NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Oral-B USA 500 Post Race Report
Atlanta Motor Speedway
August 31, 2014
Richard Childress Racing teammates Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Austin Dillon finished seventh, 18th and 24th, respectively.
Newman ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing current leader Jeff Gordon by 125 points, while Menard ranks 14th and Dillon ranks 15th.
Kasey Kahne earned his first victory of the 2014 season and was followed to the finish line by Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 6 which is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Austin Dillon Finishes 24th in the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon earned a 24th-place finish in the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday evening after starting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event from the 13th position. The Richard Childress Racing driver noted a lack of forward drive from the start of the event, an issue the 24-year-old driver struggled with throughout the course of the race. He fell one lap down during a long, green-flag run during the first half of the race. A pit stop on lap 175 under caution provided the Gil Martin-led team an opportunity to make a big swing at the handling issues that Dillon was facing. Restarting 22nd on lap 179, Dillon put himself in position to earn the “Lucky Dog” to get back on the lead lap, but cautions did not fall in his favor. On lap 259 the caution flag was displayed as Dillon came down pit road, pinning him another lap down. He earned one lap back by taking the wave around following a lap-323 caution, and restarted 21st as the field took the green flag for an exciting finale that extended the race past it’s advertised distance. However, with several teams opting to pit for tires while the RCR team gambled to stay out on old rubber, Dillon lost track position on the last lap and ultimately finished 24th.
Start – 13th Finish – 24th Laps Led – 0 Points – 15th
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
“We just can’t catch a break this year. It’s been rough the last few weeks, but this team is resilient and I want to thank Gil Martin and everyone on this No. 3 team for working so hard. We’ve got a lot of racing to go.”
2011 CC Team Icon 27 NSCS Menards
Paul Menard Finishes 18th in the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Paul Menard drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet SS to an 18th-place finish in Sunday night’s 335-lap event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The RCR driver started 33rd and slowly made his way up through the field and was scored in the 16th position by lap 122. Menard radioed to crew chief Slugger Labbe that he needed “drive off” the corners throughout the event. The Duracell/Menards Chevrolet team visited pit road nine times to fine tune the team’s Chevrolet. Menard gained 31 spots throughout the night and raced as high as the second position before ultimately finishing in 18th place. Next up for the No. 27 team is Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.
Start – 33rd Finish – 18th Laps Led – 0 Points – 14th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“Our Duracell/Menards Chevy was pretty good tonight. What we lacked most was “drive off” but the handling was overall pretty good. This was definitely not the finish we were hoping for, but we will give it one more go at Richmond.”
Newman Closes in on Chase Berth With Seventh-Place Finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Ryan Newman drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS to a seventh-place finish in Sunday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The South Bend, Ind., driver started fourth and in the first 100 laps of 335, battled a tight in and loose off the corners condition. Crew chief Luke Lambert used a series of pit stops under caution to enable Newman to maintain a top-10 spot by the halfway mark. Then, just 20 laps later, the No. 31 drove into the top five with times as fast as the leaders. With less than 70 laps to go, the caution flag flew while Newman was on pit road. It caused the Cat team to go a lap down and scored in 19th position. Relief came on lap 296 when the caution flag waved. Newman raced back onto the lead lap and in contention of earning back all the track position lost on the previous run. When the race restarted with 24 circuits remaining, the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevy was in 10th position before another yellow flag waved on lap 324. The race went into overtime with Newman in 11th. However on the restart, several cars made contact to set up a second green-white-checkered finish. The final green flag waved with Newman lined up eighth and when all was said and done, he recorded the team’s ninth top-10 of the season with a seventh-place finish. Next week, the No. 31 team heads to Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night in hopes of clinching a spot in The Chase for the Championship. Earlier this season at Richmond, Newman drove to a hard-fought, eighth-place finish.
Start – 4th Finish – 7th Laps Led – 0 Points – 9th
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:
“It was a really good rebound for the Caterpillar race team. We put on a set of tires that made our car way too loose. It cost us pretty big there because we were better than the No. 5 car and several other cars. Fortunately, we were able to rebound. It was a good day, just not the day we needed it to be. I like Richmond, but right now I am not sure what we need to do to lock ourselves in. We are close, it should be a lot of fun.”