Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Preview
July 2, 2014
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Notes
Event Coke Zero 400 presented by Coca-Cola
Date: Saturday, July 5, 2014
Location: Daytona International Speedway
Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history at Daytona International Speedway ... Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 11 poles and collected five points-paying victories at the most-storied race track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. RCR owns two Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt - 1998, Kevin Harvick - 2007), three Coke Zero 400 trophies (Earnhardt - 1990, 1993 and Harvick - 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 - 1999). In addition, RCR has earned the Sprint Unlimited a total of eight times, with drivers Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013) and Earnhardt (1986, '88, '91, '93, and '95).
RCR in the NSCS ... In 2,443 Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 46 pole awards,105 wins, 453 top-five finishes and 962 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 17 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 four top-five and 16 top-10 finishes with drivers Dillon, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard. RCR's three full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers rank eighth (Newman), 11th (Menard) and 18th (Dillon) in the driver championship point standings.
RCR Kentucky Rewind ... Last weekend, RCR teammates Newman, Menard and Dillon finished third, 15th and 16th, respectively, in the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway.
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 Coke Zero 400 presented by Coca-Cola will be televised live Saturday, July 5 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 468 in the Coke Zero 400 presented by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway. This is a new Chevrolet SS that will be utilized for the first time under race conditions.
Dillon at Daytona International Speedway ... Dillon made his first start in the Great American Race in the 2013 Daytona 500, driving the No. 33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet to a 31st-place finish after he was involved in a multi-car incident on lap 137 of 200. He also debuted the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet in the 2014 edition of the Daytona 500, leading the 43-car starting field to the green flag after earning his career first Sprint Cup Series pole award before earning a season-to-date best finish of ninth. In four NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at the 2.5-mile restrictor-plate track, the Welcome, N.C., driver has three top-five finishes, with a best finish of fourth in July 2012. He also has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the track.
About Bass Pro Shops ... Bass Pro Shops, which specializes in outdoor fun, operates 85 retail stores and Tracker Marine Centers across America and Canada that are visited by more than 116 million people every year. Bass Pro Shops stores, many of which feature restaurants, offer hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor gear while their catalogs and website serve shoppers throughout the world. The company's Tracker Marine Group which has produced the number one selling brand of fishing boats for more than 35 years, manufactures and sells a variety of boats for fishing and cruising. Family fun is on tap at Bass Pro Shops resort Big Cedar Lodge, voted number six by Travel + Leisure Magazine as World's Best Hotels for Families. For more information, visit http://www.basspro.com. To request a free catalog, call 1-800-BASS PRO. Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bassproshops.
About the NRA Museum ... Bass Pro Shops, the primary sponsor of Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Chevrolet SS driven by Austin Dillon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will pay tribute to the National Rifle Association's members and the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum with a special paint scheme for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 5. The NRA National Sporting Arms Museum houses an important collection of more than a thousand firearms and other artifacts and dioramas that trace the evolution of hunting, conservation and freedom from the 1600s to modern day. The museum, which is located at Bass Pro Shops' flagship store in Springfield, Missouri, is open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and admission is free. For more information about the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, visit http://www.basspro.com/nramuseum or http://nramuseum.com/.
Get to the Points ... Dillon ranks 18th in the championship point standings entering this weekend's race event at Daytona International Speedway.
Bass Pro Shops Twitter Takeover ... On Thursday at 2 p.m. ET @austindillon3 is scheduled to take over the @Bass_Pro_Shops Twitter account. Follow both accounts for an inside glimpse at the @Bass_Pro_Shops driver's life leading into the Daytona International Speedway race weekend.
Meet Dillon ... Dillon is scheduled to participate in the Coca-Cola Racing Family Track Walk at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, July 4. The event is open to anyone with a ticket to the same-day NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
You've had some success at Daytona International Speedway with a pole and a top-10 finish in February. I bet you're licking your chops to get back there?
"Daytona International Speedway in July is always fun. It will be hot. It will be slicker and I think your handling will come a little bit more into play. I'm looking forward to it. I've learned a lot drafting the last couple of races. We're getting better at it, I have a great spotter and we'll work hard to do what we can to get to the front."
How much do you feel a track like Daytona International Speedway is in your control, or is it all about circumstances?
"A little bit is in my control. I feel like most of it is. With that place, putting yourself in position is a big part of it and not having the cars around you that likely will wreck. You can look and see the cars that are out of control and on the edge of it most of the time. It's a fine line between those two."
No. 27 SPLASH/Menards Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's SPLASH / Menards Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... This weekend in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Paul Menard and the No. 27 SPLASH / Menards Chevrolet SS team will race chassis No. 447. This Chevrolet SS was previously raced at this year's Daytona 500, where Menard led 29 laps of competition. The team's great run was ended short when Menard was collected in an on-track incident and had to take the No. 27 Chevrolet to the garage for repairs.
