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WINNING Sprint Cup Post Race Report from Kansas

                                                Kansas 400

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Kansas Speedway     
October 6, 2013

 Race Highlights:

·         Richard Childress Racing teammates finished first (Kevin Harvick), seventh (Paul Menard), and 12th (Jeff Burton) in the Kansas 400.
·         Following the event at Kansas Speedway, Harvick gained one spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings and sits in third, 25 markers behind the leader, while Menard is 17th and Burton sits 19th.
·         The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 18th in the standings and the No. 31 team 20th.
·         According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Harvick was the Fastest on Restarts, Fastest Driver Late in a Run and posted 49 of the Fastest Laps Run.
·         Harvick was also credited with the Most Laps Led, leading 138 of the 267 laps completed and received the best Driver Rating (138.4).
·         Menard had an Average Running Position of third, was the second Fastest Driver on Restarts and fourth Fastest Driver Early in a Run.
·         Menard also spent 98.1 percent of Laps in Top 15 ranking him third.
·         Burton completed 58 Green-Flag Passes, 20 were made while running in the top-15 (Quality Passes).
·         Harvick earned his third victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards.
·         The next Sprint Cup Series race is at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 12. The 31st 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 Sirius XM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.

Menard Finishes Seventh at Kansas Speedway

Starting from the eighth position, Paul Menard and the No. 27 SPLASH/Menards team brought home their eighth top-10 finish of the season after crossing the stripe seventh at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. In the early stages of the 267-lap event, Menard relayed to the crew that his Chevrolet was tight through the center of the corners and on exit. Though he was struggling with minor handling issues, Menard ran lap times faster than the leader and was scored in third at lap 87. The Eau Claire, Wis., native maintained a position in or near the top five until coming down pit road for a routine-pit stop on lap 171 for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Shortly after pitting, Menard relayed to the team that the No. 27 machine was tight and he was scored in ninth at lap 185. As the circuits wore on, the car's handling improved and Menard was back inside the top three at lap 200. The Richard Childress Racing driver remained in third until pitting under caution one final time for fuel and right-side tires on lap 229. Several cars elected to take fuel only and Menard lined up for the restart in ninth. With 35 laps remaining, Menard improved two positions to finish seventh and now sits in the 17th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Charlotte Motor Speedway.

           Start - 8          Finish - 7         Laps Led - 0            Points - 17th
"The No. 27 team put together a great SPLASH/Menards Chevrolet this weekend at Kansas Speedway. We were pretty good all weekend and the car was fast. We had a good qualifying run and maintained a spot in the top 10 for most of the race. We had a better car than what our finish showed, but we just got behind on that last pit stop having to take fuel and couldn't make up much ground in the remaining laps. All-in-all it was a solid day for our team and I'm happy with our results this weekend."

Harvick Captures Third Win of 2013 Season at Kansas Speedway

Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team capped off a strong weekend with their third trip to Victory Lane of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Kansas Speedway. After capturing his first pole award since 2006 on Friday evening, Harvick led the first 85 laps of the 267-lap event before making a green-flag pit stop for routine service. Shortly after the California native returned to the race track, the caution flag was displayed and he was trapped one lap down to leader and forced to take the "wave around" pass under caution to return to the lead lap. Restarting 24th, a tight-handling condition plagued the red and white machine as Harvick climbed back into the top 20 by the halfway point of the 400-mile race. Crew chief Gil Martin decided to play pit strategy under caution on lap 135 and called for the Richard Childress Racing driver to stay out and gain valuable track position. Harvick returned to the lead for another 16 circuits until coming down pit road again for fuel only and chassis adjustments. Martin continued to make the right calls on pit road during multiple caution-flag periods throughout the middle stages of the race and Harvick climbed back into the top five before eventually taking the lead again. Under caution with 36 laps to go, RCR teammate Jeff Burton took fuel only while Martin called for right-side tires on the No. 29 Chevrolet. Harvick passed Burton on the ensuing restart and never looked back, leading the final 36 laps to bring home RCR's first win at the Kansas City, Kan. facility. With the victory, Harvick gained one position and now sits third in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

           Start - 1         Finish - 1         Laps Led - 138         Points - 3rd

"Well first off, I just want to thank everybody from Sprint. This is a huge race for everybody in this town, Budweiser, Rheem, Jimmy John's, Chevrolet, Bad Boy Buggies, Realtree and everybody that helps this Chevrolet team.  These guys just did a great job all weekend. To have a car fast enough for me to qualify it on the pole says a lot about how fast this thing was. I knew we were fast on Friday when we qualified to get the sixth pole of my whole career. It was just a tough day with track position. I knew if we could ever get back out front after we got caught in the pits there with that debris caution, we would have a shot.  It kind of worked out for us there at the end and we caught a couple of those guys, so it all came full circle and we were able to put our Budweiser Chevy up front. Once we got out front, the thing was just really fast. We'll just keep having fun and keep doing what we're doing."

Burton Brings Home Top-15 Finish at Kansas Speedway

Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team battled back to a top-15 finish of 12th at Kansas Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Starting the 267-lap event from the 16th position, the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner battled a tight-handling condition on his black and yellow machine early, while maintaining a top-15 running position. Bad luck struck on lap 87 when the caution flag was displayed for debris two laps after the South Boston, Va., native brought his Chevrolet to pit road for routine service. The Richard Childress Racing driver took the "wave around" pass under caution and returned to the lead lap in the 29th position, working his way back into the top 25 by the halfway point of the 400-mile race. Burton continued to radio crew chief Luke Lambert that the tight-handling condition was persistent on the Caterpillar machine and he seemed to lose rear grip on long green-flag runs. Lambert played pit strategy during multiple caution-flag periods through the middle stage of the race as Burton wrestled with his ill-handling car while running in the top 20. Under caution on lap 229, Lambert directed the 46-year-old driver to the attention of the Caterpillar pit crew and called for fuel only in an attempt to gain valuable track position. Burton restarted at the front of the field and led lap 231 before relinquishing the lead to RCR teammate Kevin Harvick, who was working with fresher tires. Burton maintained a top-10 running position for the latter part of the race and ultimately brought home a 12th-place finish. Burton remains 19th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

     Start - 16           Finish - 12         Laps Led - 1             Points - 19th

JEFF BURTON QUOTE: "We were fighting a tight-handling condition on the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet all afternoon, but Luke (Lambert, crew chief) made the right call towards the end of the race and we managed to bring home another top-15 finish. It was a great effort all around by this team."


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