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May 5, 2014

Sprint Cup Aaron's 499 Report

After a wild day at Talladega, Paul finishes sixth, Austin 15th and Ryan 19th.

HHP/RCR HHP/RCR

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Aaron's 499 Post Race Report
Talladega Superspeedway
May 4, 2014
 
Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates Paul Menard, Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman finished sixth, 15th and 19th, respectively.
  • Newman ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing current leader Jeff Gordon by 48 points, while Dillon ranks 14th and Menard 17th.
  • The No. 31 Chevrolet team ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 3 team 14th in the standings and the No. 27 team 17th.
  • Denny Hamlin earned his first victory of the 2014 season and was followed to the finish line by Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger.
  • The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Kansas 400 at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 10. The 11th race of the 2014 season is scheduled to be televised live on FOX beginning at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.

 

Austin Dillon Survives Superspeedway Racing at Talladega Superspeedway with Top-15 Finish

Despite incurring damage to the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet during an on-track incident with less than 10 laps remaining in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, Austin Dillon and the Richard Childress Racing team persevered to earn a 15th-place finish in their second restrictor-plate race of the season. Dillon started the 500-mile event from the fifth position and raced anywhere from fifth to 30th in the 43-car field as the field choreographed in two-, three-, four- and even five-wide packs. Dillon made routine pit stops during the 188-lap race, noting that his Chevrolet handled perfectly during the initial run before switching to loose following a wedge adjustment during the middle portion of the race. On lap 176, a car spun on the track triggering a multi-car incident that collected Dillon's No. 3 Chevrolet and brought out the caution flag. Crew chief Gil Martin directed the Welcome, N.C. driver down pit road so the RCR team could make repairs to the front end of the car, change all four tires and add fuel. Dillon restarted 29th with eight laps remaining. The rookie of the year contender survived two additional cautions to finish 15th.

Start - 5th        Finish - 15th    Laps Led - 0    Points - 14th

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: 
"What a race. We were two- and three- wide the entire time. I thought we would be able to make more of a charge for it at the end, but it was hard after we were collected in the wreck. It was hard to get going in some of those lines today. I really want to thank Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops. It was a fun day, that's for sure. I really have to give props to RCR and ECR for all of the teamwork this weekend. That was just awesome to see everyone working together on Saturday during qualifying."

Paul Menard Earns Sixth-Place Finish in No. 27 Menards Chevrolet at Talladega

Paul Menard drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet SS to a sixth-place finish in Sunday's 500-mile event at Talladega Superspeedway. The Eau Claire, Wisc., driver started second after the 2.66-mile track's first knockout qualifying session on Saturday. Menard raced in the top-10 for 24 laps of competition, leading nine of those laps. Menard was caught up in a wreck on lap 137 causing only cosmetic damage. After several stops to repair the car ,Menard was able to race his way back in to the top-15 with 16 laps to go. One final caution flag fell on lap 182 and when the green flag waved, the No. 27 powered to the top-10 resulting in a hard-fought, sixth-place finish. Menard moved up one spot to 17th in the driver championship point standings. Up next for the No. 27 team is Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Kansas Speedway.

Start - 2nd             Finish - 6th                   Laps Led - 9                Points - 17th

PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"We started second today at Talladega and had a really strong run going. Our momentum broke when we were caught up in a wreck, but that's Talladega. The boys worked really hard on pit road and did a great job keeping us up front. The Richmond/Menards Chevy was fast all day, so we knew it was possible to still have a strong finish. I'm proud of the team for bringing it home sixth. 'Never give up' is what we're standing by this season."

Ryan Newman finishes 18th at Talladega Superspeedway

Under a cloudless sky on Sunday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway, Ryan Newman and the No. 31 CAT Chevrolet team started sixth in the Aaron's 499. A few laps after the initial green flag  waved for the 188-lap race, Newman opted to drop towards the rear of the field and take a conservative approach to the restrictor-plate track. The Luke Lambert-led crew made four- and two-tire pit stops, taking on fuel and making minor adjustments during routine pit stops under caution periods for single-car incidents and debris. A multi-car wreck on lap 140 caused slight damage to the left-rear tire well of the team's Chevrolet SS, which the crew was able to repair during yellow-flag pit stops. On lap 182, the No. 99 car spun in front of Newman and went to the outside before sliding down the track. Unfortunately, Newman didn't have time to stop or room to go around him and ended up tagging him with the nose of his Chevrolet. Several stops under yellow for repairs kept Newman on the lead lap. Newman was scored in the 26th place when the green flag waved for the 186th circuit. He made a late-race charge to finish 18th. Newman remains ninth in points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway for a Saturday night race.

Start - 6th          Finish - 18th     Laps Led - 1     Points - 9th

RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:
"We went with the conservative approach for most of the race and it worked to our advantage. Towards the end, cautions started to pile up and we got caught up in two of them and it hurt our car, but not to the point where we couldn't be competitive. At the end, we just did the best we could to get the finish we had. The guys on pit road did a great job all day and Luke [Lambert, crew chief] did a great job making the calls on the pit box."
 

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