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Sprint Cup Preview for Pocono Raceway

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Notes

Race: Party in the Poconos 400
Date: Sunday, June 9, 2013
Location: Pocono Raceway

RCR at Pocono Raceway ... In 126 starts at Pocono Raceway, RCR team owner Richard Childress has two wins, both with Dale Earnhardt, who won on July 19, 1987 and July 18, 1993. Additionally, RCR has earned one pole award, 16 top-five and 51 top-10 finishes with 599 laps led at the uniquely-shaped, three-turn track. Childress, a former driver in NASCAR's top division, contributed two of those top-10 finishes under the RCR banner.

RCR in the NSCS ... In 2,312 Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 103 wins, 42 pole awards, 439 top-five finishes and 921 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 Dover Rewind ... Last weekend at Dover International Speedway, Harvick scored his fifth top-10 finish of the season while Jeff Burton and Paul Menard finished 11th and 20th, respectively.
The Collective RCR ... Throughout the season's first 13 races, RCR's Sprint Cup Series entries have earned two wins with Harvick, at Richmond International Raceway (April) and the Coca-Cola 600 (May) at Charlotte Motor Speedway, notched four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes with drivers Burton, Austin Dillon, Harvick and Menard. RCR's three full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers rank fifth (Harvick), ninth (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 ... TNT's live coverage from Pocono Raceway begins Sunday, June 9 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90.

                                          Paul Menard
                         No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS 

This Week's Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet ... Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 403 at Pocono Raceway. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS was previously run this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. It was also tested last week at Pocono.

Menard at "The Tricky Triangle" ...Menard has 12 starts at Pocono Raceway. His best start of second came in 2011 and best finish of ninth came in 2012. The Wisconsin native has completed 2,105 of 2,168 laps attempted (97.1 percent) at the Pennsylvania track.

Green and Yellow ... The No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS will sport a different look this weekend carrying a special paint scheme combination of Quaker State green and Menards yellow.

About Quaker State ...  Quaker State® motor oil has a 70-year history as a leader in consumer automotive products and vehicle care. Quaker State is among the industry's most innovative motor oil brands and offers a full line of products to meet every type of vehicle engine need. Quaker State is one of the first brands to develop high mileage engine motor oil. For more information about the full line of Quaker State products, visit

Test Session in "The Bluegrass State" ... Menard, along with his Richard Childress Racing teammates Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick, will be stopping at Kentucky Speedway on their way to Pocono Raceway for a team test session on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Race Rewind ... Starting third, Menard brought home a ninth-place finish in this event last year for his best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series showing at the 2.5-mile triangular-shaped track.

Menard's Thoughts on Racing at Pocono Raceway
: "As simple as it looks, Pocono Raceway is unique and there isn't a track like it that we race on. It's shaped like a triangle, but all three corners are different. It has the longest straightaway in NASCAR, which is almost a mile long. The long straights, combined with the short, quick corners make for a huge RPM change, so we are set up to shift and use both third and fourth gears, if needed. It's like a three-cornered, left handed road course, making it a lot of fun to drive. I think it's going to be a good track for our Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet this weekend."

                                          Kevin Harvick 
                            No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet SS 

This Week's Rheem Chevrolet SS at Pocono Raceway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 391 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable for the Party in the Poconos 400. The California native last piloted this Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, where he settled for a 14th-place finish.

Taking on "The Tricky Triangle" ... Harvick has made 24 starts at the 2.5-mile tri-oval dating back to the 2001 season. During that time, the RCR veteran has collected five-top five and eight top-10 finishes. He holds a 19.8 average starting position coupled with a 14.1 average finishing position, has completed 96.1 percent (4,386 of 4,547) of the laps contested and is credited with five laps led.

Rheem on the Hood ... The red Rheem logo will adorn the hood of the No. 29 RCR machine this weekend at Pocono Raceway for their fourth of seven appearances during the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season. Rheem will also be featured on Harvick's Chevrolet at Sonoma Raceway in June, Michigan International Speedway in August and 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.

Doing a Little Testing ... Harvick and the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing team will take a detour through the Bluegrass State on their way to Pennsylvania for a team test at Kentucky Speedway. Harvick and RCR teammates Jeff Burton and Paul Menard are all scheduled to participate in a two-day test on Tuesday, June 4 and Wednesday, June 5 at the 1.5-mile track. The No. 29 team will utilize chassis No. 404, which they previously tested at Pocono Raceway last week.

Race Rewind ... Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem team overcame a pit road penalty and a tight-handling condition during this event last season at Pocono Raceway to finish 14th.

The team just tested at Pocono Raceway. How to do you feel it went, and what did you learn that you can use in this weekend's race?
"It was good. With the new pavement and a lot of speed, I think it will hopefully apply not only to the Pocono (Raceway) races, but to the Michigan (International Speedway) races and Indianapolis (Motor Speedway). That is what we are banking on, so hopefully it was a productive test. I know we ran a lot of miles and the track still has a lot of speed. Even with the new cars, it doesn't have quite as much speed as years past. The asphalt has turned several shades of gray. It should be a fun race. The track took rubber and we didn't have any tire issues or anything like that, so it should be a good weekend."

                                         Jeff Burton
                        No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS

This Weekend's No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet at Pocono Raceway ... Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 416 this weekend at Pocono Raceway. This No. 31 Chevrolet has been utilized three times this season at Auto Club Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

Career Pocono Stats ... This weekend's 400-mile event marks Burton's 39th start at the 2.5-mile facility and 669th-career Sprint Cup Series race. Burton has garnered seven top-five and 17 top-10 finishes at the track, leading 104 laps.

Inside the Cockpit ... The No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet will carry an in-car camera during the TNT race broadcast of the Party in the Poconos 400.

Testing 1, 2, 3 ... Burton, along with his Richard Childress Racing teammates Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick, will be stopping at Kentucky Speedway on their way to Pocono for a team test session on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Race Rewind ... After qualifying the red, white and blue No. 31 Chevrolet in the 20th position for the 2012 400-mile affair at Pocono Raceway, Burton and the No. 31 Armed Forces Foundation Chevrolet team survived two penalties and brought home a top-15 finish.

Why is racing at Pocono Raceway so different than anywhere else on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule?
"First off, the shape of Pocono Raceway is so unique. You also have three corners that are completely different from one another. No corner resembles the other and you are flying down the long straightaways, I mean flying. Then you dive really fast into these corners that were not meant to go fast into. Since the repave, it is a lot smoother without the rough spots. Track position is really important and everyone fights hard on restarts to get that track position which, in turn, creates a situation where people are going to get mad at each other. You have to be aggressive on restarts to be successful there."

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