[media-credit name=”darlingtonraceway.com” align=”alignright” width=”199″][/media-credit]Richard Childress Racing Event Preview:
Race: Southern 500
Location: Darlington Raceway
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Notes:
RCR at Darlington … Richard Childress is tied for third all time with Holman-Moody and the Wood Brothers for car owner victories at Darlington with eight – each with Dale Earnhardt behind the wheel. In 103 collective starts, RCR boasts 21 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval with five different drivers including Clint Bowyer, Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Robby Gordon. The Welcome, N.C.-based organization holds a 17.2 average starting position, an 18.2 average finishing position, has completed 31,421 of the 35,236 contested laps (89.2 percent) and has collectively led 2,597 laps.
The Collective RCR … Over the season’s first 10 races, RCR’s Sprint Cup Series entries have notched three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. RCR teams have completed 10,548 out of 10,770 total laps (97.94 percent) with drivers Burton, Harvick, Paul Menard, Elliott Sadler and Brendan Gaughan. The group has led a combined 173 laps.
Get to the Points … Following the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway,Harvick climbed to fifth in the driver championship point standings, 45 markers out of the top spot. Menard sits 14th in the point standings, while Burton advanced to 18th.
RCR in the NSCS … In 2,195 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, Richard Childress Racing has amassed 100 wins, 430 top-five finishes, 892 top-10 finishes and 42 pole awards, with an average starting position of 17.9 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 Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR’s three national series.
Day of Wine and Race Cars at 2012 FAN DAY … Richard Childress Racing and Childress Vineyards will co-host a full day of activities for fans May 25 during the ’12 FAN DAY celebration at the award-winning winery and the RCR Museum. Activities at each venue will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time with autograph sessions, show car and sponsor partner displays, guided museum and winery tours scheduled throughout the day. The RCR Museum will have a giant tent sale, with specific racing memorabilia sales to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation. Also, fans can participate in drawings, hide-and-tweet contests and Facebook trivia for a chance to win prizes. Visit www.childressvineyards.com or www.rcrracing.com for more information on how to be a part of ’12 FAN DAY.
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.
Place Your Vote … Fan voting for the 2012 Sprint All-Star Race is underway and while Burton hopes to qualify by winning a race prior to the event or finishing first or second in the Sprint Showdown, he also has the opportunity to be voted in by race fans. Fans can vote by using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application on their Android-powered Sprint devices or by texting “VOTE” to 229466 on any wireless carrier. Voting also is open at www.NASCAR.com/AllStar or by visiting the Sprint Experience at Sprint Cup Series races. Votes cast on a Sprint, Nextel, Boost or Virgin Mobile device count double towards a driver’s total.
Catch the Action … FOX’s live coverage of the Southern 500 begins Saturday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Qualifying for the 11th points-paying event on the Sprint Cup Series schedule will air live on SPEED on Friday, May 11 at 5 p.m. ET.
No. 27 Pittsburgh Paint/Menards Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway … Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 347 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet was last seen on track at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, where Menard drove it to a 10th-place finish. This chassis was also used in competition in 2011 at Auto Club Speedway, Dover International Speedway (May) and both events at Pocono Raceway.
Ready to Tame the Lady in Black … In five previous starts at Darlington, Menard has finished each of his contested races and completed 96.7 percent of his laps (1,793 of 1,838). He has an average starting position of 28.4 and an average finishing position of 26.8 with his best finish of 15th coming in the May 2009 event. Last year, he claimed his best starting position, taking the green flag from 18th in the Southern 500.
Getting Loopy in 2012 … With 10 points-paying events of the 2012 season complete, Menard sits 14th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 25 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot. In his sophomore year with RCR, Menard has a 21st-place average starting position, an average finishing position of 16.5 and maintains an average running position of 19.01. The Eau Claire, Wis., has completed 99.5 percent of his laps (3,103 of 3,120).
#QS400 or Bust … Quaker State and Menards have a consumer sweepstakes offer that will run through May 15. Fans can visit their nearest Menards for real durable Quaker State motor oil and a chance to win an all expenses paid trip for two to the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. For details and to enter, visit your local Menards store. See Menards.com for locations.
Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3 … The No. 27 Richard Childress Racing team is participating in a Goodyear Tire test session May 8 – 9 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Menard will be available for questions from members of the press inside NHMS’ infield media center during the lunch break on May 9 at 12:25 p.m. ET.
Race Rewind … In the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Menard started the No. 27 Chevrolet from the 18th position; however, a tight-handling condition prevented him from gaining ground. The Slugger Labbe-led crew worked during routine pit stops to adjust the handling challenges that Menard faced. As he entered his pit box, under caution on lap 124, he was tagged from behind by another car. The contact spun the No. 27 Chevrolet around, forcing the over-the-wall crew to pit the car as it faced backwards. The extended pit stop put the Eau Claire, Wis., native back in the 30th position for the restart. Menard moved forward through the field, but handling issues continued to torment the team throughout the remainder of the event. Menard reported throughout the race that the engine’s temperature climbed during caution periods and it expired on the final lap, leaving the No. 27 Chevrolet to coast to the checkered flag in the 22nd position.
In the Rearview Mirror: Talladega … Menard started from the 17th position in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway and was running third in the closing laps when he received heavy damage in a multi-car incident, relegating the No. 27 Turtle Wax/Menards Chevrolet team to a 17th-place finish.
About Pittsburgh Paints … PPG Pittsburgh® Paints is a nationally recognized brand trusted by painting contractors, building owners, architects, designers, and homeowners for over 100 years. Products include interior/exterior pains and interior/exterior stains. For additional information, please visit www.ppgpittsburghpaints.com.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
Darlington Raceway is known as the track that is “Too Tough To Tame.” Why do you think is it so hard?
“Since it was repaved, it’s a totally different race track. The old surface had no grip at all; the tires would wear out in a couple laps and you would slide everywhere. Now, you run as fast as you do at the end of the run as you do at the beginning. It’s not as tough as it used to be, but it’s still pretty tough. You have to run up by the fence which leads to right-side damage and the infamous ‘Darlington stripe.’ Driving a foot off the wall, things are still going to happen.”
How much of a sense of history do you feel when you walk into Darlington Raceway?
“Darlington (Raceway) is a throwback race track. You drive into this little town and all you see is this huge race track. It definitely allows you to feel the roots of NASCAR.”
Compared to other big cities the Sprint Cup Series travels to, like Las Vegas, it’s nice to go to a small place like Darlington. Which do you prefer?
“I enjoy all the places (race tracks) that we can drive to. It’s always a fun drive down to Darlington. Honestly, when I get to the track, I generally don’t leave again until after the race. We don’t get to go out and experience the night life of the cities and all that. We just see the inside of the race track. Darlington is a good one (infield) though, for camping. It’s pretty laid back.”
At some tracks you can ‘luck’ into a good finish or a win. Is it possible to ‘luck’ into anything at Darlington Raceway because it’s so tough?
“The only places I feel like you can ‘luck’ into one are the restrictor-plate tracks. Everywhere else you have to be good. You have to have a good car, good calls on pit road and drive well. Darlington (Raceway) just fits the bill. You need all of that to get a good finish or a win.”
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s Budweiser Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway … Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 374 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This chassis was built new for competition in 2012, and was driven by Harvick at Auto Club Speedway in March where he collected a fourth-place finish in the rain-shortened event.
Dancing with the “Lady in Black” … Harvick has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington Raceway during the past 11 seasons. In those races, he has scored two top-five and five top-10 finishes. He has led 63 laps at the track and completed 93.9 percent (4,899 of 5,215) of the laps run. Harvick holds an average starting position of 17.3 and an average finish of 18.9 at track coined “Too Tough To Tame”.
In the Loop at Darlington … Since the implementation of NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics in 2006, Harvick has competed in seven Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway and holds solid marks entering this weekend’s event, including: fifth in Closers and 10th in Fastest Laps Run (78).
