RCR Event Preview – Richmond Raceway

Richard Childress Racing’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Richmond Raceway … Richard Childress has nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories as a car owner at Richmond Raceway – five with Dale Earnhardt, three with Kevin Harvick and one with Clint Bowyer. Additionally, in 166 starts at the Richmond, Va.-based track, RCR drivers have claimed 37 top-five and 69 top-10 finishes. Childress, a former driver on NASCAR’s senior circuit, contributed three of those top-10 finishes from 1976-1978.

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,861 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,108 wins, 487 top-five finishes and 1,054 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 and an average finishing position of 16.1. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, ’87, ’90, ’91, ’93 and ’94, six NASCAR Xfinity Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR’s three national series.

Interactive RCR … For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR’s corporate Twitter page – @RCRracing – along with the RCR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Twitter page – @RCRCup, and driver Twitter pages @austindillon3 and @RyanJNewman. Information about the 15-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRracing.com along with official driver pages – http://www.facebook.com/austindillon3 and www.facebook.com/RyanNewmanNASCAR.

Catch the Action … The Richmond 400 will be televised live Saturday, April 21 beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


This Week’s AAA Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway …In eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond Raceway, Dillon’s best finish at the track is 13th in September 2016. He also earned his best starting position of eighth in that edition of the race.

We Know Cars and Drivers … AAA and the RCR No. 3 team know how to keep drivers and their cars on track. For over 100 years AAA has been the name that millions of Members trust with the vehicles they rely on. From auto loans and roadside assistance to repair and maintenance, AAA is the ultimate automotive solution at every stage of car ownership. Learn more about the company at AAA.com/AllRoadsLeadToAAA

Meet Dillon … For the third year, AAA is bringing Track Takeover Driven by AAA to the fans at Richmond Raceway. This unique event provides all ticket holders the opportunity to walk the track prior to the race and sign the start/finish line. The event will be highlighted by appearances with Austin Dillon and Richard Childress. Dillon is scheduled to make an appearance at AAA Track Takeover on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Where do you need to improve at Richmond Raceway?
“There’s a lot we could improve on at Richmond Raceway. Richmond is the place we have really been studying for because that is now one of the Playoff races when we go back in the Fall. We’ve got to really take this first one and try and have something good for when we come back. A lot of focus going into Richmond. It’s one of those places that we have qualified decent at before, we have raced okay, but we have never figured out how to race solid for an entire weekend there throughout and just have something we really feel like is a great racecar. We will work on that and be focused on that track for sure.”


This Week’s Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway … Hemric will be making his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend at Richmond Raceway. The Kannapolis, North Carolina native served as a test driver for the Richard Childress Racing MENCS teams at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course Goodyear Tire Test in October 2017. He also practiced for the RCR MENCS teams in late 2017 while being on stand-by as a substitute driver for Paul Menard and Ty Dillon.

Meet the Press … Hemric will address the NASCAR media at Richmond Raceway on Friday, April 20, starting at 2:05 p.m. ET. Fans can watch a live stream of the media availability on nascar.com/presspass.

Meet the Driver … Hemric is scheduled to sign autographs at Fanatics in the Fan Zone on Saturday, April 21, starting at 2:15 p.m. local time. He will also be at the Xfinity Zone for a Q&A session and autographs on Saturday, starting at 3 p.m. local time.

About Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff … Smokey Mountain is America’s original and best-selling tobacco-free smokeless brand. Appealing to adult smokeless tobacco consumers who are seeking tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternatives, Smokey Mountain is available in long cut and easy-to-use pouches. For more information visit www.SmokeySnuff.com.

