RCR Event Preview – Charlotte Motor Speedway

Richard Childress Racing’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Charlotte Motor Speedway … In 165 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 2,945 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 50 pole awards,108 wins, 489 top-five finishes and 1,071 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.7 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 Menards Series title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR’s three national series.

#RCR50 … Richard Childress Racing celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary in 2019. Follow our social channels season-long to join in the celebration.

American Muscle

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, @TylerReddick and @DanielHemric. 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/DanielHemric.

Catch the Action … The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be televised live Sunday, May 26 beginning at 6 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This Week’s Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Austin Dillon earned his career-first win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with a victory in the Coca-Cola 600 in May 2017. A native of North Carolina, Dillon has competed in nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at his hometown track, earning two top-10 finishes. He is a two-time winner at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Dillon grew up watching races at Charlotte Motor Speedway from his grandfather’s condo, which overlooks the racetrack, and plans to compete in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend.

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600 Miles of Remembrance … Dillon and the No. 3 team will participate in 600 Miles of Remembrance on Memorial Day Weekend. Dillon’s name will be replaced on his race car windshield header with the name of a fallen military service member for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The No. 3 team will feature Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Navy SEAL Chad Michael Wilkinson.

Meet Dillon… Come celebrate the 60th Running of the Coca-Cola 600 when Dillon makes an appearance on the Coca-Cola Stage at Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola on Saturday, May 25 at 7:15 p.m. Dillon is also scheduled to join his RCR teammate, Daniel Hemric, and grandfather, Richard Childress, at an autograph session at Bass Pro Shops at Concord Mills Mall on Thursday, May 23 at 11 a.m. ET.

Cheering for Dillon … If you’re at Charlotte Motor Speedway, come shop Austin Dillon merchandise available track-side by visiting the RCR merchandise trailer in the fan midway. Dillon is scheduled to sign a limited number of autographs on Sunday, May 26 at 2 p.m. ET.

Big weekend for you going to your hometown track with a special paint scheme …
“It is really cool to have a brand like Coca-Cola behind you at the Coca-Cola 600. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity. This is special to me. It’s in my backyard. I have a lot of friends and family coming to this race. A couple years back, winning the Coca-Cola 600, there was nothing like it. Being tied with Coca-Cola from the beginning of my Cup Series career and getting to represent Coca-Cola in a full paint scheme with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, it’s special. We have an awesome looking car for the 600.”

How hard is it to chase track conditions in the Coca-Cola 600? It’s the longest race of the season …
“It is difficult. It’s a long day and you’ve really got to stay up-to-date with your car and be ahead of the adjustments. Anything can happen in 600 miles, so you are always in the race. That is the good part of it. Stage racing is fun and interesting there also.”

Competition-wise, how do you feel about where your team and RCR is?
“It’s nice to show speed each week, but we have to figure out how to race better each week. The positive thing is that we haven’t had speed in the past, so now we have some speed and we have to figure out how to race with that speed. We do that, and we can do some great things. The consistency is what frustrates me. I want to be able to run the top-10 each and every weekend. We haven’t been able to find that consistency. At Kansas Speedway we were close. We were running ninth to 12th most of the race, but we were just a step behind. Making smart decisions is key with these new package switches, trying not to be one extreme or the other. We need to have consistent cars so we can find the balance each week.”

Talk about the sense of pride you have heading into Memorial Day weekend, especially with all of the patriotic activities planned at Charlotte Motor Speedway …
“For me, meeting different military members from all different branches really instills a sense of pride for our U.S. Military. It means so much to be able to stand and hold your hand over your heart for the flag during the National Anthem at the racetrack. That’s the most impactful moment of the entire weekend for me. The only reason I’m allowed to do what I do on the weekends is because of the country that we live in and the people that have lost their lives defending our freedom. I’m proud to stand with my hand right over my heart in front of the flag every time. It’s important to me and my family, and I’ve always felt like that was right. We are running this race with Chad Michael Wilkinson’s name on our windshield header as part of NASCAR’s 600 Miles of Remembrance program. Chad was a Navy SEAL, and his family and some of his SEAL Team will be in attendance at the race. It is always nice to have the opportunity to give back as we are running those 600 miles of remembrance to a family that has given so much to this country.”

