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RCR Event Preview – Charlotte

Richard Childress Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Richard Childress Racing has racked up 12 points-paying victories on the oval at Charlotte. The team has eight wins in the NASCAR Cup Series, led by four by Dale Earnhardt (a sweep of both races in 1986 plus Coca-Cola 600 wins in 1992 and 1993). Kevin Harvick won twice for RCR, claiming 600-mile victories in 2011 and 2013. Jeff Burton (2008 fall race) and Austin Dillon (2017 Coca-Cola 600) also won at Charlotte with the Welcome, N.C.,-based team.

Xfinity Series at Charlotte … Richard Childress Racing has also found success in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Charlotte with five victories, most recently with Tyler Reddick in the 2019 ALSCO Uniforms 300. Austin Dillon swept both spring and fall races in 2015. Jeff Green gave RCR its first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory in 2002 (spring) while Jeff Burton won in 2007 (fall).

Introducing the Carolina Cowboys … Driven by the same passion for performance that guides his race team, Richard Childress’ latest endeavor brings Professional Bull Riding to the Carolinas. The Carolina Cowboys represent Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the PBR Team Series, an elite new league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing in games beginning in Summer 2022. The team is operated by Richard Childress Racing with 2018 Daytona 500 Champion Austin Dillon serving as General Manager.

Meet Carolina Cowboys coach, PRCA World Champion and Bull Riders Ring of Honor Recipient Jerome Davis, along with newly-crowned PBR World Champion Daylon Swearingen, rising star Mason Taylor, Beadreaux Campbell and Cannon Cravens at the Carolina Cowboys display in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Zone on Saturday, May 28 from 5:30 – 6 p.m. ET.

Don’t miss the Carolina Cowboys inaugural “Cowboy Days” Home Stand September 9-11 at Wake Forest’s Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Tickets are on sale beginning Monday, May 30 at PBR.com and Ticketmaster.

Catch the Action … The Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, May 28 beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET on FS1 and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

Follow Sunday’s Action at Charlotte … The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be televised live on Sunday, May 29 beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

This Week’s Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Austin Dillon earned his career-first win in the NASCAR Cup Series with a victory in the Coca-Cola 600 in May 2017. A native of North Carolina, Dillon has competed in 13 NASCAR Cup Series races at his hometown track, earning four top-10 finishes, including a sixth-place result last year. He is a two-time winner at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Dillon grew up watching races at Charlotte Motor Speedway from his grandfather’s condo, which overlooks the racetrack.

Tracker Off Road … Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 prominently features TRACKER ATVs, a game-changing new line of all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides offering breakthrough performance, service and value in the off-road industry. TRACKER OFF ROAD was born out of a powerhouse partnership formed between Bass Pro Shops and TRACKER founder Johnny Morris and Textron Specialized Vehicles, bringing together the undisputed world leader in boating with a global leader in innovation and technology.

Bass Pro Shops … Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.” Bass Pro Shops has a long relationship with NASCAR, dating back to 1998. For more information, visit http://www.basspro.com/.

Welcome Coca-Cola, Arby’s Foundation, and Folds of Honor … As a Coca-Cola Racing Family driver, Austin Dillon and Richard Childress Racing are proud to partner with Coca-Cola and Arby’s Foundation to highlight the amazing work Folds of Honor does for families of those who’ve sacrificed their lives for our country. To learn more about Folds of Honor, visit https://foldsofhonor.org/.

600 Miles of Remembrance … Dillon and the No. 3 team will participate in 600 Miles of Remembrance on Memorial Day Weekend. Dillon’s name will be replaced on his race car windshield header with the name of a fallen military service member for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The No. 3 team will feature Chief Warrant Officer Navy SEAL Scott Adam Stout, who died in the line of duty on July 2, 2021.

Double Duty … In addition to competing in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, Dillon is scheduled to race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday afternoon. The race is live on FS1 on Saturday, May 28 at 1 p.m. ET.

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:

You’ve had three top-10 finishes in the Coca-Cola 600 in the last three races there. Is Charlotte Motor Speedway a track that your team is circling this year as one of your potentially best races where you can lock in a win? What has made the No. 3 team so strong there?

“I don’t know what it is about Charlotte Motor Speedway. I’ve always had success there. I enjoy the track. I understand what it takes to be fast there in a race car and I have a feel for it. Obviously, I won my first Cup race at Charlotte, so I definitely circle it every year as a place where we go and compete well at. Last year, we were really fast. One of our pit crew members went down leading into that race, so we kind of struggled on pit road that week. I’m really excited about it and taking the Next Gen car there. We did get one test there this off season when it was really cold outside. I’m always excited to go to Charlotte. It’s a good place for me.”

Looking beyond the racing and the event of the weekend, there’s been so much change in the NASCAR Cup Series schedule and so much innovation. What do you see as the benefit of keeping something like the Coca-Cola 600 a crown jewel event on the NASCAR Schedule? Or do you think they should take it off the schedule at some point?