Looking Back …A late-race incident cost Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team a top-five finish during last year’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Despite leading 47 laps and earning an average running position of 4.4 during the race, Harvick ended up with a 17th-place result after the No. 29 was involved in a late-race accident. The No. 29 team pitted twice under caution to make repairs to the Budweiser Chevrolet and Bakersfield, Calif., native restarted in the 18th position for the green-white-checkered finish. He was able to pick up one position before the checkered flag waved.
Meet the Press … Harvick will be available to members of the media at 10:45 a.m. ET on Friday, May 11 behind the No. 29 hauler in the Sprint Cup Series garage.
In the Rearview Mirror: Talladega Superspeedway … Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem team came home with a 25th-place finish in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway last Sunday afternoon after being involved in a late-race, multi-car incident. The finish moved Harvick up two positions to fifth in the Sprint Cup Series championship driver point standings.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
What are your thoughts on heading back to Darlington Raceway?
“As you go to Darlington (Raceway), you see the deep history of the sport. This track is probably highest on my list to try to get a win, so I’m looking forward to going there this weekend to see what we can do.”
Why would it mean so much to add your name to the list of Darlington Raceway winners?
“It’d be pretty awesome because of the fact that everyone knows the significance of the Southern 500 and to win at Darlington (Raceway) is something, as a driver, that you want to check off your list. We’ve been close at Darlington, but we’ve just got to put the whole package together and make it happen.”
What makes racing at Darlington Raceway such a challenge for the drivers and teams?
“The track was not originally designed for cars to be running as fast as they are today. The track’s very narrow and you carry a lot of speed. From a driver’s standpoint, it’s very challenging just to keep the car off the wall, but it’s also a lot of fun to drive.”
No. 31 BB&T Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s BB&T Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway … Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 393 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 31 Chevrolet, built new for the 2012 season, was utilized in March at Auto Club Speedway where Burton finished in the 22nd position in the rain-shortened Auto Club 400.
Career Darlington Stats … The Southern 500 marks Burton’s 30th start at the 1.366-mile facility and 630th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. Darlington Raceway is one of Burton’s favorite places to visit on the Sprint Cup Series schedule and he amassed two wins, eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes at the historic track, leading 817.
Getting Loopy with “The Lady in Black” … Burton has garnered impressive NASCAR Loop Data statistics at Darlington Raceway since their inception in 2006. Of all drivers entering the 2012 500-mile event, he has the third most green flag passes (403) with 184 coming while running in the top 15 (quality passes). Burton has also spent 1,622 laps in the top 15, which ranks him 10th amongst his competitors. He also has an impressive 13.86 average running position and 86.4 driver rating at the track deemed “Too Tough to Tame.”
No Stranger to Victory Lane … Burton’s six visits to Darlington Raceway’s Victory Lane across Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series competition stretch from 1997-2002. He completed a rare sweep of both Sprint Cup Series events in 1999 and both Nationwide Series events in 2002 and his first win at the egg-shaped oval took place in the Nationwide Series in 1997. The 44-year-old driver also holds trophies for winning the April 2001 race and two Nationwide Series pole awards in 1998 and 2002.
Burgundy and Gray … Burton’s No. 31 Chevrolet will sport the burgundy and gray colors of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T this weekend. The No. 31 BB&T Chevrolet paint scheme debuted in March at Bristol Motor Speedway and made appearances this season at Martinsville Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. After this weekend, BB&T will be the primary sponsor at Dover International Speedway in June along with a special edition co-branded paint scheme with Caterpillar next weekend during NASCAR’s Sprint All-Star Race Weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Official Bank of RCR … BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $174.6 billion in assets and market capitalization of $14.9 billion, as of Dec. 31, 2011. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates approximately 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. A Fortune 500 company, BB&T is consistently recognized for outstanding client satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Greenwich Associates and others. The RCR partnership with BB&T has enjoyed great success both on and off the track in the past five years, including the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series driver’s championship with Clint Bowyer and multiple trips to victory lane in NASCAR’s premiere division at Richmond International Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. The relationship began at the start of the 2007 Nationwide Series season and moved up to Sprint Cup Series action in 2009.More information about BB&T and its full line of products and services is available at www.BBT.com.
