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Sprint Cup: Michigan International Speedway Preview

Richard Childress Racing 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Notes 


Event:           Pure Michigan 400        

Date:             Sunday, August 17, 2014 

Location:      Michigan International Speedway   

Richard Childress Racing at Michigan International Speedway ... In 144 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway, RCR teams have earned three wins, two with Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990) and the most recent with Kevin Harvick (August 2010). Additionally, RCR has claimed 21 top-five and 50 top-10 finishes with 10 different drivers including Richard Childress, a former driver in NASCAR's top division, who recorded top-10 finishes at MIS in June 1978 and August 1979. The Welcome, N.C.-based organization has an 18.3 average starting position, an average finishing position of 16.4, has completed 27,118 of the 28,532 contested laps (95 percent) and has led 687 laps in the Irish Hills.
RCR in the NSCS ... In 2,458 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 22 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 ninth (Newman), 14th (Dillon) and 17th (Menard) in the driver championship point standings.
RCR Watkins Glen International Rewind ... RCR teammates Dillon, Menard and Newman finished 16th, 32nd and 41st, respectively, in the NASCAR 355 at the Glen.
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: 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
Interactive RCR ... For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR's Twitter page - @RCRracing - along with the RCR Sprint Cup Series team Twitter pages - @RCR3ADillon, @RCR27PMenard, @RCR31RNewman, and driver Twitter pages @austindillon3 and @RyanJNewman. Information about the 15-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at and at along with official driver pages - , and
Catch the Action ... The Pure Michigan 400 will be televised live Sunday, August 17 beginning at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Austin Dillon
No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS
 Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's American Ethanol Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway ... Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 481 in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. This is the same Chevrolet SS that Dillon raced to a 10th-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.
Dillon at Michigan International Speedway .... Dillon has made four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway. In the June 2014 event he finished 30th, despite running in the top 10 for the majority of the race, after making a series of unscheduled pit stops in the closing laps for a flat tire. In August 2013, he subbed for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet finishing 14th and raced an American Ethanol-sponsored No. 33 Chevrolet in June, finishing 11th. In June 2012, Dillon finished 24th after starting 22nd in a No. 33 Chevrolet.
Etc. ... In addition to Sprint Cup Series competition, the reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series champion has made three Nationwide Series starts at Michigan International Speedway, earning back-to-back pole awards in 2012 and 2013, leading 72 laps and acquiring his best finish of fifth in 2012. In two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, Dillon has earned one pole award, led 34 laps and earned his best finish of fifth in 2010.
Think Green ... RCR's No. 3 Chevrolet team will sport the black and green colors of American Ethanol this weekend at Pocono Raceway. American Ethanol, a renewable source of cleaner burning energy from the bounty of America's farmers, helps create new green jobs and a renewed sense of pride for the American worker, while helping to achieve greater energy security for our country.  Launched by Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association, along with the support of other partners, American Ethanol is a breakthrough brand that seeks to expand consumer awareness of the benefits of ethanol and E15, and takes the NASCAR Green initiative to the next level. Since the program launch for the 2011 season, NASCAR® drivers have run more than 6 million miles on renewable Sunoco Green E15.
Get to the Points ... Dillon ranks 14th in the championship point standings leading into the Pure Michigan 400.
Season-to-Date ... According to NASCAR's Loop Data Season-to-Date Statistics, Dillon leads the Sprint Cup Series in Laps Completed (5,910) and Green Flag Passes (2,520).
Double Duty ... In addition to Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race, watch Dillon, the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, compete in the Careers for Veterans 200 Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, August 16 at 12:30 p.m. ET live on FOX Sports 1 and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
What do you think about Michigan International Speedway?
"It's go time. The dynamics of the Chase have changed a little bit, now that we've added another new winner to the mix and we are closing in on the Chase cutoff point. Making the Chase is a goal we've set for ourselves as a team and even though I am a rookie, I feel like it's a good pressure to be under. We thrive under the pressure. Michigan International Speedway is a fast track and I've had success there in the past. I'm looking to perform there. It's Dow's home track and we'll have a large group from American Ethanol there, too. We had some bad luck in the June race, but I think we'll be fine this time around. It's one of my favorite tracks."
2011 CC Team Icon 27 NSCS Menards
Paul Menard
No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway ... Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 480 in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS was utilized earlier this year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the Richard Childress Racing team started 29th and finished in the 34th position due to an on-track incident.
Michigan by the numbers ... Menard has 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway. His best start of fourth came in 2013 and best finishes of fourth were in 2011, 2013 and 2014. The Wisconsin native has completed 3,164 of 3,210 laps attempted (98.6 percent) at the two-mile track.
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Season-to-date ... Through 22 Sprint Cup Series races of the 2014 season, Menard has completed 5,774 of 5,921 laps contested (97.5 percent), led 45 laps and is currently 18th in the driver point standings.
Looking Back ... The RCR driver scored his second-career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory during the No. 33 Chevy team's last visit to the two-mile track in June. Menard also started in the fifth position during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event earlier this year at MIS. The No. 27 Chevy team raced in the top 20 during and through a series of pit stops and strategic calls, finished in the fourth position.
Michigan is a big, wide-open track with a repave that has kind of changed the animal there, right?
"We had a good run in June at Michigan. The track is widening out for sure. The first couple of races after the repave were treacherous and now the groove is widening so you can make your car do different things as the run goes on."
Do you get much of a sensation of speed there or is it all sort of relative?
"Not as much as some of the other tracks, but it's definitely the fastest track we go to. You don't really get that sensation because the track is so wide and smooth. The cars handle really well around the track with all the aero, so there are some tracks  where we get a bigger sensation. The biggest thing you realize is when you look up in to the stands and see how fast the catchfence goes by, then you understand just how fast you're going."

