RCR Race Preview: Richmond Raceway / Road America

Richard Childress Racing at Richmond Raceway… In 186 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond Raceway, Richard Childress Racing has scored nine wins, led by Dale Earnhardt’s five victories (1985 – spring, both races in 1987, 1990 – fall, and 1991 – spring). Kevin Harvick won three times (2006 – fall, 2011 – fall, and 2013 – spring), while Clint Bowyer scored his first short track victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond (2008 – spring). The team owns 38 top-five and 74 top-10 finishes in NASCAR Cup Series competition at Richmond.


Follow Sunday’s Action in Richmond… The Cook Out 400 will be televised live on Sunday, July 30 beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET on USA Network and the NBC Sports App. The race will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

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Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Club/TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway In 18 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond Raceway, Dillon’s best finish is fourth (Fall 2020). His five top-10 finishes at the track include a pair of consecutive sixth-place finishes (April 2019 and September 2018). Dillon finished 10th at the track in April 2022 and 16th in August 2022. In April 2023, Dillon finished 25th. He has 10 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Richmond Raceway, acquiring two top-five finishes, seven top-10 finishes, and one pole award.


Fun Fact Dillon’s career-first NASCAR Xfinity Series start came at Richmond Raceway in 2008 driving the No. 21 Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma Chevrolet for RCR with crew chief Shane Wilson calling the shots. Dillon, who finished 26th in the race, went on to earn an Xfinity Series championship for RCR in 2012.


About TRACKER Off Road… Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 prominently features TRACKER ATVs, a game-changing new line of all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides offering breakthrough performance, service, and value in the off-road industry. TRACKER OFF ROAD was born out of a powerhouse partnership formed between Bass Pro Shops and TRACKER founder Johnny Morris and Textron Specialized Vehicles, bringing together the undisputed world leader in boating with a global leader in innovation and technology.


About Bass Pro Shops… Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations, and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.” Bass Pro Shops has a long relationship with NASCAR, dating back to 1998. For more information, visit http://www.basspro.com/.


Meet Dillon… Dillon is scheduled to appear at the RCR Merchandise Trailer in the Fan Midway at Richmond Raceway at 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 30th. Come meet the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet and get new RCR gear.



What are your expectations for entering Richmond Raceway this weekend?

“Richmond Raceway has been one of the best tracks for my No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road team to run at over the last couple of years. Since we have been racing there in the Cup Series for the last nine races, we have had five top-10 finishes. There is a good feel for the track that I have developed over the years. I think we should go out there and try to be in a position to run in the front, to have a chance to win, and to be locked into the NASCAR Playoffs as early as possible.”


Where does Richmond Raceway rank on your short-track favorites?

“In my opinion, Richmond Raceway is one of the best short tracks in the country. It is fast, it is a fun track, and it is also one of the most challenging for a driver to keep up with the track conditions as rubber lays down and the temperature drops throughout the day. It is very difficult to keep the car’s balance the entire time. In the beginning, I disliked Richmond Raceway for a long time, but as time passed, I have grown to enjoy racing there and have come to appreciate it. As a short track, it is a good place to enjoy a Sunday afternoon race, and it is fun to watch the strategy part of 400 laps play out during the race. Some guys will take multiple sets of tires during a stage, while others will only take one set of tires and try to make a full run on that one set. As a result of the track surface being worn out, the racing action is slick and enjoyable.”


Kyle Busch and the No. 8 X World Wallet Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway… Kyle Busch enters this weekend’s Cook Out 400 with six NASCAR Cup Series victories at Richmond Raceway in 35 previous starts – the most by any active driver – and is tied for third on the all-time win list at the track. The driver of the X World Wallet Chevrolet has racked up 18 top-five finishes, which is tied for the most among active drivers. He has 27 top-10s which ranks second among active competitors. Busch has 10 top-10 finishes in the last 11 races at the Virginia short track and his overall average finish at Richmond is 7.22. He has also enjoyed much success at Richmond Raceway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, claiming six wins in 23 starts. 


The Points Chase Busch holds the sixth position in the Cup Series Driver Championship Point Standings,102 points behind the leader. If the Playoffs started today, the Las Vegas, Nevada native would be the third seed.


All But One… Busch has been running at the finish in all 35 previous Cup Series races at Richmond. In fact, he has completed all but one lap in those events, completing 14,028 of a possible 14,029 laps. Those completed laps equal 10,521 miles – or 21 round trips from Welcome, N.C., to Richmond Raceway.


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How much did you learn at the first Richmond race earlier this season that will help you when you go back? 

