RCR Event Preview – Watkins Glen International

Richard Childress Racing at “The Glen” … In 71 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen International, RCR boasts two wins (Robby Gordon 2003 and Kevin Harvick 2006), eight top-five and 21 top-10 finishes. Dale Earnhardt won three poles (1990, ’92, ’96) at the high-speed, seven-turn, upstate New York facility.

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,888 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,108 wins, 487 top-five finishes and 1,059 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 and an average finishing position of 16.2. 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.

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.

American Muscle

Catch the Action … The Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen International will be televised live Sunday, August 5 beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This Week’s Dow Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Watkins Glen International … In four previous Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen, Dillon’s best finish is 16th in 2014. He has two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts to his credit at the road course, posting a best finish of 12th in 2013. He also finished 12th in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Division race at Watkins Glen in 2008.

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3-on-3 Basketball for a Cause … Austin and Ty Dillon are hosting the 4th Annual 3-on-3 Celebrity Basketball Tournament presented by The Dow Chemical Company to benefit the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., on Wednesday, August 1. The 16-team, double-elimination tournament will start at 3 p.m. General admission and parking for the event are free. Autographed memorabilia and other items will be available for auction at the event. Concessions will be available for purchase. For more information, visit https://saveinjuredkids.org/basketball/

Obviously, Watkins Glen International is a lot different than the road course we just came from in Sonoma, California …
“There’s a lot of high speed at Watkins Glen. I’m looking forward to racing there again. I want to improve this year on our road course racing. We improved on our best finish at Sonoma earlier this year, so we would like to continue that trend by improving our best finish at Watkins Glen.”


This Week’s Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Watkins Glen International … Ryan Newman will make his 605th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when he competes at the second road-course event of the season at Watkins Glen International. In 16 NASCAR Cup Series events at The Glen, Newman has recorded one top-five and 3 top-10 finishes. He has led 20 laps in competition. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 11.3 and average finish of 17.8.

Welcome Aboard … Lucas Oil Products, a long-term partner with Richard Childress Racing and the official motor oil of ECR Engines and a technical partner to both RCR and ECR engines, will serve as the primary partner on the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Ryan Newman in this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen International.

Forrest and Charlotte started Lucas Oil Products with the simple philosophy of producing only the best line of lubricants and additives available anywhere. Since its inception, Lucas has steadfastly adhered to this corporate objective. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas has established itself as a top selling additive line in the American truck stop industry.

The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the evolution of the long-standing support of short course racing by Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil Products. Steeped in the midwest tradition of short course off-road racing infused with a west coast influence, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing brings intense four wheel door-to-door action to challenging, fan-friendly tracks. Our events can be seen on CBS, CBS Sports Network, MAVTV, and Live all season long on LucasOilRacing.TV. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course! For more information, please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter in our Newsletter Signup section of the home page.

Tune-In Alert … On Sunday, Newman is scheduled appear on NASCAR RaceDay on FS1. Tune in starting at 1 p.m. ET to hear the latest news from the No. 31 team and the momentum the team is carrying after two straight weeks of finishing in the top-10.

What makes Watkins Glen International so unique?
“Watkins Glen is definitely the faster of the two road courses, so the speed there is definitely up compared to what we felt at Sonoma Raceway. The speed is the biggest adjustment we have to make. I think for our trip this time, it’s all about getting adjusted to the new asphalt, the new grip level and the new tire combination.”

What is the one thing you and your team will have to focus on?
“We really don’t know how racy the track is going to be. Usually new asphalt lends itself to a single groove, so it’s been awhile since we’ve been to a road course that’s been repaved. The tire and asphalt combination and how well we can race will dictate our strategy, our pit strategy and what we are planning to do when we race the last lap.”



Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Watkins Glen International … In 37 Series starts at the 2.45-mile road course, RCR has captured one victory with Kevin Harvick in 2007. The Welcome, North Carolina, organization has completed 3,035 laps of the 3,039 (99.9 percent) that they have competed. RCR has accumulated eight top-five finishes, 21 top-10 finishes, led 155 laps and averages a starting position of 12.4 and finishing position of 10.4.

Iowa Review … Daniel Hemric was the highest-finishing RCR driver when he placed 11th in the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway. Shane Lee finished 13th and Matt Tifft finished 26th.

The Points … Daniel Hemric and Matt Tifft currently sit fourth and ninth, respectively, in the Xfinity Series driver point standings. The No. 3 RCR team is currently 13th 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 Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International will be televised live on Saturday, August 4, beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC. It will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio Channel 90.


This Week’s Tunity Chevrolet Camaro at Watkins Glen International … Matt Tifft has one previous NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Watkins Glen International, finishing 13th last year. Tifft also has one NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start at the road course, as he finished 10th in the 2017 event.

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Meet Tifft … Fans can meet Tifft when he takes part in a Q&A session on at the Team Chevy display on Saturday, August 4, at 10:15 a.m. local time.

