RCR Race Preview: Bristol Motor Speedway

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway… In 183 NASCAR Cup Series starts on the pavement configuration at Bristol Motor Speedway, RCR has scored nine wins, including Dale Earnhardt’s seven wins at the track (both races in 1985 and 1987, plus victories in 1988, 1994 and 1999). Kevin Harvick won in 2005, and Jeff Burton found Victory Lane for the organization in 2008. RCR has racked up 35 top-five and 71 top-10 finishes.


Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at The Last Great Colosseum… RCR has nine NASCAR Xfinity Series victories at Bristol led by four wins by Kevin Harvick (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005). Other drivers who have posted Bristol wins for the Welcome, N.C., based organization include Jeff Green (2002), Clint Bowyer (2008), Elliott Sadler (2012), Austin Dillon (2016) and Tyler Reddick (2019). The team has racked up 38 top-five and 63 top-10 finishes at the Tennessee short track. 


Carolina Cowboys to Host Free, Family Friendly Festival During PBR Teams Homestand at Greensboro Coliseum Sept. 22-24… The Carolina Cowboys will host a free-to-attend, family-friendly festival that will accompany the event outside Greensboro Coliseum September 22-24. The Cowboy Days Festival will take over the area surrounding Greensboro Coliseum, opening at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, September 22, 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 23 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, September 24. Daily at the Cowboy Days Festival, fans will be able to enjoy food and music, get up close with the Carolina Cowboys, Richard Childress Racing and more. Eventgoers will also be able to interact with a host of other exhibitors including Davis Rodeo Ranch, Childress Vineyards, Bass Pro Shops, eBay Motors, Bobcat and others. Local food trucks will also be present to accompany a for-purchase bar. 


Tickets to the 2023 Carolina Cowboys Home Stand Are Available Now… Driven by the same passion for performance that guides his race team, Richard Childress’ latest endeavor brings Professional Bull Riding to the Carolinas. The Carolina Cowboys represent the Carolinas in the PBR Team Series, an elite league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing in games throughout the country. The team is owned by Richard Childress and Jeff Broin with 2018 Daytona 500 Champion Austin Dillon serving as General Manager. Don’t miss the Carolina Cowboys 2023 “Cowboy Days” Home Stand September 22-24 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Tickets are on sale at PBR.com and Ticketmaster. https://www.ticketmaster.com/pbr-professional-bull-riders-tickets/artist/2859854?venueId=369330


Catch the Action… The NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway will be televised live Friday, September 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on USA and the NBC Sports App. The race will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. 


The Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, September 16 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on USA Network and 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/Ranger Boats Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Bristol Motor Speedway… In 17 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Dillon has one top-five and three top-10 finishes, including a career-best fourth-place finish in August 2016. The 2013 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion has nine NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the half-mile track with a win in 2016. He has also made three NASCAR Truck Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Winner, Winner… Dillon has won at Bristol Motor Speedway on both the paved and dirt configurations. In addition to winning a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Tennessee track in August 2016 (paved), Dillon was among the first drivers to compete on the track’s dirt surface in 2021. He won two features and a heat race in dominating fashion in a 604 Crate Late Model for Corey Hedgecock Racing.


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/.


About Ranger Boats… Headquartered in Flippin, Ark., Ranger Boats is the nation’s premier manufacturer of legendary fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats, with acclaimed models and series in the bass, multi-species, fish ‘n play, saltwater, waterfowl utility and pontoon boat segments. Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its commitment to building the highest-quality, strongest-performing boats on the water. In 2015, Ranger joined White River Marine Group, part of the Bass Pro Shops family. For more information, go to RangerBoats.com


Meet Austin Dillon… Fans traveling to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend have several chances to meet the driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Ranger Boats Chevrolet. Dillon is scheduled to make an appearance at the Team Chevrolet stage at Bristol Motor Speedway for a Q&A session on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. Additionally, Dillon is scheduled to appear at 4:00 p.m. at the RCR Merchandise Hauler to greet race fans. Stop by and pick up new RCR gear. Dillon’s last scheduled appearance of the day is a Coca-Cola Q&A session at the Bristol Motor Speedway Fan Zone Stage at 4:30 p.m.



