Richard Childress Racing
September 2, 2013
Sprint Cup Post Race Report for Atlanta
Kevin clinches Chase spot while Austin, Jeff and Paul suffer crunches
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Atlanta Motor Speedway
September 1, 2013
* Richard Childress Racing teammates finished ninth (Kevin Harvick), 19th (Austin Dillon), 24th (Paul Menard) and 34th (Jeff Burton) in the AdvoCare 500.
* Following the event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Harvick moved up one position, to third, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 42 markers, while Menard sits 17th, 179 points back, and Burton is 22nd, 235 points behind the leader.
* The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks third in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 19th in the standings and the No. 31 team 24th.
* According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Harvick was the third-Fastest Driver Late in a Run, had the fourth-Fastest Green-Flag Speed, fifth-best Average Running Position (7.634), fifth-best Driver Rating (103.7) and was the fifth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run.
* Harvick spent 308 Laps in the Top 15, ranking him third in the loop data category.
* RCR teammates Harvick, Menard and Dillon posted 22 of the Fastest Laps Run, with 11,10 and one, respectively.
* Menard completed 87 Green-Flag Passes and Dillon 86.
* Burton made 126 Green-Flag Passes, second-most in the 43-car field with 32 coming in the top 15 (Quality Passes).
* Kyle Busch earned his fourth victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.
* The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 7. The 26th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ABC beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Early-Race Incident Relegates Menard to 24th-Place Finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Paul Menard started the AdvoCare 500 from the 16th position and involvement in an accident in the early laps of the Sunday night event relegated him to a 24th-place result at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After rain showers earlier in the day washed the rubber off the1.5-mile speedway, NASCAR officials mandated a competition caution at lap 25. Menard pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment in an attempt to give the Moen/Menards Chevrolet better drive off of the corners. While exiting pit road, the No. 27 machine sustained minor left-front fender damage when several cars in front of Menard made contact with each other causing the field to bunch. Having to come down pit road a second time during the competition caution for repairs, Menard restarted in 41st on lap 29. Just 20 laps later the Richard Childress Racing driver was running 24th when an incident with another competitor caused Menard to make contact with the outside retaining wall. Having to pit under green on lap 54 for more repairs, the 33-year-old-driver fell two laps down to the leader. The caution flag waved just a few laps later and Menard was able to take the "wave around" gaining one of his laps back. Just as things started to look up, the No. 27 Chevrolet had a right-rear tire go down as a result of the earlier damage. Menard was forced to come to pit road under green-flag conditions for fresh tires and repairs, causing him to fall another lap down to the leader. Menard restarted in 39th on lap 80 two laps down to the leader. Despite the setbacks, the crew never gave up and made adjustments to the neon yellow machine all night. Though he remained laps down for the remainder of the night, by virtue of continuing to run laps and improve the car's handling, Menard was able to gain 15 spots to finish in the 24th position under the lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Menard now sits in 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Richmond International Raceway.
Start - 16 Finish - 24 Laps Led - 0 Points - 17th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE: "It was a long night for the No. 27 Moen/Menards crew. We got caught up in pit road congestion during the first stop of the night putting us behind and then the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) put us in the wall a few laps later. We lost laps early making repairs and we were never able to get them back. The crew worked really hard all night making adjustments and the car wasn't too bad considering the damage. We'll keep our heads up and hope for better results next weekend in at Richmond International Raceway."