“I hope they never take the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend off the schedule. To me, it’s an iconic weekend – being Memorial Day weekend and seeing all the different military branches represented, and getting to honor the men and women that protect our country. I always get excited for that race – the national anthem, the show that goes on before and really paying homage to all of those that have fought for this country. To me, I hope it doesn’t change. It is a crown jewel. Being 600 miles, your preparation changes a little bit because you know you’re going to be in the race car for such a long period of time. I think it’s a very special race and I hope it never goes away.”

I think there is a feeling that RCR is strong this year at this point of the season, but looking at what you did last year compared to this year at this time, the stats are fairly similar. How much has changed? Are you guys really that much stronger?

“We were pretty strong last year and we kind of got overlooked because we didn’t make the Playoffs. We were a consistent team all of last year. This year, I do feel like we’ve had way more opportunities to win races. I think the disappointing part is that we’ve had bigger catastrophes at the race track, like getting wrecked at Phoenix Raceway and finishing 21st in that race, getting wrecked at Atlanta Motor Speedway coming to a stage end for a possibility of top-three points there, and blowing up at Daytona International Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.

We didn’t have those types of bad days at this point last year. We had a couple more average days, but we’ve also had some bigger days with two second-place finishes at Auto Club Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and a third-place finish at Martinsville Speedway. We’ve definitely had more opportunities to win than last year. My teammate, Tyler Reddick, has two or three second-place finishes, as well. If you look at the total of it, we’ve done a good job and should be in victory lane at this point. That’s the disappointing part – I feel like we’ve had some really close calls and not been able to capitalize. That’s why you see us where we’re at in points. I feel confident that we can go to Victory Lane this year and I think it will happen.”

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This Week’s Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Reddick will make his fourth Cup Series start at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday evening and his third Coca-Cola 600 appearance. His first start at the track came in 2020 when he started fifth and finished eighth. Most recently, he started 15th and finished ninth last season in the 400-lap, crown jewel event. In the Xfinity Series, Reddick has four starts with one win (2019), two top fives and three top 10s. He led 110 laps in those starts and completed 99.8 percent of laps attempted.

Reporting Live from Pit Road … Although Reddick isn’t pulling double duty behind the wheel of a race car this weekend, you will be able to catch him live on pit road as part of the Driver’s-Only Broadcast for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Reddick will be right in the middle of all the action, reporting from pit road alongside Team Penske’s Austin Cindric. While you’re cheering on RCR’s Xfinity Series program, be sure to tune in and get all the information from Reddick.

600 Miles of Remembrance … Reddick and the No. 8 team will participate in 600 Miles of Remembrance on Memorial Day Weekend in conjunction with NASCAR Salutes. Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is debuting a patriotic paint scheme for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Reddick’s name will be replaced on the windshield of his race car with the name of a fallen service member. The No. 8 team will feature SP4 Tristan. Albert F. Tristan, who was born in Monterrey, Mexico on March 26, 1949, and emigrated to Dallas, Texas in November 1955. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 17, 1969. Tristan became a naturalized U.S. citizen on May 7, 1969. Tristan was killed in action in the Republic of Vietnam on July 6, 1970. During his active career, he won awards such as the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Silver Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and Army Commendation Medal. Albert’s nephew, Salomon, works at the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in Arizona and submitted his uncle’s name. Similar to the story from Saving Private Ryan, Salomon’s father was drafted into the war after his brother but was sent home upon Albert’s death. Salomon and other Tristan family members still wear POW bracelets in his honor, acknowledging they owe their lives to Albert’s sacrifice. Salomon’s father is still alive and is overjoyed to see his brother honored this way.

About Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen … Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is the homestyle casual dining restaurant where guests always Get a lot. For not a lot™. The restaurant offers a variety of scratch-made meals and generous portions served up in a warm, welcoming atmosphere – all at an unbelievable price. After being welcomed with a signature Honey Butter Croissant on the house, guests can enjoy signature entrées like hand-breaded Chicken Tenders, Homemade Chicken Pot Pie and Fall-off-the-Plate Baby Back Ribs. Cheddar’s operates more than 170 restaurants in 28 states and employs more than 15,000 friendly and passionate team members. For more information or to locate the nearest restaurant, visit Cheddars.com. Fans can like or follow Cheddar’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

When Tyler Wins, You Win Tenders! … Like Reddick, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is hungry for his first Cup Series win to come in 2022. So, all season long, when Reddick crosses the finish line first in the Cup Series and grabs the checkered flag, all NASCAR fans will win a FREE No. 8 Special Chicken Tender Platter at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen the Monday following the race with the purchase of an adult entree. Offer is valid both dine-in and To Go. See cheddars.com/offer/race-day for full details.

TYLER REDDICK QUOTES:

You’ve had some strong runs at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the past, how do you approach this race every year?

