RCR Event Preview – Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Richard Childress Racing’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series History at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … In 60 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets have earned 10 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes with eight different drivers – Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Austin Dillon, Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Mike Skinner.

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,849 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,108 wins, 487 top-five finishes and 1,052 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.

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.

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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 and www.facebook.com/RyanNewmanNASCAR.

Catch the Action … The Las Vegas 400 will be televised live Sunday, March 4 beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This Week’s Dow SILASTIC Silicone Elastomers Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … In five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Dillon’s best finish is fifth in 2016.

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Winner, Winner … Dillon is a former Las Vegas Motor Speedway race winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (2010) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (2015).

Meet Dillon … Dillon, along with his Richard Childress Racing teammates, is scheduled to participate in an autograph session at South Point Hotel & Casino on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. Pacific Time. Dillon is also scheduled to participate in a Q&A session at the Team Chevy stage in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway fan midway area on Sunday, March 4 at 9:20 a.m. Pacific Time.

What makes Las Vegas Motor Speedway unique?
“The bumps. I feel like it’s pretty bumpy, but also starting to move around quite a bit there. Move up to the top, move back to the bottom and chase that rubber. There is even some grip in the middle of the track sometimes. You can really move around and find speed. I feel like I’ve been very comfortable there since the first time I raced there in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. I won the Vegas race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the past, too, so we’ve always liked Vegas. It’s a great location, and a great track.”



This Week’s Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … Newman will make his 587th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series competes in the third event of the 2018 season and the start of NASCAR Goes West. In 17 Cup Series events, Newman owns one pole award (2005) along with four top-five and eight top-10 finishes. His best result of third came in 2015 with Richard Childress Racing in the Caterpillar Chevrolet. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 12.9 and average finish of 16.2. He’s led a total of 112 laps in competition. In the last 10 races at LVMS, Newman ranks eighth in most Cup points earned.

Current Standings … After starting on the front row and leading the opening 17 laps, Newman battled back from a tire issue to rebound from 33rd place to finish 22nd at Atlanta Motor Speedway last week. Newman and the No. 31 team rank 16th in the driver championship standings, just 17 markers out of the top 10.

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Meet Newman … Newman, along with his Richard Childress Racing teammates, is scheduled to participate in the annual RCR autograph session at South Point Hotel & Casino. It happens Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. Pacific Time.

How important was the Las Vegas test to the No. 31 Caterpillar Team?
“The Las Vegas test was kind of an ice breaker for us and the entire RCR organization. We got to debut the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and had an opportunity to test to not only learn about it but see how we stacked up against the teams there. It was a good test for us. I felt like we had some good speed and good reaction to some of the changes we made. We felt like we have a good grip on the track and what it needs. It still has a lot of character and a lot of bumps. It seems like it always changes when we go back.”

Now that Las Vegas Motor Speedway has two races this season, will your notes from the upcoming weekend mean more now that a second race is happening during the Playoffs?
“The Vegas race holds a lot more influence on the season now more than ever. Obviously, the start of the season is important but also to have a good run and have the confidence when you go back to the Playoffs, it makes a huge difference to get the “W” out of the way.”

What is the key to Las Vegas Motor Speedway? What do you need to get right there?
“To be successful at Las Vegas, you just need to be good over the bumps. Obviously, you also must have good horsepower, but if your car does not ride well, all that other stuff doesn’t seem to matter.”




Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … In 45 Series starts at the 1.5-mile paved oval, RCR has captured three victories with drivers Kevin Harvick (2004), Jeff Burton (2007) and Austin Dillon (2015). The Welcome, N.C., organization has completed 8,452 laps of the 9,027 (93.6 percent) that they have competed. RCR has accumulated four pole awards, 13 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes, led 527 laps and averages a starting position of 9.0 and finishing position of 11.8.

Atlanta Review … Daniel Hemric was the highest RCR finisher in 11th place last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Matt Tifft finished in the 12th position, while Ty Dillon finished 13th in the Rinnai 250.

The Points … Daniel Hemric and Matt Tifft currently sit 11th and 13th, respectively, in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver point standings. The No. 3 RCR team is currently 17th in the series’ owner point standings.

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 Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, March 3, beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on FS1. It will also broadcast live on the Performance Radio Network (PRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, Channel 90.


This Week’s Tunity Chevrolet Camaro at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … Matt Tifft has one previous NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, having started sixth at the intermediate track last year. The 21-year-old driver also has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the 1.5-mile track, with his highest finish of 15th coming in 2016.

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Atlanta Recap … Tifft and his No. 2 team worked hard all throughout the weekend to get the balance of their Chevrolet Camaro just right for the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The No. 2 Camaro had great long run speed but needed just a little more at the start of the segments to get up to speed. Tifft managed tires well at a track known to eat them up though and was able to pass competitors at the end of the day to earn a top-12 finish.