What are your thoughts on Bristol Motor Speedway?

“Bristol Motor Speedway is a high-banked, concrete half-mile track and it’s one of the most fun tracks we race at. Every lap you are fighting for speed and pushing the envelope from top to bottom. Bristol never lets you take a breath. Your heart rate is constantly up. The tires give out, but you can still go fast on them. You’re working hard for 500 laps. The Bristol Night Race is a grind and that’s what fans love to see. There’s action all over the track and I’m looking forward to the race. Having run well there in the past, I know that we have the chance to contend for the win in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Ranger Boats Chevrolet this weekend.”


Kyle Busch and the No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen/Alsco Uniforms Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Bristol Motor Speedway Kyle Busch will make his 34th NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway (pavement races). The driver of the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen/Alsco Uniforms Chevrolet leads all active drivers with eight victories: 2007 (spring), 2009 (both races), 2010 (fall), 2011 (spring), 2017 (fall), 2018 (spring) and 2019 (spring). Busch leads all active drivers with 2,593 laps led at the .533-mile Tennessee speedway (1,382.06 miles). That distance equates to just over seven round trips from RCR’s Welcome, N.C., headquarters to Bristol, Tenn. Busch has nine NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and five victories in the NASCAR Truck Series, giving the Las Vegas, Nev., native 22 wins at Bristol across all three NASCAR national series.


The NASCAR Hat Trick, Twice In 2010, Busch made history at Bristol Motor Speedway, becoming the first driver to win all three NASCAR national series races in the same weekend. Seven years later in 2017, Busch repeated the accomplishment – again at the Last Great Colosseum – when he secured victories in the Truck, Xfinity, and Cup Series races.


NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Update Last Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Busch scored a seventh-place result, his 15th top-10 finish of the 2023 season. Busch enters the first round cutoff event seventh in the Cup Series driver championship standings, 24 points above the cutline. In the opening two Playoff races, Busch’s average finish is 9.00, despite starting from the rear in both races.


Did You Know? Busch has made 336 green flag passes in the first two Playoff races this season. He led all drivers with 184 in the opening round at Darlington and made 152 passes at Kansas – second most overall.   


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.


About Alsco Uniforms Alsco is a fifth-generation family-owned and operated uniform company founded in 1889 and recognized by the prestigious Hohenstein Institute for having invented the uniform rental industry. Celebrating over 130 years of business, Alsco provides uniform laundry services and other products that keep businesses clean and safe to all kinds of customers in the healthcare, automotive, industrial and hospitality industries. With more than 180 locations and 20,000 employees, Alsco provides laundry rental services to more than 355,000 customers in 14 countries, which makes Alsco Uniforms the largest uniform company in the world. Visit www.alsco.com to learn more about how Alsco Uniforms is the industry’s best kept secret.     



Why is the Bristol Motor Speedway pavement race your favorite?

“Bristol concrete is my favorite track just because I’ve always enjoyed that racetrack. I’ve always enjoyed watching it as a kid on TV and seeing all the races there. And then it being a short track and high banked is cool and fun and reminds me of some tracks that raced at as a kid coming up through the ranks. I look forward to going there. Bristol is a challenging track. You’ve got to be on top of your game all the time. You can really push the car and try to get the most out of it on the bottom or on the top. I’ve always loved being on the bottom there and have found most of my wins from the bottom but still you’ve got to be agile and move around.”


Pitting at Bristol Motor Speedway is unique with the frontstretch and backstretch pit roads. How difficult is that and how big of a challenge is that since this is the only time all year you do it? 

“Pitting at Bristol is unique because you have two pit roads, the frontstretch and the backstretch. Typically, you don’t really pit there under green a whole lot but if you did, you have only one pit road. You’ve got to remember if you’re on the backstretch or frontstretch where you would come off of the racetrack and get down to get to pit road. It’s not that big of a deal but I’ve always had my pit selection be on the backstretch just so there’s never any confusion. We’ll see if we can get that pit selection that I prefer.”