You will be making your Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend running the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with Richard Childress Racing and support from Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff. How special will this weekend be for you?
“This weekend is going to be extremely special. When kids grow up playing t-ball and then have a shot to play in the major leagues, that’s exactly what this weekend is going to be for me. I will have a ton of family and friends making the trip from North Carolina to be there to show their support and cheer for everyone on this Richard Childress Racing team. This is a day that I have worked for since I was five years old. Growing up, I never saw the light at the end of the tunnel, I never knew where that was going to be. To know it is definitely happening is really special. There is a lot of emotion going into the weekend, but I am just going to try and enjoy it and take a light-hearted approach to the weekend. I am just enjoying the opportunity and am very thankful to Richard Childress Racing and Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff for putting it all together.”

What led to having your MENCS debut taking place at Richmond Raceway?
“The results we had at Richmond last year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series were a factor in determining my initial Cup debut would come here. Richmond just has a real short-track feel to it and the characteristics of the track remind me of places like Pensacola or Greenville-Pickens, two tracks I have had success at over the years. Richmond is a track where you are out of the gas a lot, managing a lot of things inside the car and I feel like that is the kind of feel I need in the car. If there is a best track for me to make my debut, Richmond is probably it. I’m just proud that my boss, Richard Childress, was in agreement when we were determining where my first race would be. Richard Childress, myself, everyone at RCR is so thankful to have Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff on board the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. They were a partner of ours for four Xfinity Series races last year. They not only stepped up for my first Cup start, but their first race as a partner on a MENCS car. There are a lot of good things going on at Richard Childress Racing and I am just glad to be a part of it.”


This Week’s No. 31 Childress Vineyards Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway … Ryan Newman will make his 593rd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when he competes at Richmond Raceway. In 32 MENCS events at Richmond Raceway, Newman visited victory lane at the fall event in 2003. The “Rocket Man” also owns one pole award from the fall of 2004. In total, he owns seven top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. His average starting position is 13.2 and average finishing position is 11.8. Newman ranks sixth in most championship points earned over the last 10 events at Richmond.

Let’s Make a Toast to RIR … Childress Vineyards is a premier winery located at the southern gateway of the Yadkin Valley in Lexington, NC. Owned by Richard Childress, NASCAR team owner and Hall of Fame member, Childress Vineyards has been producing award-winning wines with the expertise of Winemaker Mark Frizsolowski. Open daily for tours, tastings, and lunch in the Bistro. Information about Childress Vineyards can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/childresswines/, on Twitter at @ChildressWines and on Instagram at Instagram.com/childresswines.

Ready. Set. Go … Spay Neuter Charlotte, Rescue Ranch, and Piedmont Animal Rescue are partnering to support Animals in the Piedmont of NC. This program promotes a three race 5K series with proceeds being split among all three non-profit animal welfare organizations. The races are being held in Statesville, Mooresville, and Mecklenburg County. This Saturday, sign up to run with your pet at Rescue Ranch. To Register: .

What is the key to being successful at Richmond Raceway?
“Richmond usually turns into a forward drive racetrack. You have to be able to turn in the center like every other short track but getting the power down coming off the corners is a real premium especially later in a run.”

What is the hardest thing that you have had to learn at Richmond?
“It’s about being able to break up the corners. You have to get the car into the corners far enough making it so it turns into the center without pushing it. Then you have to get it pointing straight so you can power off. If you power off too much while you are turning the wheel, you are going to kill the rear tires no matter how good your car is. It will ruin your day.”



Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Richmond Raceway … In 92 Series starts at the 0.75-mile raceway, RCR has captured six victories with drivers Kevin Harvick (2003, 2005, 2006 and 2012) and Clint Bowyer (2007). The Welcome, North Carolina organization has accumulated seven pole awards, 28 top-five finishes, 50 top-10 finishes, led 1,928 laps and averages a starting position of 11.2 and finishing position of 12.6. RCR has completed 21,990 laps of the 22,642 (97.1 percent) that they have competed.

Bristol Review … Daniel Hemric was the highest RCR finisher in third. Shane Lee finished 14th and Matt Tifft placed 35th in the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Dash 4 Cash … This weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Richmond marks the second of four Dash 4 Cash events this season. Daniel Hemric qualified for this week’s Dash 4 Cash bonus of $100,000, having been one of the four highest-finishing Xfinity Series regulars at Bristol Motor Speedway. The top four series regulars from Richmond Raceway will qualify for next week’s bonus at Talladega Superspeedway.

