Sprint Cup Series: Watkins Glen International Preview
August 5, 2014
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Notes
Event: NASCAR 355 at The Glen
Date: Sunday, August 10, 2014
Location: Watkins Glen International
RCR at Watkins Glen International ... In 59 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen International, RCR boasts two wins (Robby Gordon 2003 and Kevin Harvick 2006), eight top-five and 21 top-10 finishes. Dale Earnhardt won three poles (1990, '92, '96) at the high-speed, seven-turn, upstate New York facility.
RCR in the NSCS ... In 2,455 Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 46 pole awards,105 wins, 455 top-five finishes and 966 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 and an average finishing position of 15.8. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Sprint Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, '87, '90, '91, '93 and '94, six 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.
The Collective RCR ...Throughout the season's first 21 races, RCR's Sprint Cup Series entries have earned one pole award with Austin Dillon at Daytona International Speedway in February. Collectively, the organization has notched six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes with drivers Dillon, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard. RCR's three full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers rank fifth (Newman), 15th (Dillon) and 16th (Menard) in the driver championship point standings.
RCR Pocono Raceway Rewind ... RCR teammates Newman, Dillon and Menard finished eighth, 15th and 33rd, respectively, in the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway.
Save Kids' Lives by Joining the Childress Champions ... Help support the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma by selecting your favorite driver when making a bronze level donation of $33 (Austin Dillon), $27 (Paul Menard) or $31 (Ryan Newman) to CIPT. To make a tax deductable donation, visit: https://www.wakehealth.edu/OnlineGift.htm?fid=45. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma invests resources in research, education and awareness to improve the treatment for critically injured children in the U.S. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center was established through the generosity of Richard and Judy Childress. For more information, please visit www.InjuredKids.org.
Catch the Action ... The NASCAR 355 at the Glen will be televised live Sunday, August 20 beginning at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
No. 3 Dow Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's Dow Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International ... Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 469 in the NASCAR 355 at the Glen. This is the same Chevrolet SS Dillon raced to a 17th-place finish at Sonoma Raceway in June.
Dillon at Watkins Glen International ... Although this weekend marks Dillon's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series attempt at Watkins Glen, he has two NASCAR Nationwide Series starts to his credit at the road course, posting a 12th-place finish in 2013 and a 23rd-place finish in 2012. He also finished 12th in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Division race at Watkins Glen in 2008.
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Get to the Points ... Dillon ranks 15th in the championship point standings leading into the NASCAR 355 at the Glen.
Season-to-Date ...According to NASCAR's Loop Data Season-to-Date Statistics, Dillon leads the Sprint Cup Series in Laps Completed (5,820) and Green Flag Passes (2,459). He ranks ninth in the Closers category, advancing an average of 1.2 spots during the last 10 percent of each race.
Testing 1, 2, 3 ... Dillon and his Richard Childress Racing teammates are testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this week in preparation for the Labor Day weekend Sprint Cup Series race weekend.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
Are you looking forward to racing at Watkins Glen International?
"Road courses have never been my strong suit, but I am actually really looking forward to going to Watkins Glen International after our team's performance at Sonoma Raceway in June. Sonoma was fun. It made me realize that road course racing can be fun and it got me excited for Watkins Glen. I came to Watkins Glen with my brother and tested a Trans Am car a few weeks ago. It rained, but I was still able to learn some things. The race to the Chase is on, so my whole team is going into the race motivated to perform."
No. 27 SPLASH/Menards Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's SPLASH / Menards Chevrolet at Pocono Raceway ... This weekend in the NASCAR 355 at Watkins Glen International, Paul Menard and the No. 27 SPLASH/Menards Chevrolet SS team will race chassis No. 470. This Chevrolet SS was previously raced at Sonoma Raceway where Menard secured his second-consecutive, top-five finish of the 2014 season.
Menard at The Glen ... In 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen International, Menard has an average starting position of 27.5 and an average finish of 22.8. Menard has completed 99.2 percent of the laps around the road course. In addition, Menard has seven NASCAR Nationwide Series starts which include one top-five and four top-10 finishes.
