Richard Childress Racing–Phoenix Preview

Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history at Phoenix International Raceway … Team owner Richard Childress has five victories at Phoenix International Raceway, ranking him third on the all-time car owner victories list at the Avondale, Ariz. facility. This includes wins with Kevin Harvick in Nov. 2013, Nov. 2012 and March and Nov. 2006. Prior to that, Dale Earnhardt won the Checker 500 on Nov. 4, 1990. In 106 starts at PIR, the Welcome, North Carolina based organization boasts 18 top-five and 40 top-10 finishes.

RCR in the NSCS … In 2,730 Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 46 pole awards,105 wins, 474 top-five finishes and 1,029 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.7 and an average finishing position of 16.0. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Sprint Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, ’87, ’90, ’91, ’93 and ’94, six NASCAR XFINITY Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR’s three national series.

The Collective RCR … Dillon ranks 13th in the Chase standings, while Newman ranks 18th and Menard ranks 25th in the driver championship point standings.

Visiting Injured Kids … Austin Dillon has visited kids at hospitals across the country, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, to share a little cheer. A childhood injury doesn’t have to prevent them from living a full, productive life. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma provides funding and research so that children like the ones Austin visits can have a chance at a normal life, even after a traumatic injury. See the kids’ stories at

Catch the Action … The Phoenix 500 is scheduled to be televised live on NBC beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90.

Austin Dillon and the No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS at Phoenix International Raceway … Dillon has five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway to his credit, earning his best finish of ninth in April 2016.

Think Green … American Ethanol, a renewable source of cleaner burning energy from the bounty of America’s farmers, helps create new green jobs and a renewed sense of pride for the American worker, while helping to achieve greater energy security for our country. Launched by Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association, along with the support of other partners, American Ethanol is a breakthrough brand that seeks to expand consumer awareness of the benefits of ethanol and E15, and takes the NASCAR Green initiative to the next level. NASCAR® drivers have run nearly 10 million miles on renewable Sunoco Green E15. At its core, American Ethanol is a green fuel for an increasingly environmentally-conscious America, and pairs perfectly with the naturally beautiful state of Arizona.

Questions, Please … Dillon and Richard Childress are scheduled to take questions in the Phoenix International Raceway Infield Media Center on Friday, Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. Local Time.

Meet Dillon … Dillon is scheduled to greet race fans at multiple displays in the Phoenix International Speedway midway area several times throughout the race weekend. He’ll be at the Rheem Mobile display on Saturday 11:45 a.m. Local Time. He will also be at the American Ethanol BioFuels trailer on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 9:30 a.m. Local Time.

Is there much you can bring back to Phoenix International Raceway from what you learned there in April that you can apply to the fall?
“I think so. We had a really good car there and ran solid the entire race. We have made gains from that point in time, so I’m excited to see our newest package there at Phoenix.”

How would your summarize your season?
“I think we have had a great season. We accomplished a lot. We made the Chase, we’ve run great in the Chase, just barely missed moving on at Talladega Superspeedway. We’ve got room to improve. I would give us a solid grade right now. I don’t know if I could characterize it until we get done with Homestead-Miami Speedway, but we are passing class I feel like.”

Paul Menard and the No. 27 Rust-Oleum RockSolid / Menards Chevrolet SS at Phoenix International Raceway … The Eau Claire, Wisconsin native has two top-10 finishes in 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at the one-mile track. He has completed 96 percent of laps in competition with an average start of 17.8 and finish of 21.9.

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Meet Paul … Come to the Rheem display located in Phoenix International Raceway’s fan midway on Friday at 3 p.m. Local Time to meet Menard.

Is there anything from Phoenix International Raceway that you were satisfied with or dissatisfied with from the spring?
“Our Chevrolet was really good in the spring at Phoenix. It was definitely a top-10 car. We just overheated the brakes and melted a bead which caused us to crash. We’re definitely going back with more brake cooling to keep the tires a little cooler. We have a pretty good starting point for practice.”

Do you think Phoenix is a speedway or a short track?
“I like to call it a hybrid. The old Phoenix when the asphalt was really wore out and you were sliding around, that made it feel like a short track. Now it almost has a video game feel to it. You have to be so precise with your line, especially in qualifying trim. You really have to hit your marks like you do at a speedway race. Keeping your momentum up is key. Once the race gets started, you slide around more and it begins to feel a little bit like a short track. Phoenix in the summer is 100 degrees so it takes a toll on the surface of the track. When we go back from the spring to the fall, the track’s characteristics change a lot by just sitting in the heat all summer long.”

Ryan Newman and the No. 31 Cat MineStar Chevrolet SS at Phoenix International Raceway … Newman will make his 547th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start when the series embarks on its 35th event of the season. In 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, the South Bend, Indiana, native owns one victory at PIR. He won the spring event in 2010. When it comes to the last 10 events at the raceway, he ranks fifth in driver points earned. In total, Newman owns four pole awards, nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. His average start is 13.3 and average finish is 17.9. He’s led 213 laps in competition.