The Points … Daniel Hemric and Matt Tifft currently sit second and 11th, respectively, in the Xfinity Series driver point standings. The No. 3 RCR team is currently 13th in the series owner point standings.

Social Media … To keep up with the latest updates from RCR’s Xfinity Series teams, follow @RCRracing and @RCRNXS on Twitter. Updates can also be found via RCR’s Facebook Page and Instagram (@RCRracing).

Catch the Action … Coverage of this week’s Richmond 250 at Richmond Raceway will be televised live on Friday, April 20, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on FS1. It will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.


This Week’s National Brain Tumor Society Chevrolet Camaro at Richmond Raceway … Matt Tifft has three starts at Richmond Raceway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with his highest finish of 13th coming during last September’s event. The 21-year-old driver also has two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts at the 0.75-mile raceway, collecting one top-10 finish. Tifft has completed 98.2 percent of all laps he has attempted at the track.

About the National Brain Tumor Society … National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to the global brain tumor community. We are fiercely committed to finding better treatments and driving rapid progress toward a cure for brain tumors. We drive a multi-faceted and thoughtful approach to aggressively influence and fund strategic research, as well as advocate for public policy changes, in order to achieve the greatest impact, results, and progress for brain tumor patients. Money raised by the generous donations of our supporters has directly funded groundbreaking discoveries, programs, clinical trials and policy initiatives. To learn more visit

Meet Tifft … Fans have the opportunity to meet Tifft on Friday, April 20 beginning at 2:30 p.m. when he stops by the Xfinity Zone in the Richmond Raceway midway for a Q&A.

This week we head to another short track, but how different is Richmond Raceway from Bristol Motor Speedway?
“Bristol Motor Speedway is almost its own animal. It’s hard to compare that place to anywhere else, let alone another short track. To me, Richmond Raceway is almost like a cross between ISM Raceway and Iowa Speedway with the banking, but it’s so smooth. We are fighting for grip a lot at Richmond and will be focusing a lot on getting off Turn 2 really well to have solid momentum around the track, which is big at Richmond. That’s what I consider to be the common thread between Richmond and Bristol. You need to keep your momentum up at both places since passing can be so difficult despite having multiple grooves. Last year, we had the day races for both Richmond races, and now we’re back to night races. I’m curious to see how that will play out since it will definitely be affecting the handling of our No. 2 National Brain Tumor Society Camaro. We were racing all the way against the wall last year. I’m not sure if it will get quite that wide with the nighttime, but we’ll definitely have more grooves to choose from than we had two or three years ago.”

The National Brain Tumor Society will be on the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro this weekend. What does it mean to you to be representing an organization close to your heart at the track this weekend?
“To have the National Brain Tumor Society on our No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro is a huge honor, and I’m thankful that Richard Childress Racing is helping me support it in this way. Having gone through the experience of being diagnosed with a brain tumor a couple of years ago and the recovery process that I had to do in order to get back in a race car, working with the NBTS is huge for me and something I do as much as I can. If I can take my experience and share it through the NBTS to help provide hope for others, then that’s huge. Almost every weekend at the track someone comes up to me and tells me either they have or had a brain tumor or someone they know has or had one but seeing what I did helped motivate them to fight. That’s such an honor to me, so to have the NBTS on our Camaro this weekend and help further their message of awareness and need for more research is very important to me.”


This Week’s Estes Express Lines Chevrolet Camaro at Richmond Raceway … Jeb Burton will be making his first start for Richard Childress Racing this weekend at Richmond Raceway. The 25-year-old driver has two previous NASCAR Xfinity Series starts and two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at the track.

