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Road America

RCR 50 TBT: RCR Scores Three-In-A-Row at Road America

With the 2019 season serving as the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing, we plan to dip into the archives to present the stories of iconic moments, race wins, championships and much more as part of our weekly Throwback Thursday series.

This is the final off weekend of the 2019 season for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, but the NASCAR Xfinity Series takes center stage on the 4.048-mile Road America road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

There have been nine Xfinity Series events at Road America since 2010, with RCR Chevrolets scoring wins in three of those events. In addition, RCR Xfinity Series teams have earned nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, with 89 laps led, an average start of 12.0 and an average finish of 12.6.

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RCR’s three victories came three years in a row, showing the strength and versatility of the organization as the wins came with three different drivers.

The first taste of victory came with Brendan Gaughan’s exciting triumph in 2014 with the No. 62 Chevrolet. Wisconsin-native Paul Menard took the No. 33 Chevrolet to Victory Lane the following year in 2015 and Michael McDowell topped Gaughan to give RCR its third-straight win in 2016.

So, what seemed to be the key to RCR’s success on the Wisconsin road course?

“I think it’s been a combination of good drivers, great setups, and good horsepower from ECR Engines,” said Dr. Eric Warren, director of competition for RCR. “Road America has been great to us these past few years and we definitely feel we’re the team to beat this weekend.”

Gaughan’s win in 2014 was spectacular, to say the least, and his first in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

After accumulating some minor damage and running off course, Gaughan and crew chief Shane Wilson opted for a different pit strategy than most of their competitors. He finished the race with Goodyear Racing rain tires and held off the No. 22 car, which had switched back to regular race tires. Gaughan recorded his first career XFINITY Series win.

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Menard’s win in 2015 was a special moment in his racing career.

In front of most of his family, he stretched a long green-flag run and saved fuel to make it until the checkered flag. Menard, who grew up just a few miles down the road in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was ecstatic to win at his home track.

In 2016, McDowell was tapped to drive the No. 2 Rheem Chevy at Road America with the Cup Series competing in Michigan. McDowell, having grown up a road course racer, dominated much of the race having led 24 of the 45 laps. He scored his first career NASCAR victory that afternoon by holding off a hard-charging Gaughan.

The following year, RCR missed out on their fourth-straight victory at Road America, but Matt Tifft and Gaughan both recorded top-five finishes. Last season, Tifft and Daniel Hemric were in contention throughout the day and just came up short, finishing second and third.

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Coming off his fourth win of the 2019 season, Tyler Reddick looks to earn his fifth win of the year and RCR’s fifth at Road America this weekend, while Kaz Grala will be behind of the No. 21 Chevrolet also looking to add to RCR’s legacy at the iconic road course.