Sonoma and Road America
Race: Save Mart 350
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Notes:
Richard Childress Racing in Wine Country … In 51 starts at the 10-turn stadium course, Richard Childress Racing owns two wins, with Dale Earnhardt in the 1995 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 and with Robby Gordon in the Save Mart 350 in 2003, one pole award (Earnhardt, 1995), 13 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes. The Welcome, N.C.,-based team has led 137 laps at Sonoma, completed 5,238 of the 5,284 laps contested (99.1 percent) and recorded just one DNF (Did Not Finish) over that stretch (1989-2011). Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer finished second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 2007 Save Mart 350.
RCR in the NSCS … In 2,210 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 100 wins, 431 top-five finishes, 896 top-10 finishes and 42 pole awards, with an average starting position of 17.8 and an average finishing position of 15.8 among all races contested. RCR has earned six Sprint Cup Series championships with Dale Earnhardt (1986, ’87, ’90,’91, ’93, ’94), 14 total championships (five NASCAR Nationwide Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR’s three national series.
The Collective RCR … Throughout the season’s first 15 races, RCR’s Sprint Cup Series entries have notched four top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. RCR teams have completed 15,288 out of 15,554 total laps (98.29 percent) with drivers Burton, Harvick, Paul Menard, Elliott Sadler, Brendan Gaughan and Austin Dillon. The group has led a combined 175 laps.
Get to the Points … Following the Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Harvick remains sixth in the driver championship point standings, 61 markers out of the top spot. Menard is 14th in the standings, and Burton ranks 21st.
Interactive RCR …To keep up-to-date with the latest news and to view exclusive content, visit RCR’s Twitter page – @RCRracing – along with the RCR Sprint Cup Series team Twitter pages – @RCR27PMenard, @RCR29KHarvick and @RCR31JeffBurton. Information about the 14-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRracing.com.
Catch the Action … TNT’s live coverage of the Save Mart 350 begins Sunday, June 24 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Qualifying for the 16th points-paying event on the Sprint Cup Series calendar will air tape delayed on SPEED on Friday, June 22 at 11 p.m. ET.
No. 27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Moen/Menards Chevrolet at Sonoma … Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 358 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new in 2011, this No. 27 Chevrolet was last utilized in competition at the 2011 Sprint Cup Series race at the Sonoma, Calif.-based road course.
By the Numbers Around the 10 Turns of Sonoma … In four career Sprint Cup Series starts at the 1.99-mile road course, Menard has finished each of his contested races and completed 99.78 percent of his laps (444 of 445). He holds a 20th-place average starting position and an average finishing position of 23.5, with his best start of third coming in his most recent visit to the road course nestled in the southern Sonoma Mountains (June 2011). He also recorded his best finish in the June 2011 event when he took the checkered flag in the 17th position.
Getting Loopy in 2012 … With 15 points-paying events of the 2012 season complete, Menard sits 14th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 37 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot. In his sophomore year with RCR, Menard has an average starting position of 18.3, an average finishing position of 16.1, maintains an average running position of 18.3., and has completed 99.6 percent of his laps (4,628 of 4,648).
Race Rewind … Menard started the 2011 Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma from the third position, his career-best start at the 10-turn road course.. Damage to the front fenders resulted in handling issues that plagued the No. 27 Chevrolet early, but solid work by the Slugger Labbe-led crew helped to neutralize the tight condition and Menard climbed back to a 17th-place result in the 110-lap race.
In the Rearview Mirror: Michigan … En route to a top-15 finish at Michigan International Speedway, Menard ran out of fuel two laps shy of the checkered flag, relegating the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet team to a 22nd-place result.
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PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
How much do you enjoy the road-course racing since you joined the NASCAR circuit?
“I enjoy road-course racing a lot. I wish we had a couple more, honestly, to break up the oval racing a little bit. Road courses are a lot of fun. It’s a lot different from what we do week to week. You turn left, turn right, downshift, up shift and strategy is a huge deal. It’s a lot of fun to drive.”
