RCR Post Race Report -- Charlotte Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Toledo Speedway
- RCR teammates finished sixth (Kevin Harvick), 17th (Paul Menard), 18th (Jeff Burton) and 24th (Clint Bowyer).
- Harvick gained two positions in the final 10 percent (34 laps) of Saturday night's Charlotte 500, tying him for sixth in the NASCAR Loop Data category Closers.
- Harvick logged 328 out of 334 laps (98.2 percent) in the top 15, ranking him eighth amongst the 29 drivers to do so.
- With an average speed of 177.175 mph during the first two laps under green-flag conditions, Harvick ranked third in the NASCAR Loop Data category Fastest on Restarts while Menard's average speed of 176.471 mph placed him sixth.
- Menard ran as high as seventh and as low as 28th, maintaining an average running position of 16.928 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- Burton logged a total of 86 green-flag passes, according to NASCAR's Loop Data statistics. the 15th-highest among all drivers.
- Burton's average speed of 179.223 mph in traffic, ranked him 14th in that NASCAR Loop Data statistics category.
- Burton's 18th-place finish marks his 17th top-20 of the 2011 NSCS season.
- Bowyer's remains 13th in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
- Bowyer gained three positions in the final 10 percent (34 laps) of Saturday night's Charlotte 500, tying him for fourth in the NASCAR Loop Data category Closers.
- The next NSCS race is the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, October 23 and will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.
Paul Menard and the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Team Victims of Ill-timed Cautions;
Finish 17th at Charlotte
Paul Menard started the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet from the seventh position in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and finished 17th despite getting caught laps down to the leader with ill-timed caution periods falling immediately after green-flag pit stops. During the first run of the 500 miler, Menard battled a tight-handling machine and fell back to the 12th position. When he brought the No. 27 Chevrolet Impala to pit road on lap 43 for the first green-flag pit stop of the evening, crew chief Slugger Labbe called for four fresh Goodyear tires, a full tank of Sunoco E-15 fuel and a spring rubber removed from the left-rear spring to counter the tight condition. The result was a much-improved Chevrolet that only tightened up late in the ensuing long run. A caution for debris on lap 77 allowed the CertainTeed/Menards team the opportunity to make air pressure and chassis adjustments which, unfortunately, freed the car's balance too much, causing Menard to fall as far back as 23rd in the running order with the loose-handling machine. Over the next 150 laps, Menard regained track position, running as high as 15th before settling in the 16th spot. The No. 27 team continued to make small air pressure and chassis adjustments, getting the car's handling balanced for the Eau Claire, Wis., native. Following the lap 236 green-flag pit stop, the yellow flag was displayed only two laps later, trapping the 2011 Brickyard 400 winner two laps down to the leader who had not yet visited pit road. Menard restarted 17th and regained one lap as he took the wave around. To add insult to injury, it happened again on lap 287, with the caution flag appearing for fluid on the racing surface just as Menard returned to the track following another green-flag pit stop. Menard remained trapped a lap down through the end of the 334-lap race and, after falling back to 20th on a lap-303 restart, powered back to take the checkered flag in the 17th position.
