RCR Event Preview – Richmond Raceway

Richard Childress Racing’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Richmond Raceway … Richard Childress has nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories as a car owner at Richmond Raceway – five with Dale Earnhardt, three with Kevin Harvick and one with Clint Bowyer. Additionally, in 173 starts at the Richmond, Va.-based track, RCR drivers have claimed 37 top-five and 71 top-10 finishes. Childress, a former driver on NASCAR’s senior circuit, contributed three of those top-10 finishes from 1976-1978.

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,975 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 50 pole awards,108 wins, 489 top-five finishes and 1,074 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 at 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 demos, 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.

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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, @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 Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway will be televised live Saturday, September 21 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This Week’s Okuma Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway … In 11 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond Raceway, Dillon has earned two consecutive top-six finishes in his most recent appearances at the track (April 2019 and September 2018). He also earned his best starting position of sixth in April. He has 10 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Richmond Raceway, acquiring seven top-10 finishes and one pole award.

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Richmond Raceway is a short track but some drivers say it races a little bit more like an intermediate-style track. How do you see it?
“Richmond is a short track to me. I love that place and the way the tires fall off. In the past, it’s been a place that I circled as the worst track for me, but the last two finishes there have been sixth-place finishes, so I get pumped to go there.”

Is Richmond different night versus day, or not so much?
“There are definitely big differences from nighttime to daytime and how hot the track gets. At night, as rubber lays down the track seems to mysteriously do things that you wouldn’t obviously think affect the car. I always try to do the opposite of what I think when I get to Richmond Raceway and it helps.”

Daniel Hemric and the No. 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway … Hemric will be making his third NASCAR Cup Series start at Richmond Raceway in this weekend’s 400-lap event. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native made his first Cup Series start at Richmond Raceway in 2018 and has a best finish of 19th, which came earlier this season.

Meet the Press … Hemric is scheduled to meet with members of the NASCAR media on Friday, Sept. 20, starting at 3:15 p.m. local time in the Richmond Raceway media center.

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How do you approach this weekend’s race at Richmond Raceway and improve on your 19th-place finish there in April?
“Richmond Raceway is one of my absolute favorite racetracks. I love going to that place. It is really slick and worn out. There is really a lot of opportunity to work on your car to get mechanical grip and the things that we don’t get to focus on at a lot of the racetracks we go to with this current package. Because of that, there is a lot of opportunity to have a good short-run car or a good long-run car, or to find that happy medium. Austin Dillon and the No. 3 team had a great run there in April – really, his last two runs at Richmond have been very, very solid. We had a different approach with the No. 8 team, but they have had repeated success and when you have repeated success that doesn’t happen by accident. We will definitely lean on a lot of their notes going into this weekend’s race and hope for the best with this No. 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet team. Richmond is a track that I have had circled since we left there in April, knowing what we did well and what we didn’t then and capitalizing on that to improve our results. I’m pumped. I can’t wait to get there this weekend.”

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Richmond Raceway … In 100 Series starts at the 0.75-mile raceway, RCR has captured six victories with drivers Kevin Harvick (2003, 2005, 2006 and 2012) and Clint Bowyer (2007). The Welcome, North Carolina organization has accumulated six pole awards, 32 top-five finishes, 55 top-10 finishes, led 1,989 laps and averages a starting position of 11.3 and finishing position of 12.4. RCR has completed 23,986 laps of the 24,642 (97.3 percent) that they have competed.

Welcome Back, Joe Graf Jr. … Joe Graf Jr. will be making one of his select starts for RCR in the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro this weekend at Richmond.

Las Vegas Review … Tyler Reddick and the No. 2 team earned both their fifth win of the season and clinched the regular-season championship with their victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend.

Round of 12 … Richmond Raceway opens the Round of 12 for the Xfinity Series Playoffs. The round will continue through Charlotte Motor Speedway and conclude at Dover International Speedway. Eight drivers will move on to the next round.

The Points …Tyler Reddick is seeded third for the opening round of the Xfinity Series Playoffs.

