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October 20, 2013

Sprint Cup Post Race Report from Talladega

Read about Paul's top-five, how Kevin is tied for 3rd in points and Jeff's awkward last few laps without a key interior component

                                     NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Camping World RV Sales 500
Talladega Superspeedway     
October 20, 2013

Race Highlights:


* Richard Childress Racing teammates finished fourth (Paul Menard), 12th (Kevin Harvick) and 21st (Jeff Burton) in the Camping World RV Sales 500.
* Following the event at Talladega Superspeedway, Harvick is tied for third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 26 markers behind the leader, while Menard is 16th and Burton sits 20th.
* The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team is tied for third in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team ranked 16th in the standings and the No. 31 team 21st.
* According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Menard had the fastest Green-Flag Speed, was the second-Fastest Driver Early in a Run, completed the fourth-most Green-Flag Passes (951) and earned the fifth-best Driver Rating (98.9).
* Combined, Menard and Harvick posted 17 of the Fastest Laps Run.
* RCR teammates Harvick and Menard ranked third and fourth in the Closers category gaining 13 and 12 positions, respectively during the final 19 laps of the race.
* Burton was the 10th-Fastest Driver Late in a Run.
* Jamie McMurray earned his first victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Menard and Kyle Busch.
* The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Goody's Headache Shot 500 presented by Kroger at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 27. The 33rd race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.


Paul Menard Does it Right with a Fourth-Place Finish at Dega


Paul Menard and the No. 27 Menards/Duracell Chevrolet team started the 188-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway from 34th place. The  reason he started there was because qualifying was rained out on Saturday, thus setting the starting lineup per the NASCAR rule book based off the first practice speeds on Friday. But, once the green flag waved over the 2.66-mile tri-oval, Menard wasted little time letting the other 42 competitors know he was there to race. Within the first three laps, he was up 17th when the first caution waved on that third circuit. With no need to pit, Menard started to get a feel of his Chevrolet SS and racing conditions running three and four wide around the high-banked track. Making two pit stops under green-flag conditions for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments, the former ice racer ran in the top-five and top-10 positions for a large majority of the event.  A pit stop on lap 124, while running third, and another on lap 162 for right-side tires and fuel kept Menard and the Slugger Labbe-led team in contention. With 15 laps remaining, Menard had his neon yellow No. 27 in fifth place and would remain there until the white flag waved. As the field exited Turn 2, the third-place car got sideways and spun as the field roared onward. With the checkered and caution flag waving, Menard was, at first, credited with third, but post-race results showed he had finished fourth. This was his third top-five and ninth top-10 finish of the 2013 season, which moved him up one spot in the driver championship point standings to 16th place.

    Start- 34                     Finish- 4                      Laps Led- 0          Points- 16th

Paul Menard Quote:
"
This was just what this Menards/Duracell Chevrolet team needed. Our luck at restrictor-plate tracks hasn't been too good this year. We were able to get up near the front and run there most of the race, which was good. The car was great and there at the end, we were all single file and nobody was going to make a move. We were waiting to see how would, I just know I wasn't going to be the one. I've done that before, and it hasn't worked out too well. "

Harvick Finishes 12th at Talladega Superspeedway


After starting from the 33rd position and avoiding the infamous 'Big One,' Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John's team finished 12th at Talladega Superspeedway. Following the strategy implemented by crew chief Gil Martin and the team before the race, the Richard Childress Racing driver laid back in the field during early stages of the race in an attempt to avoid the destruction that is synonymous with restrictor-plate racing. With roughly 50 laps remaining in the 188-lap affair, Harvick began working his way toward the front of the field  settling into the top five before making a final pit stop on lap 163 for right-side tires and fuel under green-flag conditions. The California native returned to the track without a drafting partner and fell as far back as 25th before crossing the finish line 12th. Following the sixth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Harvick is tied for third in the point standings, 26 markers out of the lead.

     Start - 33         Finish - 12         Laps Led - 0        Points - Tied for 3rd

KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE: "We got ourselves in position to be where we needed to be at the end of the race coming to the last pit stop and then lost everything that we gained when we couldn't find a drafting partner when we came off of pit road. I just hate it for all our Jimmy John's guys. We had a strategy that we stuck to and then we were just last off of pit road."

Burton Finishes 21st at Talladega Superspeedway

Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished in the 21st position at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon. Starting from the second position based on speeds from Friday's first practice session after NASCAR officials were forced to cancel Saturday's qualifying due to rain showers, the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner maintained a top-10 running position for the first part of the event. After coming to pit road for minor adjustments on a four-tire pit stop just before the halfway point of the event, the South Boston, Va., native reported that his black and yellow machine was loose and he dropped to the back of the field to avoid being caught up in the "Big One." The Richard Childress Racing driver climbed back into the top 10 for a late-race run to the checkered flag, but Burton radioed to the Caterpillar pit crew that the rear-view mirror had fallen off the car and his peripheral vision was altered. Without the ability to see different lanes and maneuver with confidence, Burton was forced to stay in the back of the lead pack, but missed the multi-car accident on the final lap and crossed the finish line in 21st-place under caution-flag conditions. Burton remains 20th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

     Start - 2          Finish - 21          Laps Led - 4          Points - 20th

JEFF BURTON QUOTE
:
"We had a strong No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet and could run in the front when we wanted. I couldn't really go like I wanted to at the end when the mirror broke. It's hard to be aggressive when you are not sure what's next to you on the track."

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