RCR Event Preview – Darlington Raceway

Richard Childress Racing’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Darlington Raceway … Richard Childress is tied for third in all-time car owner victories with Holman-Moody and the Wood Brothers at Darlington Raceway with eight wins each. Dale Earnhardt collected all of RCR’s victories at the South Carolina-based track. In 123 collective starts, RCR boasts 23 top-five and 40 top-10 finishes at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval with five different drivers including Clint Bowyer, Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman and Robby Gordon. The Welcome, N.C.-based organization holds an average starting position of 16.9, an average finishing position of 17.8, has completed 38,676 of the 42,600 contested laps (90.8 percent) and has collectively led 2,606 laps.

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,969 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 51 pole awards,108 wins, 489 top-five finishes and 1,073 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.

A Celebration of 50 Years … Help Richard Childress Racing celebrate their golden anniversary at RCR Fan Day on our campus in Welcome, North Carolina on Friday, October 25. The unique, one-day event will include driver/owner autograph sessions, panel discussions with key personnel, a kids’ interactive area, pit crew demonstrations, military interaction, shop tours and even a hauler parade to help send off our teams as they head to Martinsville Speedway. Follow RCR’s social media channels for updates regarding Fan Day and all 50th Anniversary events.

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 Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway will be televised live Sunday, September 1 beginning at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This Week’s American Ethanol Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Darlington Raceway … Dillon has made five career starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway, posting a career-best fourth-place finish in 2017. He has made three appearances at “The Lady in Black” in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, securing his best finish of fifth in 2012. The 2011 NASCAR Truck Series champion has two starts at the track in the Truck Series, earning his best finish of fifth in August 2010.

Throwing it Back for Darlington with American Ethanol… American Ethanol is teaming up with Richard Childress Racing to bring back a new version of the iconic “Black Gold” Oldsmobile Cutlass driven by Richard Childress in the late 1970’s for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. American Ethanol first partnered with RCR in 2011 when NASCAR adopted Sunoco Green E15TM made with 15 percent cleaner-burning, higher-octane ethanol, across all three of its national series. Since then, a lot of exciting things have happened in the American Ethanol industry. The number of stations selling e15 has continued to grow substantially each year, as consumers are now able to access the fuel year round, and drivers have driven over 10 billion miles on the fuel and counting. E15 is often sold at the gas pump as Unleaded 88, which was just recently added as a fuel choice to GasBuddy, the nation’s largest and most-trusted fuel price app. Download GasBuddy and find out where you can save money on fuel with higher ethanol blends!

Are you going to have some throwback fun at Darlington Raceway this year like a lot of the teams are?
“Yeah, we are. Our paint scheme this year honors the Black Gold car my grandfather raced in the 1970s. We’ve had fun filming the car with American Ethanol and getting into the history of the era. It’s really special to be able to honor my grandfather with our Darlington Throwback scheme.”

If you run at Darlington Raceway and you don’t have a Darlington Stripe have you truly raced at that track?
“Yeah, I have actually made it through without a Darlington stripe, but I have wiped out two cars in first practice. It’s a place that will bite you quick and you just have to have the right mentality going into it of what you are racing against. It’s not necessarily the competition as much as yourself. Mentally it’s a challenging place and I love that about it.”

Is Darlington Raceway a place where you feel like it’s more in your control versus some other tracks?
“For sure, it is. It’s a place where if you do your job and you have to have a good car, obviously, everybody that runs well there does, but doing your job rewards you at the end of the night.”
Daniel Hemric and the No. 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Darlington Raceway … Hemric will be making his first NASCAR Cup Series start at Darlington Raceway for this weekend’s 500-mile event. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the “Lady in Black”, recording an average start of 3.5 and an average finish of 14.5.

About Blanchard Machinery Company … Blanchard Machinery Company has been supplying South Carolina customers with Caterpillar equipment since 1982. The family owned company has established retail and rental stores throughout the state which offer a wide range of Cat and non-Cat brands of equipment, from full-sized bulldozers to small machine parts. We are committed to providing our customers the best products and services available. Blanchard has 12 locations throughout South Carolina and numerous product lines. Our lines of business include Compact Equipment, Heavy Equipment, Forestry & Recycling, Power Systems, Bus, Truck Centers and Rental Services.

Throwing it Back to Caterpillar’s Original Battleship Gray … For the annual NASCAR Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway, Hemric and the No. 8 Chevrolet team will honor the earliest days of Caterpillar equipment, which featured Battleship Gray paint and a red wavy logo. In 1925 two men joined forces and together changed the course of the earthmoving industry. Benjamin Holt and CL Best’s vision and ingenuity remain the driving forces behind Caterpillar Inc. Caterpillar’s gray and red colors were recognized as a sign of innovation in the late 1920’s. All machines were painted Battleship Gray, which was purchased from the Navy. This scheme was state-of-the-art – just as the Cat Yellow is today. The red, wavy logo features the same unique movement of the Caterpillar undercarriage. This logo appeared on machines until 1931. A special thanks to ChrisCo Machinery, Ed and Erik Christenbury, for providing the antique Caterpillar equipment for the Darlington Throwback scheme reveal.

