RCR Race Preview: Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL… Richard Childress Racing has 11 NASCAR Cup Series starts at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. Tyler Reddick owns the company’s best finish, a second-place effort in 2021. In 2022, both RCR Camaros captured top-10 results (Reddick – eighth; Austin Dillon – 10th).


RCR’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Stats at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL… RCR has made eight starts at the ROVAL in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, highlighted by Reddick’s second-place finish in 2019. The Welcome, N.C., team has four top-10 finishes dating back to the inaugural event in 2018. The organization’s best qualifying effort of second-place has been claimed twice (Reddick – 2019; Daniel Hemric – 2018). Sheldon Creed led 18 laps in the 2022 race, the most at the ROVAL by a RCR driver. 


Catch the Action on Saturday… The NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL will be televised live on Saturday, October 7, beginning at 3 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. The race will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. 


Follow Sunday’s Cup Series Race… The NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL will be televised live on Sunday, October 8, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC and the NBC Sports App. The race will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

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Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Huk Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL Charlotte Motor Speedway is Austin Dillon’s home track. Growing up, Dillon watched many races from his grandfather’s condo with his family. In five NASCAR Cup Series starts at the ROVAL, Dillon earned his best finish of 10th in October 2022. Dillon is a previous winner on the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s oval configuration, sweeping both NASCAR Xfinity races at the track in 2015 and earning his career-first NASCAR Cup Series win in the Coca-Cola 600 in 2017.

Welcome, Huk… Huk is the fastest-growing performance clothing brand with an authentic passion for its products. Based in Charleston, S.C., at the confluence of three major rivers and a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean, Huk’s product developers enjoy a dizzying array of waterside opportunities that help shape and mold its purpose-built fishing gear. Huk clothing represents a fresh take and a unique understanding of the waterside lifestyle, offering functional products with wide reaching appeal that resonates with RCR’s fan base. Austin Dillon enjoys wearing Huk clothing during his everyday life. Some of his favorite products include the Icon X Polo, Waypoint Pant and Vented Pursuit Hoodie. For more information, visit www.hukgear.com.


Meet Dillon… Dillon is scheduled to greet race fans at the RCR Merchandise Trailer in the Fan Midway at Charlotte Motor Speedway at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, October 8. Meet the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet and get new RCR gear.



What are your thoughts on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL and what are your expectations for the race?

“It has been a good year for the No. 3 Chevrolet team on the road courses. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into road course cars. It was last year that we finished 10th at the ROVAL, so this weekend we aim to improve on that finish and carry on momentum into finishing races. Our races have been cut short in the past few weeks due to crashes, so I believe that the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL will be the place where we can reverse that trend. We’re going to go out there on Sunday and do our job and bring home a good finish in front of our hometown crowd because it’s always fun to race in front of a crowd you know.”


Kyle Busch and the No. 8 Lenovo Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL … Kyle Busch will make his sixth NASCAR Cup Series start at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL this weekend. The driver of the Lenovo Chevrolet has reeled off two top-five finishes at the 2.280-mile course, including a third-place finish in the 2022 event. Busch scored a fourth-place finish in 2021 and has completed 97.08 percent of the possible laps at the ROVAL despite not finishing two races.


Road Course Successes… In 2023, Busch has three top-five finishes on road courses including second-place finishes at Circuit of the Americas and Sonoma Raceway. Busch has four wins (two at Watkins Glen International and two at Sonoma) along with 27 top-10 finishes in 51 career road course races in Cup Series competition.


Round of 12 Update… Busch enters the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL event 12th in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, 26 points below the eighth-place cutline. Busch needs to win Sunday’s cutoff race to advance to the Round of 8.

Did You Know? The No. 8 team at Richard Childress Racing scored an eighth-place finish at the ROVAL in 2022 after leading 21 of 112 laps. Over the last three starts at the ROVAL, the No. 8 team has an average finish of 7.33 highlighted by Reddick’s second-place finish in 2021.   


