RCR Race Preview: Atlanta Motor Speedway

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway… In 160 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has earned nine wins and three pole awards, including Kevin Harvick’s emotional victory in 2001. Dale Earnhardt won eight times at the Hampton, Ga., track under the RCR banner (1984-fall, 1986-fall, 1988-spring, 1989-fall, 1990-spring, 1995-fall, 1996-spring, 2000-spring). The Welcome, N.C., team has 29 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes at Atlanta and has led a total of 3,020 laps at the 1.54-mile oval. 


RCR in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway… RCR has recorded five NASCAR Xfinity Series wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, led by Austin Hill (2022 and 2023) and Jeff Burton (2006 and 2007). Kevin Harvick (2013) also has a victory at Atlanta with RCR. Hill’s back-to-back wins are extra special because the sophomore driver is a native of Winston, Georgia and primary sponsor Bennett Transportation and Logistics is based in nearby McDonough. RCR as an organization has racked up 16 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes over a span of 58 starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway.


Grand Marshal Richard Childress will be honored as Grand Marshal prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Childress will give the command to start the race from inside the cockpit of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet that Kevin Harvick drove to his first Cup victory at Atlanta in 2001 and will lead the field during the first pace lap. 


Early Success with CT Springs Childress Technology Spring Company, a division of Childress Technologies, is quietly racking up wins and accolades within the highest levels of motorsports. CT Springs have won 10 NASCAR Cup Series races and seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2023, notably finishing first through fifth at the Chicago Street Race.


Catch the Action… The Alsco Uniforms 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, July 8 beginning at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network and the NBC Sports App. The race will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. 


The Atlanta 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be televised live on Sunday, July 9 beginning at 7 p.m. ET on USA Network and the NBC Sports App. The race will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

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Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Dow Salutes Veterans Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway In 13 NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Dillon’s best finish is sixth in March 2021. Earlier in 2023, Dillon finished 20th in the No. 3 Chevrolet completing all 260 laps. He has earned top-10 finishes in each of his three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the track and four NASCAR Truck Series starts at the track.


Dow Salutes Veterans A record 2,131 U.S. Military Veterans will “ride” with Austin Dillon at Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 9 in a patriotic No. 3 Dow Salutes Veterans Chevrolet featuring the names of U.S. Military Veterans and active-duty military members. The 2023 Dow Salutes Veterans Chevrolet highlights Dow’s Military Degree Equivalency (MDE) program. The MDE program provides an opportunity for individuals with extensive military background to bring their broad scope of training and education, experience in leadership, and understanding of performing in high pressure situations into a successful career at Dow. 2023 marks the ninth consecutive year that Dow has partnered with RCR to honor U.S. Military veterans. The program began with just over 350 veterans in 2015 to a record of more than 2,100 this year.


Dow brings a science and engineering crew who is driven by limitless curiosity to the RCR Team Dillon and the RCR team are again supported by Dow’s materials science expertise and technologies this season. Backed by the power of data analysis and virtual modeling, Dow develops and manufactures high-performance components and materials custom-made for the No. 3 car. Dow and RCR’s partnership have expedited innovation and shortened testing time in the automotive industry by recreating in the lab one of the most extreme environments – the racetrack. After 10 years of collaboration, Dow scientists and RCR engineers are continuing to work together to make the No. 3 car faster, safer, and more precise. Stay up to date with Dow’s exciting developments at www.dow.com/sports and follow us on Twitter @DowSports.


Welcome Team Rubicon… Team Rubicon is a veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during, and after disasters and crises. Founded following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the organization has grown to more than 160,000 volunteers across the United States and has launched over 1,100 operations domestically and internationally. Team Rubicon is partnering with Dow and Richard Childress Racing for the third year as part of their continued investment in the men and women who have served this country. Team Rubicon has been a proud partner of Dow’s since 2017, following Hurricane Harvey. Dow’s Veteran Resource Group (VetNet) has stepped into the arena as volunteers time and time again to serve communities in need. In addition, 180 Team Rubicon volunteers that are military veterans will “ride” with Austin Dillon with their names on the side of his No. 3 Chevrolet.


Meet Austin Dillon Dillon is scheduled to appear at the Coca-Cola Corner tent next to the turn 1 grandstand for a Q&A session on Sunday, July 9 at 4 p.m. Dillon is also scheduled to participate in a Q&A session on behalf of Team Rubicon at the Trackside Live Stage at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday at 3:35 p.m. ET. 



What are you anticipating in the Atlanta Motor Speedway race on Sunday?

