NSCS AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Dover International Speedway
September 30, 2012
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 13th (Kevin Harvick), 22nd (Paul Menard) and 27th (Jeff Burton).
Harvick spent 237 laps (59.3 percent) running in the Top 15 while making 49 Green Flag Passes.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Burton posted six of the Fastest Laps of the 400-lap event, while Harvick was credited with running four and Menard turned two.
Menard logged the second-most Green Flag Passes in the AAA 400 with 72.
Burton made 41 Green Flag Passes during the 400-mile race.
Brad Keselowski captured his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win of the 2012 season and was followed to the finish line by Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards.
The next scheduled Sprint Cup Series race is the Good Sam Club at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Oct. 7. The race is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Paul Menard and the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Team Finish 22nd at Dover International Speedway
Paul Menard and the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet team battled handling challenges and bad luck on Sunday afternoon en route to a 22nd-place finish at Dover International Speedway. Menard lined up the neon yellow Chevrolet in the 19th position to start the AAA 400, but fell to 23rd in the running order during the first 50 laps as he wrestled with a tight-handing machine. Crew chief Shane Wilson called the Richard Childress Racing driver to pit road on lap 66 under green-flag conditions for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. While exiting pit road, the caution flag was displayed for debris on the race track which trapped Menard and the majority of the field a lap down to the top-eight cars who had yet to pit. The Eau Claire, Wis., native was scored in the 26th position for the ensuing restart. Armed with a much-improved handling Chevrolet, the 32-year-old driver quickly moved up to the 20th position. The Wilson-led pit crew made additional air pressure and chassis adjustments throughout the remainder of the 400-lap race to continue to enhance the car’s balance. Menard was turning competitive lap times around the “Monster Mile,” but remained several laps down to the leader as another ill-timed caution period on lap 306 further hindered forward progress. The No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards team ultimately took the checkered flag in the 22nd position, four laps down to the leader, while only six cars finished on the lead lap of the 400 miler.
Start – 19 Finish – 22 Laps Led – 0 Points – 16
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“This was definitely not the finish we hoped for, but the CertainTeed/Menards team never gave up. We just couldn’t catch a break today. Bad timing with cautions coming out while we were on pit road just put us further behind. We made good adjustments and the pit crew did a great job on pit road, but with long green-flag runs at Dover (International Speedway), it is difficult to make up ground.”
Kevin Harvick and the Budweiser Team Finish 13th at Dover International Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team salvaged a 13th-place finish in Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway after a caution in the midst of the first round of green-flag pit stops caught most of the field two laps down to the leader. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the race from the 13th position and after falling back to 15th during the first run of the race and radioed to the team that the car was tight in the center of the corners and had no grip on exit. Crew chief Gil Martin called Harvick to pit road at lap 64 for a green-flag pit stop that included four tires, fuel, chassis and air pressure adjustments. The field continued to cycle through green-flag pit stops until the caution flag waved at lap 69, leaving only six cars on the lead lap. Harvick stayed out during the caution, took the wave around and restarted from the 20th position, one lap down to the leader, on lap 76. During the subsequent run, Harvick told the team that the Budweiser Chevrolet was becoming “tighter in the middle on every lap and looser off.” The Martin-led crew made pit stops on laps 140 and 181 for tires, fuel and additional chassis adjustments in an effort to improve the car’s handling. As the 400-lap event progressed, the 36-year-old driver worked his way into the 13th-position on lap 227 where he would ultimately finish. The top-15 finish dropped Harvick one position, to ninth, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 46 markers out of the lead.
Start – 13 Finish – 13 Laps Led – 0 Points – 9
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“Today was a bit of a struggle for our team. We got caught a few laps down during that early caution and that kind of got us behind. Our Budweiser Chevrolet wasn’t exactly where we wanted it to be, but we made some good adjustments during the race and got it back to where we needed to. We just couldn’t make up those two laps we lost in the beginning.”
Handling Issues and Untimely Cautions Relegate Jeff Burton to a 27th-Place Finish at Dover International Speedway.
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team were relegated to a 27th-place finish after battling handling issues, while untimely cautions pinned the Richard Childress Chevrolet six laps down to the leader during the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. The South Boston, Va., native qualified in the 41st position for the 400-lap event and settled into the top 30 within the first five laps. During the early portion of the race, Burton informed crew chief Drew Blickensderfer that the Chevrolet was really loose, leading the pit crew to change four tires, add fuel and make chassis adjustments during the first green-flag pit stop on lap 63. Before all green-flag pit stops could cycle through the field, NASCAR officials displayed the yellow flag, placing Burton two laps down to the leader. As green-flag racing resumed, the RCR veteran driver continued to battle handling issues, which the pit crew attempted to relieve during green-flap pit stops on laps 140 and 217. After the visits to pit road, Burton lost additional laps when the caution flag was displayed on laps 180 and 247 before the field completed green-flag pit stops. Blickensderfer instructed Burton to stay on track during the caution periods, allowing the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet to take the wave around each time to regaining laps. As the final laps ticked away, the handling of the RCR Chevrolet transitioned from loose to tight, and the pit crew went to work during the team’s final green-flag pit stop on lap 297, just prior to yet another untimely caution. Burton was scored in the 27th position, six laps down to the leader, for the lap-322 restart, where he would ultimately cross the finish line. Burton remains 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 41 Finish – 27 Laps Led – 0 Points – 19
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
“This was a tough day for the No. 31 Caterpillar team. We struggled to find the right setup all weekend to get the speed we needed, and then couldn’t catch a break during the race. I have to give the Caterpillar team credit; they never gave up and kept working hard through all of the challenges. We’ll regroup this week and see what we can make happen next weekend at Talladega (Superspeedway).”