NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
September 15, 2013
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished third (Kevin Harvick), 14th (Jeff Burton), and 22nd (Paul Menard) in the GEICO 400.
Following the event at Chicagoland Speedway, Harvick is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 15 markers behind the leader, while Menard is 16th and Burton sits 22nd.
The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 17th and the No. 31 team 23rd.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Harvick had the second-Fastest Speed in Traffic, was the third-Fastest on Restarts, fifth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run and posted three of the Fastest Laps Run.
Harvick tied for the most Green-Flag Passes with 118, of which 57 occurred while running in the top-15, positioning him first in Quality Passes.
Burton gained six positions during the final 10 percent (27 laps) of the 267-lap event, placing him second in the Closers category.
Menard completed 97 Green-Flag Passes, 15 were made while running in the top-15 (Quality Passes).
Matt Kenseth earned his sixth victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Kyle Busch, Harvick, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 22. The 28th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Menard Finishes 22nd in Rain-Delayed Event at Chicagoland Speedway
Paul Menard started the Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet from the 11th position in the 400-mile race at Chicagoland Speedway and finished 22nd after struggling with handling issues in the rain-delayed event. Light rain showers postponed the start of the GEICO 400, but when the green flag flew, Menard quickly gained two positions and was running in ninth at lap eight. A NASCAR-mandated competition caution was called on lap 30 and crew chief “Slugger” Labbe instructed his driver to come to pit road for four tires, fuel, air pressure and wedge adjustments. Several cars elected to take only two tires under caution and Menard lined up for the restart in 14th. Just a few laps into the second green-flag run of the day, the Wisconsin native slipped back to 21st and relayed to the team that his No. 27 machine was extremely tight. Menard continued to struggle with a tight-handling car until heavy rain showers forced the red flag to be displayed at lap 108. After a five-hour delay, Menard returned to his car and pitted under caution for four tires and fuel before the race restarted. The 33-year-old driver maintained a position around 20th until pitting under caution for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment on lap 149. The two-tire pit stop gained Menard valuable track position as he restarted in 13th. Though the tight-handling condition persisted, the Richard Childress Racing driver continued to run inside the top 20. The No. 27 pit crew made a variety of chassis adjustments over the ensuing pit stops and the changes seemed to provide some relief to Menard. An on-track incident with the No. 51 on lap 239 caused a left-rear tire rub on the No. 27 Chevrolet and Menard was forced to pit under caution for fresh tires and fuel. Restarting in 23rd with 22 laps remaining in the 267-lap affair, Menard was able to gain one position in the final laps to finish 22nd. He now sits 16th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Start – 11 Finish – 22 Laps Led – 0 Points – 16th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“We struggled with handling issues on our Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet all day and evening. The rain and track conditions didn’t play to our advantage tonight. I have to give my crew credit, it was a long day and they never gave up. They made adjustments all night. We’ll learn from today and look for better results in New Hampshire (Motor Speedway) next weekend.”
Harvick Finishes Third in the First Race for the Chase at Chicagoland Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Designated Driver team finished third after battling an ill-handling race car during the rain delayed GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. Starting from the 17th position, the California native ran within the top 20 during the early laps while battling an extremely tight-handling Chevrolet. A lap-30 competition caution provided the Gil Martin-led pit crew the opportunity they needed to work on the handling of the red and white machine by changing four tires, adding fuel and making chassis adjustments. Positioned 21st for the ensuing restart, Harvick moved toward the front of the pack settling into the top 15 by lap 90. As the race progressed, Harvick noted the car’s handling was getting better, but still needed improvement. The No. 29 team was scored in the 14th position when the red flag was displayed for rain over the speedway. The Richard Childress Racing driver visited pit road for four tires before returning to green-flag racing following a lengthy rain delay and restarted 16th on lap 116. But, he quickly moved toward the front of the field settling into the top 10 prior to the halfway point of the 267-lap affair. The No. 29 team continued to work on the handling of the Budweiser Designated Driver Chevrolet during the second half of the event, allowing their driver to race into the top five during the final laps and cross the finish line third. Following the 400-mile event, Harvick is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 17 Finish – 3 Laps Led – 1 Points – 4th
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“We had a lot of fun tonight. Obviously, our Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet was running really good after the break. These guys did a lot of work in between while it was raining, so they did a good job with the car and making some adjustments toward the end of the race. We just got too loose there the last couple of runs on exit. We had a lot of fun and came up a couple short, but all-in-all it was a good night.”
Jeff Burton Scores Top-15 Finish at Chicagoland Speedway
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team persevered through the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race that ended under the lights at Chicagoland Speedway and brought home a 14th-place finish in the GEICO 400. After a rain shower postponed the start of the 267-lap event, the 46-year-old driver started from the 21st position and battled a tight-handling machine even after adjustments were made during a lap-30 competition caution. Persistent rain forced NASCAR officials to display the red flag before the halfway point of the event, bringing all competitors to pit road until the rain ceased. After a five hour and 10 minute red-flag period, the cars returned to the race track and the South Boston, Va. native reported to crew chief Luke Lambert that the No.31 machine’s handling condition only worsened as the race progressed. Lambert and the No. 31 team continued to make adjustments on multiple pit stops throughout the evening as Burton maintained a top-20 running position. With 26 laps remaining, the caution flag was displayed for the ninth time in the event and instead of bringing th
e Richard Childress Racing driver to pit road for routine service, Lambert made the call to keep Burton on the race track. The 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner survived the final green-flag run and the gamble paid off in the form of a top-15 finish as he crossed the finish line in 14th-place. Burton remains 22nd in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 21 Finish – 14 Laps Led – 0 Points – 22nd
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
“Luke (Lambert, crew chief) made the right call tonight to salvage a top-15 finish for the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team. We definitely fought some handling issues throughout the race and never quite got the setup figured out. The car seemed to be tight all night. I’m happy to come out of here with a decent finish.”