Menard at Daytona ... In 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway, Menard has an average starting position of 20.1 and an average finish of 20.2. Menard has completed 93.3 percent of the laps around the 2.5-mile track. The Eau Claire, Wis., native also has three top-10 finishes in Daytona. In addition, Menard has eight NASCAR Nationwide Series starts.
About SPLASH ... SPLASH Products Inc., a national provider of seasonal safety products based in Eagan, Minn., manufactures and distributes a comprehensive assortment of windshield washer fluids, RV and marine antifreeze, gas line antifreeze and winter deicers. With distribution in almost every type of retail channel, SPLASH is conveniently available throughout the Unites States. For more information on SPLASH, please visit www.splashwash.com.
Season-to-date ... Through the first 17 Sprint Cup Series races of the 2014 season, Menard has completed 4,969 of 5,094 laps contested (97.5 percent), led 45 laps and is currently 11th in the driver point standings.
Test, Test ... Menard, along with his Richard Childress Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon, is scheduled to test at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 1 - 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time.
What's Your Point ... After finishing 15th at Kentucky Speedway, Menard moved up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings to 11th, only 20 markers out of 10th heading into Daytona this weekend.
Looking Back ... Menard qualified sixth for last year's Coke Zero 400 and raced in the top three before mechanical issues ended his night early and relegated the team to a 43rd-place finish.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
What are your thoughts on racing in Daytona at night and with the restrictor plate?
"You just have to survive. You know, Daytona and Talladega we've always had really fast Chevrolets. We can qualify up front, it's just a matter of getting through the race and to the end in one piece so you can go race the last 20 laps. Restrictor-plate racing the last couple of years has been harder to pass, so you have to make your move earlier than you used to. You have to position yourself with 20 to 30 laps to go to be in that lead pack and make a move. A lot of it is just biding your time, trying to make decisions so you can be there at the end."
How much of a confident feeling do you have knowing RCR has a good ECR Engine package at Daytona?
"The Daytona 500 was pure speed, single-car qualifying and RCR had the front row there. Then in Talladega, we had five of the top-six spots powered by ECR Engines, so that was a good qualifying effort. We will try to be smart about it and qualify up front again. Obviously it's what we try to do every week, but you can kind of manipulate it more there by having a plan and sticking to it. The track is wearing out a little bit too, so you're not wide open the entire fuel run so handling comes back in to play especially in July at Daytona."
No. 31 WIX Filters Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's WIX Filters Chevrolet SS at Daytona International Speedway ... Ryan Newman will drive chassis No. 436 in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway. This No. 31 Chevrolet SS competed earlier this season in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway and the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Newman at Daytona ... Newman is the proud owner of a Harley J. Earl trophy by winning the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. In total, the South Bend, Ind., native has 25 starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, as well as four top-five and six top-10 finishes. His average start and average finish is 20th. He's led 101 laps in competition.
About WIX Filters ... Since 1939, WIX® Filters has been an innovator in filtration products. WIX designs, manufactures and distributes products for automotive, diesel, agricultural, industrial and specialty filter markets. Its product line includes oil, air, cabin interior, fuel, coolant, transmission and hydraulic filters for automobiles, trucks, off-road equipment and manufacturing applications. For more information, visit www.wixfilters.com.
Point of Interest ... Newman ranks eighth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing the current leader by 104 points, entering the 18th event on the schedule - the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola.
Where's Ryan? ... On Friday morning, Newman is scheduled to participate in the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk at DIS starting at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.
Race Rewind ... Last season, Newman managed a top-10 finish in the Coke Zero 400, despite getting collected in a crash coming to the start/finish line.
Team Test ... On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, all three Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup teams are testing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Plus, Newman and Dillon are scheduled to stop by the NHMS media center today at 12:30 p.m.
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES:
What is the key to finishing up front at Daytona?
"Daytona is just so much different than it used to be, which is how I liked it when you could slip and slide around. But you have to have a fast race car and you have to put yourself in position for that last little section. And you have to have a good enough car to not get shucked out of line. It all depends. It could end up being a fuel mileage race. It could end up being a multiple green-white-checkered race. You just never know there."
The No. 31 team is currently ranked second out of the six teams without a victory in the Chase hunt. How would you rate your season so far with your new RCR team?
"This is probably the best/worst season I've had as far as just not having the ultimate numbers. Our average is good, which is still a part of getting yourself into the Chase if there are not 16 winners. So, we have to win. We want to win. If you're going to win the championship, you're probably going to have to win something. I don't see that the winner of the championship doesn't have a race victory under his belt. But we've been working hard at it. The guys at RCR, as well as ECR Engines, have been working really hard at it and I think we have some things in the works that are going to make us better. But I know that everybody else does, too.
"We're sitting eighth in points, which is probably twice as good as I was at this time last year, if I remember correctly. So, that part of it is better. That's why I said it's the best/worst year I've had with a top-five and a couple of top 10's; and yet consistency-wise, we're still eighth in points."