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Sprint Cup Preview for Michigan

                          NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Notes

Pure Michigan 400
Date: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Location: Michigan International Speedway

Richard Childress Racing in the Motor City ...
In 136 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway, RCR teams have earned three wins, two with Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990) and the most recent with Kevin Harvick (August 2010). Additionally, RCR has claimed 18 top-five and 46 top-10 finishes with 10 different drivers including Richard Childress, a former driver in NASCAR's top division, who recorded top-10 finishes at MIS in June 1978 and August 1979. The Welcome, N.C.-based organization has an 18.5 average starting position, an average finishing position of 16.6, has completed 25,523 of the 26,932 contested laps (94.8 percent) and has led 685 laps in the Irish Hills.

RCR in the NSCS ...
In 2,339 Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 103 wins, 42 pole awards, 442 top-five finishes and 929 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 Watkins Glen Rewind ... Last weekend at Watkins Glen International, Harvick and Paul Menard finished 13th and 17th, respectively, while Jeff Burton finished 26th after being collected in two accidents late in the race.
The Collective RCR ...
Throughout the season's first 22 races, RCR's Sprint Cup Series entries have earned two wins with Harvick at Richmond International Raceway (April) and in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May), notched seven top-five and 19 top-10 finishes with drivers Burton, Austin Dillon, Harvick and Menard. RCR's three full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers rank fourth (Harvick), 19th (Menard) and 21st (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 page @KevinHarvick. Information about the 14-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at and at along with official driver pages -, and

Catch the Action ... ESPN's live coverage from Michigan International Speedway begins Sunday, Aug. 18 at Noon Eastern Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Paul Menard
No. 27 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet SS  

This Week's NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet ...
Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 428 at Michigan International Speedway. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS was raced previously this season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Menard drove it to a 12th- place finish.

Michigan Stats ... Menard has 14 starts at Michigan International Speedway. His best start of fourth came earlier this season and best finish of fourth took place in 2011. The Wisconsin native has completed 2,764 of 2,810 laps attempted (98.4 percent) at the Brooklyn, Mich., track, leading 15 of them.

About NIBCO ... Founded in 1904, NIBCO INC. is a leading provider of valves, fittings and flow control products for commercial, industrial and institutional construction, as well as residential and irrigation markets. NIBCO is headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., and has 10 manufacturing plants located throughout the United States, Mexico and Poland. Visit for information on the complete line of NIBCO products.

Race Rewind ... Starting 10th, Menard survived a green-white-checkered finish collecting a ninth-place result in last year's event at Michigan International Speedway.

Menard's Thoughts on Racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan (International Speedway) is the fastest track we go to since they repaved it last year. We are averaging close to 200 mph, which hands down makes it one of the fastest places we race. It's a challenging track, because the tires that we run there are hard and the track has a lot of grip. You're always on kind of a knife's edge through the corners because the groove is very narrow right now. The more we run at Michigan the wider the groove will get, and we will be able to do more passing. I think we already started to see that from last year to the first race this year. The groove has definitely increased and we could race harder and race side-by-side. I expect this weekend's race we will see even more side-by-side racing. We had a pretty good car in the June race, and I'm sure 'Slugger' and the guys will have another fast NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet prepared for this weekend."

Kevin Harvick  
No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet SS  

This Week's Rheem Chevrolet SS at Michigan International Speedway ...
Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 425 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the Pure Michigan 400. This Chevrolet was most recently driven to a 10th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway in June.

Harvick in the Irish Hills ... Since his first appearance at Michigan International Speedway in June of 2001, Harvick has made 25 starts at the two-mile, D-shaped oval. In those 25 starts, the California native has collected one win (August 2010), four top-five and nine top-10 finishes. Harvick holds an average starting position of 18.2 coupled with an average finishing position of 14.3, has completed 99.2 percent (4,860 of 4,901) of the laps contested and led 149 circuits.

Rheem on the Hood ...
The red Rheem logo will adorn the hood of the No. 29 RCR machine this weekend at Michigan International Speedway for their sixth of seven appearances during the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season. Rheem will also be featured on Harvick's Chevrolet at Talladega Superspeedway in October.

Gotta Have a Rheem ... Rheem Manufacturing Company ( 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 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and RCR's No. 33 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Race Rewind ... Starting from the 20th position, Harvick and the No. 29 team finished 16th at Michigan International Speedway after battling handling issues in the 2012 Pure Michigan 400.

You finished second at Michigan International Speedway in June, are you eager to go back
? "This part of the schedule has been tough for us the last few years, between Indy (Indianapolis Motor Speedway), Pocono (Raceway) and Michigan (International Speedway). We didn't run that well last season at Indy, and ran ok at Pocono and Michigan. We've been trying to work on this portion of the schedule and make it better. We've been kind of hit and miss on these types of tracks."

Do you think some of the old character is coming back to Michigan International Speedway?
"The bottom groove was better the last time we raced there. It didn't move up like it used to, but you have that middle and bottom groove, especially between turns three and four. In turns one and two that bottom groove wasn't quite as good, so you were kind of locked into that one-single groove. It's hard to adjust from the type of racing that we used to have there compared to what you see now with the groove being so much narrower with the new asphalt. It's slowly coming back around, but I think it's going to take a while."

Jeff Burton
No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet SS

This Weekend's No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway ...
Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 372 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. This No. 31 Chevrolet was utilized twice this season at Bristol Motor Speedway in March and Kentucky Speedway in June.

Career Michigan Stats ...
This weekend's 400-mile event marks Burton's 40th start at the two-mile facility and 678th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. Burton has garnered four top-five and 10 top-10 finishes at the track, along with two pole awards in 1996 and 2006. He has also led 76 laps at the Brooklyn, Mich.-based race track.

Black and Yellow ... The iconic General Mills brand Cheerios returns as the primary sponsor on Burton's No. 31 Chevrolet SS. America's No.1 cereal franchise will also bring its fan-favorite yellow and black paint scheme to New Hampshire Motor Speedway (September 22). General Mills has roots as a NASCAR sponsor for more than 15 years and began its partnership with RCR in 2008 with the Cheerios brand as the primary sponsor of the No. 33 Sprint Cup Series team. The program moved to the No. 31 team as a co-primary sponsor for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season.

Top-10 Finish in June ...
After starting the 200-lap affair in June from the 18th position, Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team collected their third top-10 finish of the 2013 season, finishing 10th in the 400-mile event at Michigan International Speedway.

Race Rewind 2012 ...
After starting from the 32nd position in the 2012 Pure Michigan 400, Burton and the No. 31 Wheaties Chevrolet team scored a 19th-place finish in the Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway.


Has Michigan International Speedway aged at all since the recent repave?
"I thought Michigan International Speedway was better in June. The groove was a little wider and the tire compound was better. I expect it to continue to get better and as the grip goes away, the racing will improve. We had a good run there earlier this season and hope to build on our top-10 finish this weekend."

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