RCR Post Race Report — NSCS AAA Texas 500

Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished ninth (Kevin Harvick), 19th (Jeff Burton) and 27th (Paul Menard).
  • Harvick completed 112 Green Flag Passes, positioning him fourth amongst his fellow competitors, and 40 Quality Passes according to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics.
  • Burton gained seven positions during the final 10 percent (34 laps) of the AAA Texas 500, ranking him second in the Post-Race Loop Data category of Closers, while Harvick improved four positions to rank sixth and Menard gained two to rank 10th.
  • Burton made 80 Green Flag Passes during the 335-lap race and Menard logged 36.
  • Jimmie Johnson captured his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win of the 2012 season and was followed to the finish line by Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart.
  • The next scheduled Sprint Cup Series race is the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 11. The race is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

2011 CC Team Icon 27 NSCS Menards

Paul Menard Finishes 27th at Texas Motor Speedway


Paul Menard and the No. 27 Quaker State/Menards team earned a 27th-place finish in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. The Eau Claire, Wis., native started the 34th points-paying NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event of the 2012 season from the 27th position and immediately reported a loose-handling condition on the neon yellow and green machine. The 100-lap green-flag run that kicked off the 335-lap race proved costly as the No. 27 team became trapped multiple laps down to the leader while Menard battled an ill-handling Chevrolet. The Slugger Labbe-led team took every possible opportunity during green and yellow-flag pit stops throughout the 502.5-mile affair to make aggressive air pressure and chassis adjustments to the Richard Childress Racing entry in hopes of improving the car’s balance. Menard continued to wrestle the Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet around the 1.5-mile Fort Worth, Texas-based speedway, ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 27th position.


Start – 27 Finish – 27 Laps Led – 0 Points – 16



“This was not the finish we had hoped to leave Texas with today. It’s hard to believe that this is the same car we finished third with at Kansas Speedway just a couple of weeks ago. We struggled from the time we unloaded on Friday morning and just never could pinpoint the issue. The Quaker State/Menards team never gave up, though. We tried every possible adjustment you can make on a race car and the pit crew was on their game as they are every week. We’ll put this behind us and look ahead to Phoenix (International Raceway).”




29 Rheem CC

Kevin Harvick and the Rheem Team Salvage a Ninth-Place Finish

at Texas Motor Speedway


Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem team salvaged a ninth-place finish in the AAA Texas 500 Sunday afternoon after battling handling issues for the majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway. The Richard Childress Racing driver started the scheduled 334-lap event from the 23rd position before alerting crew chief Gil Martin that the black and red Chevrolet had an extremely tight-handling condition. The pit crew made multiple adjustments during four-tire pit stops throughout the 502.5-mile affair to alleviate the handling issues Harvick was battling. As the race progressed, and the sun set over the 1.5-mile facility, the car transitioned from a tight to loose-handling condition as Harvick maneuvered into the top 15 in the running order. The Rheem pit crew continued to make adjustments that helped to improve the handling of the No. 29 Chevrolet allowing Harvick to break into the top 10 during the final laps, ultimately crossing the finish line in the ninth position. Harvick remains 11th in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, 101 points out of the lead.

Start – 23 Finish – 9 Laps Led – 0 Points – 11



“The team did a great job keeping us in the game today. We had a tough time making the right adjustments to get the Rheem Chevrolet handling the way I needed it to be, but the pit crew was solid today and I have to thank them for all their hard work this weekend.”



2011 CC Team Logo NSCS 31 CAT

Jeff Burton Finishes 19th at Texas Motor Speedway


Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team battled back to finish 19th at Texas Motor Speedway after untimely caution-flag periods trapped them multiple laps down to the leader. Starting the 335-lap event from the 22nd position, the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner worked his way into the top 15 by lap 25 and during the first long green-flag run of the afternoon, he reported to crew chief Shane Wilson that the No. 31 Chevrolet had developed a loose-handling condition. After pitting for fresh tires, Sunoco E15 fuel, chassis and air pressure adjustments on lap 86 under green-flag conditions, the South Boston, Va., native was trapped a lap down to the leader in the 26th position when the caution flag was displayed shortly after the pit stop. As the loose-handling condition persisted throughout the race, Burton would struggle with ill-timed caution-flag periods as opportunities to return to the lead lap via the “lucky dog” award eluded him. The Caterpillar team didn’t give up throughout the race, making several chassis adjustments to remedy the loose-handling condition, but eventually fell to the 26th position, two laps down to the leader. The Richard Childress Racing driver was finally dealt good luck with fewer than 25 laps to go when he was able to receive the “lucky dog” award on back-to-back caution-flag periods allowing him to return to the lead lap. The fortunate turn of events gave Burton the opportunity to gain seven positions and bring home a 19th-place finish for the Caterpillar team. Burton remains 19th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

Start – 22 Finish – 19 Laps Led – 0 Points – 19



“Everyone on this Caterpillar Chevrolet team put in a solid effort all weekend. I just got crazy loose there towards the middle part of the race and we couldn’t catch a break until it was too late. Shane (Wilson, crew chief) did a great job during his first weekend on top of the box and we hope to run strong again at Phoenix (International Raceway) next week.”