RCR Post Race Report — New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
RACE: LENOX Industrial Tools 301
TRACK: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
. RCR teammates finished 16th (Jeff Burton), 17th (Clint Bowyer), 21st (Kevin Harvick) and 24th (Paul Menard).
. RCR teammates are fourth (Harvick), 12th (Bowyer), 19th (Menard) and 25th (Burton) in the point standings after this weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
. Harvick made 63 green-flag passes throughout the entire 301-lap event, ranking him ninth amongst his competitors.
. Harvick continues his streak of running at the end of all contested Sprint Cup Series races at the Loudon, N.H., facility with 21.
. Bowyer earned a bonus point by leading one time for three laps.
. Bowyer made 65 green-flag passes, 25 of them while running in the top 15 during the race according to NASCAR Loop Data Statistic.
. RCR teammates, Menard and Bowyer each advanced five positions in the last 31 laps of the race, tying them for sixth in the Closers category according to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics.
. Menard maintained an average running position of 17.4 in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.
. Menard spent 52.5 percent of his 301 contested laps running in the top 15.
. Burton had an average running position of 10th in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.
. Burton spent 212 of the 301 laps in the top 15, 70 percent of the race.
. Ryan Newman captured the race win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, beating Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson to the start/finish line.
. The next NSCS race is the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31, televised live on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 400-mile showdown will also be broadcast live on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Menard and No. 27 Richmond/Menards Team Take Home 24th From New Hampshire Motor Speedway
After starting from the ninth position in Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Paul Menard and the No. 27 team were faced with a much-changed Richmond/Menards Chevrolet from Saturday’s practice sessions during which the track’s temperature was much cooler. The Slugger Labbe-led team tried a number of adjustments, but the tight-center condition persisted, relegating them to a 24th-place finish at Loudon, N.H.-based short track. Menard took the green flag in front of an estimated crowd of 95,000 at “The Magic Mile” and remained a fixture in the top 10 for the first 60 circuits. He hit pit road during the second caution of the afternoon for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment in an effort to remedy the loose-in and loose-off handling. During the subsequent green-flag run, Menard reported to the team that the adjustment had not helped the exit and, consequently, had hurt the center, resulting in a tight condition. The team continued to try a number of chassis and air pressure adjustments during each pit stop throughout the remainder of the 301-lap event. As the laps counted down, it became apparent that fuel strategy would play a part in the final results of the race. The final caution flag of the day was displayed on lap 240. The No. 27 team took the opportunity to change the left-side tires with a minor air pressure adjustment and top their Chevrolet off with enough fuel to complete the race. Some teams rolled the dice and remained on track, placing Menard deep in the field for the restart. Sliding back to as far as 29th, Menard was able to regain some ground as cars ran out of fuel in the closing laps, and brought home a 24th-place finish.
Start – 9 Finish – 24 Laps Led – 0 Points – 19
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“I think it’s safe to say that the off-weekend came at a pretty good time. We’ll take these next couple of weeks to regroup and then head to Indy (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) refreshed and ready to go.”
Tough Outing for Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Team in Loudon
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team battled handling issues and track position all day in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before finishing the event in the 21st position. After starting the race from 18th, Harvick patiently made laps while dealing with a car that was too tight in the center and loose getting into the turns. The team made its first big adjustment during the first caution at lap 29, raising the track bar, changing two tires and adding fuel. Harvick was in 15th place when racing resumed at lap 34. Varying strategies were exercised up and down pit road while the No. 29 Budweiser team elected to do two-tire stops in their first three pit road visits in an effort to pick up track position. The strategy worked, moving Harvick up to the seventh position after the first 100 laps of the race. Trouble ensued during the middle stages of the race as the Budweiser Chevrolet fell to the extreme loose side at lap 104. Harvick slid through the field, dropping as far back as the 18th position until the team elected to bring him to pit road for four tires, adjustments and fuel during green-flag conditions at lap 141. The fourth caution waved two laps later, placing the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet a lap down. Having just pitted, Harvick took the wave around to get back on the lead lap but was mired deep in the field in the 32nd position. Harvick spent the remaining laps battling persistent handling issues on the Budweiser Chevrolet. As the race started to wind down, fuel mileage became an issue. The No. 29 Budweiser team could never get their pit activities in sequence with the front runners which resulted in the No. 29 car competing in the 25th position during the closing laps of the event. A number of drivers ran out of fuel during the final laps of the race, allowing Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team to pick up four more positions to finish in 21st place. The finish dropped Harvick a position in the driver point standings. He is currently in fourth place, 15 points out of first place.