Harvick Finishes Ninth and Secures Position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John's team earned a ninth-place finish, and clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, after battling a tight-handling condition during the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night. The California native started the 325-lap event from the 30th position and quickly worked his way toward the front of the field, picking up 11 positions on the first lap. During the initial green-flag run, Harvick informed the team he was battling a tight-handling Chevrolet. Crew chief Gil Martin directed his driver to pit road on lap 27 during a competition caution for four fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Harvick was positioned 14th for the ensuing restart and climbed into the top 10 on lap 32. Running as high as third during the second portion of the race, the Martin-led pit crew made a final attempt to remedy the handling issues Harvick continued to battle on lap 289 by taking four tires, fuel and making a chassis adjustment. The Richard Childress Racing driver was scored fifth for the lap 292 restart and maintained a spot within the top 10 of the running order during the final laps, ultimately crossing the finish line ninth. Following the top-10 finish, Harvick moved up to third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start - 30 Finish - 9 Laps Led - 0 Points - 4rd
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE: "Obviously we're happy to be in the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup), but our day wasn't very good. Our car was just terribly tight all night long and drove nothing like it did in practice. We'll work on that and try to figure that out. But all-in-all, it's been an okay season so far and obviously you want to put yourself in position to race for the championship and everybody has done a good job doing that. So, we'll go to Richmond (International Raceway) next week and try to win another race. I come to this race track (Atlanta Motor Speedway) expecting to have a chance to win the race and we were off all night."
Burton Finishes in 34th Place at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 34th in the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after getting caught up in an early accident and falling victim to a flat tire late in the race. Starting the 500-mile event from the 28th position, Burton moved into the top 20 by lap 25 when NASCAR officials waved the yellow flag for a competition caution period. On the ensuing restart, multiple competitors slowed in front of the Richard Childress Racing machine and Burton suffered moderate damage to the right front and right rear of his Chevrolet SS. The Caterpillar crew went to work immediately and fixed the damage without the 46-year-old driver losing a lap to the leader. Restarting 40th, Burton quickly worked his way back into the top 20 by lap 90 and entered the top 15 on lap 130. Maintaining a top-15 running position throughout the middle stages of the 325-lap event, Burton radioed to crew chief Luke Lambert that the Caterpillar machine was tight in the middle of the 24-degree banked corners of the 1.5-mile race track. The 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner persevered with the battered machine and climbed into the top 10 until bad luck struck on lap 289 while Burton was entering pit road for a green-flag pit stop. The No. 48 Chevrolet made contact with the black and yellow machine from behind, which sent Jimmie Johnson spinning and the caution flag was displayed while Burton was on pit road. The setback placed the No. 31 team in the 15th position and after barely missing another spinning car on the next restart, Burton's right-rear tire gave out which sent the RCR driver spinning into his teammate Austin Dillon and eventually the outside retaining wall. The significant damage took multiple laps for the CAT Racing team to repair on pit road and Burton limped home to a 34th-place finish. Burton now sits 22nd in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start - 28 Finish - 34 Laps Led - 0 Points - 22nd
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:"I am honestly proud of how the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team ran tonight. We battled back into the top 10 after the first incident and a cut tire at the end of the race ruined our night. I really like these guys, they never give up. We will keep on digging."
Dillon Earns Top-20 Finish in AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon drove the No. 33 AdvoCare Chevrolet to a 19th-place finish in the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race under the lights of Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night. The Welcome, N.C., driver started the Labor Day weekend affair from the 26th position and reported handling issues to his Richard Childress Racing pit crew throughout the course of the 325-lap race. He made the first of several routine pit stops during a NASCAR-mandated competition caution on lap 25 receiving four Goodyear tires, Sunoco Green E15 fuel and a chassis adjustment designed to counteract a loose-handling condition. Restarting in the 35th position on lap 29, Dillon worked his way into the 18th spot by lap 40 and remained a mainstay in the top-20 despite handling issues that ranged from loose to tight and lacking forward drive and side force throughout the remainder of the event. The No. 33 AdvoCare team remained on the lead lap until making a routine pit stop under green-flag conditions on lap 162 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment while running 18th. Dillon was in position to earn the "Lucky Dog", thereby rejoining the lead lap cars, when the caution flag was displayed on lap 298, but NASCAR officials deemed him ineligible for the award when he incurred left-front fender damage during an on-track incident that occurred during the caution period. When green-flag racing resumed with 21 laps of racing remaining, Dillon was scored in the 19th spot, where he eventually finished.
Start - 26 Finish - 19 Laps Led - 0 Points - N/A
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:"I'm really proud of the over-the-wall pit crew tonight. They were on it each and every pit stop. Tonight was a very long race, but I feel like I really learned a lot. I want to thank AdvoCare for giving me the opportunity to run this race and for supporting this NASCAR race weekend."