“The Coca-Cola 600 is always one of the most special races we run every season. The track is really fun to race on and it always provides really exciting racing for the fans. I got to test at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this season in the Next Gen car and it was a good opportunity for our team to learn how the new car runs on the surface. I pushed it pretty hard during testing and ended up spinning a couple times, but I think that helped me realize how to best prepare for this weekend’s race. It’s such a long race and the weather can really impact the track, too.”

The Coca-Cola 600 is a crown jewel event and is our sport’s way of celebrating Memorial Day, what does it feel like getting to race in the event?

“It’s honestly a really big honor to get to race in the Coca-Cola 600. NASCAR does such an amazing job of honoring our military and making it a special experience for people attending the race and viewing at home. It’s always a really special gift getting to carry the name of a fallen soldier on our windshield and the moment of at the completion of Stage 2 continues to be a special moment. I’m looking forward to the race and honoring Albert F. Tristan and his family and friend all weekend long and I hope to park it in Victory Lane for them.”

This Week’s Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Camaro SS at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Sheldon Creed will be making his first Charlotte Motor Speedway start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday afternoon. He made three NASCAR Truck Series starts at Charlotte with a best finish of fifth place in 2020. Creed is 15th in the NXS series drivers standings, 93 points outside of the top 10.

About Whelen … Whelen Engineering is a family-owned company with a pioneering spirit and a passion to protect the lives of those who protect and serve others. The company mission is to provide industry-defining safety solutions around the world, while creating a community of problem-solvers who are inspired to push boundaries and continue our legacy of delivering ground-breaking innovation. As a global leader in the emergency warning industry, Whelen has been trusted to perform since 1952, when George Whelen III invented the first rotating aviation beacon. Whelen now encompasses two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Connecticut and New Hampshire with over 750,000 square feet of engineering and manufacturing space and the largest design staff in the industry. Every part of every Whelen product is proudly designed and manufactured in America. We embrace quality as our foundation, we celebrate innovative engineering in every product we produce.

SHELDON CREED QUOTES:

How important is it to run well and do well at Charlotte?

“It’s going to be important for us. We want to run well in front of our hometown crowd. It’s a track that I’ve always ran well at. You always want to run well at Charlotte because a bunch of people are in town for the race. I’ve led a lot of laps at Charlotte but never won so hopefully we can contend for a win. I’ve always liked Charlotte because it’s super technical and I’m looking forward to this weekend.”

Have you found that Charlotte is temperature sensitive and changes a lot?

“Charlotte is probably the worst for temperature changes and it’s a completely different racetrack throughout the day. Sometimes you can feel really good about your car and there are other times when you’ll have the same setup and not feel good about it at all.”

Is there a particular area of the track where the car has to perform well?

“The most important thing is if you can get into Turn 3 over the bumps and get to the line on the bottom. Staying on that line through Turns 3 and 4 is also super important. A good way to pass is to be able to run the bottom late in a run through Turns 1 and 2. That’s pretty important when the spray comes in.”

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This Week’s Alsco Uniforms Chevrolet Camaro SS at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Austin Hill will be making his second Charlotte Motor Speedway start in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition on Saturday afternoon, having competed in the 2020 spring event at the 1.5-mile speedway. Hill has five Truck Series starts at Charlotte, racking up three top-10 finishes (best finish was sixth in 2019). He scored a fifth-place finish last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. He used his fifth top-five of the 2022 season to move up to ninth in the NXS driver standings, a gain of one position.

About Alsco Uniforms … Alsco is a fifth-generation family-owned and -operated uniform company founded in 1889 and recognized by the prestigious Hohenstein Institute for having invented the uniform rental industry. Celebrating over 130 years of business, Alsco provides uniform laundry services and other products that keep businesses clean and safe to all kinds of customers in the healthcare, automotive, industrial and hospitality industries. With more than 180 locations and 20,000 employees, Alsco provides laundry rental services to more than 355,000 customers in 14 countries, which makes Alsco Uniforms the largest uniform company in the world. Visit www.alsco.com to learn more about how Alsco Uniforms is the industry’s best kept secret.

AUSTIN HILL QUOTES:

What is your mindset heading to Charlotte this weekend?

“Charlotte is just a very tough racetrack to get around. The bumps are really rough and it seems like every year the bumps get worse. Trying to figure out how to position your car over the bumps means a lot throughout the race and trying to figure that part out is crucial. If you go through the bumps and your cars gets upset it makes for a very long day. There are things that I need to learn as a driver to get around Charlotte a little bit better. I felt like on the Truck side we ran decent but we never had a truck that could go win.”

How do you adapt to the track changing so much at Charlotte?

“Early in the run, if your car is working well, you can run the bottom or maybe one lane off the bottom. As the run goes and as you’re losing grip in the tire, you’re probably going to have to be right up against the fence or right down on the bottom with the left-side tires right on the line. It seems like the middle of the racetrack gets greasy and it’s no man’s land once you get laps on the tires, so I think we’re going to see similar things when we go to Charlotte that we’ve seen in the past. Whoever can get their car to maneuver the best and be able to run the bottom, middle or top is going to be the guy to beat for the win.”



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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