What does it mean to you to be able to race at Charlotte Motor Speedway?
“I’ve been so fortunate to be able to have come here since I was a little kid and watch races right inside turn one from my grandfather’s condo. I’ve seen so many laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway and have seen a lot of guys from RCR run well at the track. I watched Jimmie Johnson dominate for years. It’s been a good track for me, and I always enjoy coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway.”
Daniel Hemric and the No. 8 Cessna Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Hemric will be making his first start in the 60th annual Coca-Cola 600 this Sunday. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native made a name for himself on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s quarter-mile track racing Legend Cars and Bandoleros, earning multiple race wins and championships, including the 2010 Legends Million race. In three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the 1.5-mile speedway, Hemric holds an average start of 9.7 with an average finish of 9.0.

600 Miles of Remembrance … Hemric will honor US Navy SEAL Team Six Senior Chief Petty Officer Kyle Milliken of Falmouth, Maine on the windshield of the No. 8 Cessna Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The 38-year-old special warfare operator was killed in action during a mission in Somalia in 2017. Milliken was the first US service member killed in Somalia since 1993. He earned multiple personal and unit awards including five Bronze Stars with valor for actions in both Iraq and Afghanistan and a Silver Star (posthumously) for heroic actions in combat. He is survived by his wife and two children, who will be in attendance for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600.

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Meet the Driver … Fans will have multiple opportunities to meet the driver of the No. 8 Cessna Chevrolet this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He is scheduled to sign autographs with Richard Childress, Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. at Bass Pro Shops at 8181 Concord Mills Blvd, Concord, North Carolina on Thursday, May 23. Wristbands will be distributed, and the autograph session is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Hemric will also be at the RCR merchandise hauler in the fan zone signing autographs on Sunday, May 26, starting at 12:25 p.m.

This will be your first Coca-Cola 600, but do you feel as if that race is still a test of man and machine or are the cars so durable now that it is not as much of a challenge for the drivers and teams as it used to be?
“With this new package, I believe this year’s Coca-Cola 600 will be even more of a challenge than it has ever been. The corner speeds are so fast that you feel like you are white knuckling it all the time. Some of the best in the garage – past champions, current champions, the best in the business – those guys are saying how much their bodies are feeling the load and speeds that we are carrying for a sustained amount of time like we are. Take all of that and now you have to do that for 600 miles around one of the most grueling racetracks under some of the most grueling conditions – it is supposed to be in the mid-90s and the humidity will probably be through the roof – I think it’s going to be a true test for everybody physically. We showed a lot of speed during All-Star weekend, but this is a different package so we will see how we make out with our No. 8 Cessna Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. I am looking forward to my first 600-mile race at Charlotte and hope we put on a strong showing for Cessna, everyone at RCR and all those fans cheering us on from the grandstands.”
Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway … In 95 Series starts at the 1.5-mile configuration of Charlotte Motor 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 completed 18,146 laps of the 19,019 (95.4 percent) that they have competed. RCR has accumulated eight pole awards, 25 top-five and 53 top-10 finishes, led 748 laps and averages a starting position of 11.0 and finishing position of 12.2.

Dover Review … Tyler Reddick was the highest-finishing RCR driver, placing third during the most-recent Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway. Kaz Grala placed 14th after a late-race spin derailed his top-10 run.

The Points … Tyler Reddick remains the current Xfinity Series points leader.

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 week’s Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, May 25, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on FS1. It will also be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Tyler Reddick and the No. 2 Tame the Beast Chevrolet Camaro at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Tyler Reddick has two previous NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval configuration at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with his best finish of 10th coming in 2017. The current points leader also has two previous NASCAR Truck Series starts and two top-five finishes at the speedway.

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Meet Reddick … Fans can meet Reddick when he stops by the track’s infield Circle K store to sign autographs on behalf of Twisted Tea on Saturday, May 25 beginning at 11:10 a.m. local time.

The No. 2 team has had some good speed at the intermediate tracks this year. Is there one you can look back at to help you prepare for Charlotte?
“You really can’t compare notes from anywhere. If anything, maybe just a little bit of Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the traction compound they now put down at Charlotte. Last year, it seemed like it never came back up off of it, which made the track very interesting. It’s a new challenge and has  completely changed Charlotte. It can be really tough to get around there lately. You’ve got to be mindful of where and how fast you’re running with those changes, but I’m confident in what myself, Randall and the No. 2 Tame the Beast guys can do this weekend.”

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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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