Sheldon Creed and the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Camaro SS at Bristol Motor Speedway… Sheldon Creed has made one career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Alpine, California native also has three NASCAR Truck Series starts at the World’s Fastest Half Mile, earning a best finish of sixth in 2019 and one pole position in 2021.


Playoffs Time… With the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season complete, the focus now shifts to the Playoffs. Over the final seven races, Creed and his Whelen Engineering team will look to advance from the Round of 12 to the Round of 8 and ultimately the Round of 4. Creed enters NASCAR’s postseason eighth in the driver championship point standings, two points above the cutline.


Meet Creed… On Friday, September 15 at 4:50 p.m. ET, Creed is scheduled to sign autographs at the RCR Merchandise Trailer located in the Fan Midway at Bristol Motor Speedway. Stop by to get your Whelen gear and have Creed sign the items purchased. Immediately following at 5:15 p.m., Creed will answer fan questions at the Chevrolet Display in the Fan Zone at Bristol Motor Speedway.


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.



As a Truck Series Champion, you have been through the Playoff bracket before. What is the outlook for your team heading into Week One at Bristol Motor Speedway?

“The beginning of the Playoffs is just about surviving. Someone out of us 12 Playoff drivers is going to have a bad weekend or something is going to happen, which will make survival and finishing the next six races before Phoenix crucial. Stage points and maximizing points will be key for our No. 2 Richard Childress Racing team. As a driver, I’m going to try and be on offense and put pressure on the other guys. I don’t have a win yet this season, but if we capitalize on points and have fast Whelen Camaros, that is going to put pressure on those that are right around us in the standings.”


Austin Hill and the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet Camaro SS at Bristol Motor Speedway… Austin Hill has made one career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway, earning a third-place finish last season in the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet. The Winston, Georgia native has also competed in six NASCAR Truck Series events (best finish of 10th) and three ARCA Menards Series East races (best finish of fifth) at the World’s Fastest Half Mile.


Regular Season Champion… After his fifth-place performance at Kansas Speedway, Hill captured the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season championship. Throughout the 26-race regular season, the 29-year-old accumulated a total of four wins, three poles, four stage wins, 15 top-five, and 19 top-10 finishes. Entering NASCAR’s postseason, Hill sits second in the point standings, 10 points behind leader John Hunter Nemechek.


Meet Hill… On Saturday, September 15 at 12:30 p.m. ET, Hill is scheduled to answer fan questions at the Chevrolet Display in the Fan Zone at Bristol Motor Speedway. Later that evening at 5:25 p.m., Hill will return to the Fan Zone to sign autographs at the Bennett Family of Companies Booth at Bristol Motor Speedway. Stop by to meet the Xfinity Series regular season championship before the green flag waves for the Playoffs.


#ThankATrucker… In celebration of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, Hill will honor Bennett’s exceptional drivers with a special message on the hood of his No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro. Hill, along with No. 21 hauler driver Ricky Simmons and fellow RCR team members, attended a special Pit Stop Celebration in Johnson City, Tennessee on Thursday evening. Over 125 owner operators, contractors, and drivers will be at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday to cheer on the Bennett Transportation and Logistics Camaro.


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 does it take to win at Bristol Motor Speedway?

“I guess I really don’t know that yet, because I haven’t won at Bristol Motor Speedway throughout my career. Last year, our No. 21 team had a really good Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet, finished third, and had a shot at winning. Even though I haven’t won there, I know a lot of the things that you’re looking for. You need a very versatile car. You need to be able to run the bottom when the resin is laid down, and as that starts wearing away, you need to be able to move up the race track and eventually get up against the fence. That is what I was able to do last year and was really good right up against the wall. There are a lot of wrecks and melee that happens at Bristol, so you have to be patiently aggressive, stay up front all race, keep your track position, and minimize your mistakes.”