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August 18, 2014

Sprint Cup: Pure Michigan 400 Report

HHP/RCR HHP/RCR

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Pure Michigan 400 Post Race Report

Michigan International Speedway

August 17, 2014

 
Race Highlights:
  • Richard Childress Racing teammates Paul Menard, Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon finished fourth, 11th and 22nd, respectively.
  • Newman ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing current leader Jeff Gordon by 137 points, while Dillon ranks 13th and Menard ranks 17th.
  • Gordon earned his third victory of the 2014 season and was followed to the finish line by Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Menard and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  • The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Bristol Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 23, which is scheduled to be televised live on ABC beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and is scheduled to be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
 
Austin Dillon Earns a 22nd-Place Finish in No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway
 
Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS to a 22nd-place finish in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. The Welcome, N.C. driver started from the eighth position but was shuffled to the 18th spot after taking the green flag as he battled a loose-handling condition in traffic. The field was slowed for a NASCAR-mandated competition caution on lap 20, affording the Gil Martin-led team an opportunity to work on the handling, change right-side tires and add fuel to the American Ethanol Chevrolet. They restarted from the 24th position and continued to make routine two and four-tire pit stops, working their way into the seventh position for a restart just past the race's halfway point. Dillon dropped to the 14th position by lap 125 as a mechanical issue began to plague the team. Under the direction of Martin, Dillon pitted six times in order to try and correct the loss of power they were facing, but ultimately settled for a 22nd-place finish.
 
Start - 8th        Finish - 22nd   Laps Led - 0    Points - 13th   
                                                   
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: 
"The American Ethanol Chevrolet was solid all weekend and I am proud of the team's efforts. We just had another string of bad luck. If we wouldn't have had mechanical issues we would have easily had a top-five effort today. We're going to Bristol Motor Speedway next and we will be ready to battle."
 
 
2011 CC Team Icon 27 NSCS Menards
Paul Menard Earns Fourth Top-Five Finish at Michigan in No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet
 
Paul Menard drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS to a fifth-place finish in Sunday's 400-mile event at Michigan International Speedway. The Eau Claire, Wisc., driver started seventh and immediately noted a neutral-handling condition. Crew chief Slugger Labbe called Menard down pit road five times during the 200-lap event on laps 22, 62, 98, 139 and 165 for a combination of four-tire and two-tire stops. Menard would lineup in the third position for the final restart of the day and crossed the finish-line 17 laps later in the fourth position. This top-five finish marks Menard's fourth of the season and his 10th top-10. Up next for the No. 27 team is Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
 
Start - 7th             Finish - 4th             Laps Led - 0                Points - 17th
 
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"We had a good car starting on Friday when we unloaded and it was fast all weekend. Slugger (Labbe, Crew Chief) had us on a good strategy today. The CertainTeed/Menards Chevy was fast and the handling was neutral. I'm going to watch the restarts and see what kind of calamity was happening. It was a good day."
 
     
 
  
Newman Leads at Michigan International Speedway En Route to 11th-Place Finish
 
Ryan Newman drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 31 WIX Filters Chevrolet SS to an 11th-place finish in NASCAR's 200-lap event at the Michigan International Speedway. The South Bend, Ind., driver started 12th and raced into the top 10 on the first lap. Crew chief Luke Lambert implemented a strategy that saw Newman pit off sequence from the majority of the field. The strategy allowed the No. 31 to lead the race three times for a total of 14 laps. Shortly after the team's final scheduled pit stop, an untimely caution flag flew for the leader who cut down a tire. Newman earned the free pass and with nothing to lose, pitted under caution on lap 170 for four tires and fuel. He returned to the track in 15th place to successfully dodge two accidents and a heated battle with Jimmie Johnson en route to the 11th-place finish. The No. 31 is ninth in the standings. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competes next Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, where the No. 31 team produced a 16th-place finish back in the spring event.
 
Start - 12th           Finish - 11th            Laps Led - 14             Points - 9th
 
 
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:  

"Our strategy just didn't work today with those late-race cautions but we put ourselves into contention and led some laps. It was a good points day for this WIX Filters team. We definitely were better than 11th place but we'll take it and get ready for Bristol."

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