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Meet Ryan … Newman is scheduled to sign autographs at the Rheem Mobile display located in the Phoenix International Raceway fan midway on Friday afternoon at 3:15 p.m. Local Time.

What do the final two races really mean for you and your No. 31 team?
“When we are not in position to win the war and in this case, the Chase, we still want to win the battles even though they don’t seem to mean as much but in reality, they do for our partners and everybody else. The final two races are an opportunity for us to build at the end of the season and help us get a start on preparing for the biggest race of the season which is the Daytona 500. These races are important and we look forward to a little break in a few weeks and then we’ll jump back in and get ready for 2017. And I’m happy to say that I’m back for 2017. I feel like we have unfinished business. We didn’t put it all together this year so I’m looking forward to using these last two races to try and build towards getting our team back to contending for a Chase berth for our sponsors like Caterpillar, Grainger and WIX Filters.”

What is the key to a good finish at Phoenix International Raceway?
“Restarts are so critical at PIR especially when you consider the back dogleg, being doubled up and being able to pass two for one. To me, that’s one of the key times to be able to pass somebody. It’s so open there. It’s a pretty fast track especially since it’s been repaved. It’s super smooth.”

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Phoenix International Raceway … In 64 Series starts at the one-mile paved oval, RCR has captured three victories with drivers Kevin Harvick (2006), Clint Bowyer (2007) and Elliott Sadler (2012). The Welcome, North Carolina, organization has accumulated two pole awards, 23 top-five finishes, 38 top-10 finishes, led 554 laps and averages a starting position of 11.1 and finishing position of 11.2. RCR has completed 12,523 laps of the 12,747 (98.2 percent) that they have competed.

Texas Review … Austin Dillon was the highest RCR finisher in seventh, Brendan Gaughan 15th, Ty Dillon 16th and Brandon Jones 19th, respectively, at Texas Motor Speedway.

#OneGoal … This weekend’s 200-lap race at PIR marks the elimination race for the Round of 8. The four drivers that advance after Saturday night’s race will compete for the XFINITY Series driver’s championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Brendan Gaughan is currently seeded eighth on the Chase grid.

The Points … Ty Dillon and Brandon Jones were eliminated from the Chase after the first round and sit 10th and 11th, respectively in the point standings. The No. 2 RCR team is sixth in the owner point standings. Brandon Jones is currently third in the XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings.

Catch the Action … Coverage of this weekend’s Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway will be televised live on Saturday, Nov. 12, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. It will also be broadcast live on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM channel 90.

Austin Dillon and the No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet Camaro at Phoenix International Raceway … In eight previous NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Dillon has recorded three top-five and six top-10 finishes. He holds an average starting position of 8.5, coupled with an average finishing position of 9.8.

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No. 2 Team by the Numbers … With two races left in 2016, the No. 2 team has three victories, three pole awards, 16 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes,with 115 laps led to their credit. Austin Dillon is scheduled to pilot the No. 2 Chevrolet in the season-finale race at Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend.

How would you characterize Phoenix International Raceway? Would you say it’s a short track or speedway?
“I would say it’s a short track. The characteristics and how you drive the corner you have to drive like a short track. I would classify it as a short track in my opinion.”

Dillon and the No. 3 Red Kap/Prudential Overall Supply Chevrolet at Phoenix International Raceway … Statistically speaking, Phoenix International Raceway is one of Dillon’s most successful race tracks. In five career NASCAR XFINITY Series starts, Dillon has five top-10 and two top-five finishes. He averages a starting position of 7.0 and a finishing position of 6.2. Dillon finished sixth earlier this season at PIR in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Chevrolet Camaro. Dillon is scheduled to make his 110th career XFINITY Series start this weekend.

VF Imagewear Partners with No. 3 Team … VF Imagewear, Inc., a leading manufacturer of workwear apparel and a division of VF Corporation, the world’s largest apparel company, returns for the third consecutive season as primary sponsor for Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 XFINITY Series program and driver Ty Dillon. VF Imagewear’s brands, including Red Kap, Bulwark FR and Wrangler Workwear, will be featured as primary sponsors for select XFINITY Series races in 2016.

About Red Kap … Red Kap, the official work wear provider for RCR and ECR Engines employees, has been in business since 1923. Like RCR, Red Kap was started as a family company and today provides durable and dependable work wear. For more information go to

About Prudential Overall Supply … Since 1932, Prudential Overall Supply has provided best-in-class solutions for businesses with their uniform and textile programs. Prudential provides customers with the best possible products and services at a fair price, today and into the future. To learn more about Prudential Overall Supply, log on to

Meet Ty Dillon … Dillon is scheduled to stop by the Team Chevy Stage located in the Fan Midway at PIR on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12:45 p.m. local time for a question and answer session.

