RCR Event Preview - Bristol Motor Speedway

Submitted by Frank Upton | 04/19/2017

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series History at Bristol Motor Speedway ... In 161 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing boasts nine wins - seven with Dale Earnhardt, one with Kevin Harvick and one with Jeff Burton - three pole awards, 34 top-five and 67 top-10 finishes. The Welcome, N.C.-based organization has led 3,678 laps at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile."

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,757 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,106 wins, 477 top-five finishes and 1,034 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.7 and an average finishing position of 16.1. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, '87, '90, '91, '93 and '94, six NASCAR XFINITY 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.

Youth Football Safety Clinic ... The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma is sponsoring a Kids & Pros youth football safety clinic in Charlotte, N.C., on April 29 at West Charlotte High School from 1-5 p.m. Youth football players will learn Heads Up safe blocking and tackling techniques, position fundamentals and life skills from former NFL players. Carolinas HealthCare System will provide sports safety information and athletic trainer support. Register now at Richard Childress Racing and at www.RCRracing.com along with official driver Facebook pages - Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman.

Catch the Action ... The Food City 500 will be televised live Sunday, April 23 beginning at 2 p.m. EDT on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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This Week's No. 3 New Era Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway ... In six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Dillon posted his best finish of fourth in his most recent appearance at the track in August 2016.

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AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:

Is there much of a difference at Bristol Motor Speedway between the spring and the fall races? "I don't know. We were decent the second race. The first race we were terrible, just missed everything. In the Fall race we finished fourth, so it was a solid day for us. We fought hard the whole day. We didn't really have a great car. We just stayed in the game. So, it teaches you a lot about keeping yourself in that position and you never know what can happen."

This Week's No. 27 Libman / Menards Chevrolet SS at Bristol Motor Speedway ... In 19 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at the 0.533-mile track, Menard has one top-five and six top-10 finishes. His best start and finish at Bristol Motor Speedway came in March 2011 where he started fourth and finished fifth. The Richard Childress Racing driver has led 109 laps in competition with 9,455 out of 9,523 laps completed (99.3 percent).

About Libman ... For over 110 years, the Libman family has made quality their utmost priority. William Libman started 'The Libman Company' in 1896 with one mission, to make the finest, most durable wire-wound corn brooms. William's sons, grandsons and great grandchildren have since expanded that mission to include the finest mops, brooms, brushes and cleaning tools. For more information on Libman, please visit www.libman.com.

Meet Menard ... Visit the Team Chevy stage Friday at 2 p.m. ET for a Q&A with Menard. The stage is located in the Bristol Motor Speedway fan midway outside the track.

PAUL MENARD QUOTES:

What is the key to having success at Bristol Motor Speedway?

"Bristol is a rhythm racetrack, you get in the race and just hit your marks, and get into a groove. To make a pass you have to break that rhythm and then quickly get back into it. The key is doing that and not making a mistake. You've got to stay in your groove."

What is the craziest thing you've ever experienced at Bristol?

"The first time I tested a car in Bristol, I ran about 20 laps and was totally out of breathe. I was convinced that you couldn't fit 43 cars on the racetrack. But, as we all know, you definitely can."

This Week's No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet SS at Bristol Motor Speedway ... Ryan Newman will make his 555th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in the second short-track event of the 2017 season. In 30 MENCS events at Bristol Motor Speedway, Newman owns three pole awards including the spring races in 2003 and 2004 as well as the fall event in 2011. He has earned two top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. His best result d place came on August 28, 2004. The South Bend, Indiana, native has an average start of 11.2 and average finish of 16.4. He's led a total of 121 laps in competition. And in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, he owns of seconone pole (fall 2006) and a 2005 victory in the fall race.

Winner, Winner ... Newman has increased his chances of punching his ticket to the MENCS playoffs with a victory at Phoenix Raceway on March 19th in the No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet. The win equates to the driver's 18th-career Cup Series victory and RCR's 106th.

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Rescue Ranch Playground Project ... Ryan and Krissie Newman are in the midst of a $400,000 fundraising project for Rescue Ranch. It is a community wide effort that will benefit countless children annually. The fully-inclusive playground will be 10,000 sq./ft. and encompasses a barrier-free option for children of all abilities to play together. The official ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for June 3. For more information, please watch: Help Rescue Ranch build a playground!

RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES:

What is the key to having success at Bristol Motor Speedway?

"It's about keeping your nose out of trouble and being able to have a car that is versatile so that it can run both the top and the bottom. It's also about getting lucky at some point in the race."

What is the craziest thing you've ever experienced at Bristol?

"The craziest thing I've ever experienced at Bristol was running the Modified race. You go so fast there and the corner speeds are so ridiculously high that it was pretty demanding."

What is the craziest thing you've ever experienced in a Cup Series car at Bristol?

"The craziest thing I ever experienced at Bristol in a Cup car would just be the track itself. It produces some pretty big crashes when the cars get all stacked up. You have nowhere to go and it gets plugged up."

If you don't win at Bristol, does a good result feel just as good because you were able to survive the bullring?

"You always want to win Bristol. I mean, it's nice to survive Bristol with a car all in one piece, but when you get to the end, I think I'd rather be in contention and get the win."

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Bristol Motor Speedway ... In 84 Series starts at the half-mile speedway, RCR has captured eight victories with drivers Kevin Harvick (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005), Jeff Green (2002), Clint Bowyer (2008), Elliott Sadler (2012) and Austin Dillon (2016). The Welcome, North Carolina, organization has completed 21,510 laps of the 22,291 (96.5 percent) that they have competed. RCR has accumulated five pole awards, 31 top-five and 51 top-10 finishes, led 1,781 laps and averages a starting position of 9.4 and finishing position of 11.2.

Texas Review ... Austin Dillon was the highest RCR finisher in fourth, Ty Dillon was eighth, Brandon Jones 15th, Brendan Gaughan 19th and Daniel Hemric 32nd, respectively, in the My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Dash4Cash ... This weekend's XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway marks the second of four Dash4Cash events. The two highest finishing XFINITY Series regulars from each stage will qualify for that event's Dash4Cash award. A $100,000 bonus awarded to the highest finishing qualifier.

The Points ...All three RCR XFINITY Series full-time drivers remain in the top 15 of the driver point standings as the Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the seventh event of the season. Daniel Hemric is currently seventh, Brandon Jones is 13th and Brendan Gaughan is 14th. The No. 2 and No. 3 RCR teams are 10th and 11th, respectively, in the owner point standings. Daniel Hemric is currently second in the XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings.

Catch the Action ... Coverage of this week's Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway will be televised live Saturday, April 22, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern time on FS1. It will also be broadcast live on Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM channel 90.

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Bristol Motor Speedway... In 84 Series starts at the half-mile speedway, RCR has captured eight victories with drivers Kevin Harvick (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005), Jeff Green (2002), Clint Bowyer (2008), Elliott Sadler (2012) and Austin Dillon (2016). The Welcome, North Carolina, organization has completed 21,510 laps of the 22,291 (96.5 percent) that they have competed. RCR has accumulated five pole awards, 31 top-five and 51 top-10 finishes, led 1,781 laps and averages a starting position of 9.4 and finishing position of 11.2.

Texas Review ...AustinDillon was the highest RCR finisher in fourth, Ty Dillon was eighth, Brandon Jones 15th, Brendan Gaughan 19th and Daniel Hemric 32nd, respectively, in the My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Dash4Cash ... This weekend's XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway marks the second of four Dash4Cash events. The two highest finishing XFINITY Series regulars from each stage will qualify for that event's Dash4Cash award. A $100,000 bonus awarded to the highest finishing qualifier.

The Points ...All three RCR XFINITY Series full-time drivers remain in the top 15 of the driver point standings as the Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the seventh event of the season. Daniel Hemric is currently seventh, Brandon Jones is 13th and Brendan Gaughan is 14th. The No. 2 and No. 3 RCR teams are 10thand 11th, respectively, in the owner point standings. Daniel Hemric is currently second in the XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings.

Catch the Action ...Coverage of this week's Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway will be televised liveSaturday, April 22, beginning at 1p.m. Eastern time on FS1. It will also be broadcast live on Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM channel 90.