“I think some of the biggest things that we learned at the first Richmond race earlier this year was what our short track package had that was good what our short track package that was bad. All year has kind of been a struggle at the at the lower downforce, shorter track races. We’re still trying to get to the bottom of all that and figure it out. We know that there is a lot of room for improvement and sometimes little things can mean big improvements. We’ll just keep working at it.”


Do you think the combination of higher track temperatures and increased tire wear will make for better racing at Richmond Raceway? 

“More times than not I would say that the higher track temperature and increased tire wear does make for better racing anywhere because it allows you to save your stuff at times compared to other drivers and not have to run as hard and that will reward you in the long run. But it doesn’t always equate to that. You just have to play it by ear as the race goes along. Typically, when you get increased tire wear, that allows you to move around on the racetrack and get higher on the racetrack as the day goes.”


Do you miss the night races at Richmond Raceway? Is that something that you’d like to see back on the schedule? 

“I really loved the night races at Richmond. I definitely feel like at least one of them can be a night race on the schedule. It’s hot during the day, but also being a Saturday night race always lends itself to putting on a good race and having the day off on Sunday is nice when you’re able to be home and chill out.”


Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Road America Richard Childress Racing has a successful history in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition at the 4.048-mile Wisconsin road course. During a three-year span from 2014-2017, the Welcome, N.C.-based team scored three consecutive victories with three different drivers – Brendan Gaughan (2014), Paul Menard (2015) and Michael McDowell (2016). Matt Tifft gave RCR its first pole at Road America when he grabbed the top starting spot in 2018. The team has 13 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 33 starts at Road America. Austin Hill led RCR in 2022 with a fourth-place finish.  


Catch Saturday’s Action… The Road America 180 at Road America will be televised live on Saturday, July 29 beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC and the NBC Sports App. The event will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. 


Sheldon Creed and the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Camaro SS at Road America… Sheldon Creed has made two career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Road America, most recently behind the wheel of the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Camaro last season. During the 2022 event at the 14-turn road course, engine problems relegated Creed to a 27th-place finish after completing 37 of 48 laps. While Creed searches for success at Road America in a Xfinity Series entry, the Alpine, Cali. native earned a victory in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin in the 2017 Trans Am Muscle Car Challenge TA2 race.


Meet Creed… On Friday, July 28 at 2:00 p.m. CT, Creed is scheduled to join his Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Hill and fellow Xfinity Series drivers for a full series autograph session in Victory Lane at Road America.  


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 to Road America, you have found Victory Lane there before in the Trans Am Series. What are you expecting for Saturday’s race?

“Last year, our Whelen Chevrolet team had a solid race going – I was running sixth – when our motor blew up. I won a TA2 race at Road America in 2017. It was a rain race, so I have experience in the wet there. This year’s race is going to be different though, with the track having a repaved surface. With it being the longest track we go to, braking zones will be important. Tire falloff was a key factor in the past, so we are curious to see how it’s going to race now and what you may need differently from a setup perspective. I think you will still have similar characteristics, but you won’t have to be as soft because the asphalt will have more grip.” 


Austin Hill and the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet Camaro SS at Road America… Austin Hill has made one career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Road America, securing a fourth-place finish last season while driving the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet. The Winston, Ga. native started in the 10th position, completed all 48 laps, and crossed the finish line with a top-five result.


Four and Counting… Last week at Pocono Raceway, Hill and the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing team secured their fourth victory of the 2023 Xfinity Series season. Hill utilized fuel saving measures and pounced to the lead during a green-white-checkered finish. The 29-year-old currently holds the second position in the Driver Championship Point Standings, 13 points behind leader John Hunter Nemechek.


Meet Hill… On Friday, July 28 at 2:00 p.m. CT, Hill is scheduled to join his Richard Childress Racing teammate Sheldon Creed and fellow Xfinity Series drivers for a full series autograph session in Victory Lane at Road America.  


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.



What are your thoughts on Road America heading into this weekend’s event?

“Being setup properly for each corner is crucial to success at Road America. Same as all road courses, as a driver, I have to do my homework to know the track layout and if there are specific characteristics of certain corners that can help you get through a corner better. For example, if you hit a curb a certain way, it might help or hurt you. There is a lot of studying that goes on at Road America.”


“With the surface being repaved, I expect it to be a lot faster. I’ve been hearing that we can be almost two seconds faster than last year. It’s going to be fast with a lot of grip. From a setup perspective and the way the car loads, I think you are going to have a higher load there now. I’ve felt okay about our road course package so far this year, but we tried a couple of things that didn’t work out, so we are going back to our normal path. I always love road course racing though, so I’m pretty excited about hitting the track this weekend.”