NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Martinsville 500 Post Race Report
March 30, 2014
Richard Childress Racing teammates Paul Menard, Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman finished 10th, 15th and 20th, respectively
Austin Dillon ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing current leader Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by 48 points, while Ryan Newman ranks 10th and Paul Menard ranks 11th.
The No. 3 Chevrolet team ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 31 team 10th in the standings and the No. 27 team 11th.
Kurt Busch earned his first victory of the 2014 season and was followed to the finish line by Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 6. The seventh race of the 2014 season is scheduled to be televised live on FOX beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Rookie Austin Dillon Drives No. 3 Dow Chevrolet to Top-15 Finish at Martinsville Speedway
In his first-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Martinsville Speedway, Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon drove the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet to a 15th-place finish after starting from the 34th position on Sunday afternoon. The Welcome, N.C., driver was challenged from the start of the 500-lap event when shortly after taking the green flag, another competitor hit his black, red and white Chevrolet from behind, causing the team to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap four. Repairs were made quickly by the RCR crew and Dillon restarted in the 36th spot when green-flag racing resumed on lap 10. Although struggling with a lack of forward drive and various handling issues, Dillon raced his way into the 12th spot by lap 315. When the caution flag was displayed, Dillon pitted for tires, fuel and adjustments. However, they lost track position when the team had to make repairs to a fender from on-track contact that took place earlier in the day. He dropped to 21st in the running order but ultimately earned a 15th-place finish in the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet.
Start – 34th Finish – 15th Laps Led – 0 Points – 9th
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
“We really worked together as a team today and I am so proud of everyone at Richard Childress Racing. It was a long day, but this proves our ‘never give up’ attitude on the Dow Chevrolet team.”
2011 CC Team Icon 27 NSCS Menards
Paul Menard Earns Hard-Fought Top-10 Finish at Martinsville Speedway
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet SS team started the 500-lap race at Martinsville Speedway in 21st-place on Sunday afternoon and finished 10th. Knowing track position and passing are at a premium at the half-mile oval, Menard and the Slugger Labbe-led team utilized their pit stops to help Menard with the car’s handling throughout the event. There were 14 cautions during the race, and the No. 27 team used eight of those to make pit stops for air pressure and chassis adjustments, four tires and fuel each time. Menard moved up to sixth by lap 125, but fell back to 21st place by lap 207 as track conditions changed. Driver and crew chief communications assisted in Labbe making the right calls enabling Menard to once again race his way to the front. In turn, they were assisted by great work from the No. 27 crew as they earned a total of 12 positions via pit stops. The team’s mutual goal for a great finish was achieved when Menard raced his way into to the top-15 by lap 430, and then the top-10 with 30 circuits remaining. He did his part and held off all challenges to finish in 10th place for the second-consecutive race. As a result, Menard and the No. 27 team moved up three positions since last week to 11th in the driver’s championship points.
Start – 21st Finish – 10th Laps Led – 0 Points – 11th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“I’ll take a top-10 at Martinsville Speedway any time. This team was on their game today on pit stops and bouncing back from the middle part of the race. We weren’t as good as were in the beginning, but Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) and the crew did a great job on pit calls and pit stops. They just never gave up and it paid off with another top-10 finish. We will definitely take that and head to Texas next week.”
Ryan Newman Records 20th-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway
Ryan Newman drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS to a 20th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. The South Bend, Ind., driver started 16th and climbed into the top 10 by lap 58, of 500. At the race’s halfway point, Newman was racing in the 12th position. His biggest challenges were restarts from the outside line and a tight-handling Chevrolet. With 150 laps to go, Newman reported a possible mechanical issue with the No. 31 machine. He had his hands full remaining competitive and persevered to record the 20th-place effort. The result puts Newman in 10th place in the driver championship point standings. Next Sunday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competes at Texas Motor Speedway where Newman earned a victory in 2003.
Start – 16th Finish – 20th Laps Led – 0 Points – 10th
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:
“This was certainly not the finish we were hoping for here at Martinsville Speedway, but I feel fortunate we were able to nurse it home to the finish. Before then, our Quicken Loans Chevrolet was very capable of a top-10 finish. I’m sure this RCR team will diagnose the issue and resolve it. Texas Motor Speedway is a track where I’ve had success at so I look forward to going there and getting our No. 31 team back on track.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series