Team Chevy … Burton is scheduled to participate in a question and answer session at the Team Chevy stage located in the Darlington Raceway display area on Saturday, May 12 at 3:10 p.m. ET.
Team Pocono vs. Team Dover … Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway are teaming up for a celebrity softball game featuring Burton and Carl Edwards on Tuesday, May 15 at Campbell’s Field, home of the Camden Riversharks in Camden, N.J. The game, billed as Team Dover vs. Team Pocono, marks the first time two NASCAR tracks have joined forces to promote their respective races. Burton will captain “The Tricky Triangle” team while Edwards will lead the “Monster Mile” squad. The teams rosters will be filled out with drivers from the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well Philadelphia-area athletes and celebrities, and members of the local media. Gates open at 4 p.m. with the game beginning at 4:30 p.m. Following the softball game, Burton and Edwards will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the 7:05 p.m. Lancaster Barnstormers vs. Camden Riversharks baseball game. Access to the Team Dover vs. Team Pocono celebrity softball game is free with a ticket to that night’s baseball game. Tickets for the Riversharks game start at just $5, and all children ages 16 and younger that wear their NASCAR gear get in free. In addition, the United Way of Camden County offers free admission for any child that wears the uniform of the little league team they play for to the game. For tickets, call 1-866-SHARKS-9 or visit www.riversharks.com.
Sprint Fan Vote. Vote Now, Vote Often … Fans have the opportunity to vote Burton into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19 with the Sprint Fan Vote. The Sprint Fan Vote launched in 2004 as a way to bring one more deserving driver into the Sprint All-Star Race to compete for the $1 million payout. There are three ways you can vote for Burton and votes from your Sprint, Boost and Virgin Mobile phones count double.
Text “VOTE” to 229466 from any mobile handset Use the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application on your Sprint Android device Voting on handsets is unlimited
There is no voting time limit in 2012
The Sprint Experience
Voting stations will be set up in the Sprint Experience mobile display each race weekend
Race Rewind … Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Racing team dealt with adversity at a number of points during the Aaron’s 499, but capitalized on good fortune toward the end of the race and left Talladega Superspeedway with a 10th-place finish.
Points Racing … Burton has scored 249 points and sits 18th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 53 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot. After 10 points-paying events of the 36-race Sprint Cup Series season, Burton has one top-five and three top-10 finishes. The veteran RCR driver has spent 1,381 laps running in the top 15, made 1,140 green-flag passes and led 34 laps.
JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
How do you feel the No. 31 team ran at Darlington Raceway last year and what are your thoughts on the 2012 event?
“You really can’t compare Darlington Raceway to any other intermediate-sized race track. Since they repaved it, it has a lot of grip. It’s kind of an entity on its own. It’s certainly a place where we go and run well. I feel like we have a competitive advantage when we go there in a lot of areas. I also feel comfortable saying we should be competitive there this year as well.”
Why do you think you run so well at Darlington Raceway?
“Even in the years where we struggled, we always go to Darlington and run well. It’s a track that I always liked because you have to be aggressive, but you can’t cross the line and get too aggressive. It’s a really fun place to race. I’ve always embraced it and viewed it as a great opportunity to race at a historic race track. I’ve never viewed it as a place to be scared of. I viewed it as a place to respect a great deal, but a place to go out, have a good time and enjoy. Every time I go there, I just think it is fun to place to race.”
After the repave, did Darlington Raceway become even more intimidating with the higher speeds?
“For those of us who raced it before, we have to forget the “old Darlington” in some ways and be more aggressive. On the “old Darlington,” you would slide up to the wall. You would enter the corner and give yourself enough cushion and sometimes would slide up and hit the wall. Now, the speed enables you to drive so much harder that you hit the wall because you are driving too hard. Driving too hard before meant you crossed the edge and it happened real slow. You knew it was coming. Today, you drive in deep, go back in the throttle and it happens so quick. It’s just a completely different kind of race.”
