RCR Post Race Report — NNS O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge

Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished first (Kevin Harvick), sixth (Austin Dillon) and 11th (Elliott Sadler).
  • Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., are tied atop the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, while Dillon ranks third in the standings, 21 markers behind his RCR teammate.
  • The No. 2 team is tied for second in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, trailing the No. 18 team by 27 points, with the No. 3 team fourth in the standings and the No. 33 team ranked fifth.
  • Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Harvick maintained an Average Running Position of 1.55 throughout the race, leading all drivers. He also led Loop Data categories for Driver Rating (149.3), Fastest Driver Late in a Run (171.076 mph), Laps Led (55), Green Flag Speed (173.215 mph) and Speed in Traffic (172.773 mph).
  • Harvick and Sadler were second and third-Fastest on Restarts, respectively.
  • Harvick and Sadler were among five drivers who spent 100 percent of the 200-lap race running in the top 15.
  • Sadler had the third-best Average Running Position (4.535) and was the fourth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run.
  • Dillon ranked second in the Closers category, advancing nine positions in the final 10 percent of the race, and ranked second in Green Flag Passes with 61.
  • Harvick earned a record-setting fifth Nationwide Series win at Texas Motor Speedway, crossing the finish line ahead of Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Stenhouse and Denny Hamlin.
  • The next scheduled Nationwide Series race is the Great Clips 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 10. The 32nd race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network.



Disappointing 11th-Place Finish for Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team at Texas Motor Speedway


Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team walked away with a disappointing 11th-place finish Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Starting the NASCAR Nationwide Series event from the outside pole position, Sadler raced inside the top five for the first half of the 200-lap race, leading one lap and consistently running lap times quicker than the leader. The OneMain Financial driver relayed to the Richard Childress Racing team that the Chevrolet needed more right-rear grip, and when a caution period came out on lap 154, crew chief Luke Lambert called Sadler down pit road for four tires and fuel. Restarting in the 10th position, the No. 2 Chevrolet was shuffled back at the restart to the 12th spot while Sadler communicated that the handling of the car was the loosest it had been all night. Fighting the extremely loose-handling condition, the Emporia, Va., native tried to maintain his running position as the laps wound down, but was unable to hold off competition with fresher tires and ultimately crossed the finish line in the 11th position. Sadler is tied in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with two races remaining in the season.


Start – 2                     Finish – 11              Laps Led – 1             Points – 1 (Tied)



“Not the night that we wanted tonight at Texas Motor Speedway. Things just did not play in our favor tonight. We had a pretty good car all day, but that last caution killed us, especially since some of the cars had one more set of tires left. We gave up a lot of ground, and a lot of points tonight, however, there is still a lot of racing left in the season. This team never gives up.”






Austin Dillon Earns Sixth-Place Finish in No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway


Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet to a sixth-place finish in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday evening. Dillon started the 200-lap event from the fourth position but fell to 27th in the running order after concerns with the right-rear tire forced the No. 3 team to make an unscheduled pit stop under green-flag conditions on lap 43. The caution flag was displayed as Dillon left pit road, pinning the rookie contender one lap down to the race leader. He was able to take the wave around to gain his lap back and steadily climbed in the running order despite struggling with a loose-handling condition throughout most of the event. A caution period with less than 30 laps remaining in the event provided the Danny Stockman-led team a final opportunity to make adjustments in the pits and the balance of the car was greatly improved on the final run, allowing Dillon to race his way into the sixth position to secure his 25th top-10 finish of the season.


Start – 4                       Finish – 6                     Laps Led – 1                            Points – 3


“It was a long night but I am so proud of this team for rebounding to a sixth-place finish tonight. We made an adjustment during final practice yesterday evening that got us too loose for the race and we spent most of the race playing catch up. The No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet was just so loose throughout the night, but we were able to get the car fixed by the end of the race and salvage a sixth-place finish.”






Kevin Harvick Dominates the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race and Drives to Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway


Kevin Harvick dominated the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, driving Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 OneMain Financial Chevrolet to Victory Lane Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the NASCAR Nationwide Series event from the third position and reported to crew chief Ernie Cope that he was battling an extremely tight-handling condition during the early laps. As the green-flag run progressed, the car’s handling became neutral allowing Harvick to move forward in the running order. Content with the handling of the car, Cope called the two-time Nationwide Series champion to pit road on lap 46 for four fresh tires and fuel. Harvick was scored in the second position for the ensuing restart and took over the lead on lap 64. The RCR driver maintained his position out front until the team’s final four-tire pit stop on lap 155. Varying pit strategies by other teams positioned Harvick sixth for the lap-160 restart, but he returned the No. 33 OneMain Financial Chevrolet to the lead three laps later. The 36-year-old driver went on to lead 127 laps of the 200-lap affair before capturing his fifth Nationwide Series victory at the Fort Worth, Texas-based facility, tying the track record for Nationwide Series wins.


Start – 3                        Finish – 1             Laps Led – 127               Owner Points – 5



“I couldn’t think of a better way to close out my season in the (NASCAR) Nationwide Series, than with a win. This OneMain Financial team worked hard tonight to keep us out front, and (crew chief) Ernie Cope made some good calls on the pit box. This team has had so many almost-wins this season that they really deserve this win tonight.”