How long does it take you to adapt to a road course when you get to Sonoma after racing on ovals for 15 weeks?
“It comes back to you pretty quick. We’ve all run a lot of laps at Sonoma so it’s just like going to any track, even the ovals, again. You remember what you did last year and you have confidence that your car is going to respond the same.”
Have you tested for the race at Sonoma? What do you do at a test session for a road course?
“Yes, we tested at Virginia International Raceway a couple of weeks ago. Because every track is different, you have to test theories instead of focusing on the car set-up with spring and shock changes. It’s probably more beneficial for the driver to get back into the groove of things.”
Can you talk about your performance so far at Sonoma?
“We qualified third last year and got our best finish of 17th. We don’t have the finishes to show but we’ve had fast cars. We just need to put the full race together.”
No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Rheem Chevrolet at Sonoma … Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 395 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. The No. 29 Chevrolet was built new for competition in 2012 and will be put through its first competitive laps this weekend at Sonoma.
Racing Outside of the Circle … Throughout the course of his Sprint Cup Series career, Harvick has made 11 starts at the California-based facility collecting three top-five and four top-10 finishes. The 36-year-old driver holds an average starting position of 15.8 and a 16.1 average finishing position at the at the 1.99-mile road course, collecting a best starting of third in 2006 and best finishing position of second in 2007. Harvick has completed 99.9 percent (1,216 or 1,217) of the contested laps, with 10 laps led.
Getting Loopy at the Road Course … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Harvick has completed seven Sprint Cup Series events at Sonoma since its inception in 2006. In those seven races, the Bakersfield, Calif., native ranks within the top-10 of following categories: sixth in Laps in the Top 15 (460 laps/ 59.4 percent), seventh in Green Flag Passes (401) and eighth in Average Running Position (14.984). Harvick also ranks 10th in Fastest Driver Early in a Run (89.755 MPH) and Fastest on Restarts (86.478 MPH).
Points Racing … With 15 points-paying events in the books, Harvick and the No. 29 team remain sixth in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 61 markers behind the leader. The team has collected three top-five and eight top-10 finishes thus far this season, completing 99.74 percent (4,636 of 4,648) laps contested.
Now a Word From Our Sponsor … Rheem will adorn the No. 29 Chevrolet for the fifth of 10 scheduled races during the 2012 season this weekend at Sonoma. Rheem is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. In its 86th year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company’s premium brands, including Rheem, Raypak, Ruud and Richmond have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality. Rheem is the official heating, cooling and water heating supplier to Richard Childress Racing.
Welcome Watts Water Technologies … Watts Water Technologies will serve as Rheem’s partner on the RCR entry for Sunday’s race. Watts Water Technologies, Inc. is a world leader in the manufacture of innovative products to control the efficiency, safety and quality of water within residential, commercial and institutional applications. The company’s expertise in a wide variety of water technologies enables it to be a comprehensive supplier to the water industry. Watts Water’s various brand products center around four key application areas, referred to as our strategic business platforms: Commercial & Residential Flow, Water Reuse & Drainage, HVAC & Gas, and Water Quality.
Practice Makes Perfect … Harvick and the No. 29 RCR team will brush up on their road course skills in a test session on June 19 and 20 at High Plains Raceway in Colorado. The team will utilize chassis No. 278 from the RCR stable, previously used during a test at Virginia International Raceway earlier this year and during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Training with Champions … While out in Colorado for the road-course test, and on behalf of RCR partner Budweiser, the No. 29 team is scheduled to visit the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs. The facility serves as the flagship training center for the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Olympic Training Center programs. The team will have the opportunity to tour the complex, interact with Olympic athletes, visit the sports science center and get a lesson in fencing.
Meet the Driver … Harvick will participate in an at-track Q&A session in Club 7 at Sonoma on Sunday morning from 8:55-9:10 a.m. Tickets for the event at Club 7 can be purchased by visiting the following website: www.racesonoma.com/club7/. Only those who purchase the additional ticket may attend the Q&A session.