Meet Tifft … Tifft is scheduled to participate alongside his teammates at a RCR autograph session at the South Point Hotel and Casino on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. local time. He will also make an appearance the Team Chevy stage for a Q&A on Saturday, March 3 at 9 a.m. local time.

This week we head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, another intermediate track, but with a much different surface than Atlanta Motor Speedway. Is there anything you can take from last week and apply to this week?
“There are definitely some things in our mile-and-a-half packages that we can take a look at before hitting the track on Friday at Las Vegas. We have the new composite bodies this year, and last weekend at Atlanta was the first time we put them on a 1.5-mile track. That’s a big thing we can look at and learn from for this weekend. We can look at what that does to the aero packages and how side-by-side racing affects it. Last year, I had a really strong charge to the front of the field at the end of the race, but I made a small mistake that got my team caught up in a wreck. Regardless of how it ended, it was a great learning day for me last year, and that makes me more confident heading into this weekend.”


This Week’s GoGreen Equipment Chevrolet Camaro at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … In five previous NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Dillon has one win (2015) among three top-five finishes. He has never finished outside of the top-10 in Xfinity Series competition at the 1.5-mile track. He is also the 2015 polesitter.

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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.

Is there anything you can take from Atlanta Motor Speedway to Las Vegas Motor Speedway? The two tracks look virtually the same from the air but I’m sure from your seat there are quite a few differences …
“In qualifying trim I think we’ll be able to use some of the things that we used at Atlanta Motor Speedway just because for one lap you have the grip to go fast. The GO GREEN Chevrolet will definitely be more trimmed out for Las Vegas Motor Speedway because there’s a little more grip out there but drive-ability means a lot at both tracks. We have had quite a bit of success at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the past, so I’m looking forward to this weekend.”


This Week’s South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … Hemric will be making his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In his first start there in 2017, he started eighth and finished 13th. Hemric also has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at LVMS, finishing sixth in 2015 and second in 2016.

Rearview Mirror: Atlanta … Starting in the sixth position, Hemric and the No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino team had a strong start to the day at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Hemric was able to stay inside the top 10 during Stage 2 of the race, earning two stage points. Working hard to maintain tire wear, Hemric took the checkered flag in the 11th position, which moved him to 11th in the driver standings.

Meet the Driver … Hemric will take part in an all-RCR driver autograph session at the South Point Hotel & Casino on Thursday, March 1, starting at 7 p.m. local time. Fans will also have a chance for autographs and to take part in a Q&A session with Hemric at the Team Chevy Stage on Friday, March 2, starting at 10 a.m. local time. He will also be making an appearance at the South Point Hotel & Casino booth in the LVMS Fan Midway on Saturday, March 3, starting at 9:15 a.m. local time, for an autograph session.

Meet the Press … Hemric will meet with members of the NASCAR press corps on Friday, March 2, starting at 10:45 a.m. local time for an Xfinity Series driver panel. The media availability session will be streamed live on NASCAR.com/PressPass. Hemric will also join Brendan Gaughan for FOX5 Las Vegas’ ‘NASCAR Saturday Night’ on Saturday, March 3, starting at 7 p.m. local time. The segment will be recorded at the South Point Hotel & Casino Sports Book.
This Week at the South Point Hotel & Casino … Fans in the Las Vegas area this week will have the chance to see the start of the NASCAR Hauler Parade from the South Point Hotel & Casino. The haulers will be staged in the Silverado Parking Lot throughout the day on Thursday, March 1. The haulers will leave the parking lot to kick off the parade starting at 5:30 p.m. local time. Fans are invited to stay at the South Point Hotel & Casino for an RCR driver autograph session in the Grandview Lounge from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. local time.

What are the challenges of racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway compared to other mile-and-a-half tracks on the schedule?
“When I ran Truck races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the past we would practice during the day and race at night, so you had a huge swing in how the racetrack changed. You don’t have as much of that in the Xfinity Series car, which is comforting as a driver. What you have in practice is much closer to what you will have in the race. The track just has its own unique elements, the bumps in Turn 1. The racetrack just gets so hot with the desert heat beating on it, the asphalt just seems so compacted that when your race car goes bad, it goes bad in a hurry. The goal is to make it drive well and make sure the handling of the car falls off in a good, upward trend. It’s a place you where you have to hang on. You think you have a hold of it, but then you will slide the front tires one time and you will never get that speed back, and that kills you until you can come get tires again. There are a lot of variables at Las Vegas because the place is so fast that you have to fight inside the race car.”

What does it mean carrying the South Point Hotel & Casino colors in Las Vegas?
“It is so cool to be going to Las Vegas with South Point Hotel & Casino on this No. 21 Chevrolet. The Gaughan family has such an incredible history in Las Vegas and a deep connection to motorsports. It is an honor they have put their faith in me and this No. 21 team this year, and we hope to go out and put on a good show for everyone this weekend.”


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