“Atlanta Motor Speedway has that superspeedway feeling to it, so you know what you’ll get. Guys are bump drafting, racing two and three wide through the whole field. Pack racing is going to be tough so you will need to have your car handling well to make passes in the draft. Track position seemed very important in the last race, as well. Atlanta Motor Speedway is a fun race for sure. It’s a tight speedway.”


Atlanta Motor Speedway is an intermediate track designed to race like a superspeedway. Do you prepare differently than you would at Talladega and Daytona?

“Atlanta Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway share similarities with me the most. The biggest difference is that you’ll be drafting during the entire race since Atlanta is a smaller speedway than what we’re used to, so it is important to put your car in a good position. There is a lot of drafting occurring at Atlanta Motor Speedway, so you have to be aggressive. Pit road can be very difficult to navigate, especially if you have a green flag stop. Atlanta Motor Speedway is an opportunity for our No. 3 Dow Chevrolet team to win a race. We will be aggressive like many other drivers and will be getting closer to making the playoffs.”


How mentally draining is the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway?

“I think it’s a lot like the superspeedway racing we do on the larger tracks, except that since the track is smaller, we have to be on the defensive a lot more because runs happen a lot faster, so we have to be more careful when running on that tight track. The workout routine I follow is the same as if I were heading to Daytona International Speedway or Talladega Superspeedway to race. Speedway racing is something that I enjoy a lot, which is why I’m looking forward to a night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and I think the fans are going to enjoy seeing it as well.”


Kyle Busch and the No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway… Kyle Busch scored a 10th-place finish earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his 12th top-10 effort in 27 starts at the 1.540-mile speedway. Since making his first start at Atlanta in 2004, Busch has won twice at the 1.540-mile speedway (2008 and 2013) and claimed eight top-five finishes. The driver of the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet also won the pole at Atlanta in 2018. Busch ranks third among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in laps led at Atlanta with 558. He has three victories in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition at the Hampton, Ga., track and six victories in the NASCAR Truck Series.


Chicago Success Busch and the No. 8 team scored a fifth-place finish this past weekend at the Chicago Street Race, his sixth top-five finish of the season. He racked up his sixth consecutive top-10 in the process, a streak that began at Darlington Raceway in May. Busch is fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 31 points behind the leader. The driver of the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet gained 17 points on the leader this past weekend.


Did You Know?  Since the May 7 event at Kansas Speedway (race No. 12), Busch has gained 65 points on the leader and climbed up seven positions in the Cup Series driver championship standings.


About Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen… Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is the homestyle casual dining restaurant where guests always Get a lot. For not a lot™. The restaurant offers a variety of scratch-made meals and generous portions served up in a warm, welcoming atmosphere – all at an unbelievable price. After being welcomed with a signature Honey Butter Croissant on the house, guests can enjoy signature entrées like hand-breaded Chicken Tenders, homemade Chicken Pot Pie and Fall-off-the-Plate Baby Back Ribs. Cheddar’s operates more than 170 restaurants in 28 states and employs more than 15,000 friendly and passionate team members. For more information or to locate the nearest restaurant, visit Cheddars.com. Fans can like or follow Cheddar’s on FacebookTwitter , and Instagram.



What are your expectations entering Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend? 

“The first time around at Atlanta we had a good race and we had decent speed. Nobody could really compete with the Fords; they were super-fast. Just going back there this time and trying to re-evaluate where we stood the first time around and make some improvement and make some gains on setup stuff and the car being faster will allow us to hold a front spot better. The spring race we kind of set up more for handling and I felt like that was a good idea even though it cost us a little bit of speed. I think the same thing will be said for this weekend.”


What is more important: a better handling car or one with more speed?

“Even though it’s under the lights I think it’s still going to be important to have good handling over outright speed. Any time you get higher track temperatures there’s always going to be a concern for grip and what that grip level is and how fast the grip level is deteriorating from the repave at Atlanta. We’ll have to see when we get there in the race because we only get one lap of qualifying before going into the big show.” 


Sheldon Creed and the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Camaro SS at Atlanta Motor Speedway… Sheldon Creed has three career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, all coming behind the wheel of the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet. The 25-year-old captured his best finish of ninth place in the 2022 spring event at the Georgia speedway. In addition, Creed has three NASCAR Truck Series starts on his resume, earning one top-five and three top-15 results.


Red, White, and Blue… Coming off of the United States of America’s Independence Day, Whelen will showcase a special patriotic scheme on Creed’s No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second consecutive week. Every Whelen product is proudly designed, sourced, and manufactured from start to finish at their two facilities in Connecticut and New Hampshire.