Kevin’s Krew … Kevin’s Krew is an at-track outreach program for youth supported by the Kevin Harvick Foundation intended to expose kids to the fast world of racing. These children see by example that hard work, following your dreams and leading a drug-free lifestyle can be very rewarding. Harvick will host a group of children from the Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma for the fourth of seven scheduled Kevin’s Krew at-track events Sunday morning at Sonoma. The kids in attendance will get a behind the scenes look at different professions in motorsports, ranging from pit crew jobs to merchandising careers. By attending a Kevin’s Krew event, the students are given hope that helps them to stay focused and work hard, despite any social and/or economical misfortunes.
Meet the Press … Harvick will be available to members of the media on Friday, June 22 at 1:15 p.m. ET (10:15 a.m. PT) in the Sonoma infield media center.
The Last Time Around …Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Tankless Chevrolet team salvaged a ninth-place finish in last year’s event at Sonoma after battling a loose-handing race car and sustaining damage in a mid-race incident.
In the Rearview Mirror: Michigan 400 … Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team took home a 10th-place finish in last Sunday’s rain-delayed event at Michigan International Speedway after overcoming a loose handling condition.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
Heading into the race at Sonoma how much do you enjoy the road racing?
“I love road racing. Sonoma is obviously very close to my hometown in Bakersfield, Calif., so you get a lot of family and friends that come out, but just the change of pace is something that I enjoy. I grew up racing go-karts on road courses so going to Sonoma and getting to race one of the two road courses we have on the schedule during the year should be fun.”
You have a couple of runner-up and top-10 finishes at Sonoma; do you think it’s just a matter of time before you get a win there?
“Yeah, I think we can win there. We’ve just got to put it all together. We’ve run well enough to win there a few times, but we just haven’t been able to break through and make it happen. We were able to get a win at Auto Club Speedway a couple of years ago, so I know that it’s fun to win in your home state. It would be good if we could get a Sonoma win behind us.”
Does it take a while to get a feel for the road-course races and figure out what’s going on when you first pull onto the track?
“It’s definitely different. Especially on Friday when you have a brief practice and go right into qualifying. You’re kind of getting used to things, but you’re kind of feeling the car out as to what it needs and hopefully you don’t have any problems in practice, because that can really throw everything for a curve ball. It definitely takes a while to get back in the swing of things.”
Have you been doing any testing in preparation for the race at Sonoma?
“We tested at Virginia International Raceway. We did some brake testing there and just tried to run through some things. Really a lot of it is to get the driver back into a rhythm, so when you get to Sonoma you don’t have those huge learning curves right off the bat, because you really don’t have time for it. We will also test in Colorado this week on the way to Sonoma just to make sure that I’m ready to go.”
No. 31 Wheaties Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Weekend’s No. 31 Wheaties Chevrolet at Sonoma … Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 357 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend. This No. 31 Chevrolet, built during the 2011 season, was driven by RCR teammate Kevin Harvick last year at Sonoma where he started 26th and finished ninth.
Breakfast of Champions … The iconic Wheaties franchise returns to Sprint Cup Series action this weekend. This is the third of six races during the 2012 season in that Wheaties will be the primary partner of the No. 31 Chevrolet. Wheaties also serves as an associate partner of the No. 31 for the remainder of the races during the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season. For more information, please visit www.wheaties.com or follow Wheaties on Twitter @Wheaties_FUEL and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Wheaties.
Career Sonoma Stats … This weekend’s 110-lap event marks Burton’s 19th start at the 1.99-mile facility and 635th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. Burton garnered one top-five and five top-10 finishes at the track. He also led three laps at the Sonoma, Calif.-based race track.
Getting Loopy in Wine Country … Burton has accrued impressive NASCAR Loop Data Statistics at Sonoma since its inception in 2006. Of all drivers entering the event, he has the fourth-most Green Flag Passes (420) with 125 coming while running in the top 15. Burton has also spent 409 laps Running in the Top 15, which ranks him ninth amongst his competitors, and has the 10th-best Average Running Position (16.23).
Race Rewind … Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team brought home a 21st-place finish last Sunday afternoon after battling a tight-handling condition during the rain-delayed event at Michigan International Speedway.
Points Racing … After 15 points-paying events of the 36-race Sprint Cup Series season, Burton scored 375 points and is tied for 20th position in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings. The veteran RCR driver has one top-five and three top-10 finishes and spent 1,809 laps running in the top 15, made 1,567 green-flag passes and led 35 laps.
JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
What are your views on road racing?
“I enjoy road-course racing, yet hate the finishes. I feel like I am a pretty good road-course racer, but my whole career at Sonoma has been filled with races where we ran well and got wrecked in the end. Sprint Cup Series restarts at Sonoma make some of the best drivers in the world look like idiots. That, to me, is really frustrating. It’s almost to the point where you might as well wreck someone before they wreck you (laughter). It seems you become a victim at road courses more than you do at restrictor-plate tracks. The racing part of it is great. I love road courses, but when you go there racing for points and there are some guys on the track who just don’t care, it becomes very frustrating. When I run a race in the Nationwide Series, I respect those drivers who are racing for points and a championship, but some of these guys just don’t care when it comes to road-course racing. Those are the difficult parts when you go to a road course, but overall I love it and that style of racing.”
How long does it take to get acclimated to road-course racing from oval racing throughout the weekend?
“I’ve been going there long enough to know what I am supposed to be doing. Typically, it doesn’t take too long to get adjusted. Having said that, I feel like I am better on Saturday than Friday in practice. When you watch road-course practice, you will see many drivers running a lot of laps. You see a lot of people making more race runs and less qualifying runs.”
You recently tested at Virginia International Raceway in preparation for Sonoma. What exactly are you looking for in a road-course test session?
“That’s a difficult question. For me, as a driver, I am testing to get myself into a rhythm. We are actually going back to VIR (Virginia International Raceway) on Thursday to test for a half day and then head to California. The fact of the matter is that the drivers are a weaker point to the team on a road-course weekend. Some are just weaker than others. When you only do it two times a year, you can’t expect to be as good at it as someone who does it on a weekly basis.”
How hard is it to pass at Sonoma?
“It depends on a driver’s personality. Some people feel like they have nothing to lose. Other drivers don’t want to make a mistake. For me personally, there are just some areas where I just cross off the list and won’t try to pass at. There are some areas where I really need to focus on and try to pass or keep someone from making a pass.”
Race: Sargento 200
Location: Road America
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Nationwide Series Notes
RCR’s NASCAR Nationwide Series History at Road America … Richard Childress Racing has one previous start at Road America with Tim George Jr. in 2010, but the team has a long history of making left and right-hand turns. In 27 previous road course attempts, RCR has three wins -with Jeff Purvis at Pikes Peak International Raceway on July 28, 2001 and with Kevin Harvick at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on August 4, 2007 and at Watkins Glen International on August 11, 2007. In addition to the three wins, RCR has eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in NNS road course competition.
The Season So Far … Through the 13 races contested so far this season, RCR has acquired two wins in the Nationwide Series, both with Elliott Sadler, who notched victories at Phoenix International Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway. RCR has earned six pole awards in 2012, with Sadler at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Iowa Speedway, Paul Menard at Texas Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick at Richmond International Raceway and Austin Dillon at Michigan International Speedway. The organization has 18 top-five and 32 top-10 finishes and has led 682 laps in 2012.
RCR in the NNS … In 805 Nationwide Series starts over the course of the last 15 years, Richard Childress Racing has earned 58 wins, 268 top-five finishes, 443 top-10 finishes and 38 pole awards, with an average starting position of 12.5 and an average finishing position of 12.8 among all races contested. RCR earned the Nationwide Series driver points championships in 2001 and 2006 with Harvick and in 2008 with Clint Bowyer. The Welcome, N.C.-based team earned the owner’s title in 2003 with Johnny Sauter and Harvick and again in 2007 with Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer.
To the Point … RCR’s two full-time Nationwide Series entries rank first (Sadler) and second (Dillon) in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings heading into the Sargento 200 at Road America. The No. 2 team sits second in the owner point standings while the No. 3 team ranks third. The No. 33 team driven by Brendan Gaughan, Harvick, Menard, Ty Dillon, Tony Stewart and Max Papis sits fourth in the owner championship point standings.
Social Media … To keep up-to-date with the latest news and information and to view exclusive content, visit RCR’s Twitter page – @RCRracing, RCR’s NASCAR Nationwide Series team Twitter pages – @RCR2ESadler, @RCR3ADillon and @RCR33NNS, RCR’s Nationwide Series driver Twitter pages – @Elliott_Sadler, @AustinDillon3 and @maxpapis the official Facebook fan pages – facebook.com/ElliottSadlerOfficial, facebook.com/adillon3 and facebook.com/maxpapisracing.
Live on ESPN … Flag-to-flag coverage of the Sargento 200 is scheduled to be televised on ESPN beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, June 23 and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Elliott Sadler No. 2 Charter Chevrolet Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Charter Chevrolet at Road America… Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 Charter team will unload Chassis No. 502 from Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series stable this weekend. RCR acquired this Chevrolet in the merger with Kevin Harvick Inc., and the team refurbished the road-course specific chassis in the off-season.
Turning Left…and Right … Although Sadler’s Nationwide Series experience at Road America is limited to his fourth-place finish in 2011 at the track, the Emporia, Va., native is no stranger to the left and right turns of road courses. In addition to his one start at Road America, Sadler has made five other Nationwide Series starts at road courses including three starts at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, one at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Montreal, Canada) and one at Autodrome Hermanos Rodriguez (Mexico City, Mexico). Sadler also has 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road course starts on his resume with 12 starts at both Watkins Glen and Sonoma (Calif.).
Welcome, Charter … This weekend the No. 2 Chevrolet will sport the Charter blue and green paint scheme at Road America. Charter, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States and a leading broadband communications company, announced this week the organization will also adorn several RCR entries throughout the 2012 season, including the Nos. 29 and 31 Sprint Cup Series Chevrolets, the Nos. 2 and 3 Nationwide Series Chevrolets and the Nos. 2 and 22 Chevrolets in the Camping World Truck Series.
Last Time By … Last season after three green-white-checkered attempts, Sadler saved enough fuel throughout the extended event to cross the finish line under caution in the fourth position at Road America in his first start at the 14-turn road course.
Just the Stats … According to NASCAR’s 2012 Loop Data Season-to-Date statistics, Sadler leads the Nationwide Series in Average Starting Position (4.5), Laps in the Top 15 (2,376) and Percentage of Laps Led (96.3). After 13 events in the Nationwide Series season, Sadler has earned two wins, two pole awards, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes with 129 laps led.
To the Point … Sadler returned to the top of the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, sitting eight points ahead of RCR teammate Austin Dillon. The No. 2 team sits second in the owner championship point standings, 47 points behind the No. 18 team.
Race Rewind: Michigan … Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team led three laps and finished 11th in the Nationwide Series event at the newly-repaved Michigan International Speedway last Saturday.
The REAL Heroes … Throughout the summer the No. 2 team will participate in “The REAL Heroes” program with OneMain Financial, a campaign designed to salute the troops. This weekend the team will host a group from the Wounded Warriors Project at Road America. Fans also have a way to get involved and send thanks to the troops throughout social media outlets and at OneMain Financial branch appearances during that time. For more information, visit www.onemainracing.com and utilize #OMRREALHeroes.
Seeing Pink … For the remainder of the season, Sadler will have a little more color to his outfit on race days. The Emporia, Va., native will sport pink driving shoes, showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness. Sadler’s mother, Bell, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and is now a survivor.
Home Sweet Home … Ethan Marquardt, tire carrier on the No. 2 Charter Chevrolet, hails from nearby Merrill, Wis. The 29-year-old is serving his first year at RCR and currently resides in Mooresville, N.C.
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTES:
What are your thoughts on Road America?
“I’m thrilled to get back to Road America. Last season was the first time that I ever competed at the course, and I had a great time. I spent a lot of time studying tapes from previous races to mentally prepare for the event. I was able to have Max Papis as a teammate last year and will be able to work with him again this season at RCR. I relied on his experience at Road America. I have a good record at road course events, and I think this is going to be a great race for the No. 2 Charter team.”
Austin Dillon No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s AdvoCare Chevrolet at Road America … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 096 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This former Kevin Harvick Inc. chassis was raced at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2011 and has since undergone a complete makeover in the RCR shop in preparations for 2012.
Dillon on Road Course Racing … Dillon’s lone road course racing appearance came at Lime Rock Motorsports Park in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Division where he started in the third position and finished 21st. To prepare for the for the three road course races on the 2012 Nationwide Series schedule, the 22-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender has been training with road course racing veteran Max Papis, who will drive the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet for RCR this weekend at Road America.
Spark your Engines … Dillon and his team will sport the colors of award-winning premier health and wellness company AdvoCare on the No. 3 Chevrolet. AdvoCare offers nutrition, weight loss, energy and sports performance products of the highest quality developed through comprehensive research and backed by a Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. Dillon trains with AdvoCare products throughout the week and is a distributor as well. For more information about Dillon’s favorite products, including Spark, Rehydrate, meal replacement bars and Post-Workout Recovery, visit http://www.AdvoCare.com.
The Season So Far … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Season-to-Date Statistics, Dillon has completed 99.03 percent of laps on the lead lap, leading all competitors. He has completed 94.8 percent of his laps in the top 15, ranking him second, ranks second in Quality Passes with 582 andis the third-fastest driver Late in a Run. The Nationwide Series rookie has an Average Running Position of 8.289 in the season’s 13 contested Nationwide Series races, ranking him third among all drivers maintains a Driver Rating of 103.0, ranking him fifth, has the fifth-fastest Speed in Traffic and has the fifth-fastest Green Flag Speed. He is the sixth-fastest driver Early in a Run and is ranked seventh in the Fastest Laps Run category with 112 laps so far this season.
Get to the Points … Dillon is second in the 2012 Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, eight points behind leader and RCR Teammate Elliott Sadler. Dillon currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
Meet Dillon … Dillon is scheduled to make an appearance at the Team Chevrolet Stage located at Road America beginning at 11:40 a.m. CT on Saturday.
Father’s Day Rewind … Dillon spent Father’s Day with his grandfather (car owner Richard Childress) and father (RCR Vice President of Competition Mike Dillon) at Michigan International Speedway, making his first Sprint Cup Series start of the season in the No. 33 American Ethanol Chevrolet. During the 400-mile race, Dillon posted lap times consistent with the top 10 competitors and was running in the top 15 before a broken radio requiring an unscheduled pit stop caused him to fall one lap down to the race leader and finish 24th.
Dillon at Michigan International Speedway … In the Nationwide Series’ first race on a newly repaved Michigan International Speedway, Dillon earned his career first Nationwide Series pole award, set the track record and drove the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet to a fifth-place finish.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
With limited road course racing experience, what are your goals for this weekend?
“This weekend could be a big game changer for a lot of people in the point standings. I’ve been working with Max Papis a lot and I know that his feedback will be helpful throughout the race weekend. Max has given me a lot of confidence and I’m definitely more prepared, both physically and mentally, for this weekend. I think the biggest thing for Road America, Watkins Glen International and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is to stay on the race track. It’s easier said than done. If we can survive and finish the race, I know that it will be very helpful for us in the point standings.”
No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Rheem/MenardS Chevrolet at Road America … Max Papis will pilot chassis No. 097 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in Saturday’s Sargento 200. Built new for the 2012 season, this RCR chassis will be put through its first competitive laps this weekend at Road America.
Road America Nuggets …This weekend’s 50-lap event marks Papis’ second appearance at the Elkhart Lake, Wis.-based facility. His lone Nationwide Series start at the 14-turn road course came in 2011 when Papis earned his career-best starting position of second and contended for the win in the late stages of the race when contact from another competitor knocked him off course severely damaging his race car, relegating him to a 23rd-place result.
Road Racer … Papis, a native of Italy who now resides in North Carolina, has nine road-course races on his Nationwide Series resume with his career best finish of second coming at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in August 2009. Throughout a five-year period, Papis garnered two top-five finishes and completed 87.4 percent (577 of 660) of the contested laps earning a 15th-place average starting position coupled with a 16.6 average finishing position.
About Rheem … Rheem Manufacturing Company (www.rheem.com) is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. In its 86th year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company’s premium brands, including Rheem, Raypak, Ruud and Richmond have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality. Rheem is the official heating, cooling and water heating supplier to Richard Childress Racing, and is a primary sponsor of RCR’s No. 29 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
A Little Racing Background … The 2004 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series champion has competed in multiple forms of racing including Formula One, Champ Car, IndyCar and the top three NASCAR touring series. Papis earned six Grand-Am and three Champ Car victories and claimed the victory in the Formula One race Formula 3000. Since his first NASCAR race in 2006, Papis has competed in 88 races across NASCAR’s top three national series, accumulating two top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
Points Racing … With 13 races complete so far this season, the No. 33 Chevrolet sits fourth in the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series owner championship point standings with drivers by Kevin Harvick, Brendan Gaughan, Paul Menard and Ty Dillon.
No. 33 Recap: Michigan International Speedway … Paul Menard piloted the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway last weekend in the 13th Nationwide Series race of the season. Menard led for 37 laps before coming to pit road for a schedule green-flag stop on lap 89 when a burst of flame from the tailpipe of the No. 33 Chevrolet singed the rear-tire changer, forcing the team to lose several track positions. The RCR driver was able to drive back into the top 10, crossing the finish line in the eighth position.
All Around Team Player … Though Papis hasn’t made additional starts under the RCR banner at thus far this season, he has been a regular at the race track throughout the first part of the year serving as driver coach for the Austin and Ty Dillon. The veteran driver works with the Dillon’s on their fitness regimen and strengthening their road course skills.
Let’s Ride … Prior to competing in the Sargento 200 at Road America on Saturday, Papis and Austin Dillon are scheduled to visit with the Davidson family, founders of the Harley Davidson empire. The RCR teammates will tour the Harley Davidson headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis., the site of the first Harley Davidson product made in 1904.
MAX PAPIS QUOTES:
This is your first start under the RCR banner, what are your thoughts heading into the race weekend?
“It’s a great opportunity. I love the fact that the after being involved with RCR since January on a testing and coaching level, I will actually get a chance to do what I love, which is to go out and race. To do it for RCR, it’s a special thing. Obviously, RCR is synonymous with competition, family and loyalty, and I’m really proud to represent that name on the race track. It’s going to be an awesome addition to my long list of teams that I have worked with. It’s a really proud thing for me to do, representing such a name in the NASCAR world.”
Besides turning right what’s the biggest difference between racing on an oval and racing on a road course?
“It’s not even comparable. They have two completely different driving techniques. The only things they have in common are the use of the same steering wheel and pedals. But the rest has nothing to do with one another. Road course racing is more physical. It’s an overall different discipline that requires a very different approach. I have been preparing for this for a long time so I feel ready for it.”
Do you have a favorite turn at Road America?
“I would say the carousel turn, the long right hander, is one of my favorites. I don’t really have any favorite place so far, because I try not to. It’s something that I always feel is a weakness, to pick a favorite spot. But, I would definitely say that in terms of satisfaction when you get it right, it’s very technical long corner, you get squashed into the seat. Once you do it right, it’s pretty awesome.”