Start – 18 Finish – 21 Laps Led – 0 Points – 4
Strong Run for Burton and Caterpillar Team Ends in 16th-Place Result
After battling in the top five for the majority of the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Jeff Burton and the Caterpillar team were bit by fuel strategy, resulting in a 16th-place finish. The four-time NHMS winner proved he knows how to get around the picturesque one-mile oval when he qualified the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet in the sixth position for the 301-lap main event. From the drop of the green flag on the 19th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event of the season, the black and yellow Caterpillar machine became a fixture in the top 10. With minor air pressure adjustments during the team’s first few pit stops under caution, the handling on the No. 31 Chevy came to life and Burton chased down the leaders as the race passed the lap-100 mark, remaining there for the next 85 circuits and climbing to as high as second on lap 144. When the caution flag flew on lap 240, the Caterpillar Chevy peeled of the track while running third to come to pit road for their final two-tire pit stop of the day to ensure Burton would have enough fuel to make it the distance. Unfortunately, many of the competitors behind the No. 31 Chevrolet chose to forgo pit road and remain on track, dropping the 21-time NSCS race winner to the 20th position for the restart on lap 244. Mired in traffic, the handling on the Caterpillar Chevrolet became a challenge and the No. 31 team; ultimately, settled for a 16th-place finish, gaining a few positions as other vehicles ran out of fuel in the closing laps.
Start – 6 Finish – 16 Laps Led – 0 Points – 25
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
“The Caterpillar Chevrolet was fast all day long. The handling just went away on the final run. It was disappointing for the entire team not to leave Loudon with the type of finish we were looking for today. We had a strong weekend but weren’t able to put it all together.”
No. 33 Good Sam Club Team Leads Laps, Brings Home 17th-Place Finish at New Hampshire
Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 Good Sam Club Chevrolet team brought home a 17th-place finish in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. After a solid 12th-place qualifying effort on Friday, the Richard Childress Racing driver started off the sunny day fighting a loose condition. After making two pit stops under the same lap-61 caution flag to put a rubber in the right rear, the Emporia, Kan., native fell back to 34th only to gain 11 of those positions back before the next caution was displayed on lap 101. Over the next 60 laps, Bowyer clawed his way into the top 15 and by lap 180 had earned a top-10 spot on the NHMS leader board while fighting a loose condition. After taking two fresh right-side Goodyear tires under caution on lap 185, the four-time Sprint Cup Series race winner restarted 23rd and fought his way back into the top 15 again by the time the caution flag flew on lap 217 for debris. It was on this pit stop that crew chief Shane Wilson made the decision to not change tires and only put Sunoco E15 fuel in the No. 33 Chevrolet to gain valuable track position at the one-mile facility. After restarting third, Bowyer continued to run in the top five until the competitors in front of him decided to come down pit road for service on a caution seven laps later while Wilson made the call to stay out on track and not service the red and yellow Impala. Bowyer restarted as the leader and held the top spot for three laps, earning a championship driver point in the process before falling back in the top five. Under the final caution on lap 241, Bowyer came down pit road for two right-side tires and a wedge adjustment and restarted in the 22nd position. Over the final 57 laps, the RCR driver gained five positions back and brought home a 17th-place finish, remaining 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 28 points out of the top 10.
Start – 12 Finish – 17 Laps Led – 3 Points – 12
CLINT BOWYER QUOTE:
“It seemed like we were playing catch up all day in the No. 33 Good Sam Club Chevrolet. In the end, our pit strategy didn’t work out and we ended up 17th. We led some laps and are still 12th in points.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
RACE: Coca-Cola 200 presented by Hy-Vee
TRACK: Iowa Speedway
. RCR teammates finished second (Austin Dillon) and fifth (Joey Coulter).
. With his second-place finish, Dillon moved up one position in the NCWTS driver point standings, to second, 22 markers behind point leader Johnny Sauter.
. Coulter remains ninth in the point standings, 57 markers behind the point leader.
. Dillon and Coulter ranked first and second, respectively, in average running position with Dillon running an average place of 1.845 and Coulter holding an average running place of 3.365.
. The RCR Chevrolets had the fastest speed in traffic, with Coulter running an average speed of 128.751 mph and Dillon running an average speed of 128.467 mph, ranking them first and second in that category.
. Neither RCR entry ran lower than ninth during the entire 200-lap race.
. Dillon led 127 of 200 laps, more than any other driver.
. Coulter was the highest finishing rookie.
. Combined, RCR entries posted the fastest lap of the field 85 times.
. Matt Crafton earned his second career NCWTS victory in his 258th series start and was followed to the finish line by Dillon, David Mayhew, Johnny Sauter and Coulter.
. The next NCWTS race is the Lucas Deep Clean 200 at Nashville Superspeedway on Friday, July 22, televised live on SPEED beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio beginning at 7:45 p.m. EDT.
