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October 13, 2013

Sprint Cup Series Race Report for Charlotte

Read how all four RCR teams did at Charlotte on Saturday night

                                                   Charlotte 500

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Charlotte Motor Speedway     
October 12, 2013

Race Highlights
* Richard Childress Racing teammates finished sixth (Kevin Harvick), 21st (Jeff Burton), 24th (Paul Menard) and 27th (Brian Scott) in the Charlotte 500.
* Following the event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Harvick is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 29 markers behind the leader, while Menard is 17th and Burton sits 20th.
* The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks third 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 gained six positions during the final 10 percent (34 laps) of the event positioning him first in the Closers category.
* Harvick completed 55 passes while running in the top 15, ranking him second in the Quality Passes category. He was also the sixth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run, sixth-Fastest on Restarts and posted four of the Fastest Laps Run.
* Burton made 84 Green-Flag Passes during the event, ranking him ninth amongst all competitors.
* Menard completed 76 Green-Flag Passes during the 334-lap event.
* Scott posted one of the Fastest Laps run during the 500-mile affair.
* Brad Keselowski earned his first victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch.
* The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 20. The 32nd race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.


Menard Finishes 24th at Charlotte Motor Speedway


Starting in the 13th position, Paul Menard finished 24th after an early incident on pit road put him behind in the event at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night. The beginning laps of the race looked promising as Menard made his way into the top 10 at lap 20. Just a few laps later, the caution flag was displayed and the Eau Claire, Wis., native came down pit road for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. While exiting pit road, Menard made contact with the No. 10 machine and was forced to come back down pit road for right-front fender repairs. Restarting in the 39th position on lap 29, the Richard Childress Racing driver quickly picked up 10 spots and was scored in 29th on lap 39. Long green-flag runs coupled with a tight-handling condition through the center and a loose-condition on exit of the corners caused Menard to fall two laps down to the leader by the halfway point of the 500-mile affair. Menard and crew never gave up making a variety of chassis adjustments on the ensuing pit stops, and by the latter stages of the event the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet was running lap times as fast as the leader. Additional green-flag runs made it difficult for Menard to make up any ground, ultimately finishing 24th under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He remains 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Talladega Superspeedway.

 Start - 13          Finish - 24          Laps Led - 0          Points - 17th

PAUL MENARD QUOTE:"It was a tough night for the No. 27 Duracell/Menards crew. We got behind early with a pit road incident, and we just couldn't make up any ground on the leader. We were in position a few times to get the "Lucky Dog" pass, but those long green-flag runs hurt us. We'll move on and hope for a better run at Talladega (Superspeedway) next weekend."


Harvick Picks Up Top-10 Finish Under the Lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John's Chevrolet team finished sixth under the lights of Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night, after starting on the front row and battling an ill-handling racecar throughout the majority of the 334-lap event. The California native started the fifth race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup from the second position and maintained a spot within the top five during the early laps as he battled a loose-handling Chevrolet. Crew chief Gil Martin called Harvick down pit road on lap 26 for right-side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Back on track, the Richard Childress Racing driver reported the car was still loose and the pit crew continued to work on the car's handling during scheduled four-tire pit stops throughout the race. The team made one final round of adjustments during a four-tire pit stop on lap 308. Harvick was scored in the eighth position for the ensuing restart and moved up two spots to sixth before crossing the finish line. Following the 500-mile event, Harvick remains third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 29 markers out of the top spot.

 Start - 2         Finish - 6         Laps Led - 0         Points - 3rd

KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE: "I have to thank everyone on this Jimmy John's team tonight; they really had their work cut out for them. We struggled with the handling of our car all night and it's a miracle that we were able to pull off a sixth-place finish. I am just really proud of this team right now."
 
Burton Finishes 21st at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished in 21st-place under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Starting the 334-lap event from the 26th position, the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner battled a tight-handling condition on his black and yellow machine during the early laps, while maintaining a top-25 running position. Throughout the first part of the event, the South Boston, Va., native continued to battle with the ill-handling machine while the Luke Lambert-led Caterpillar pit crew made chassis and air pressure adjustments on multiple four-tire pit stops. The Richard Childress Racing driver eventually cracked the top 20 on lap 192 and recorded strong lap times during long green-flag runs. Maintaining the top-20 running position over the final 100 laps, Burton took the "wave around" pass under a late-race caution-flag period and was scored one lap down to the leader on the final restart of the evening with 23 laps remaining. Hoping for one more caution-flag period, the 46-year-old driver was forced to bring his Chevrolet SS to the attention of the Caterpillar pit crew for gas only with five laps remaining so he wouldn't run out of fuel and ultimately crossed the finish line in the 21st position. Burton now sits 20th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

 Start - 26          Finish - 21          Laps Led - 0          Points - 20th

JEFF BURTON QUOTE: "It was a tough night for the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team as a tight-handling condition plagued us all evening. We tried to play some strategy near the end, but it didn't work out in our favor. We will be ready for a strong weekend at Talladega Superspeedway."

Scott Earns a 27th-Place Finish in His NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Debut  at Charlotte Motor Speedway

 Brian Scott earned a 27th-place finish in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut after battling an extremely loose condition throughout the 500-mile event. The 25-year-old driver qualified his No. 33 Shore Lodge Chevrolet SS in the 19th position to start the 334-lap race. Scott reported to crew chief Scott Naset that he was battling a loose-handling car all the way around the 1.5-mile speedway. The evening's first caution-flag waved on lap 24, allowing Scott to bring his black and white machine to the attention of the pit crew for routine service and a chassis adjustment. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 27 with the Richard Childress Racing driver in the 27th position. Through the course of the evening, the field had multiple lengthy green-flag runs, while Scott continued to battle an extremely loose-handling condition. With each visit to pit road, the crew continued to make multiple chassis adjustments to alleviate the handling issues. On lap 226, the Boise, Idaho, native came to pit road under green-flag conditions for four tires, fuel and more chassis adjustments. After pit stops cycled through, he was scored 25th in the running order. As the race progressed, Scott became more comfortable behind the wheel while running lap times comparable to those on the lead lap. In the closing laps, he battled with the competitors on his lap for position before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 27th position.

 

BRIAN SCOTT QUOTE:

"Man that was a long race. I hate that we didn't start off better. We probably would have gone a lap down  anyhow, but definitely could have finished inside the top 20 if we started the way we ended the race. We were too loose at the beginning and chased that for a better part of the night. I learned a lot, had fun and can't thank everyone at Richard Childress Racing and Shore Lodge enough for their support tonight."

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