Welcome, Lenovo… Lenovo’s story has always been about shaping computing intelligence to create a better world. With the world’s widest portfolio of technology products, we deliver our vision of Smarter Technology for All through products, solutions, software, and services that individuals, communities, businesses, and entire populations need to fulfill their potential. We serve more than 180 markets, and we own the majority of our facilities, giving us unrivaled scale, efficiency, and control of our supply chain. Our global manufacturing allows tailored offerings to regional markets and includes more than 30 manufacturing facilities, including in-house, joint venture, original design manufacturer, and contract manufacturer sites in Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Mexico, and the USA.



You have scored back-to-back top-five finishes at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. What is the key to running well there? Is it all about grip and maintaining forward drive?

“The key to running well at the ROVAL is just staying out of trouble and trying to keep your momentum rolling all the way around the racetrack. There are some big braking zones where you can really attack and get a lot of slowing down done in a quick period of time but the infield section has such little grip and is so bumpy that you’re just trying to control the slip and not go too fast and crash. It’s about tiptoeing as much as you can with carrying the right amount of roll speed.”


The No. 8 team has shown top-five speed at every road course races this season. How encouraging is that entering the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL?

“Our team has shown pretty good speed at every road course this season. I feel like that is an encouraging sign going into the ROVAL. Last year the No. 8 car should have won the race. It definitely bodes well for us going there and having a strong showing. Looking back at the road course races this year where we had some pretty good speed and good stuff going for us, we just need to qualify well. The ROVAL is always kind of a crapshoot of a race. Our road course strength this year has been pretty good. We should’ve probably finished third or fourth at Indy and probably fifth or so at Watkins Glen, which would have been top-five in every road race this year.”


Since the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL is a cutoff race in the Playoffs, do you expect more contact and more chaos late in the race? What is the best way to stay out of that mess?   

“I think you expect more contact, more chaos, and more desperation moves at times. I also think there are some payback opportunities where guys will dump guys if they know they’re in a make it or break it situation and they’re on the bubble. That is always kind of on the table as well at the ROVAL. I’d like to think that we haven’t made many enemies this year so that hopefully won’t be our problem but you never know when you get caught up in someone else’s stuff. It would be nice to just stay out of that.”


Sheldon Creed and the No. 2 Team Fox/Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Camaro SS at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL… Sheldon Creed has made one career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, coming a season ago while piloting the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. The Alpine, California native qualified in the fourth position and led a total of 18 laps, before ultimately crossing the finish line in 16th-place.


Racing for a Cure… In garnering awareness for Parkinson’s disease research, Creed will carry a Team Fox logo on the hood of the No. 2 Whelen Camaro. Team Fox is the grassroots community fundraising program of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Since 2006, Team Fox members worldwide have been turning their passions and interests into opportunities to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease research.


Sonny Whelen, owner and executive vice president of Whelen, has battled Parkinson’s disease for 17 years and has served on the Board of Directors for the Michael J. Fox Foundation since 2011. More than six million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease – the second most common neurological disorder. In the United States, approximately 90,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. Currently, there is no known cure for Parkinson’s. To support Whelen’s efforts in raising funds for the disease, please visit racingforacure.giving.


Round of 12 Cutoff… With one race remaining in the Round of 12, Creed currently sits seventh in the driver championship point standings. The 26-year-old driver has a nine-point advantage over the eighth-place cutline and will be searching for his first Round of 8 berth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.


Meet Creed… On Saturday, October 7 at 12:30 p.m. ET, Creed is scheduled to sign autographs at the Team Fox/Whelen Engineering Display located in Speed Street at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. Stop by to get an autograph from Creed and enter to win a car giveaway sweepstakes. 


