Richard Childress Racing
Sprint Cup Preview for Darlington Raceway
May 7, 2013
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Notes
Race: Southern 500
Date: May 11, 2013
Location: Darlington Raceway
RCR at Darlington ... Richard Childress is tied for third in all-time car owner victories with Holman-Moody and the Wood Brothers at Darlington Raceway with eight wins each. Dale Earnhardt collected all of RCR's victories at the South Carolina-based track. In 103 collective starts, RCR boasts 21 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval with five different drivers including Clint Bowyer, Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Robby Gordon. The Welcome, N.C.-based organization holds a 17.1 average starting position, an 18.1 average finishing position, has completed 32,525 of the 36,340 contested laps (89 percent) and has collectively led 2,597 laps.
RCR in the NSCS ... In 2,303 Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 102 wins, 42 pole awards, 437 top-five finishes and 918 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 ... In the Sprint Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend, Burton and Harvick were involved in an early accident finishing 28th and 40th, respectively, while PaulMenard battled mechanical issues to finish 24th.
The Collective RCR ... Throughout the season's first 10 races, RCR's Sprint Cup Series entries have earned one win, Harvick at Richmond International Raceway (April), notched two top-five and eight top-10 finishes with drivers Burton, Austin Dillon, Harvick and Menard. RCR's three full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers are eighth (Menard), 12th (Harvick) and 19th (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 www.facebook.com/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 ... FOX's live coverage of the Southern 500 begins Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio.
No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet SS
This Week's Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet ... Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 414 at Darlington Raceway. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS was previously run this season at Auto Club Speedway finishing eighth.
"Lady in Black" Stats ... Menard has six career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington Raceway. His best start of 14th and best finish of 13th both came in 2012. The Wisconsin native has completed 2,161 of 2,206 laps attempted (98 percent) at the 1.366-mile track.
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Vote Now, Vote Often ... Fans have the opportunity to vote Menard into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 18 with the Sprint Fan Vote. You can vote for Menard online at http://www.nascar.com/SprintFanVote. Voting is unlimited. Fans can also vote on their mobile handsets by using the NASCAR Mobile 2013 application. Votes from the application count twice.
Race Rewind ... In his last appearance at Darlington Raceway, Menard started the No. 27 Chevrolet from the 14th position and brought home a 13th-place finish, his best effort to-date at the track.
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
Menard's Thoughts on Racing at Darlington Raceway: "It a great track, and a lot of fun to drive. Since the repave we haven't seen the tire wear that Darlington (Raceway) is known for. With the new pavement it has lost some of its character and drives a lot like some of the 1.5-mile tracks. It's still a really cool track to race on and I'm anxious to see what our Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet has when we unload for practice on Friday. Turns one and two are really fast, and in turns three and four you've got to slow the car up a lot, which makes it tough to gauge how you want to lay your splitter down. You've just got to decide which end you want to set up for."
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS
This Week's Budweiser Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 383 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the Southern 500. This is the same Chevrolet the Bakersfield, Calif., native drove to Victory Lane at Phoenix International Raceway last November and a 13th-place result in March.
The Track 'Too Tough To Tame' ... Darlington Raceway is one track where Harvick has yet to visit Victory Lane. Since 2001, the RCR veteran driver has made 16 starts collecting two top-five and five top-10 finishes. He holds a 17.6 average starting position coupled with an 18.8 average finishing position, has completed 5,267 of 5,583 (94.3 percent) of the laps contested and is credited with 63 laps led.
New BUD 360° App ... Budweiser is giving consumers a whole new look at what it's like to hit speeds of 190 mph in the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS with the interactive BUD 360° app. The King of Beers' innovative new app utilizes surround video technology to provide users with a 360-degree look inside Harvick's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride as the driver completes several laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway. While Harvick controls the wheel, the consumer controls the view, allowing them to experience the sensation of speed in never-before-seen angles. The app is available for free in the Apple App Store for both iPhone and iPad users. The Budweiser Racing 360° video also is accessible on desktop computers at www.budweiser.com.
Bowtie Can Available Nationwide ... Budweiser's striking and original new beer can - a bowtie-shaped aluminum can that mirrors Budweiser's iconic bowtie logo - is now available in a special 8-pack on store shelves nationwide. The proprietary can, in development since 2010, is created by a 16-step process, which involves 10 steps to form the bottom half of the can and an additional six steps to form the top portion. The bowtie can is another example of how Budweiser continues to innovate, evolve and attract a new generation of beer drinkers. Consumers interested in locating where they can purchase the special 8-pack can call 1-800-dial-Bud.
Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3 ... Harvick and the No. 29 team will participate in a Goodyear tire test on May 7 and 8 at Chicagoland Speedway. They will utilize chassis No. 404 from the RCR stable, which was last seen in action at Texas Motor Speedway in April. Harvick will also be available to the media on Wednesday, May 8 from 12:30-12:45 p.m. Central Time in the track media center.
2012 Race Rewind ... Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team collected a 16th-place finish in last season's Southern 500 after battling handling issues at Darlington Raceway.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
Share your thoughts on racing at Darlington Raceway. "There is a lot of history at Darlington Raceway. I've been fortunate to win a lot of the marquee races on the schedule, and I mark the Southern 500 on my calendar every year as one I want to win. There is so much history behind this event. It's definitely a race we want to do well in, and Darlington is a race track we want to win at every year."
What makes racing at Darlington Raceway such a challenge for the drivers and teams? "The track was originally not designed for the cars to be running as fast as they are today. The track's very narrow and you carry a lot of speed. From a driver's standpoint, it's very challenging just to keep the car off the wall, but it's also a lot of fun to drive, too."
Talk us through a lap around Darlington Raceway. "Well, any lap around Darlington is a lap where you have to be paying attention to what's going on because you can get yourself in trouble at any point on the race track. You carry a lot of speed into turn one and you run up the banking right up next to the wall and get right back into the throttle. As you come back down the hill you might have to breathe the throttle a little bit, but it's a lot of fun coming out of turn two as it kind of shoots you down the backstretch. Turns three and four are probably the hardest because you carry so much speed off of (turn) two into three and the line kind of moves around a bit there. It's probably the easiest place to get in the wall. Well, it's pretty easy to get in the wall anywhere, but definitely the easiest place to get into the wall is the middle of (turns) three and four."
Do you have any special plans for Mother's Day now that DeLana is a mom? How much of a help was your own mom to get you where you are today? "My biggest plan is to not screw up Sunday in the first year. You don't want to screw up the first Mother's Day. My main objective is to make sure that you have the gift pre-week, and don't forget to hand it out on Sunday. Obviously, my Mom has always been there and has always been supportive of everything I do. That is something you don't want to forget, as well. You want to make sure you don't forget on either front."
No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS
This Week's No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway ... Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 416 this weekend at Darlington Raceway. This No. 31 Chevrolet has been utilized twice this season, at Auto Club Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.
Career Darlington Stats ... The Southern 500 marks Burton's 31st start at the 1.366-mile facility. Darlington Raceway is one of Burton's favorite places to visit on the Sprint Cup Series schedule and he has amassed two wins, eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes at the historic track, leading 817 laps.
No Stranger to Victory Lane ... Burton's six visits to Darlington Raceway's Victory Lane across NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series competition stretch from 1997-2002. He completed a rare sweep of both Sprint Cup Series events in 1999 and both Nationwide Series events in 2002. His first win at the egg-shaped oval took place in the Nationwide Series in 1997. The 45-year old driver also holds trophies for winning the April 2001 race and two Nationwide Series pole awards in 1998 and 2002.
Appearance Alert ... Burton is scheduled to participate in a question-and-answer session at the Team Chevy stage located in the Darlington Raceway display area on Saturday, May 11 at 3:25 p.m. Eastern Time.
Sprint Fan Vote. Vote Now, Vote Often ... Fans have the opportunity to vote Burton into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 18 with the Sprint Fan Vote. The Sprint Fan Vote was launched in 2004 as a way to bring one more deserving driver into the Sprint All-Star Race to compete for the $1 million payout. There are three ways you can vote for Burton.
?Use the NASCAR Mobile '2013 application
?Votes from the application count double (x2)
?Voting on handsets is unlimited
?Voting is unlimited
•The Sprint Experience
?Voting stations will be set up in the Sprint Experience mobile display each race weekend
Race Rewind 2012 ... After a solid 10th-place qualifying effort, Burton and the No. 31 Chevrolet team battled to find the right handling throughout least season's Southern 500 and finished 18th at Darlington Raceway.
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
It is known throughout the Sprint Cup Series garage that you love Darlington Raceway, why is that? "I love Darlington Raceway. To be honest, I liked it more before the repave a few years ago. The fresh pavement has put a lot of grip into the track. Handling is still important, but not in the same kind of way. The track is much faster now and you don't have that dramatic fall off with tire wear. I hope the pavement, with age, starts to lose some of that grip and that bad handling comes back, because that is what Darlington is all about. It's still a great race though. To me, with no disrespect to any other race, winning that 500-mile race is huge. The Southern 500 is a big deal to me. It's the race I circle on the schedule every year."