Meet the Press … Hemric will be available to the NASCAR press corps during a driver media rotation session in the Darlington Raceway media center on Friday, Aug. 30, starting at 3:15 p.m. local time.

Meet the Driver … Hemric is scheduled to sign autographs at the RCR merchandise hauler in the Darlington Raceway Fan Zone on Sunday, Sept. 1, starting at 2:20 p.m. local time.

This will be your first Cup Series start at Darlington Raceway, but you have two Xfinity Series starts there. How tough is that track and does it live up to its reputation?
“Darlington is a very, very tough track. I remember going there for the first time in an Xfinity Series car and everybody tells me, ‘Hey man, this place is going to be tough.’ We go out and we’re fastest in the first round of qualifying, qualified second to Denny Hamlin, they dropped the green flag and I was plowing, I was so tight. I thought, ‘Man, I have really missed the balance on what I thought I needed versus what I really needed. We made gains going back there the second year. Darlington is just a place that you have to get laps at to really figure out what you want and how your race car needs to feel. We were running well, but another car got turned and it knocked the rear-end housing out of the car, so running 11th was like a win. Looking back, I learned a lot of lessons the last two years that I look forward to applying this weekend with the No. 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. This package is going to be really, really fast there. You have to be able to run right up by the fence, so you will need to be able to maneuver. That’s what it’s all about to move forward.”

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Darlington Raceway … In 57 Series starts at the 1.366-mile raceway, RCR has accumulated two pole awards, nine top-five finishes, 22 top-10 finishes, led 239 laps and averages a starting position of 11.1 and finishing position of 14.3. The Welcome, North Carolina, organization has completed 8,086 laps of the 8,260 (97.9 percent) that they have completed.

Road America Review … Tyler Reddick and Kaz Grala both picked up top-five finishes at Road America last weekend, placing third and fifth, respectively.

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 Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway will be televised live on Saturday, August 31, beginning at 4 p.m. ET on NBC. It will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Tyler Reddick and the No. 2 myblu Chevrolet Camaro at Darlington Raceway … Tyler Reddick has two previous NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Darlington Raceway, with his best start and finish of third coming during last year’s race.

Darlington Throwback … In celebration of NASCAR’s throwback weekend, Reddick and the No. 2 team will be sporting a scheme similar to Kyle Petty’s 7-Eleven paint scheme that he ran throughout much of the 1980s. The scheme was on Petty’s car for his 1986 win at Richmond Raceway that came after Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip wrecked hard on the final lap.

About blu … blu was first introduced to adult smokers in 2009 and was created by founder Jason Healy, a smoker himself from Charlotte, NC. For 10 years blu’s mission has remained the same, to provide adult smokers with a range of trusted, high quality electronic cigarette and vaping products. blu’s range of products are tailored to ensure adult smokers have a choice in finding satisfying cigarette alternatives. In sticking to this commitment, the brand has built a loyal adult consumer following and a reputation as a respected industry leader.

About myblu™ … myblu is the latest electronic vapor product offering by blu, which is featured on the No. 2 myblu Chevrolet Camaro. Crafted to provide adult smokers with the experience and satisfaction they are looking for in a cigarette alternative, myblu addresses a void that adult smokers and vapers have long been seeking to fill. myblu deliverers a hassle free, satisfying experience for adult smokers in a simple and compact closed system design. With one battery charge, myblu lasts all day and the wide range of nicotine strengths and flavors ensures adult smokers truly have a choice in finding a cigarette alternative.

You had a strong race at Darlington last year, starting and finishing third. How do you improve on that this year?
“I had a really fast car last year at Darlington, but I think I could have done a better job of taking care of it throughout the race. That’s something I’ll be focusing on this year that I think could help us grab a better finish, or potentially even win the race. Coming into Darlington last season, I was really dialed in and knew exactly what I wanted out of my car there to get around the track, so I think going in with the same mentality this year with this team will be a good starting point. Last year, I got a little too aggressive in Turn 4 early on in the race and knocked the quarter panel over and our spoiler back, so I know what not to do right away this time and to be a little more patient. The lessons I learned there over the past two years have given me a lot of confidence heading there this year with the momentum the No. 2 team has going on right now.”

How fun is it to honor one of the sport’s icons with your throwback scheme this year?
“The Throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway is always one of my favorite races of the year because I love NASCAR history, and it’s so fun to celebrate the heritage of our sport at one of NASCAR’s oldest and most exciting tracks. I grew up watching Kyle Petty race, so being able to celebrate his career and impact on the sport is special to me. I’m so thankful to be able to participate in NASCAR’s Throwback weekend and honor an icon of the sport this year thanks to blu.”

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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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