About Estes Express Lines … Headquartered in Virginia, Estes is a leading, full-service freight transportation provider offering a complete range of shipping solutions including LTL, time critical, volume & truckload, global and custom solutions. Founded in 1931 by W.W. Estes and still family-owned, Estes is the largest privately held carrier in the nation. The company is now one of the most respected total-solutions providers in the industry with direct service throughout all of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico through more than 235 terminals, as well as door-to-door service to and from Mexico and a global freight-forwarding service footprint.

You have multiple starts in different series at Richmond Raceway. How will that experience help with your debut start for RCR at the track?
“Having competed in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series at Richmond Raceway will definitely help me prepare for this upcoming weekend. Richmond is a difficult race track, but I believe my experience will pay off and help us get a good set up on our car during practice for the race. I’m looking forward to making my debut with RCR at Richmond. This track is in Estes Express Lines’ backyard, so we will have a lot of employees at the track. I’m looking to have a good run for them. They’ve been a long-time supporter of mine, so hopefully we can go down there and have a shot at a top five or a win.”


This Week’s South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro at Richmond Raceway … Hemric will be making his third NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Richmond Raceway during this weekend’s 250-lap race. During his rookie season in 2017, Hemric recorded his first-career pole award and earned finishes of third and fourth, respectively. He has completed 100 percent of laps attempted, has an average start of 4.5 and an average finish of 3.5 at the 0.75-mile track.

Dash 4 Cash Contender … With his second-straight third-place finish Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Hemric qualified for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus for this weekend’s race at Richmond Raceway. If Hemric can finish higher than Justin Allgaier, Spencer Gallagher and Elliott Sadler, he will earn the $100,000 bonus.

Rearview Mirror: Bristol … After starting the day fourth in the No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, Hemric wasted no time working to the front of the field and contending for the lead. Hemric took the lead for the first time on Lap 49 and was out front twice for a total of 61 laps. The No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet finished second in both Stage 1 & 2 but faded on a long green-flag run in the final stage. When a late-race caution allowed crew chief Danny Stockman to adjust on the handling of the car, Hemric was able to jump from sixth to third on the final run of the day. The finish was Hemric’s second-straight third-place finish, third-straight top-five finish and fifth-straight top-10 finish.

This Week at the South Point Hotel & Casino … Fans visiting the South Point Hotel & Casino this weekend will be able to see Stayin’ Alive: The World’s #1 Tribute to Bee Gees at The Showroom on April 20 – 22. Tickets are available for each night’s show on southpointcasino.com.

You finished third and fourth at Richmond Raceway in your rookie season last year. What is it about Richmond that suits your driving style so well?
“The characteristics of the track and what it takes to get around Richmond Raceway really fit my driving style. I have watched and studied a lot of what makes some of the best in the business get around Richmond over the years. The asphalt reminds me of how a Super Late Model feels racing around Pensacola or Greenville-Pickens. You really, really have to manage your stuff. Racing at Richmond is probably the closest comparison to anything I did when I was short-track racing. Going to there for the first time last year, sitting on the pole, leading laps in both races and having solid finishes was a huge momentum change for us. We have a little of that same momentum going into this weekend’s race, so hopefully we are giving ourselves an opportunity to run well. I just love the feel of Richmond. With all of the track improvements and changes, there is going to be a different visual component going there this time and I am pumped to see how it looks in person.”

You will once again have a chance to compete for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus. What does it mean to be a part of that group for the second-straight weekend and have the opportunity to help a local family gain reliable Internet access?
“Anytime young racers like ourselves have the opportunity to not only affect what fans see on the racetrack but to know that we have an impact on the local community and to know we have the ability to help a low-income family acquire Internet access, acquire all of the things that we all need to go through our day-to-day lives – everything we do is through some kind of Internet service – to know Comcast and Xfinity are allowing us to be a part of something like this is really special. We just missed out on winning the Dash 4 Cash last weekend at Bristol, so hopefully we can be the best of the four Friday night in Richmond.”

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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