Determined Dillon brings RCR’s No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet to a Second-Place Finish at Iowa
Austin Dillon returned to the site of his emotional career-first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory, looking to repeat last year’s performance in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. And, although he led 127 of 200 laps at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night, a win was not in the cards. Instead, Dillon and his RCR team brought home a second-place finish after losing track position following a slow pit stop with just 40 laps remaining. Dillon started the Coca-Cola 200 presented by Hy-Vee from fifth, and found speed in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet right away, using momentum from a strong restart following a lap-16 caution to advance to second. Soon after, Dillon began a spirited battle for the lead with Johnny Sauter, racing side-by-side for the point position before taking the lead on lap 30. Once the black No. 3 was in clean air, Dillon was able to drive away from the field, leading by as much as five seconds over the next 126 laps. The 2010 NCWTS Rookie of the Year was the race leader when the last of six caution flags was displayed on lap 154, prompting crew chief Danny Stockman to direct Dillon down pit road for four tires and two cans of fuel. Unfortunately, an issue during the pit stop caused the team to lose the race off pit road, and Dillon dropped to eighth for the lap-161 restart. Down but not out, Dillon was determined to find his way back to the front of the field, and advanced to third in just one lap before finding second position with 20 laps remaining in the race. Dillon caught race leader and eventual race winner Matt Crafton with 12 laps to go, and spent the rest of the race battling side-by-side for the lead, taking the point position briefly on lap 188 before relinquishing to second. He finished second and advanced to second in the point standings.
Start – 5 Finish – 2 Laps Led – 127 Points – 2
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
“We were fastest all night, but Matt Crafton’s team had a very good pit stop at the end. It was good for the points tonight, but we’ve just been giving the wins away here in the end. It hurts when you do that.”
Joey Coulter Earns Top-Five Finish at Iowa Speedway
In his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Iowa Speedway, rookie Joey Coulter drove his way to his third top-five finish of the 2011 season in Saturday night’s Coco-Cola 200. Coulter started the 200-lap main event from the second starting position after missing the pole by 0.157 seconds earlier that day. As the green flag was displayed, Coulter settled into the third position for the first seven laps before making the pass for second on lap eight. The first caution of the night was displayed on lap 12, and the RCR team was instructed to stay out to keep their track position. The 21-year-old driver slipped to third on the lap-14 restart and settled into a rhythm for the next 40 laps. Coulter radioed to his crew about his tight-handling truck on lap 56 and was able to receive service during the lap-65 caution. The Harold Holly-led team came down pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Coulter restarted fourth for the lap-70 restart and was scored third by lap 75 and second on lap 91. As the race neared the halfway point, an incident on the front stretch brought out the red flag when a truck made contact with the interior wall, forcing NASCAR and track officials to replace a portion of the wall. After 14 minutes under red-flag conditions, the track went green on lap 110 with Coulter trailing the leader. Unfortunately, the University of North Carolina Mechanical Engineering student slipped to fourth one lap later as he continued to battle with a tight-handling truck. Coulter was racing in the top five when the final caution of the night was displayed on lap 154. Holly called for four tires, fuel and the removal of a left-rear spring rubber during the ensuing pit stop to remedy the tight conditions on the No. 22 RCR Chevrolet. Due to a longer pit stop, Coulter was forced to restart sixth on the lap-160 restart, but quickly worked his way into the top five. The Miami Springs, Fla., native held onto his fifth position as he took the checkered flag earning his sixth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series top-10 finish of the 2011 season at Iowa Speedway.
Start – 2 Finish – 5 Laps Led – 0 Points – 9
JOEY COULTER QUOTE:
“Our Richard Childress Racing Silverado was fast since we unloaded and it stayed that way all weekend. My guys did an awesome job on pit road and kept us up front all night. I’m proud of our top-five finish and excited to head to Nashville next weekend.”
ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
RACE: Prairie Meadows 200
TRACK: Iowa Speedway
. RCR teammates finished first (Ty Dillon) and fifth (Tim George Jr.).
. Dillon earned his fifth win of the season in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, his seventh career ARCA win in 14 races.
. Dillon earned his fourth Menards Pole Award of the 2011 season, his fifth-career pole.
. George’s fifth-place result marks his sixth top-five finish in the last eight ARCA Racing Series events this season.
. Dillon led all but seven circuits of the 200 contested laps in Saturday’s event, breaking Steve Wallace’s record for most laps led in an ARCA race at Iowa Speedway since 2006.
. Dillon remains the ARCA Racing Series point leader with a 330 point lead over Chris Buescher.