About Whelen Engineering… Whelen Engineering is a family-owned company with a pioneering spirit and a passion to protect the lives of those who protect and serve others. The company mission is to provide industry-defining safety solutions around the world, while creating a community of problem-solvers who are inspired to push boundaries and continue our legacy of delivering ground-breaking innovation. As a global leader in the emergency warning industry, Whelen has been trusted to perform since 1952, when George Whelen III invented the first rotating aviation beacon. Whelen now encompasses two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Connecticut and New Hampshire with over 750,000 square feet of engineering and manufacturing space and the largest design staff in the industry. Every part of every Whelen product is proudly designed and manufactured in America. We embrace quality as our foundation, we celebrate innovative engineering in every product we produce.



Heading into Atlanta Motor Speedway, what are the expectations for the race?

“I’m not the biggest fan of superspeedway races, but our Whelen Chevrolet was really good at Atlanta earlier this year. I thought Austin Hill and I controlled the first half of the race, and then I got a right front flat under green, which was weird. With having to pit under green, it cost our team a shot a competing for the win. I know our Richard Childress Racing Camaros will be fast again, so it will be up to Austin and I to work together well.”


Out of the three drafting tracks that we go to – Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, and Atlanta Motor Speedway – do you prefer one over the other?

“Honestly, Atlanta is more fun to drive than Daytona or Talladega. As the surface in Atlanta continues to wear out, I think handling is going to become a factor. It may resemble an old-school Daytona, where you will need to move around and be smart instead of being wide open all the way around. Handling wasn’t an issue last year or even earlier this year, but you can tell that it is heading in that direction. The surface is getting rough again and it will be good once it gets that way.”


Austin Hill and the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet Camaro SS at Atlanta Motor Speedway… Austin Hill has three career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, earning two wins and a second-place finish while piloting the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet. One year ago in the summer event, Hill led a total of 73 laps before capturing the checkered flag. Earlier this season in March, the sophomore driver captured his second consecutive victory after leading 103 of 163 laps. In addition, Hill has six NASCAR Truck Series starts at the Hampton, Georgia facility, posting one pole (2019), two top-five (2020, 2021) and three top-10 results (2019-2021).


Going for Three… After earning the checkered flag in the previous two events at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hill is looking for his third consecutive victory at 1.5-mile speedway. Since the track transitioned to a superspeedway, Hill has not finished worse than second in Xfinity Series competition.


Georgia Boy Returns Home… Hill is a native of Winston, Georgia, sited 60 miles from Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 29-year-old started his motorsports career racing bandolero and legends cars on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Hill’s family continues to live in the Peachtree State and will be in attendance for Saturday’s race.


Bennett Home Race… Located a short 15 minutes from Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bennett Transportation and Logistics’ headquarters are based in McDonough, Georgia. During Saturday’s race, Bennett will have more than 300 employees in the grandstands and condo cheering on Hill and the Richard Childress Racing team.


Superspeedway Dominance… Hill enters Atlanta Motor Speedway as the winner of two of three Xfinity Series drafting races – Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway – in 2023. In those two events, the driver of the No. 21 Camaro led 142 of 288 total laps (49.3%).


Double Duty… Hill will make his third career NASCAR Cup Series start as he pilots the No. 62 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet for Beard Motorsports on Sunday. The pair is also slated to compete in four additional Cup Series events in 2023 – Michigan International Speedway and Daytona International Speedway in August and Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval in October. 


About Bennett Family of Companies… McDonough-Ga. based Bennett Family of Companies is a woman-owned, Women’s Enterprise Business Council (WBENC) certified, diversified transportation and logistics company. Through its 14 affiliated operating companies, the Bennett Family of Companies delivers integrated transportation and supply chain management solutions worldwide. Bennett has 4,625 drivers/owner-operators, over 1,000 employees and 600 agents located across the United States. For more information, visit www.bennettig.com.



You are looking for your third consecutive win at Atlanta Motor Speedway, your home track. What is the expectation for Saturday’s race?

“It’s always fun to go back to your home track. I want to do well because I have a lot of family there and with Bennett Family of Companies being right down the road. We are really good on superspeedway style tracks, and this is one of those. The expectation is nothing short of winning. Our team has been preparing for this race and we know how to get the job done there. Hopefully, Sheldon Creed and I will be able to work together throughout the entire race and battle it out in the end.”


Atlanta Motor Speedway is not only your home track, but also Bennett’s home track. You will represent their company in both races this weekend. What would it mean to take those folks back to Victory Lane?

“Doing both races this weekend at Atlanta with Bennett Transportation and Logistics is really cool, especially with their headquarters being 15-20 minutes away from the track in McDonough. Winning earlier this year at Atlanta in the Xfinity Series was huge for the company and myself, as well, with it being my home track, so hopefully a strong run on Saturday plays into Sunday and we can do well for them the entire weekend. Bennett will have a lot of folks at the track to support us, so we will do our best to put on a good showing for them.”