Can you remember the first time you went to Darlington Raceway and what your thoughts were?
“It is so different from then to now. I think young drivers will have an easier time now than with the old surface. The grip level now makes it is a lot easier. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still the hardest track we race on, but it is easier than it used to be. You don’t have that slip factor in there that you used to have. The drivers who now win the race at Darlington Raceway attack it. Back in the day, it was more like you survived it. You waited for other people to make mistakes and you were there when the race ended to capitalize. For the last 15 years or so, it has been ‘attack the race track.’ The guys who win these races now don’t wait around. They go out and are aggressive. It is easier to do that with more grip compared to the old track with no grip.”
Race: VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero 200
Location: Darlington Raceway
Richard Childress Racing
NASCAR Nationwide Series Notes
RCR’s NASCAR Nationwide Series History at Darlington Raceway … In 31 Nationwide Series starts at Darlington Raceway, Richard Childress Racing has earned eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes but remains winless at the 1.366-mile track. The Welcome, N.C.-based organization has one pole award (Kevin Harvick – 2003).
Averages … RCR maintains an average starting position of 11.8 and an average finishing position of 13.8 among all Nationwide Series races the organization has competed in at Darlington Raceway. RCR drivers have completed 97 percent of the laps attempted at the track with 218 laps led.
The Season So Far … Through the first eight races this season, RCR has acquired two wins in the Nationwide Series, both with Elliott Sadler, who notched the organization’s first victory of the 2012 season at Phoenix International Raceway and also earned the organization’s second win of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway. RCR has earned four pole awards in 2012, with Sadler at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, Paul Menard at Texas Motor Speedway and Kevin Harvick at Richmond International Raceway. The organization has 12 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes and has led 522 laps in 2012.
RCR in the NNS … In 789 Nationwide Series starts over the course of the last 15 years, Richard Childress Racing has earned 58 wins, 262 top-five finishes, 431 top-10 finishes and 36 pole awards, with an average starting position of 12.6 and an average finishing position of 12.9 among all races contested. RCR earned the Nationwide Series driver’s points championships in 2001 and 2006 with Kevin 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 fulltime Nationwide Series entries rank second (Sadler) and third (Dillon) in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings heading into the VFW Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway. The No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet team sits second in the owner’s point standings while the No. 33 Menards/South Point Hotel & Casino/Hunt Brothers/Armour Brands/Fast Fixin’/OneMain Financial/Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet team driven by Brendan Gaughan, Harvick, Menard, Tony Stewart and Max Papis sits fifth in the owner’s championship point standings and the No. 3 AdvoCare/American Ethanol/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team ranks fifth.
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 @Brendan62 the official Facebook fan pages – facebook.com/ElliottSadlerOfficial and facebook.com/adillon3.
Live on ESPN 2 … Flag-to-flag coverage of the VFW Help a Hero 200 will be televised on ESPN 2 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, May 11 and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Elliott Sadler No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s OneMain Financial Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway … Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team will utilize Chassis No. 104 from Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series stable this weekend. The race at Darlington Raceway will mark the third time the No. 2 team unloads this chassis in 2012. This car competed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the team earned their first pole award of the season and finished third and at Texas Motor Speedway with a 12th-place finish.
Back to the Lady in Black … Sadler will head to Darlington Raceway with eight Nationwide Series starts under his belt, as well as one pole (1997), two top-five and three top-10 finishes at the 1.366-mile track. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the driver has 18 starts including one pole (2003), two top-five and four top-10 finishes. In 2011, Sadler made his only NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the track and finished seventh.
Last Time By … In 2011, Sadler and the OneMain Financial team hit the track nabbed “Too Tough To Tame,” leading 23 laps on his way to a third-place finish.
Just the Stats … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Season-to-Date statistics, Sadler leads the Nationwide Series in average running position (6.77), average start (4.3), average mid-race (5.6), laps in top 15 (1,464), and total laps completed (1,542).
To the Point … Sadler ranks second in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, five points behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
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 … Brett Griffin, spotter on the No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, is from nearby Pageland, S.C. Griffin is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has worked with Sadler as his spotter for 12 years. Griffin also serves as spotter for RCR driver Jeff Burton in the Sprint Cup Series.