Double Duty ... In addition to driving the No. 27 SPLASH/Menards Chevrolet SS in Sunday afternoon's race, Menard will pilot the No. 33 Turtle Wax/Menards Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Saturday afternoon. This race is scheduled to air live on ABC at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, along with MRN and SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.
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Testing 1, 2, 3 ... Menard and his Richard Childress Racing teammates are testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this week in preparation for the Labor Day weekend Sprint Cup Series event.
Season-to-date ... Through the first 21 Sprint Cup Series races of the 2014 season, Menard has completed 5,687 of 5,831 laps contested (97.5 percent), led 45 laps and is currently 16th in the drivers point standings.
What's Your Point ... After finishing 33rd at Pocono Raceway, Menard maintained his position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings and sits 16th, only 28 markers out of 13th, heading into Watkins Glen this weekend.
Looking Back ... Menard qualified seventh for last year's event at the road course and raced his way in to the top 10 before a pit road penalty and late-race incident relegated the team to a 17th-place finish.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
Why has Watkins Glen International gotten so different over the years?
"It's really hard to pass. Obviously the harder it is to pass the more track position means, so you try to get all you can on the restarts. At a place like Watkins Glen there are better passing opportunities than somewhere like Sonoma. I think historically you see more wrecks and things like that at Sonoma whereas at Watkins Glen ,you can get by a guy if you're faster than him. It's a fun road course and it's totally opposite from Sonoma. It has really high speeds and the setup is a lot different than you would run at Sonoma, which all makes for an interesting weekend."
The days of road course "ringers" are pretty much gone now. Everyone seems to take it seriously now, why is that?
"I don't think anyone has not taken it seriously for the last 10 to 15 years. The points just add up and the more competitive the Sprint Cup Series gets, the more each weekend matters. There are a lot of guys that enjoy road racing, whereas a number of years ago guys maybe did not enjoy it. I think everyone, for the most part, looks forward to going to Watkins Glen and shifting gears."
No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet SS at Watkins Glen International ... Ryan Newman will drive chassis No. 471 in Sunday's NASCAR 355 at The Glen. This chassis was utilized earlier this season in NASCAR's first road-course event at Sonoma Raceway where Newman qualified 11th and finished seventh.
Newman at The Glen ... In 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Watkins Glen International, he recorded one top-five and three top-10 finishes. His average start is 10th, average finish is 16th and he has raced in the top spot for 20 circuits.
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Where's Ryan? ... On Thursday, Newman is scheduled to sign autographs on behalf of Coca-Cola Racing at the Walmart located at 515 East 4th Street in Watkins Glen at 6 p.m. ET.
Point of Interest ... In the last six Sprint Cup Series races, Newman ranks third in most points earned by a driver in competition. He is also fifth in the championship point standings entering this weekend's NASCAR 355 at The Glen.
Put to the Test ... Newman and his Richard Childress Racing teammates are scheduled to test at Atlanta Motor Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for the Labor Day weekend Cup Series race.
Watkins Glen Rewind ... Newman qualified 14th and battled back from a pit road penalty to race from 32nd to a 14th-place finish.
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES:
What makes Watkins Glen a challenge?
"Watkins Glen is so much faster than Sonoma Raceway. I think Pocono was a nice warm up to this race because of the fact that we had to shift. It couldn't have fallen at a better place on the schedule when it comes to preparing for this race. The speed is the biggest difference when comparing Watkins Glen to Sonoma. It also provides for a few more places to pass on the track, and that's always a good thing for us."
Since you've recorded a top-10 at Sonoma, does that mean you'll run well at The Glen?
"If you've run well at Sonoma, it means you are a good road-course driver. Odds are you will run well at Watkins Glen, but the tracks are quite a bit different so you have to take that in consideration and hope for the best."
Do you anticipate a lot of rolling of the dice by teams to try and steal a win at Watkins Glen?
"Watkins Glen is the same type of deal like Pocono, Indy and Michigan where the track is so long and the fuel mileage plays the biggest part of the teams' strategy. I think that can be as big of a question mark as any kind of a road course ace or anything like that."