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August 19, 2013

Sprint Cup Post Race Report for Michigan

Two top-five and three top-10 finishes by the RCR teams in the Irish Hills

                                           NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Pure Michigan 400
Michigan International Speedway
August 18, 2013

Race Highlights

•Richard Childress Racing teammates finished second (Kevin Harvick), fourth (Paul Menard) and eighth (Jeff Burton) in the Pure Michigan 400.
•Following the event at Michigan International Speedway, Harvick remains fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 64 markers, while Menard gained two positions moving up to 17th, 214 points back, and Burton gained one spot taking over 20th, 252 points behind the leader.
•The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks fourth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 18th in the standings and the No. 31 team 21st.
•According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Harvick led the competition in Fastest Drivers Late in a Run, Green-Flag Speed, Quality Passes and Speed in Traffic.
•Menard was the sixth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run.
•Burton held the eighth-fastest Green-Flag Speed.
•All three RCR drivers earned a spot in the Fastest Laps Run category. Harvick led all competitors with 24 of the fastest laps, while Burton was seventh with 7 laps and Menard tied for 15th with two.
•RCR's three entries ranked within the top 10 of the Driver Rating category, with Harvick third, Burton sixth and Menard eighth.
•Joey Logano earned his first victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Harvick, Kurt Busch, Menard and Clint Bowyer.
•The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 24. The 24th 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 Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.

Menard Finishes Fourth at Michigan International Speedway


After starting 20th in the Pure Michigan 400, Paul Menard captured his first top-five finish of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. In the early laps of the event, Menard gained five positions and was scored in 15th at lap 25. The team's first pit stop came under green-flag conditions on lap 40 and Menard came down pit road for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments to help remedy the car's loose-handling condition. The adjustments provided some relief to the Wisconsin native, but crew chief "Slugger" Labbe and team called for further chassis adjustments under two ensuing pit stops on laps 72 and 107. Restarting 10th on lap 110, Menard relayed to the team that the NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet SS was the best it had been all day, and by lap 130 he was scored in fifth and was the fastest car on the track. The 32-year-old remained in the top five until a lap-158 pit stop under caution for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Several cars elected to stay out under caution and Menard restarted 11th with 39 laps remaining in the 200-lap event. It didn't take long for Menard to race his way back to the front and he was back inside the top five at lap 176. The Richard Childress Racing driver gained one position in the final laps to finish fourth. Menard sits in the 17th spot in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend.

                  Start - 20         Finish - 4         Laps Led -0         Points - 17

 PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"We had a good car all weekend. We didn't qualify very well and I knew that the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards car had some speed in it, but it mostly just drove really well all weekend. "Slugger" (Labbe, crew chief) made some good calls to get some track position. Matt Krueter (gasman) filled up the car with plenty of gas at the end. I'm just really proud of everyone on the team. We really needed a good run. We started off the season strong and just fell off the last couple of months. We have had good cars we just haven't been able to put together a race and we have been crashing a lot and we just can't do that. I'm really proud of everybody at RCR getting all three cars in the top 10 today. It was a great day for all of us."

Harvick Claims Runner-Up Finish at Michigan International Speedway

Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet team claimed a runner-up finish in the Pure Michigan 400 Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Starting from the 15th position, the Richard Childress Racing driver quickly worked his way into the top 10 by lap 20. As the race progressed, Harvick alerted crew chief Gil Martin that the red and black machine needed more rear grip exiting the turns. Harvick visited pit road on lap 73 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to help the car's handling. The California native was scored in the 13th position for the ensuing restart, but regained a position within the top 10 by lap 76, where he would remain for the duration of the event. Harvick lined up second for the final restart of the race on lap 178 and was shuffled back to fifth on the following lap. The 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner charged forward during the final laps, ultimately crossing the finish line second, picking up his 200th-career Sprint Cup Series top-10 finish. Harvick remains fourth in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings with the top-five finish.

                    Start - 15         Finish - 2         Laps Led - 0         Points - 4

KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE
: "We had a great car all day, I just misjudged the final restart and got myself a little behind near the end. I have to thank Rheem, Budweiser, Jimmy John's, Hunt Brothers Pizza and everyone else who helps us get to the track each week. Our team tried a lot of different things than we usually would have during the race today that seemed to work out pretty well for us. It was a great effort by the Rheem crew today; just wish we could have gotten the win."

 
Jeff Burton Collects Fifth Top-10 Finish of 2013 Season at Michigan


Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet team collected their fifth top-10 finish of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, finishing eighth in the 400-mile event at Michigan International Speedway. After starting the 200-lap affair from the fifth position, the South Boston, Va., native maintained a top-10 running position while battling a loose-handling condition on his yellow and black machine. On multiple occasions, many competitors took two Goodyear tires only under caution-flag conditions, instead of the four tires that the No. 31 team changed. This decision by crew chief Luke Lambert placed the Richard Childress Racing driver mid-pack for restarts and altered the handling on the Chevrolet SS. With 50 laps to go, Lambert called Burton to pit road and the Cheerios pit crew changed right-side tires only, placing the 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner 18th for the ensuing restart. Over the final 50 circuits, Burton climbed into the top 15 and entered the top 10 with 42 laps to go after taking Sunoco racing fuel only on the final pit stop of the afternoon. During the latter stages of the race, Burton maintained the top-10 track position and passed two competitors in the waning laps before crossing the finish line in the eighth position, earning his fifth top-10 result of the season. With the solid finish, Burton gained one position and now sits 20th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

                    Start - 5          Finish - 8          Laps Led - 0           Points - 20

JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
"It's good thing to be disappointed with an eighth-place finish. The No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet team had a lot of speed at times and I think was the best car on the track. We just struggled on fresh tires more than other drivers did. When we would put tires on, it seemed like it hurt us more than others. When we had our sequence of tires that we wanted our car was really happy. That next to last caution-flag period was not what we needed. Pitting under green-flag conditions and being able to put four tires on right there would have been 100 percent for us. We were about five laps from pitting and that caution came out. That kind of sealed us, just because of what we had going on with our car. It's a good day though. That's a step in the right direction. No drama and we got what we deserved."

 
 

 

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