Race Rewind: Talladega … Sadler and the OneMain Financial team fought for a hard-earned 10th-place finish at Talladega after restarting from the 20th-position on the second green-white-checkered finish attempt. Sadler, who started the race from the pole position after rain postponed qualifying, competed in the top-10 for most of the race before the Chevrolet began to overheat. The driver narrowly missed several wrecks as he drove to his sixth top-10 of the season.
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTES:
What are your thoughts on Darlington Raceway?
“I love racing at Darlington (Raceway). It is a track with a lot of history, and the fans always bring an energy there unlike any other track. The track brings back a lot of memories for me. I earned my first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole there in 2003, and earned a pole in the Nationwide Series early in my career in 1997. I really love the driving style at Darlington, and with so much history, I always want to go there and do well. It’s a track that I haven’t won at before, and I’d love to be able to bring home a victory for RCR and OneMain Financial this weekend. Darlington is such a fun race with a lot of history.”
Austin Dillon No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s AdvoCare Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 102 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This is the same Chevrolet that Dillon drove to a fifth place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in April and a seventh-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.
Dillon at Darlington … This weekend will mark Dillon’s first Nationwide Series start at Darlington Raceway, but the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion has two starts at the track in the Camping World Truck Series. He earned his best finish of fifth in August 2010, coupled with a 15th-place result in March 2011.
The Season So Far … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Season-to-Date Statistics, Dillon is the second-fastest driver late in a run. He has completed 99.22 percent of laps on the lead lap, ranking him third in that category and has completed 93.1 percent of his laps in the top 15, also ranking him third. The Nationwide Series Rookie has an average running position of 9.092 in the season’s first eight Nationwide Series races, ranking him fifth among all drivers and has the fifth-fastest green-flag speed. He maintains a driver rating of 100.0, ranking him sixth, has the seventh-fastest speed in traffic and is the seventh-fastest driver early in a run. He is ranked seventh in the Fastest Laps Run category with 73 laps so far this season and has made 443 Quality Passes, ranking him seventh in that category.
Get to the Points … Dillon is third in the 2012 Nationwide Series driver championship point standings. He trails point leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr by 35 points and he is 30 markers behind second-place Elliott Sadler, his RCR teammate. Dillon currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
Keeping Cool, AdvoCare Style … The No. 3 AdvoCare team plans to stay at peak performance at the track this weekend with the newest product by AdvoCare, Rehydrate Gel. Rehydrate Gel is an electrolyte replacement energy gel designed to help you enjoy activity at your highest level. With a light lemon flavor and just 80 calories, this portable pouch is easy to use and carry during the most strenuous exercise. Whether you want to boost, replenish or recover, Rehydrate Gel provides the electrolytes and carbohydrates needed to help you get the most out of any run, workout, swim, ride or NASCAR race. The No. 3 team tried Rehydrate Gel for the first time last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and plan to continue using the product to battle the heat throughout the summer races.
Happy Mother’s Day … With no NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for Sunday, Dillon plans to spend Mother’s Day with his family at Childress Vineyards enjoying the venue’s Mother’s Day Grand Buffet, followed by an afternoon at the lake with his brother (Camping World Truck Series Sunoco rookie contender Ty Dillon), father (RCR Vice President of Competition Mike Dillon) and mother, Tina Dillon.
Rewind to Talladega … Dillon started the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway from the fifth position made dramatic position changes from first to 29th throughout the race as the field entertained race fans with two- and three-wide racing. In the closing laps of the race, Dillon was running in the fourth position when a multi-car incident broke out. He attempted to avoid the wreckage but ended up with front bumper damage and a crinkled hood in the process. He was able to salvage a 17th-place finish.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
What are your thoughts heading into Darlington Raceway?
