Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Preview for Martinsville
October 22, 2013
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Notes
Race: Goody's Headache Shot 500 presented by Kroger
Date: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Location: Martinsville Speedway
RCR at Martinsville ... In 138 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has earned two pole awards and posted seven victories with drivers Dale Earnhardt (five times), Ricky Rudd (1983) and Kevin Harvick (2011). RCR Chevrolet teams have earned 27 top-five and 53 top-10 finishes at Martinsville dating back to the team's first start there on April 10, 1972. RCR teams boast a 16.7 average starting position, a 16.1 average finishing position and have completed 64,492 of the 68,698 contested laps (93.9 percent) at the paperclip-shaped race track. Richard Childress, a former driver in NASCAR's top division, contributed four of those top-10 finishes from 1976-1978.
RCR in the NSCS ... In 2,369 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 43 pole awards,104 wins, 448 top-five finishes and 942 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.9 and an average finishing position of 15.8. RCR has earned 14 total championships (six Sprint Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, '87, '90,'91, '93 and '94, five NASCAR Nationwide Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR's three national series.
RCR Talladega Rewind ... Last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Menard captured his third top-five finish of the 2013 season (fourth-place) while Harvick finished 12th and Jeff Burton 21st.
The Collective RCR ... Throughout the season's first 32 races, RCR's Sprint Cup Series entries have earned one pole award with Harvick at Kansas Speedway and collected three wins with Harvick at Richmond International Raceway in April, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and at Kansas Speedway in October. Collectively, the organization has notched 13 top-five and 32 top-10 finishes with drivers Burton, Austin Dillon, Harvick, Menard and Brian Scott. Harvick is representing RCR in the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and is currently tied for third in the standings. RCR's other two full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers rank 16th (Menard) and 20th (Burton) in the driver championship point standings.
Interactive RCR ... For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR's Twitter page - @RCRracing - along with the RCR Sprint Cup Series team Twitter pages - @RCR27PMenard, @RCR29KHarvick, @RCR31JeffBurton and driver Twitter pages @KevinHarvick. Information about the 14-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at www.facebook/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRRacing.com along with official driver pages: www.facebook.com/PaulMenard27, www.facebook.com/OfficialKevinHarvick and www.facebook.com/OfficialJeffBurton.
Catch the Action ... ESPN's live coverage from Martinsville Speedway begins Sunday, Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
No. 27 Turtle Wax/Menards Chevrolet SS
This Week's Turtle Wax/Menards Chevrolet ... Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 419 at Martinsville Speedway. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS was previously run this season at Martinsville Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Menard at "The Paperclip" ... Menard has 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway. His best start of ninth came in 2010 and 2012, and best finish of 12th came in 2012. The Wisconsin native has completed 5,779 of 6,034 laps attempted (95.8 percent) at the half-mile oval.
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Let's Get "Sirius"... Be sure to tune in to Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Oct. 24. Menard will join "Tradin' Paint" hosts Chocolate Myers and Jim Noble to chat about his fourth-place run at Talladega Superspeedway.
Pink Pace Car Rides ... Menard and fellow Sprint Cup Series competitors Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman are teaming up with Chevrolet and the American Cancer Society as part of the "Making Strides against Breast Cancer" program to welcome breast cancer survivors and their guests to Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 8 a.m. ET. Each guest will receive tickets to Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race, gift bags from Chevrolet and NASCAR and the opportunity to take a lap around the half-mile track with Menard, McMurray and Newman in the official pink Chevrolet Camaro pace car. Menard will be available to members of the media from 8 to 8:15 a.m. ET.
Race Rewind ... Menard started from the ninth position in last year's TUMS Fast Relief 500 and persevered through handling challenges to earn a career-best 12th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway.
PAUL MENARD QUOTE
Menard's Thoughts on Racing at Martinsville Speedway: "Martinsville Speedway is pretty easy to drive, to be honest. What makes it difficult is it is a long race and you only have one lane with 43 cars on the track. It is really hard to get into a rhythm when you're surrounded by other cars for 500 laps. You can get into a rhythm for a couple of laps, but then it gets broken when you try to pass someone or you're getting passed. It becomes a game of bumper cars for the most part, and it is very easy to get shuffled out of line and to lose a lot of spots. Track position will be key, so if we can start up front and stay up front hopefully we'll be in good shape to finish well at the end."
