RCR Race Preview: Talladega Superspeedway

Richard Childress Racing at Talladega Superspeedway… Richard Childress began his driving career at Talladega Superspeedway in the inaugural Talladega 500 on September 14, 1969. Childress has won 13 NASCAR Cup Series victories as an owner at the Alabama superspeedway. Kyle Busch became the latest RCR driver to win at Talladega when he captured the GEICO 500 at Talladega this past April. Clint Bowyer won twice for RCR (fall races in 2010 and 2011) while Kevin Harvick won the 2010 spring event. Dale Earnhardt earned nine Talladega wins under the RCR banner, his first coming in 1984. Earnhardt scored his 76th and final Cup win in the 2000 fall race at Talladega which earned the team and a lucky fan each a $1 million bonus from the series sponsor. Other victories by Earnhardt include a sweep of both races in 1990 and 1999, plus 1991 (July), 1993 (July) and 1994 (spring).


Richard Childress Racing Fan Day to Kick Off Martinsville Race Weekend This October… Prior to the NASCAR race weekend at Martinsville Speedway, race fans are encouraged to make a “pit stop” at Richard Childress Racing’s campus in Welcome, North Carolina for the race team’s 2023 RCR Fan Day celebration. On Friday, October 27th, the Fan Day will feature RCR’s NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series stars, a hauler parade, merchandise haulers, food trucks, shop tours and even a pickleball tournament. To learn more, visit https://www.rcrracing.com/fanday2023/


Catch the Action… The NASCAR Cup Series YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway will be televised live on Sunday, October 1 beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC 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 Club/TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Talladega Superspeedway… In 20 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega Superspeedway, Austin Dillon has two top-five and five top-10 finishes, including a strong second-place performance at the track in 2022. The 2013 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion has made four starts at Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, earning one pole (2015), and a career-best finish of third among three top-10 finishes. In two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at Talladega, Dillon has two top-10 finishes. 


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/.



Talk about racing at Talladega Superspeedway. There is a certain amount of unpredictability at Talladega, isn’t there?

“You can do certain things throughout that race to put yourself in a better position, but it’s one of those tracks you go into knowing that there’s probably a 75 percent chance that you could be in a wreck. You have to take that 25 percent and make it yours. It’s a chess match being out there and seeing guys doing things that you probably don’t want to be around. You can get out of that area, and back out, or try and get ahead of it. You just don’t want to be behind the mistake. Sometimes it can catch you when you are in front of it. You can be in front of the wreck and it can catch up to you. That’s the crazy thing about speedway racing. The rule is you’re never in a completely safe position, but you have to play the percentages to your advantage.”


Kyle Busch and the No. 8 X World Wallet Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Talladega Superspeedway… Kyle Busch will make his 37th start at Talladega Superspeedway in NASCAR Cup Series competition this weekend. Busch enters this weekend as the most recent race winner at Talladega, scoring the win in April by stretching his fuel mileage to perfection and officially scoring the victory in NASCAR Overtime. The driver of the X World Wallet Chevrolet claimed his second victory at Talladega and clinched both victories when a caution flag ended the race. His other victory came in 2008. The Las Vegas, Nevada native didn’t lead until late in that race, pacing the field for 12 of the final 15 laps, and came in his seventh Cup Series start at the 2.66-mile facility. Busch has two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victories at Talladega (2009 and 2010) and one win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (2011).


NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Update… Busch enters Talladega 12th in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, 17 points below the eighth-place cutline with two races remaining in the Round of 12.  


Did You Know? Busch has racked up four top-10 finishes in five restrictor plate races this season (average finish is 8.40) and has led at least one lap in four of those five races.  


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How did you and crew chief Randall Burnett decide to stay out and stretch the fuel at the spring race at Talladega Superspeedway?

“We were obviously short on fuel, kind of stretching it. I don’t think we would have taken that chance of staying out but for the win in Fontana. That opened up our playbook, gave us a chance to be up front, restart up front and go for a win. We were in the right place at the right time, for sure. Sometimes you got to be lucky and we certainly were at Talladega earlier this year.”

How difficult is it to win a race at Talladega Superspeedway?

“All Cup races are hard to win, but speedway races are especially hard to win. You have 30 guys out there vying for it, that have a legit shot to win, barring different circumstances. Just try and miss the wreck. It’s inevitable, it’s going to happen, you’re just not sure when so you just have to make your way through that one the best you can.”     


What are your thoughts on the strength of RCR and ECR at restrictor plate races this season?

“I’ve always known everyone at RCR and ECR have had a good restrictor plate program. We also showed that in both races at Daytona International Speedway, where we were really fast. Talladega is just a crap shoot. It’s just luck. There are so many things out of your control. After the spring race there this year I can’t tell you how many times I probably said ‘we just got lucky today.’”


How much patience is required with this style of speedway racing at Talladega Superspeedway with the Next Gen car?

“This style requires, by far, a lot of patience. You’d like to have some areas of opportunities to where you can make some moves, cycle yourself around a little bit. Man, when you ride around there in parade formation for tens of laps at a time, it gets a bit frustrating. You know that you can do better than that. But you pull out of the line, try to make something happen and you hit a block wall of air and go backwards. Everybody is just the same. It’s just so equal. In my opinion there’s not enough separation within everyone to put on good, exciting racing at the speedway races. I think it’s a bit of a struggle right now.”