This Week's No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway ... In seven NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Dillon has earned one race win, four top-five and four top-10 finishes. He has completed 99.8 percent of the laps he has attempted in XFINITY Series competition at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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By the Numbers ... According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Dillon ranks second in the Closers category in the XFINITY Series at Bristol Motor Speedway.

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:

How frustrating is it at Bristol Motor Speedway trying to pass? "It's tough. You can really slow a guy down there. It's just one of those things that it's hard to manage, but you've got to be able to clear somebody on entry and get up in front of them really quick before they have that momentum on exit."

This Week's No. 3 Nexium® 24HR Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway ...Ty Dillon has found speed at Bristol Motor Speedway before, with his best results coming in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. In his first six starts at the half-mile track, Dillon never finished outside of the top 10. During that span, he tied his best finish of fourth place in 2014 and 2015, and he had an average finish of 5.5. During the final laps of last year's fall XFINITY Series race, Dillon was contending for the win when he was collected in a wreck and finished 25th. Dillon also has one start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and three starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

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Meet Dillon ... Dillon will join Nexium® 24HR at the Walmart Supercenter on Century Boulevard in Bristol, Tennessee to meet with fans and sign autographs. The appearance is Thursday, May 20beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

TY DILLON QUOTES:

Why is Bristol Motor Speedway fun for you?

"It is the 'Last Great Colosseum'. They nailed it with the nickname there. You're not human if you don't get chills when you walk into that place and race around there. Last year was really fun with the grip strip on the bottom. We were able to run the bottom for a little while, and then the top came back in. There were really two grooves. It's also been a place that I've run really well at and found success. I always love getting back there with another year of experience under my belt, and hopefully find my way to Victory Lane in the No. 3 Nexium 24HR Chevy."

Is Bristol mentally draining with so many cars on such a tight track?

"Things happen so quickly at Bristol. You have to be on it the whole time you're on the racetrack. But, these days in the XFINITY Series and the Monster Energy Cup Series, you've got to be mentally engaged during every single race. If you're not getting out of the car both physically and mentally exhausted, you probably didn't have a good day and didn't have the speed that you needed. You've got to be working hard every second from the time you land the plane to when you race at every track that we go to."

This Week's No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet Camaro at Bristol Motor Speedway ... Hemric will be making his first NASCAR XFINITY Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Bristol 300 this weekend. The 2017 XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year contender has two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the half-mile track, earning an average finish of 3.5.

Meet the Driver ... Fans will have the opportunity to see Hemric twice this weekend. He is scheduled to visit the Team Chevy Stage on Friday, April 21, beginning at 11:45 a.m. local time. Hemric will also take part in Food City Race Night at the speedway on Friday, April 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m. local time.

Rearview Mirror: Texas Motor Speedway ... Starting in the seventh spot after a solid qualifying effort, Hemric quickly made his way to the front of the field once the green flag flew. Hemric drove the No. 21 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet Camaro from seventh to second in the opening two laps of the race. On Lap 12, the rear of the car broke loose and Hemric hit the outside wall to bring out the first caution. The Danny Stockman-led team was able to make repairs and keep Hemric in the race after the incident. Hemric picked up a number of positions after the incident and finished the day in the 32nd spot.

DANIEL HEMRIC QUOTES:

You have a fourth-place finish and a third-place finish in the NCWTS at Bristol Motor Speedway. Does that give you optimism heading into your first XFINITY Series start there?

"I'm definitely optimistic going to Bristol, especially with RCR winning there in the XFINITY Series last year. Granted that was with an entirely different package, but Bristol is an old, short track feel in terms of how you approach the setups of your car for the race. I know Danny Stockman has had a lot of success there as a crew chief, and the little success I've had there in the trucks gives us confidence going there. It's still the same old deal. You've got to have the car stable on entry, it has to rotate in the center and get off the corner well. It's going to be cool going back to that style of racing. It will be our first true test at high-banked, short track racing, and hopefully we can build a notebook that we can use later in the year as the racing becomes that much more important. I have a lot of optimism heading to Bristol this weekend and I'm looking forward to it."

There is always talk about how stressful and mentally draining tracks such as Daytona and Talladega are since you're always in traffic. Can Bristol be both physically and mentally draining as well since you're always in traffic and often need patience to make a move?