You’ve had some success at PIR in the past few races. What’s your secret?
“I really enjoy short-track racing, it’s what I grew up doing with Team Dillon Racing. I think PIR really fits my style and our team really has been able to figure out the best race strategy. It starts with qualifying well and not having any mistakes throughout the day. Because it is a short race, there is not a lot of room for error. I love the intensity of every lap at PIR, fighting for every inch of track position and the wild restarts.”

Brandon Jones and the No. 33 Okuma Chevrolet Camaro at Phoenix International Raceway … Jones will be making his second NASCAR XFINITY Series start at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway. Jones started eighth and finished 11th at Phoenix earlier this year. He also has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts and one NASCAR K&N Pro Series West start at PIR.

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Rearview Mirror: Texas … Jones had an up-and-down day Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, driving the No. 33 South Point Chevrolet. Jones was hit from behind on the initial start of the race and forced to pit for repairs under the first caution. The XFINITY Series rookie raced his way back into the top-15, but fell multiple laps down when a caution flew right after Jones had completed a green flag stop. Unable to catch a break throughout the event, Jones finished the day in the 19th spot.

Meet the Driver … Jones is scheduled to appear at the Rheem Mobile Display in the Fan Zone on Friday, Nov. 11, starting at 12 p.m. local time. He is also slated to appear at the Chevrolet Stage on Saturday, Nov. 12, starting at 1 p.m. local time.

You had an 11th-place run at Phoenix International Raceway earlier this year. How do you get your car to turn the center of the corner when your car is not handling as well as you would like?
“The toughest thing about Phoenix International Raceway is the track has two very different corners. Turns 1 and 2 are very, very tight and have a little bit more banking than Turns 3 and 4 do. Turn 3 and 4 are like a corner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, very wide and sweeping. You can usually get the car working well on one section of the track and it might be a little off on the other section. Trying to figure out where you can pass is how we’ll set the car up for the race. If you think you can be better getting off Turn 4, you’ll work on being better in Turn 3 and 4, and you may give something up at the other end of the track. I have always run well at Phoenix, and expect to do so again with the Okuma Chevrolet Camaro. It’s a fun track to go to and I love going to Arizona, it’s always a blast to be out there in the desert. I think we’ll be even better than we were in March.”

What do you like to do when you visit Arizona around the Phoenix track?
“I just like atmosphere in Arizona. I’m a big fan of the desert mountain ranges. I wish I had stayed out there a little longer earlier this year to spend time riding sand dunes and things like that. That would be a lot of fun. I have never really done anything like that, so maybe we can knock something off the bucket list this time.”

Brendan Gaughan and the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet at Phoenix International Raceway … In 10 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at PIR, Gaughan has completed 1,970 of 1,981 (99.4 percent) of the laps he has competed. The Las Vegas native is credited with a 16.1average starting position and an average finishing position of 14.0. In 11 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Gaughan has led nine laps and averages a 14.6 finishing position.

Chase Cutoff … Gaughan is currently seeded eighth in the XFINITY Series Chase standings and is 23 points from the cutoff position. Gaughan and the No. 62 team will likely need to win in order to advance into the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

This Week at the South Point … South Point Hotel & Casino will host the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) Nov. 8 – 12. The INFR currently has 11 Regions within the United States and Canada with members ranging from eight years of age to 80. At the INFR, 350+ qualified contestants compete in the eight major events. There were 75 tribes represented at last year’s event.For more information, visit

2016 by the Numbers … With 31 XFINITY Series events complete in 2016, Gaughan has four top-five and 15 top-10 finishes, with 36 laps led to his credit. According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Gaughan ranks fourth in the Closers category with an average finish of 11.5. The 41-year-old driver also ranks fifth in Quality Passes, with 906 on the season.

Meet Brendan Gaughan … Gaughan is scheduled to appear at the Rheem Mobile display in the Fan Midway on Friday, Nov. 11, starting at 12 p.m. local time. On Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m., local time, Gaughan is also scheduled to participate in a question and answer session with Richard Childress Racing teammate Brandon Jones at the Team Chevy stage located in the Fan Midway.

What do you think your chances are for success at Phoenix International Raceway given the performance in the spring?
“This year we were not as good. We are going to try and go back to our notes from 2014 and 2015 and match some of those numbers. We had a good couple of years there with some of my best runs at PIR. It makes me happy going to the West Coast, I’m close to home. I always want to come out of there with a solid finish. Going into the elimination race, 23 points out of the cutoff, we have to win. We are going to be us, Shane (Wilson, crew chief) and I will not try to be someone we aren’t. We have one goal, to win.”

How risky is using that apron on the backstretch given that dive bomb move to get back in line?
“It’s not that it is that risky, it does some damage. It definitely takes a toll on the pieces and parts, especially the splitter and the body. It is such a hammer job when you fly down there. But, you almost have to do it at times because it gives you such a big run. Guys are able to pass three and four cars by going to the bottom. You have to take advantage of it when guys are battling two and three wide.”