About Whelen Engineering… Whelen Engineering is a family-owned company with a pioneering spirit and a passion to protect the lives of those who protect and serve others. The company mission is to provide industry-defining safety solutions around the world, while creating a community of problem-solvers who are inspired to push boundaries and continue our legacy of delivering ground-breaking innovation. As a global leader in the emergency warning industry, Whelen has been trusted to perform since 1952, when George Whelen III invented the first rotating aviation beacon. Whelen now encompasses two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Connecticut and New Hampshire with over 750,000 square feet of engineering and manufacturing space and the largest design staff in the industry. Every part of every Whelen product is proudly designed and manufactured in America. We embrace quality as our foundation, we celebrate innovative engineering in every product we produce.



With one race remaining in the Round of 12, what is the outlook heading to the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL?

“Being nine points above the cutline is not comfortable, but it is nice to have something to work with. Our Team Fox/Whelen team needs to just have a solid day and earn as many stage points as possible. We have been solid at road course races throughout the season, and the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL is a track that we were good at last year. If we stay out of trouble, get stage points, and end the day with a solid finish, we should find ourselves in the next round of the Playoffs. That is our goal this weekend.”


With stage breaks returning for this road course race, how do you anticipate the field splitting the pit strategy?

“I think you will see the No. 7, No. 20, No. 00, potentially the No. 21, short pit and set themselves up for the final stage to be in the best position to win the race. They may not do it in Stage 1, but for sure in Stage 2, I anticipate them playing the strategy. With our points situation though, we need stage points in both segments, so we will need to stay out until the caution waves. We will need to be smart with working our way back through the field once the track position is lost.” 


Austin Hill and the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet Camaro SS at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL… Austin Hill has made three career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, dating back to 2020. One season ago, while driving the Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet, Hill started eighth but suffered a steering box issue which relegated the driver to a 29th-place finish.


Women in the Driver’s Seat… In celebration of female truck drivers, the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet will proudly carry a special pink tribute to the ladies who succeed in a male-dominated industry. As a woman-owned company since 1974, founder and CEO, Marcia G. Taylor, started the Women in the Driver’s Seat program to advance women in trucking and logistics careers. The four pillars of the program are to Be Resilient, Be Steadfast, Be Courageous, and Be Fierce. Visit womendrivebennett.com to learn more and apply today. 


To honor the 10 female truck drivers riding with Hill on the decklid, the Taylor Family Foundation, in conjunction with the Bennett Family of Companies, will donate $10,000 for cancer awareness and research causes. All 10 honorees are on site at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL to cheer on Hill and his Richard Childress Racing team.


One to Go in the Round of 12… With one race remaining in the Round of 12 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Hill currently sits fourth in the driver championship point standings. The Winston, Georgia native has a 44-point advantage over the cutline and needs to secure a maximum of 13 points (without help) to advance to the next round.


Double Duty… Hill will make his sixth career NASCAR Cup Series start as he pilots the No. 62 United Rentals Chevrolet for Beard Motorsports on Sunday. This race will mark Hill’s first premier series competition on a road course configuration.


About Bennett Family of Companies… McDonough-Ga. based Bennett Family of Companies is a woman-owned, Women’s Enterprise Business Council (WBENC) certified, diversified transportation and logistics company. Through its 14 affiliated operating companies, the Bennett Family of Companies delivers integrated transportation and supply chain management solutions worldwide. Bennett has 4,625 drivers/owner-operators, over 1,000 employees and 600 agents located across the United States. For more information, visit www.bennettig.com.



What is your mentality heading into a cutoff race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL?

“I’ve always felt like I have gotten around road courses decently. I may not be the world’s best, but I feel like we can run inside the top-five each and every week. Our No. 21 team has a chance of winning at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, just as good as any other team. There are so many things that can go wrong at a road course though. You have to get all your shifting points off correctly and can’t have any missed shifts or a transmission failure. Brakes are also getting used at a high demand, so you can’t have any failures there either. Not to mention, as a driver, I have to do my job and minimize mistakes. With as many corners as you go through on one lap, there are a lot of areas that you can get in trouble, especially when you are pushing really hard to run a fast lap. If you feel like running at 100% is going to push you over the edge, it’s a race where you need to be smart and run 90% to complete all the laps while taking what the car will give you.”