"Bristol can certainly be physically and mentally draining. The superspeedway racing is mentally draining because you're thinking about your move two or three moves ahead. The mentally draining side of it at Bristol is the fact you're racing the racetrack and you're racing the car you have underneath you at the time. Everyone around you makes mistakes throughout the race, it's all about who minimizes those mistakes. Mentally, you have to be strong enough to get in a rhythm and not get out of that rhythm. Not making those mistakes in the crucial parts of the race are what allow you to move forward. When you work on a guy for four or five laps, you try to push them into making a mistake before you make a mistake. That's the key moving forward, and I feel like I've done a good job of that in the past in the trucks. I feel like Bristol kind of translates to a long-distance short track race. You start with 30-something cars on the lead lap, that number rapidly decreases, people get in trouble, get in the fence, next thing you know you've got about seven or eight cars on the track and you just have to make sure you're one of them. If you can do that, you can contend for the win."

This Week's No. 33 M-D Building Products / Menards Chevrolet Camaro at Bristol Motor Speedway ... Brandon Jones has 10 career starts at Bristol Motor Speedway. The 20-year-old Atlanta native has three NASCAR XFINITY Series starts, one ninth-place finish and has never started or finished outside the top-15 at the famous half-mile track. Jones also has four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Bristol, resulting in one top-five and two top-10 finishes. In addition, he competed in three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East contests and racked up two top-10 finishes at The Last Great Colosseum.

Meet Brandon Jones ... Fans can meet Jones when he takes part in a Q&A session at the Team Chevy display on Friday, April 21 at noon ET. He will also sign autographs for fans from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET during Friday's Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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BRANDON JONES QUOTES:
You finished 11th and ninth during last year's races at Bristol Motor Speedway. What do you like about that track? "I love short track racing. That's what we all grew up on, so I'm very comfortable with it. Bristol's the track I've been to the most on the circuit. I just enjoy the high banking of it. That place is a blast. We can run up front there a lot of the race. We almost won the truck race a couple of years ago too. We finished fifth that time, so there's definitely been some good races for me at that place. I think we'll be really decent there this year."
How stressful is it to run there? Everyone talks about Daytona and Talladega and being in the pack at 200 mph, but you're always in traffic at Bristol as well and sometimes it's hard to pass.

"You're never out of traffic at Bristol. I think it takes maybe 10 laps to get up to the back of the field and once you're there, you're always passing cars. It's kind of hard to keep up with where you're at too. You have to have good communication with your spotter to make sure you know where you're running on the track, but it's fun. I think it's one of the cooler tracks that we go to."

This Week's No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway ... In 11 previous NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Brendan Gaughan has completed 2,941 laps of the 3,064 (96.0 percent) that he has competed. The Las Vegas native has earned one top-five and five top-10 finishes at Bristol during the past four XFINITY Series seasons with RCR. In March 2009, Gaughan started from the pole position. The 41-year-old driver also has eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the 'Last Great Colosseum,' earning three top-five finishes.

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Meet the Driver ... Gaughan is scheduled to sign autographs at Food City Race Night starting at 6 p.m. Friday, April 21, at Bristol Motor Speedway.

BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTES:

What are thoughts on Bristol Motor Speedway? You have five top 10s there, what is your focus, and is it mentally draining?

"No, I love Bristol, I wish they would quit messing with the track and just let us race. It is a fun place to race. I love what they did with the reconfiguration years ago. Man, I love Bristol! It's a fun place to race, it is the Roman Colosseum of racetracks. I love going there, and we have been good in the past. I'm looking forward to going back and running in the top five.

Are you a fan of the VHT they put on the bottom of the track?

"I am not a 'fan of it,' nor am I 'not a fan of it.' I just like racing. If they want to do it, I don't care. We all have to deal with it, but I liked the reconfiguration. I think Bristol racing is better now than it has ever been. You can pass people now, where before you only had the bump-and-run. Don't get me wrong, I love the bump-and-run. But, now you can race people or 'bump-and-run' them. It's a ton of fun and things happen so quickly at Bristol. The things that drivers have to see and do are amazing. I wish that fans could really appreciate and see what happens from the cockpit. It's a ton of fun."


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