No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet SS
This Week's Rheem Chevrolet SS at Martinsville Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 420 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500. Harvick has driven this RCR-prepared machine four times this season at Martinsville Speedway in April, to Victory Lane at Richmond International Raceway in May, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July and again at Richmond in September.
M'ville Short-Track Stats ... Harvick has made 24 Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway dating back to the 2001 season. Throughout his years in the Sprint Cup Series, the California native has made one trip to Victory Lane (April 2011). Harvick has also collected one pole award (2010), three top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. He has an average starting position of 13.7 paired with an average finishing position of 16.6, has completed 97.5 percent (11,736 of 12,034) of the laps contested and has 363 laps led to his credit.
Rheem on the Hood ... The red Rheem logo will adorn the hood of the No. 29 RCR machine this weekend at Martinsville Speedway for their final of seven appearances during the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season.
Gotta Have a Rheem ... Rheem Manufacturing Company (www.rheem.com) is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas. In its 88th year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company's premium brands, including Rheem, Raypak, Ruud and Richmond have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality. Rheem is the official heating, cooling and water heating supplier to Richard Childress Racing, and is a primary sponsor of RCR's No. 29 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series and RCR's No. 33 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Race Rewind ... After starting from the 12th position, Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Chasing the Cure team was relegated to a 32nd-place finish in the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway after the engine expired with 27 laps remaining in the 500-lap event.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES
What is it like to race at Martinsville Speedway? "Racing at Martinsville Speedway is definitely a challenge. You have the tight turns and you also have to worry about the tires falling off. It creates the ultimate challenge of keeping track position, dealing with the fall off of the car, deciding whether you want to be good on the start or end of a run, and when to get tires. There are a lot of challenges in strategy, but also in balancing your car at Martinsville. So, not only does the race track itself create a lot to challenges with the tight racing quarters, but you deal with challenges in the strategy as well."
You talked about the tires falling off during a run at Martinsville Speedway. Do you think this is a good thing? "Oh yeah, absolutely. I was brought up racing was on a lot of old worn out short tracks that wore out the tires, so we always had to worry about tire management, strategy and what we put underneath our cars always came into play as we raced on those types of tracks. I think Martinsville (Speedway) is very similar to those tracks I used to race on, and is a good short track that has a lot of elements to think about in order to have a good day."
There's a lot of stress that goes along with things like pack racing at Talladega Superspeedway and battling traffic at Martinsville Speedway. How much does that weigh on you as a driver? "They are completely different styles of racing, but you can still get caught up in someone else's mess really quick. No matter where you're running. If you're the leader and you come up on lap traffic, they want to stay on the lead lap and they will usually become more aggressive as they start pushing their way through the cars ahead of them. Martinsville (Speedway) is much like Talladega (Superspeedway) in the sense that you can get caught up in someone's mess, and it's just part of the game that you have to deal with."
No. 31 Sleep Innovations Chevrolet SS
This Week's No. 31 Sleep Innovations Chevrolet SS at Martinsville Speedway... Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 435 this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. This is a brand new No. 31 Chevrolet seeing its first on-track action during Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session.
Burton in Martinsville ... Burton grew up an hour away from Martinsville Speedway in South Boston, Va. and Sunday's event marks his 38th start at the half-mile facility. He has amassed 10 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes, led 940 laps and made one trip to Victory Lane in 1997.
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Race Rewind 2012 ... A penalty on a lap-394 pit stop thwarted Burton's solid run at Martinsville Speedway in last year's TUMS Fast Relief 500 and the Richard Childress Racing driver finished 22nd.
JEFF BURTON QUOTE
You have a lot of history at Martinsville Speedway since you grew up one hour away. "Martinsville Speedway is one of my favorite race tracks for many reasons. I have a lot of memories there as a child growing up and going to watch guys like Richie Evans and Sam Ard race there. One of my first big races was at Martinsville and I also won my first Grand National race, which is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series, at Martinsville. We had a really fast car there earlier this season on long runs. If the race had stayed under green-flag conditions until the end, we had a good chance to win the thing. I tore the nose off of the car earlier in the race so we were terrible on short runs. You would think aerodynamics don't matter at Martinsville, but it was unbelievable the difference in handling of the car after the wreck. We tested there a few weeks ago and except to run well again this weekend."