Start - 7 Finish - 17 Laps Led - 0 Points - 21
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
Harvick Avoids Trouble to Claim Sixth-Place Effort at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John's Chevrolet team avoided trouble in Saturday night's Charlotte 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to bring home a sixth-place finish and maintain the second position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. After starting from the 14th position, Harvick struggled with a car he said was "way too tight" on the first run. Crew chief Gil Martin called for a four-tire stop with air pressure and chassis adjustments on the first trip to pit road at lap 43. Once green-flag pit stops cycled through, Harvick was scored in the 13th position. The No. 29 Chevrolet was still too tight for Harvick's liking when the caution flag waved for the first time at lap 76 and Martin called for a two-tire stop in an effort to gain valuable track position. The Bakersfield, Calif. native restarted in the second position at lap 81, but still felt the car was too tight as he slipped back to 11th before the team's next pit stop under green-flag conditions at lap 122 for four tires and additional chassis adjustments. The caution flag waved for the second time at lap 146 and again the No. 29 team gambled with a two-tire stop. However, a number of other teams did as well, so Harvick lined up in the ninth position for the lap 152 restart. He was running 12th when the team pitted again at lap 193. On the ensuing run, Harvick once again noted the car was "too tight off." Martin called Harvick to pit road again at lap 235, but spotter Billy Odea alerted him to stay out as a car was slowing on the backstretch. Two laps later the caution flag waved as another competitor was unable to make it to pit road. The spotter's call kept Harvick on the lead lap, allowing the Jimmy John's Chevrolet to restart in the 10th position after pitting for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Harvick started out too tight, but the handling seemed to improve over the course of the run. The No. 29 team came back down pit road at lap 285 for four tires and fuel, and just two laps later the caution flag waved. Because the leader hadn't pitted yet, Harvick was caught a lap down but was returned to the lead lap when he took the wave around. He was listed in the 12th position when the green flag waved at lap 292. Before the field completed a lap, three competitors in front of the No. 29 Chevrolet made contact and spun. Harvick went low through the grass to miss the melee and then a quick move back up the track allowed the 35-year-old driver to completely avoid the accident. The trip through the grass caked the nose of the Jimmy John's Chevrolet with debris, requiring a trip to pit road on lap 295 for fresh tires, fuel and the ability to clean off the grille. Harvick restarted in the 10th position at lap 298 and gained two spots before the caution flag waved again a lap later. Once the field took the green again, Harvick worked his way up to the sixth position before the caution flag waved at lap 316. On the last run, Harvick climbed to fourth with 11 laps to go, but fell back two spots to sixth with as a tight-handling condition developed once again. He maintained the position in the remaining laps and took the checkered flag in the sixth position, scoring his fourth top-10 finish in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and his 17th of the season.
Start - 14 Finish - 6 Laps Led - 0 Points - 2
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
Caterpillar Racing Chevrolet Finishes 18th at Charlotte Motor Speedway
The No. 31 Caterpillar Racing team went from loose to good to tight to good and back to loose again before finishing 18th in the Charlotte 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jeff Burton qualified 28th on Thursday night and would line up on the outside of the 14th row for Saturday night's "home race" for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The first half of the 334-lap race on Charlotte's 1.5-mile tri-oval was a mixture of three caution periods and two green-flag pit stops. Burton ran as high as 15th before losing a lap to the leaders two-thirds of the way through the race. Five caution flags in the race's final 100 laps allowed Burton and the Caterpillar Racing team to work on their car in an attempt to bring its handling under control. Attrition from late-race crashes allowed Burton to pick up a couple of spots before crossing the finish line in the 18th position. He maintained the 24th position in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings with five races remaining.
Start - 28 Finish - 18 Laps Led - 0 Points - 24
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
"The Caterpillar Chevy started the race tight and then went to good, then loose and tight and good and back to loose again. It was a back and forth throughout the night but the Cat crew never gave up in the pits in an effort to make the car better."
Bowyer Finishes 24th in Backup Car at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet team finished 24th in the Charlotte 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a backup car. After a solid 19th-place qualifying effort on Thursday, the Richard Childress Racing driver's No. 33 Chevrolet became really loose with 20 minutes remaining in Friday's final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session and made significant contact with the outside retaining wall, forcing the "Helping Hands" pit crew to bring out the backup chassis for Saturday night's 334-lap event. Starting from the rear of the 43-car field per the NASCAR rulebook, the four-time NSCS race winner worked his way up to the 28th position on the leaderboard before the first green-flag pit stop of the day at lap 43. After the pit stop, Bowyer reported to crew chief Shane Wilson that his red and yellow machine was tight on long runs and fell one lap down to the leader. Bowyer would receive the "lucky dog" award during a lap-78 caution-flag period to regain the lost lap and pitted for four fresh Goodyear tires and Sunoco E15 fuel with a chassis adjustment. Upon returning to the race track after a pit stop on lap 120, Bowyer reported to Wilson his left-rear wheel was loose and the team was forced to return to pit road for service, falling two laps down. For the next 150 laps, the Emporia, Kan., native ran around the 28th position, two laps down. Wilson decided to try some pit strategy on lap 287, coming down pit road early to gain a lap back, but as the 32-year-old driver exited his pit box the caution flag was displayed again, pinning the No. 33 Chevrolet three laps down in the 28th position with 42 laps to go. Over the final run, Bowyer was able to gain one more lap back under caution and passed four more competitors on the track before crossing the finish line in 24th-place. With the finish, Bowyer remains 13th in NSCS driver championship point standings.