“I’ve never raced there in the Nationwide Series, but I have raced there a couple of time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and it’s a challenging track, for sure. It’s fun. You drive up high right next to the wall, so if you make any type of a mistake you pretty much end up right in the wall. It’s even more challenging since they repaved it. It’s a tough track, but I love it. I really want to run every lap. The best way to learn is to actually race and experience different situations for yourself.”
No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week’s South Point Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway … Brendan Gaughan will pilot Chassis No. 103 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. Built new for competition in 2012, Gaughan drove this entry twice this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway earning a fifth and 10th-place finish, respectively.
He’s Back … As the Nationwide Series travels to Darlington Raceway, the Las Vegas native will return to the driver’s seat of the No. 33 RCR Chevrolet for his third of 10 scheduled Nationwide Series appearances of the 2012 season. In his first two Nationwide appearances with RCR this season, Gaughan has earned one top-five and two top-10 finishes.
Get Your Motor Running … Friday’s VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 will mark Gaughan’s 74th career Nationwide Series start and third Nationwide Series appearance at the famed South Carolina track. Over the course of his four years of competition in the Nationwide Series, Gaughan collected one pole award, seven top-five and 19 top-10 finishes and led 45 of the 12,771 laps completed.
The Darlington Experience: Gaughan made a combined total of seven starts at the 1.366-mile track spread across each of NASCAR’s top-three series. The K&N Pro Cup Series champion has completed 1,325 of 1,401 laps (94.6 percent) and has earned one top-five and one top-10 finish in the Camping World Truck Series.
In the Loop … According to NASCAR’s Season-to-Date Data Loop Statistics, Gaughan maintains an average starting position of 8.5 and an average finishing position of 7.5. So far in the 2012 Nationwide Series season the 36-year-old driver has completed 85 green-flag passes, has made 82 quality passes and has run 384 laps within the Top 15 (99.4 percent of total laps completed).
To the Points … The No. 33 RCR Chevrolet team sits fourth in the Nationwide Series owner’s championship point standings, 29 points behind the No. 6 team. The No. 33 team earned four top-five and seven top-10 finishes between four different drivers (Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Gaughan, and Paul Menard) thus far this season.
Off-Road Racing South of the Boarder … Gaughan managed to stay busy during his time away from RCR competition by heading to Mexico with his father, Michael Gaughan, to participate in the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) General Tire Mexican 1000. The senior Gaughan captured the overall victory for the vintage class with the help of his son and two other co-drivers/riders over the course of the four day rally.
South Point Hotel & Casino … South Point Hotel & Casino will serve as Gaughan’s primary sponsor for the No. 33 Chevrolet this weekend at Darlington Raceway. Located in the heart of the premiere southwest Las Vegas valley, minutes away from the famous Las Vegas Strip, South Point Hotel & Casino amenities include a 16-screen century theatre movie complex, 64-lane bowling center and a handful of restaurants that cater to all appetites and tastes. The casino features a large selection of table games and the latest slot and video poker machines. The distinctive hotel features spacious rooms and suites with 42-inch LED televisions, Point Plush mattresses and wireless fidelity throughout. A unique feature to this property is its Equestrian Center, which is the finest horse facility in the country. South Point also has a fabulous 400-seat showroom that features headliner entertainment and dancing to live bands on weekends.
In the Rearview Mirror: Talladega Superspeedway … After starting the Aaron’s 312 from the third position, Harvick settled near the back of the pack in efforts to preserve his No. 33 Armour Chevrolet from rising engine temperatures throughout the early laps on Saturday afternoon. He was making his way towards the front of the field before he was involved in the “Big One” during the final scheduled lap of the event, relegating the Richard Childress Racing team to a 22nd-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTES:
What are your thoughts on driving the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet this weekend at Darlington Raceway?
“I’ve been anxious to get back in the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet; I have had great runs with the team at the start of this season, and I wish I didn’t have such a long break between races, but it allowed me to race with my dad for the first time so it was worth it. Ernie (Cope) and the crew have provided all of the drivers with great Chevrolets so far this season so I feel like we will be fast right when we unload. I absolutely love Darlington (Raceway) so I’m excited to get back in the car.”
Paul Menard, No. 27
Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet