RCR Post-Race Report — NSCS Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Brickyard 400
Indianapolis Motor Speedway

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
July 28, 2013

Race Highlights:

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American Muscle

Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 12th (Paul Menard), 19th (Kevin Harvick), 26th (Austin Dillon) and 43rd (Jeff Burton) in the Brickyard 400.

Following the event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Harvick remains fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 92 markers, while Paul Menard sits 19th, 39 points outside of the top 10, and Burton ranks 20th, 241 points back from the leader.

The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks fourth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 20th in the standings and the No. 31 team 21st.

According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Menard ranked third in Green Flag Passes making 119 throughout the course of the 160-lap event, and was credited with one of the Fastest Laps Run.

Harvick made 99 Green-Flag Passes, ranking him fifth in the loop-data category, 29 of those passes came while running in the top 15 (Quality Passes).

Burton completed 53 Green-Flag Passes during 160-lap event and was credited with two of the Fastest Laps Run.

Dillon made 74 Green-Flap Passes during the Brickyard 400.

Ryan Newman earned his first victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.

The next Sprint Cup Series race is the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 4. The 21st race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at Noon Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Satellite Radio channel 90.

Menard Finishes 12th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400

Paul Menard started the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet from the 23rd position and persevered through handling issues to finish 12th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. In the early stages of the Brickyard 400, Menard relayed to the crew that he was fighting a loose-handling condition. Crew chief “Slugger” Labbe elected to make a variety of chassis adjustments during the ensuing pit stops to help remedy the handling issues. Restarting 19th after a lap 83 pit stop, Menard quickly picked up three positions and was running in 14th when he communicated to the crew his car was the best it had been all day. On a different pit strategy than the majority of the 43-car field, Menard was able to stay out and lead lap 146 before bringing his No. 27 machine down pit road one final time on lap 147. Pitting for right-side tires and fuel only, the Richard Childress Racing driver restarted 17th with just 12 laps remaining. Determined to make his way back toward the front of the field, Menard gained five spots in the final laps to finish 12th at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Menard sits in the 19th spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Pocono Raceway next weekend.

Start – 23         Finish – 12         Laps Led – 1         Points – 19th

PAUL MENARD QUOTE:

“We battled handling issues throughout the majority of the race, but the guys never gave up. The No. 27 Duracell/Menards crew worked hard all day and we made a bunch of different adjustments. ‘Slugger’ (Labbe, crew chief) did a great job on the box with pit strategy; it wasn’t an easy race to call. The whole team fought hard all day and we were able to come home with a 12th-place finish.”

Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John’s Team Settle for a 19th-Place Finish in the Brickyard 400

Following a string of nine-consecutive top-10 finishes, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John’s team settled for a 19th-place result in the Brickyard 400 Sunday afternoon. The California native started the 160-lap race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the 24th spot and maintained a position within the top 20 for the majority of the event, while battling handling issues. Crew chief Gil Martin utilized pit strategy by coming down pit road on lap 115 under caution for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment while other teams opted to stay out. The decision allowed Harvick to take over the lead on lap 144, while those who opted not to visit pit road under caution did so during green-flag conditions. Despite moving to the front and leading laps, the Jimmy John’s team wasn’t able to make it to the end without stopping again for fuel. Harvick relinquished the lead on lap 146 for the team’s final two-tire and fuel pit stop. The Richard Childress Racing driver returned to the track in the 19th position, where he ultimately finished the race. Following the event, Harvick remains fourth in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

Start – 24         Finish – 19         Laps Led – 2         Points – 4th

KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:

“This definitely wasn’t the finish the Jimmy John’s team was going for today. We just couldn’t get the handling of the car where it needed to be. We’ll continue to take this season one race at a time, put this one behind us and start focusing on Pocono (Raceway).”
Mechanical Issue Ruins Burton’s Afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

After running in the top 20 for most of the afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jeff Burton’s No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet suffered severe mechanical issues that relegated the Richard Childress Racing driver to a 43rd-place finish in the 2013 Brickyard 400. Starting from the 16th position, the South Boston, Va., native maintained a top-20 running position for the majority of the 20th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the historic 2.5-mile track. Working with interim crew chief Matt McCall, who was subbing for the ill Luke Lambert, the No. 31 Chevrolet pit crew improved the handling of the car during multiple four-tire pit stops early in the race. On lap 82, the 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner radioed to the team there was a problem with the transmission of the RCR machine. Burton tried to bring the car to pit road for service, but wasn’t able to make it back and the caution flag was displayed. Burton went to the garage where the Caterpillar crew replaced multiple parts underneath the car and returned to the track on lap 128 in the 43rd position, 49 laps down to the leader. Burton spent the final 40 laps running consistent top-15 lap times, but the 46-year-old driver was unable to gain any positions in the process and scored a 43rd-place result. Burton now sits 20th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

Start – 16          Finish – 43          Laps Led – 0          Points – 20th

JEFF BURTON QUOTE:

“It was a tough day for the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team. We were hanging around the top 20 when something in the transmission broke and sent us to the garage area for repairs. I’m not sure what happened, but I’m proud of the team for getting the car back out there. This team never gives up. We just need to stay positive and know our Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) hopes are still very much alive.”

 

Dillon Earns a 26th-Place Finish in First-Career Brickyard 400 Start

Driving the No. 33 Chevrolet for Mycogen Seeds, an Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences brand, Austin Dillon earned a 26th-place finish in his first-career Brickyard 400 race. The Welcome, N.C., driver started the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the 20th position and cited a tight-handling condition at the start of the 160-lap event. A green-flag pit stop on lap 27 for four Goodyear tires, Sunoco Green E15 fuel and a right-side track bar adjustment designed to improve Dillon’s handling challenges provided no relief to the driver in subsequent laps, and he fell one lap down to the race leader during the next green flag run. Dillon spent the remainder of the race battling for the “Lucky Dog” position so he could rejoin the lead lap cars, but caution flags did not fall in his favor. When the caution was displayed on lap 59, the leader opted not to pit preventing the No. 33 team from taking the “wave around” to rejoin the lead lap. Instead, Dillon pitted for fuel and right-side tires, restarting in the 26th position on lap 64. The tight-handling condition remained problematic for the current NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader, even after making his final pit stop for four tires and adjustments under green-flag conditions on lap 145. He ultimately posted a 26th-place finish, one lap down.

Start – 20          Finish – 26          Laps Led – 0          Points – N/A

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
“It was a long day in the Mycogen Seeds Chevrolet, but I learned a ton that I can use next year in this race. I was really tight all day and we never really got the track position we needed here, which is what it’s all about at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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