. With George’s fifth-place finish, he moves into fifth in the ARCA Racing Series point standings.
. George started third and ran as high as second in the Prairie Meadows 200.
. Dillon won the race by 1.643 seconds over Cale Gale, Chris Buescher, Grant Enfinger and George.
. The next ARCA Racing Series race on the 2011 schedule is the Ansell Protective Gloves 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway on Thursday, July 28 with coverage being televised live on SPEED starting at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Also, tune into ARCARacing.com for living timing and scoring of the 200-lap event.
Strong Showing for Tim George Jr. at Iowa Speedway
Tim George Jr., earned his second consecutive top-five finish in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, driving the No. 31 Applebee’s/Potomac Family Dining Group Chevrolet to a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s Prairie Meadows 200 at Iowa Speedway despite a tight-handling Chevrolet for the duration of the race. George started the 200-lap race third in front of an estimated crowd of 24,000 people and weathered a heat index of 113 degrees Fahrenheit at the Newton, Iowa-based track for the Saturday afternoon event. The New York, N.Y. native managed to run in the top-10 during the opening segment of the race despite a tight-handing Chevrolet. The caution flag was displayed on lap 49, prompting crew chief Gere Kennon to summon George down pit road so the RCR team could service the No. 31 Chevrolet with four Hoosier tires, Sunoco Fuel and the addition of a spring rubber to the left rear in an attempt to correct the car’s handling issues. Unfortunately, a slower-than-expected pit stop and a speeding on pit road penalty ensued; and as a result, the team fell one lap down to the race leaders and was positioned at the tale end of the longest line in 11th, for the lap-59 restart. George spent the next 50 circuits fighting for track position and was finally able to earn ARCA’s “Lucky Dog” award when the caution flag was displayed on lap 109, placing the No. 31 Applebee’s/Potomac Family Dining Group Chevrolet back on the lead lap. Once on the lead lap, George advanced his way through the field, pitting for the final time under caution on lap 124 for four tires and fuel. He was eighth for a lap-127 restart, and worked his way to as high as fourth before slipping to fifth, still battling a tight-handling race car. The fifth-place finish was George’s second consecutive top five and allowed him to advance to fifth in the point standings.
Start – 3 Finish – 5 Laps Led – 0 Points – 5
TIM GEORGE JR QUOTE:
“We were really tight for much of the race, but that was because of the heat and the track conditions. The heat was bad so I’m glad I do all those work outs because keeping in shape really paid off. When we went a lap down, everyone kept their cool. It took a bit to get back onto the lead lap, but once we did, I still had a car that was tight and I never could get to where I felt I could challenge the leaders.”
Ty Dillon is Victorious in Iowa – Winning the Pole and Taking the Race Win
Ty Dillon and the No. 41 Richard Childress Racing team earned their fourth Menards Pole Award of the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season then capped off the day by visiting Victory Lane Saturday afternoon at Iowa Speedway for the Prairie Meadow 200. Sunshine and hot temperatures greeted the RCR team on Saturday as Dillon and Company won the pole for the 200-lap main event by posting a fast time of 23.459 seconds (134.277 mph). The 19-year-old driver took the green flag and immediately settled into the top position with a half-second lead over the field. Dillon had opened up a five-second lead when the second caution of the day was displayed on lap 50. The Scott Naset-led team was called to pit road for four fresh Hoosier tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. Winning the race off pit road, Dillon took the green again on lap 60. Driving away with the lead, the Lexington, N.C., native found himself with a four-second lead by lap 89. A lap-110 caution allowed Dillon to visit pit road for the final time of the day. The No. 41 crew put on four fresh tires and packed the RCR Chevrolet Impala full of fuel, setting Dillon up for the remaining 90 laps. The race off pit road granted Dillon with a second-place starting position for the lap-112 restart, but he quickly jumped to the lead on lap 118. Again, driving away from the field, the soon-to-be college freshman increased his lead to two seconds by lap 147. Dillon endured a few additional cautions before building up a 1.643-second lead on the field as he crossed the finish line, earning his seventh career ARCA Series victory in the Prairie Meadows 200 at Iowa Speedway.
Start – 1 Finish – 1 Laps Led – 193 Points – 1 (leads by 330 points)
TY DILLON QUOTE:
“That heat was really bad today – it was rough. Our Chevrolet was incredible since we unloaded. These guys are the best. They really know how to put a race car together for me. Its days like today that will win us a championship. I’m just so proud to be in Iowa. This is my favorite track and to win in front of these fans, is really awesome. Flash (crew chief Scott Naset) made a great call there at the end that set us up for the win. Winning five races; who would have thought? This is awesome. Hopefully, we just keep digging and keep getting the wins.”