Feb. 16 around 3:15 p.m. ET on the Richard Childress Racing Facebook page, facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing.

About South Point Hotel & Casino … Featuring more than 2,100 guestrooms, South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa overlooks the famous Las Vegas Strip and the serenity of the surrounding mountainscape. Each oversized guest room features state-of-the-art LED televisions as well as WiFi with high-speed internet connections. Guests visiting South Point will experience affordable luxury through a casino offering top-of-the-line gaming technology, more than 60 table games and a race and sports book area featuring separate viewing areas for both horse racing and general sporting events; a wide variety of dining options, including the award-winning Michael’s Gourmet Room; the world-class Costa Del Sur Spa and Salon; a fabulous 400-seat showroom featuring headliner entertainment; a 16-screen Cinemark movie complex; a state-of-the-art, 64-lane bowling center; and a 165,000-square foot convention center. In addition, South Point holds one of the finest event facilities in the country with the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center, which features more than 1,200 climate-controlled stalls and plays host to some of the country’s most unique events. South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa is at 9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89183.

DANIEL HEMRIC QUOTES:
How excited are you to kick off your sophomore season at get to Daytona International Speedway?
“One of the coolest parts of our sport is starting the season off on one of the biggest stages at Daytona International Speedway. It feels good to do that for a second year with RCR and to have South Point Hotel & Casino come on board our No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro for this year is special. I am pumped to know that we have an opportunity to go chase a championship and race wins together. It all starts at Daytona, and I look forward to getting down there to get it all started.”

What did you learn from the effort it took to get into the Championship 4 in 2017 that you can use to get the season off to a strong start in Daytona with that goal in mind?
“There were so many obstacles to overcome last year to put ourselves in position, but when the dust started to settle we still had a shot at the championship in Homestead. We’ll take all those life lessons and move on. I have definitely sat back during the offseason and tried to focus on the things I need to do better or the things I can control to be better. In all honesty, I just feel much more confident in my race team this year. We’ll take last year for what it is worth and know it made myself better and made our team better this year. We’ll go through the process of approaching the season knowing that week-to-week everything is a race. From the time our haulers get to the track, to the time we get on the racetrack, whatever it is it is a race. We’re trying to compete at the highest level we can compete and push ourselves this year to be the best we can today and be better today than we were yesterday. If we can do that week-in and week-out, we should have another shot at the championship as the season winds down.”

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