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 GoBowling 250 at Richmond Raceway will be televised live on Friday, September 20, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on NBCSN. 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 Gimme Radio / Killswitch Engage Chevrolet Camaro at Richmond Raceway … Tyler Reddick has four previous starts at Richmond Raceway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, with his best finish of fourth coming during the spring race earlier this year. Reddick has completed all but one of his 1,000 laps attempted at the 0.75-mile track.

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Gimme Radio App Chat … Reddick will be hopping on the Gimme Radio app beginning at 1:15 p.m. ET on Friday, September 20, for a Q&A session with Gimme Radio listeners and fans. Make sure to download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play in order to join the session and ask a question before Reddick and the No. 2 Gimme Radio / Killswitch Engage Camaro takes to the track for Friday’s race.

Meet Reddick … Fans in the Richmond area can meet Reddick when he takes part in an autograph session at the 2019 Xfinity Series Playoff Media Day on Thursday, September 19, at 11:30 a.m. at Browns Island in Richmond, Virginia. Fans can also meet Reddick during the Playoff drivers’ autograph session on Friday, September 20, beginning at 2 p.m. ET at Richmond Raceway’s Old Dominion Building.

A lot of guys say Richmond Raceway is a short track that races like an intermediate track. Does it compare to anything at all in your mind?
“Richmond is a tough one that I always feel challenged by, so it’s hard to compare it. To me, it’s all about treating your tires right for the first 10-laps of a run to have a decent fall-off rate, but with the speeds we carry and how much dirty air can affect your car and its brakes, it can be tough on how you get around the race track. It takes a short-track mentality to get around Richmond, and you have to be very disciplined around the bottom of the racetrack. At the same time, clean air is massive for not just tire fall-off but your brake temperatures too. It’s important to keep everything as cool as possible not just as you taper off, but as you run in traffic as well.”

How does it feel to be entering the Playoffs coming off a win where you were also able to clinch the regular-season championship?
“It feels good as far as momentum goes to be entering this first race of our Playoffs off such a strong weekend. Last weekend, our goal was to lock up the regular-season championship and clinch those bonus Playoff points and we did that. To then be able to pull of the win with a great strategy call by Randall (Burnett, crew chief) and the team was awesome. We’re definitely focused on continuing the momentum at Richmond. It would be great to come out of the weekend with another win and advance to the next round, but we’ll need to work hard to do that with all the competition out there.”
Joe Graf Jr. and the No. 21 EAT SLEEP RACE Chevrolet Camaro at Richmond Raceway … This will be Joe Graf Jr.’s debut start at Richmond Raceway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

About EAT SLEEP RACE … EAT SLEEP RACE (eatsleeprace.com) is a racing lifestyle apparel company based out of New Jersey. Since 2001 the brand has offered a full product line including accessories and apparel for men and ladies. As one of the pioneers of motorsports apparel, the brand has deep roots in the racing industry and was created to offer fresh designs for all racing enthusiasts. The company has expanded to now offer a dedicated children’s product line of apparel and accessories branded as the Fast Kids Club with its hot selling ABC book for future race car drivers.

Internship Complete … In addition to driving for Richard Childress Racing, Graf Jr. finished his summer internship with the team’s marketing and communications staff to learn the business side of the sport. The dual role helped the New York University sophomore grow as a driver on both the competition and front office ends of racing.

Given that this will be your first start at Richmond Raceway, how have you been preparing for it? Are there other tracks that can help you prepare for it?
A: “I’m definitely excited to go to Richmond. I’ve been told that Richmond has similar characteristics to Iowa Speedway, and I’ve now had three races at Iowa. I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator and studied a lot of in-car camera film from prior races. I hope all of my pre-race preparation will pay off with a solid run on Friday night.”

With this being your final race with RCR this season, what have you learned during the year from the team?
A: “I’ve learned so much this year. I’ve learned a lot about the race cars, engineering, marketing, public relations and so on. I’m very appreciative to have experienced it all first-hand and work with a lot of talented people.”

“To be able to intern and compete for Richard Childress Racing this season has been a dream come true. RCR truly is a family and everyone there has treated me like family and I really appreciate that. I’m so excited for Richmond this weekend, and look forward to working for a strong run in our last scheduled race of the season.”

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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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