RCR NNS Post Race Report — Watkins Glen International

Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished eighth (Paul Menard), 12th (Elliott Sadler) and 23rd (Austin Dillon).
  • Sadler leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings over Ricky Stenhouse Jr., by 13 points. Sam Hornish ranks third, with Dillon fourth in the standings, trailing his teammate by 29 points.
  • The No. 2 Chevrolet team is second in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, nine points shy of the No. 18 team’s lead, with the No. 3 team fifth in the standings and the No. 33 team seventh.
  • Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Menard ranked sixth in the Closers category, gaining two positions in the last 10 percent of the race, and was the sixth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run.
  • Sadler and Menard were the eighth and ninth-Fastest on Restarts, respectively.
  • Sadler’s Average Running Position of 9.793 ranked him ninth amongst his competitors.
  • Dillon made 40 Green Flag Passes.
  • Carl Edwards earned his 38th career Nationwide Series victory and was followed to the finish line by Brad Keselowski, Hornish, Stenhouse and Ron Fellows.
  • The next scheduled Nationwide Series race is the Napa 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday, August 18. The 22nd race of the 2012 season 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.

Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 Charter Chevrolet Team Finish 12th at Watkins Glen International


Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 Charter team claimed a 12th-place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series road course event at Watkins Glen International. After starting the race from the seventh position at the scenic facility in upstate N.Y., the Richard Childress Racing driver battled with lack of rear grip throughout the course of the event but was able to maintain a top-10 position in the early laps. The Luke Lambert-led pit crew developed their road course racing strategy and stuck to it, utilizing a two pit-stop approach to the 82-lap race. In an attempt to gain more rear grip on the Charter Chevrolet, Lambert called for chassis adjustments during the team’s four-tire pit stops on lap 22 and 52. Following the final pit stop, Sadler was concerned the changes did not help and was soon challenged with additional handling issues on the No. 2 Charter Chevrolet, dropping the Nationwide Series driver championship point leader to the 14th position on lap 57. Fighting to gain position on the seven-turn road course, Sadler remained on track during the final caution period of the day on lap 76, lining up the No. 2 Chevrolet in the 11th position for the final restart. Sadler battled over the closing laps but the loose-handling condition returned, ultimately dropping the blue and green Chevrolet one position and crossing the finish line in 12th for the second of three road course events on the Nationwide Series schedule. Sadler maintains the lead in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings by 13 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.


Start – 7                    Finish – 12                      Laps Led – 0                       Points – 1



“We had a solid finish today but not what we were hoping for at Watkins Glen (International). Luke (Lambert, crew chief) and the Charter Chevrolet team had the strategy down and made good calls, we’re just not sure if we had a set of tires that didn’t work out as well for us or what on that last run. We’ll get back after it next week in Montreal.”



Late-Race Contact Relegates Austin Dillon and the No. 3 AdvoCare Team to a 23rd-Place Finish at Watkins Glen International


Making his career first NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Watkins Glen International, Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet to a 23rd-place finish in the Zippo 200 at The Glen. Dillon started the 200-mile race from the 30th position after Friday afternoon rain showers limited his practice session at the 2.45-mile road course and raced his way into the top 15 by lap 34. As he was approaching the carousal turn on lap 38, cars began colliding in front of him, causing the Sunoco rookie of the year contender to bypass the turn, losing him three positions on the race track and a NASCAR-issued pass through penalty for failing to stop before proceeding on the racing surface. As he continued around the track to serve his penalty, a car spun directly in front of him and Dillon spun off course to avoid making contact as the race leader passed him. He immediately drove to pit road where the RCR team serviced the AdvoCare Chevrolet with four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Restarting at the tail-end of the longest line to satisfy his carousal turn penalty, Dillon was scored in the 22nd position, one lap down when green flag racing resumed on lap 41. He rejoined the lead lap cars by taking the wave around when the caution flag was displayed on lap 56 and ran competitively on the lead lap. However, another car braked in front of the RCR driver during a restart in the closing laps of the race and Dillon drove into the back of the car in front of him, causing a right-front fender rub that eventually led to cut a right-front tire on lap 76. Repairs were made on pit road and Dillon nursed the black No. 3 to a 23rd-place finish. The result dropped Dillon two positions, to fourth, in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings.



Start – 30                      Finish – 23                   Laps Led – 0                            Points – 4


AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:  “Well, definitely not the result we were hoping for today for the AdvoCare team. It’s disappointing but I learned a lot about road course racing. On to the race next weekend in Montreal.”


The No. 33 Rheem/Menards Team Rallies to Eighth-Place Finish in NASCAR Nationwide Series Race Following Battery Issues at Watkins Glen


Paul Menard started the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet from the third position in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at The Glen and persevered through battery issues to earn a top-10 finish at Watkins Glen International. The Eau Claire, Wis., native battled a tight-handling condition early in the 82-lap event and while running in the fifth position, reported that the No. 33 machine had zero volts. Following a lap-21 green-flag pit stop, Menard radioed the Rheem/Menards team that he was experiencing additional issues. Crew chief Ernie Cope called him to pit road for service and to replace the battery. Returning to the race track in the 25th position and almost two laps down to the leader, Menard and the No. 33 team began to fight their way through the field. During green-flag stops, Menard was able to pass the leader and make it back on the lead lap by the lap-56 caution period. Menard restarted in the 19th position and broke back into the top 10 on lap 68. Despite changing the battery three times over the course of the 82-lap event, the No. 33 Rheem/Menards team never gave up and gained two more spots to take the checkered flag in the eighth position.


Start – 3                  Finish – 8                   Laps Led – 0                  Owner Points – 7




“Ernie (Cope, crew chief) and the No. 33 Rheem/Menards team did a great job this weekend. They brought a really fast Chevrolet to Watkins Glen (International) and when we had the issue with the battery, they never gave up. We passed a lot of cars today and truly earned this eighth-place finish.”