Richard Childress Racing–AAA Texas 500

AAA Texas 500
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Texas Motor Speedway     
November 3, 2013
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished eighth (Kevin Harvick), 15th (Paul Menard), 22nd, (Austin Dillon) and 24th (Jeff Burton) in the AAA Texas 500.
Following the event at Texas Motor Speedway, Harvick is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 40 markers behind the leader, while Menard is 17th and Burton sits 19th.
The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team is third in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team ranked 17th in the standings and the No. 31 team 20th.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Harvick completed 51 passes while running in the top 15, positioning him fifth in Quality Passes.
Harvick had the eighth-best Average Running Position, earned the eighth-best Driver Rating, was the eighth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run, eighth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run, ninth-Fastest on Restarts and had the ninth-Fastest Green-Flag Speed.
Menard completed 148 green-flag passes, 40 of which came while running in the top 15 (Quality Passes).
With 117 passes, Dillon was fifth in the post-race loop data category of Green-Flag Passes.
Burton gained three positions during the final 10 percent (34 laps) of the 334-lap event, tying him for sixth in the Closers category.
Jimmie Johnson earned his sixth victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 10. The 35th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Menard Finishes 15th at Texas Motor Speedway
Paul Menard started the Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet from the fourth position at Texas Motor Speedway and brought home a top-15 finish after facing handling issues throughout the 500-mile race. In the early laps of the event, Menard slipped back several positions as he fought a tight-handling condition. The “Slugger” Labbe-led crew made a variety of chassis adjustments to the No. 27 machine on multiple four-tire pit stops in an attempt to remedy the handling condition. During the middle portion of the 334-lap affair, Menard continued to struggle with a tight condition and fell a lap down to the leader on lap 230. The Eau Claire, Wis., native was determined to gain his lap back and maintained a top-15 position, ultimately getting the “Lucky Dog” pass on lap 256, allowing him to return to the lead lap. The Richard Childress Racing driver continued to fight handling issues as cloud cover caused changing track conditions, but Menard was able to run in the top-15 for the remainder of the race, ultimately crossing the finish line in 15th place. He sits 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Phoenix International Raceway.
Start – 4                            Finish – 15                             Laps Led – 0                Points – 17th
“We started the race off super tight, but as the laps wore on the car improved. Then we lost our drive off the corners. We struggled with the handling of our Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet all day. The crew made a variety of changes, but we just couldn’t hit on the right setup. There at the end we went from being too tight to too free. We’ll keep our heads up and hope for better results next weekend.”

Harvick Earns Eighth-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team earned a top-10 finish at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday after battling handling issues and changing track conditions. Starting from the 19th spot, the Bakersfield, Calif., native immediately went to work increasing his position in the running order, settling into the top 10 by lap 30 while battling a loose-handling Chevrolet. As the race progressed, Harvick continued to fight the loose condition, leading crew chief Gil Martin to call for multiple chassis adjustments during the ensuing four-tire pit stops. The Richard Childress Racing driver maintained a position within the top 10 during the late stages of the race, but as the sun set over the 1.5-mile track, Harvick alerted the team that the car had transitioned from loose to tight. Making a final visit to pit road on lap 293 for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments, Harvick returned to the track and moved into the top five after green-flag pit stops cycled through the field. The 22-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner continued to run near the front of the pack during the final laps, ultimately taking the checkered flag from the eighth position. Following Harvick’s 19th top-10 finish of the season, he moved up to third in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, 40 markers out of the top spot.
Start – 19         Finish – 8          Laps Led – 0        Points – 3rd
“We struggled a bit today with the handling of our Budweiser Chevrolet. It seemed like no matter what we tried we couldn’t tighten it up enough, and then at the end we went a little too far. We still had a strong finish and gained a spot in the point standings.”

Burton Finishes 24th at Texas Motor Speedway

Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 24th at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday evening. Starting the 334-lap event from the 20th position, the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner battled a tight-middle and loose-off handling condition on his black and yellow machine during the early laps while maintaining a top-25 running position. Throughout the middle stages of the event, the South Boston, Va., native continued to battle with the ill-handling machine while the Luke Lambert-led Caterpillar pit crew made chassis and air pressure adjustments on multiple four-tire pit stops under both green-flag conditions and caution-flag periods. The Richard Childress Racing driver maintained a top-25 running position over the final 100 laps, taking the “wave around” pass under a late-race caution-flag period and was scored two laps down to the leader late in the race. Although he was hoping for one more caution-flag period, the 46-year-old driver was forced to bring his Chevrolet SS to the attention of the Caterpillar pit crew under green-flag conditions before the end of the race, ultimately crossing the finish line in the 24th position. Burton remains 19th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

Start – 20                      Finish – 24                   Laps Led – 0                Points – 19th
“It was a tough day for the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team because we couldn’t find the balance we needed on the car. One run we would be tight and the next we would be loose. It actually started to come around there at the end. I’m looking forward to getting back to Phoenix (Intern
ational Raceway) where we had a top-10 finish earlier this season.”

Dillon Drives the No. 33 Boot Barn Chevrolet to a 22nd-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon drove the No. 33 Boot Barn Chevrolet to a 22nd-place finish in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The Welcome, N.C., driver started the 500-mile race from the 21st position and reported to his team that the car’s handling was loose on entry into the corners in the early portion of the 334-lap race. A series of green-flag pit stops provided the Richard Childress Racing team an opportunity to work on the handling of Dillon’s Chevrolet SS, but changing track conditions made the job of keeping up with adjustments challenging. The team fell one lap down to the race leader on lap 136 while running in the 25th position and was unable to race their way into the “Lucky Dog” position.  In the closing portion of the race, Dillon reported a loose-handling condition. However, a green-flag pit stop with 32 laps remaining gave Dillon four fresh tires for the closing laps, allowing him to advance to 22nd for the race’s finish.
Start – 21          Finish – 22        Laps Led – 0    Points – N/A
“I think if we would have taken the “wave around” pass, we may have gained a few extra positions, but overall I am happy with the strategy we played today. I have a lot to learn. I want to thank Boot Barn, Wayne Workwear, VF Imagewear and all of the guys at RCR who helped me today on this car. It was a fun race.”