Start - 19 (41) Finish - 24 Laps Led - 0 Points - 13
CLINT BOWYER QUOTE:
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
RACE: Smith's 350
TRACK: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
DATE: October 15, 2011
Dillon and Bass Pro Shops Team Increase Points Lead Despite Tough Day in Las Vegas
Austin Dillon and the Bass Pro Shops Racing Team battled back from a lap three accident to finish 17th in the Smith's 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday. Despite the disappointing finish, Dillon was able to pad his lead in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship point standings and now holds a five-point margin over second place with just four races remaining on the season's schedule. Dillon started the 146-lap race from the second position and while battling for position down the backstretch of the 1.5-mile track on lap two, felt a slight tweak in the rear of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. That slight tweak turned out to be the left-rear tire losing air pressure which led to a much larger problem coming out of turn four as the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado lost grip, sending the 21-year-old driver spinning into the outside wall and coming to rest at the start/finish line on lap three. With heavy damage on the black and camouflage Chevrolet, the Bass Pro Shops team went to work on repairs and ultimately spent the remainder of the 146-lap event making numerous trips to pit road and the garage area for improvements on the No. 3 machine in an attempt to gain as many positions on the track as possible. Dillon & Co.'s never-give-up attitude paid off as they were able to maintain the points lead with the 17th-place effort, marking their 18th top-20 finish in the 21 races run so far in the 2011 NCWTS season.
Start - 2 Finish - 17 Laps Led - 0 Points - 1
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
"It was a tough day for our Bass Pro Shops team but I am so proud of everyone for their efforts. The guys worked so hard to get the truck repaired and back out on the track so quickly. It's hard to believe we are still leading the points after a day like today. We didn't have a good day but nobody gave up and we battled back to make the most of what we could, that's what makes a championship team."
Rookie Joey Coulter Finishes 22nd after Unfortunate Luck at LVMS
Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year contender Joey Coulter overcame an early incident to claim a 22nd-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After starting the Smith Brother's 350 in the 18th position, the Miami Springs, Fla. native took full advantage of the early cautions to stay out and gain significant track position. Choosing not to pit for four of the first six cautions allowed Coulter and the No. 22 RCR Graphics Chevrolet Silverado team to move into a solid top-five spot by lap 40. However, while racing hard among the leaders on lap 54 and competing three wide, the 21-year-old Coulter got loose and made contact with the turn-four wall, bringing out the seventh caution of the event. Coulter brought the black and red Chevrolet to pit road to the attention of the Harold Holly-led crew for four tires as they quickly attempted to fix the damage. After returning to the track and green-flag racing, Coulter's truck suffered from a right-front tire failure just two laps later. The severe damage required a trip to the garage for extensive repairs to the No. 22 machine. Once repairs were complete, Coulter headed back out on the track on lap 115, moving into the 23rd position and 57 laps down to the leaders. Three additional cautions during the remainder of the race allowed the No. 22 team to provide additional assistance to Coulter's Chevrolet Silverado and ultimately gain positions on the track. A strong effort by both the driver and crew enabled the No. 22 RCR Graphics Chevrolet to finish in the 22nd position.
Start - 18 Finish - 22 Laps Led - 0 Points - 9
JOEY COULTER QUOTE:
"We were excited about the possibilities going into this race since we've had some strong runs on 1.5-mile tracks. It is unfortunate things turned out the way they did because we were anticipating a top-ten finish. Our guys worked really hard and we're all disappointed. We'll look ahead to Talladega Superspeedway where we'll be unveiling the new Rip It Chevrolet Silverado. We have a lot to look forward to and will put this weekend behind us."
ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards RACE: Federated Car Care 200 TRACK: Toledo Speedway DATE: October 16, 2011 Race Highlights:
ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
RACE: Federated Car Care 200
TRACK: Toledo Speedway
DATE: October 16, 2011
Tim George Jr. Finishes Seventh in the 2011 ARCA Racing Series Point Standings
Tim George Jr. and the No. 31 Applebee's/Potomac Family Dining Group finished 17th in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season finale at Toledo Speedway after being involved in a late-race incident. Rain and grey skies greeted the Richard Childress Racing team for the final race of the 2011 season Sunday at Toledo Speedway. With persistent rain falling over the half-mile speedway, ARCA and track officials were forced to push the start of the race back by two hours. The initial start of the 200-lap event was given under green and yellow-flag conditions due a few rain showers still in the area. All green-flag racing began on lap 42 and George started his journey from his 20th starting position. George had improved his position into the top 15 when a caution flag slowed the field on lap 77. The New York, N.Y., native informed his crew that his car was developing a tight-handling condition, but opted to stay out during the ensuing caution to keep his track position. As the halfway point neared, George was closing in on the top 10 as another caution flag was displayed on lap 118. Crew chief Gere Kennon called the black and red No. 31 Chevrolet to pit road for four fresh Hoosier tires and one can of Sunoco fuel. The handling on the RCR entry improved over the next 25 circuits around the Toledo, Ohio-based facility when George experienced a flat left-rear tire. Kennon called for a two-tire pit stop before sending George back out onto the racing surface on lap 147. Again, the veteran ARCA driver clawed his way into the top 15 and was scored in the 13th position when a car in front of him lost control. George had nowhere to go and made contact with the spinning vehicle. The Pocono ARCA 200 event winner came to pit road for repairs on the right side of the No. 31 machine. He restarted in the 17th position when green-flag racing resumed on lap 176 but was unable to improve his position over the next 30 circuits, finishing out the season seventh in the point standings.
Start - 20 Finish - 17 Laps Led - 0 Points - 7
TIM GEORGE JR. QUOTE:
"It's a disappointing finish to end our season with, but I have to thank Gere (Kennon, crew chief) and my RCR team for putting together a lot of great race cars this year. They worked really hard throughout the season. I wish we could have finished in the top five in points, but we're seventh and that's an improvement from last year."
Richard Childress Racing's Ty Dillon Crowned ARCA Racing Series Champion at Toledo
Ty Dillon concluded his rookie year of competition in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards with his first career championship and earned a second-place finish in Sunday afternoon's Federated Car Care 200 at Toledo Speedway. Dillon, 19, officially clinched the 2011 title by virtue of entering and competing in the 200-lap ARCA season finale. The start of the race was pushed back by two and a half hours due to rain. When track officials displayed the green flag just after 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Sunday, they also displayed the yellow flag, indicating to the starting field to maintain a cautious pace as the track was still wet. Green-flag racing commenced on lap 42 and after starting from second position, Dillon drove to the inside of the race leader to take over the point position. He remained in the lead until lap 63 when the inside line was slowed by a lapped car, allowing several competitors to slip by on the outside. Dillon slipped to fourth in the running order, but was scored in the third position on lap 65. Just past the race's halfway mark, he advanced to the second position. Dillon was running second when the caution flag was displayed on lap 118, prompting crew chief Scott Naset to direct his young driver down pit road for the team's only pit stop of the race. The RCR team serviced the No. 41 Chevrolet with four fresh Hoosier tires and Sunoco fuel. Despite the fact pit road was quite slippery and wet due to early morning rain showers, the team completed a fast stop and Dillon restarted sixth on lap 125. The RCR entry was fast on fresh tires, allowing Dillon to quickly move forward in the running order, advancing to third on lap 133 and second on lap 135. Dillon made a pass for the lead on lap 164, but fell back to second on lap 197. The High Point University freshman attempted to regain the race lead on lap 198 of 200, but the race leader got loose in the middle of turns one and two and spun in the process, prompting ARCA officials to display the yellow flag. The caution extended the race past its advertised distance and set the stage for a two-lap shootout to the checkered flag. Dillon restarted the race in the second position on lap 200 but was unable to make the pass for the victory and,finished second in the No. 41 Bass Pro Shops/Hemelgarn Enterprises Chevrolet. Dillon was officially crowned the 2011 ARCA Racing Series champion during post-race ceremonies surrounded by his RCR team, his grandparents Richard and Judy Childress, and team sponsors Johnny Morris and John Paul Morris (representing Bass Pro Shops) and Ron Hemelgarn (representing Hemelgarn Enterprises). The championship represents the first non-NASCAR championship in RCR's storied history and the 13th championship for the organization.
Start: 2 Finish: 2 Laps Led: 52 Points: 1
TY DILLON QUOTE:
"I can't believe it, the youngest champion in ARCA history. Somebody needs to pinch me or something. That just says how great this team is. I can't thank my grandpa, my dad, and everybody enough for the opportunity. This Chevrolet was fast. Bass Pro Shops and Johnny Morris came on board for the last race and we put on a good show for them. I'm proud of my team and proud of winning this championship. Running the entire ARCA season has been very beneficial to my career because I have learned things that will help me next year and beyond. I know I will always remember this moment."