We head to the first of three road courses in August for the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend with Watkins Glen. The new pavement debuted a year ago when you finished 13th. What were your biggest takeaways from that weekend?
“That race was wild for me. The first half of it I was a 25th place car, and the second half of it I was a top-15 car. I guess that just shows the learning experience you can have during a race at a road course. I think I must have driven in about five car lengths deeper during the second half of the race than I did in the first half. I wish I had known I could have done that the whole weekend! It was a lot of learning last year for me with these road courses. Going back to Watkins Glen this weekend, I feel a lot better and much more confident about it. Based on how the rest of the road courses went last year, I felt like that was a strong suit for me, so I’m looking to be up there and contending for the win over the next couple of weeks.”

What’s the biggest challenge for you at Watkins Glen? Every driver seems to have a different spot.
“I feel like I made the most gains through the bus stop and the last two corners, but my biggest weakness was still Turn 1. It was tricky trying to figure out the downhill and off-camber approach, and then how to carry speed through it and prevent the tires from locking up there. The No. 2 car has a good road course history at these tracks though, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can come up with this weekend.”


This Week’s Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International … In two previous NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Watkins Glen International, Dillon’s best finish is 12th in 2013.

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The Lineup … This weekend marks Dillon’s final NASCAR Xfinity Series start of 2018. The 2013 Series Champion was able to find Victory Lane in the Xfinity Series this year at Michigan International Speedway in June.

This will be the second year for the new pavement at Watkins Glen International. Are you excited to get back to that road course? How much did the new pavement changes things there one year ago?
“I think the new pavement changed things at Watkins Glen quite a bit. It made it a much faster track. The technical part of racing at Watkins Glen was kind of thrown out the window because of the grip level that was added by the repave. So, trying to get more aggressive under braking is going to be key.”

This Week’s South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro at Watkins Glen International … Hemric will be making his second career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Watkins Glen International during this weekend’s Zippo 200. In his first start at the New York road course in 2017, Hemric started eighth and finished 11th, leading a total of four laps.

Rearview Mirror: Iowa … Starting from the 10th position, Hemric wasted no time in the opening laps of Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway and worked his way into the top five within 10 laps. Hemric and crew chief Danny Stockman continued to work on the handling of the No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet throughout the day, but a pit road speeding penalty after Stage 1 forced Hemric to race his way through the field in Stage 2. The sophomore driver was able to work his way back into the top 10 and earned points in Stage 2. In the closing laps of the race, Hemric had the opportunity to race for a top-five finish but contact with Brandon Jones on the final lap sent the No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet spinning in Turn 4. When he was able to right the car, Hemric drove across the start-finish line to finish 11th.

This Week at the South Point Hotel & Casino … Fans visiting the South Point Hotel & Casino this weekend have the opportunity to see the Gala of the Royal Horses on August 3 – 4 in the South Point Arena & Equestrian Center. Following in the family footsteps of seven generations, René Gasser has recreated a show for this tour, only previously seen at the famous riding schools in Vienna and Spain. The Royal Horses of Europe are some of the most celebrated in history, favored for centuries by royalty, equestrian riders and this performance celebrates the tradition, athleticism and grace of these revered creatures. More information at southpointcasino.com.

Meet the Driver … Fans have the opportunity to meet Hemric at the Chevrolet Display on Saturday, Aug. 4, starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. Hemric will be answering questions and signing autographs for those in the crowd.

You finished 11th at Watkins Glen International in your first Xfinity Series start there. What were your initial thoughts of that road course and what do you expect heading there this weekend?
“As a company, when we went to Watkins Glen last year we were not where we needed to be from an aero-standpoint. You like to think a lot of those things go out the window with a road course, but since the repave Watkins Glen is so fast that whatever you are struggling with on a weekly basis on the oval tracks will show its head there as well. I thought we did a lot of things right at Watkins Glen last year. We ran inside the top five for the majority of the race and got off on pit strategy and somehow finished 11th. As a company, Richard Childress Racing brings fast road racing cars. It is fun as a driver to get in something that drives so well there. I anticipate we will have a solid shot to run inside the top 10 and contend for a couple of wins throughout this road course stretch we have in August.”

What part of the course is most challenging for you at Watkins Glen?
“All of the speed you’re carrying into Turn 1, you need to get the car to rotate so you can throttle up like you need to. As a whole, I felt like we lost a lot of segment speed from Turn 1 through the Esses, which carries you to the fastest part of the track and all the way to the Bus Stop. Once we got there and got our cars slowed down it seemed like we could get our cars maneuvering well enough to get through the whole rest of the track as good as most. We just gave up too much time going through that right-hander in Turn 1. A lot of the aero-balance that has changed in the series and a lot of the things we’ve changed inside of our race shop and our team will help us get through that section better. It is easy to talk about, but we’ve got to go out there and prove we have actually done it.”

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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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