NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
August 4, 2013
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 17th (Kevin Harvick), 32nd (Paul Menard), and 36th (Jeff Burton) in the GoBowling.com 400.
Following the event at Pocono Raceway, Harvick remains fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 97 markers, while Paul Menard sits 19th, 67 points outside of the top 10, and Burton ranks 20th, 265 points back of 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, Harvick led the competition in Green-Flag Passes with 124, 41 of which were made while running in the top 15, ranking him 11th in the Quality Passes category.
Harvick posted two of the Fastest Laps Run during the 160-lap event.
Menard tied for ninth in the Closers category after gaining one position during the final 10 percent (16 laps) of the race.
Of drivers who did not finish within five laps of the race leader, Menard was the Fastest Driver Early in a Run, with Burton third. Menard was the second-Fastest Driver Late in a run, while Burton ranked third in the loop-data category.
Kasey Kahne earned his second victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Watkins Glen 335 at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 11. The 22nd 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 SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Menard Finishes 32nd at Pocono Raceway After Involvement in Late-Race Incident
Paul Menard started the Go.Bowling.com 400 from the 21st position and finished 32nd after being caught up in a late-race accident on lap 110 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday afternoon. In the early laps of the 160-lap event, Menard relayed to the No. 27 Tarkett/Menards crew that his Chevrolet was loose on entry into turn three and exit of turn one. An early yellow flag on lap 16 provided Menard and crew the opportunity to play the pit strategy game when crew chief “Slugger” Labbe told his driver to stay out under caution. Menard restarted fourth and maintained a position inside the top-10 until having to pit for a scheduled green-flag stop on lap 33.The Eau Claire, Wis., native remained off sequence from the majority of the field for the next 60 laps. Though he was off sequence, Menard communicated to the crew that his car was handling well and the changes made on the previous stop had helped. A lap 96 caution allowed Menard to return to the same pit sequence as the rest of the 43-car field as he restarted 21st. The 32-year-old driver was running in 20th on lap 110 when he was caught up in an accident directly in front of him, which caused severe damage to the front end and left rear of the No. 27 machine. Unable to make the repairs on pit road, Menard took his Chevrolet to the garage. The crew never gave up and Menard returned to the track in the 33rd position with 17 laps remaining in the 160-lap event. By virtue of returning to green-flag action, Menard was able to gain one valuable position, ultimately finishing 32nd. Menard remains in the 19th spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Watkins Glen International next weekend.
Start – 21 Finish – 32 Laps Led – 0 Points – 19
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“Our Tarkett/Menards Chevrolet was pretty good today. We just got caught up in someone else’s mess. We were off pit sequence from the majority of the field and got caught back in the pack. It’s unfortunate our day ended the way it did. I have to give my guys credit, they worked really hard to get the car fixed up and back on the track so we could gain some points. We’ll keep our heads up and hope for better results at Watkins Glen (International) next weekend.”
Harvick Finishes 17th at Pocono Raceway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team finished 17th in the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday afternoon after battling handling issues during the 160-lap affair. The California native started the 21st race of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season from the 14th position and worked his way into the top 10 during the early laps when a loose-handling condition developed on the red and white Chevrolet forcing him back in the running order. The Budweiser crew made a variety of adjustments during multiple two and four-tire pits stops throughout the race, but the handling issues persisted leaving Harvick to run within the top 20 for the majority of the afternoon. Crew chief Gil Martin called his driver to pit road one final time, with 10 laps remaining, for right-side tires and fuel positioning Harvick 14th for the final restart on lap 158. The Richard Childress Racing driver was shuffled back in the field leaving him to finish 17th. Following the event at Pocono Raceway, Harvick remains fourth in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 14 Finish – 17 Laps Led – 0 Points – 4
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“These fast, flat tracks have not been kind to us this season. It’s not fun for anyone on our team to run and finish in the top 20. Even though we didn’t get the finish we were looking for today, we’re not going to let it get us down. Next week is another race and a completely different style of track.”
Burton and the No. 31 FXI GutterClear 365 Team Has Race Cut Short by Wreck
Jeff Burton started 13th in Sunday’s 400-mile race at Pocono Raceway and quickly started to battle a loose condition upon entry into the corners while driving the No. 31 FXI GutterClear 365 Chevrolet. In the opening circuits of the 160-lap race, he fell to 18th when the second caution flag waved on lap 14. During the ensuing pit stop, crew chief Luke Lambert called for a track bar and spring rubber adjustment, in addition to changing four tires and topping off with fuel. From there, Burton motored his way to 10th during green-flag pit stops before pitting on lap 41 for four tires and fuel. After falling back to 18th, he would return to the top-10 before pitting under green on lap 72. On a lap 82 restart, tight racing forced another car to get into the back of No. 31 Chevrolet causing damage to the left-rear quarter panel. The crew had an opportunity to repair the damage under caution on laps 97 and 98. Restarting 24th, Burton moved forward in the running order when the fate of his race changed on lap 110. While exiting turn two, two cars got together in front of Burton collecting the Chevrolet SS along with Richard Childress Racing teammate, Paul Menard. Damage was severe enough that the blue and white machine was taken to the garage on a flatbed. It was quickly determined the car was beyond repair and the team was saddled with a 36th-place finish. Burton remains 20th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings as the series heads to Watkins Glen International next weekend.
Start – 13 Finish – 36 Laps Led – 0
; Points – 20
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
“I didn’t see the cars wrecking in front of me until I got there. My spotter said to go low, but by the time I exited turn two it was too late. We got a little behind on track position there, but we were able to race our way back into the top-10 twice. I seriously feel like we had a seventh to 10th-place car today. Getting in that wreck is just kind of how our year has gone, it seems. We tried to fix it, but there was no way the guys were going to be able to get us back out there with 40 laps remaining.”