Ryan Newman
No. 31 WIX Filters Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's WIX Filters Chevrolet SS at Michigan International Speedway ... Ryan Newman will drive chassis No. 479 in Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. This chassis was utilized earlier this season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Newman qualified fourth and finished 11th.
Newman at MIS ... In 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Michigan, Newman scored back-to-back victories in the fall 2003 and spring 2004 events. The "Rocket Man" also owns a pole award. In total, he's recorded five top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has led 97 laps in competition. The South Bend, Ind., native has an average start of 13th and average finish of 12th.
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
Point of Interest ... In the last six races at the two-mile oval, the RCR driver ranks sixth in most points earned. He is ninth in the championship point standings entering this weekend's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan Speedway
MIS Rewind ... Newman raced as high as second and as low as 19th throughout the Quicken Loans 400 on June 15. With 10 laps to go while running in the top five, the No. 31 pitted for a splash of fuel en route to a 15th-place finish.
Pick Newman's Ride ... The Quicken Loans "Paint Your Way to Dover" contest is giving race fans the power to select Newman's No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet paint scheme for the upcoming Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014. Fans can visit to cast their vote for one of three paint schemes that were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 designs submitted by fans nationwide. The entrant whose design receives the most votes will win a trip to Dover, Delaware to see their custom paint scheme on track as Newman attempts to tame the "Monster Mile" in September. If Newman finishes first at Dover, the grand prize winner will also receive a prize of one year's worth of mortgage payments. Also part of the Paint Your Way to Dover contest, Quicken Loans has also partnered with three charities - Autism Speaks, Folds of Honor and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma - to also take part in the contest. Along with selecting their favorite design, fans visiting will also be able to select one of the three charities. The nonprofit with the highest vote count will then receive a $10,000 donation from Quicken Loans and the remaining charities will each be awarded $2,500.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced at Michigan in June. How much does the track change?
"To me, the second race is so much better because of the track in keeping some of the rubber laid down during the first race. It's like we start the weekend at least halfway through what we experience the previous race weekend. This race is so much more fun to drive because the track is racier."
This week is Michigan, how many teams will take a chance on fuel mileage?
"Teams have to be in a position to take chances on fuel mileage. You never know ahead of time if that will occur. It doesn't occur at the start of the race or typically in the middle of the race. It usually happens near the end. If we have a caution that sets things up differently, then it may not even be an issue."
With the Chase closing in, how aggressive are you willing to be to get that win?

"The risks I'm willing to entail are whatever it takes to win and not lose. You can't afford to really lose anything, or at least not as much as some. To be honest, I've never raced that way, so the situation we are in isn't changing the way I drive or the way I approach racing week in and week out."

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