- Richard Childress Racing drivers Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Austin Dillon finished 11th, 13th and 20th, respectively, in the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
- Newman and Menard rank 11th and 14th in the Chase for the Sprint Cup while Dillon ranks 21st in the standings.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned his third victory of the 2015 season and was followed to the line by Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson.
- The 36th and final race of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season is Homestead-Miami 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, November 22, 2015, which is scheduled to be televised live on NBC beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Austin Dillon Finishes 20th in No. 3 Realtree/Bad Boy Chevrolet in Rain-Shortened Phoenix Race
Austin Dillon finished 20th in Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Realtree/Bad Boy Chevrolet in the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday evening. The start time for the 35th of 36 points paying races on the 2016 Sprint Cup Series schedule was delayed by seven hours due to inclement weather in the Phoenix, Ariz., area. Dillon took the green flag from the 16th position and noted a tight-handling condition on his initial run, which lasted 40 circuits until NASCAR displayed the caution flag for a competition yellow. The Slugger Labbe-led team changed four tires and added fuel to the Realtree/Bad Boy Chevrolet. Dillon restarted 17th when green-flag racing resumed on lap 47. As the race progressed, Dillon began noting a loose-handling condition on his Chevrolet, which was remedied through wedge and air pressure adjustments during routine pit stops. Although posting some of the fastest times among all competitors, Dillon fell one lap down to the race leader during a long green-flag run just past the race's halfway point while scored in the 14th position. He lost a second lap to the race leader when the caution flag was displayed just one lap after pitting on lap 194, forcing the team to take the wave around. Dillon was positioned 20th for the restart but a heavy rain storm caused NASCAR officials to call off the restart and declare the race complete 93 laps shy of its advertised distance. Dillon will close out the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season in the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, November 22. The race is live on NBC at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
Start - 16 Finish - 20 Laps Led - 0 Points - 21
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
"The second half of the year we just can't seem to catch a break with Mother Nature. I'm proud of the entire RCR organization because I feel like we've made a lot of progress on our Phoenix program. We were too loose during the race but Slugger Labbe and the guys were making great adjustments."
Paul Menard Earns 13th-place Finish in Rain-Shortened Race at Phoenix International Raceway
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet team started Sunday's rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from the 15th position and finished 13th after rain ended the scheduled 312-lap event early. Menard reported a lack of drive off after the seven-hour rain delay washed the track of rubber and nighttime temperatures changed handling of the Chevrolet from practice. The Richard Childress Racing driver was 14th on lap 21 and reported to the team that the car's handling was getting better. Spotter Billy O'Dea confirmed this by telling Menard he had one of the fastest cars on the track. During the NASCAR-mandated competition caution on lap 40, crew chief Justin Alexander opted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment to remedy any challenges Menard was facing. By lap 98, Menard was eighth and posting lap times faster than the leader in his Duracell/Menards Chevrolet. After a pit stop on lap 120, Menard maintained a spot within the top 11 but fell back as his car was better on the long runs. By lap 194, Menard was 13th and looking to move forward but rain ended the event early and the team was scored 13th. Up next for the No. 27 team is the Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.
Start - 15 Finish - 13 Laps Led - 0 Chase Grid - 14
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"I'm really proud of my team today. We had a fast Chevy tonight which just kept getting better, especially on the longer runs. My guys had fast stops on pit road. All-in-all it was a good day."
Ryan Newman Scores 11th-Place Finish at Phoenix International Raceway
Ryan Newman drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 31 Caterpillar Global Mining Chevrolet SS to an 11th-place finish in Sunday's rained-shortened Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. The South Bend, Ind., native lined up 22nd and waited until 7 p.m. MT to power up the No. 31 Chevrolet after three major weather cells delayed the start. From the get go, Newman battled a loose handling condition in Turns 1 and 2 as well as tight handling conditions in Turns 3 and 4. Crew chief Luke Lambert called for chassis adjustments on laps 44 and 122. Despite the changes, the No. 31 Chevy lost a lap to the leader to compete in 17th. A break came on lap 195 when the caution flag flew enabling Newman to return to the lead lap followed by a stop on pit road. The fast stop allowed Newman return to the track 11th but rain appeared again forcing NASCAR to call the race complete at lap 219 of a scheduled 312-lap event. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale happens next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Caterpillar will be the primary sponsor.
Start - 22 Finish - 11 Laps Led - 0 Chase Grid - 11
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:
"It was a tough weekend for the Cat team. We just couldn't get our car handling the way we needed. Once we finally got the race going, we started off extremely loose and then it would go tight. Our car seemed to come to life in the middle of a run, but all and all, it just wasn't our best showing for us. We've got one final race next week to get us a win so we'll get back to the shop and regroup."