Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history at Martinsville Speedway

In 159 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has earned four pole awards and posted seven victories with drivers Dale Earnhardt (five times), Ricky Rudd (1983) and Kevin Harvick (2011). RCR Chevrolet teams have earned 29 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes at Martinsville dating back to the team’s first start there on April 10, 1972. Richard Childress, a former driver in NASCAR’s top division, contributed four of those top-10 finishes from 1976-1978.

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,751 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,106 wins, 476 top-five finishes and 1,032 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.7 and an average finishing position of 16.1. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Monster Energy NASCAR 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.

This Week’s Okuma Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway… In six Monster Energy NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway, Dillon earned his best finish of fourth in April 2016 at the half-mile short track after starting deep in the field from the 29th spot. The track is located less than an hour from his Welcome, North Carolina, home and Dillon has finished outside of the top-20 just once. He has made four appearances at the track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, earning his best finish of third in October 2011.

How would you sum up your first five races?
“Up and down. We’ve had two chances to win, really, at Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Those opportunities were there and we didn’t do a very good job of taking advantage of them. We weren’t prepared for it, I think, more than anything. At Atlanta, we were prepared and something overheated causing the battery to fail. Beyond that, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway were a bit of a struggle. Just the new aero map and going off of some information that we didn’t do a good job with. At Auto Club Speedway, we had a solid car all weekend, we unloaded fast, which is what we needed to do, and we had a really fast car on the long run but struggled on shorter runs during the race. It’s something we’re working on.”

Heading into Martinsville Speedway. Overall, do you enjoy short track racing?
“Short track racing is some of my favorite stuff to do! Martinsville Speedway is challenging. Qualifying has always been an issue there for me, but I race really well. I don’t know what it is. I’ve never started well there but we’ve always raced well. We’ll probably work on qualifying a little bit and see what we can do to get better. As far as race trim, we do a pretty good job each time we go there.”

How mentally draining can Martinsville Speedway be? Everyone always talks about how mentally draining Daytona and Talladega are because you’re always in a pack but at Martinsville you’re always trapped together as well. How tough is that?
“It can be frustrating at times, racing against guys that close for that period of time so you’ve got to keep a cool head, be focused and methodically move up through them.”

This Week’s Duracell / Menards Chevrolet SS at Martinsville Speedway … This weekend marks Menard’s 19th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Martinsville Speedway. He started fourth in the spring and finished eighth to earn his career-best start and finish at the Virginia based racetrack.

Is the race at Martinsville Speedway draining with the long green-flag runs we typically see there?
“As different as Martinsville Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway are, they’re both very similar in how we approach them. A lot of it is track position. You go off into Turn 1 and it’s about trying to maintain your line but still trying to get around the guy in front of you without giving up to the guy behind you. There are a lot of similarities between the two tracks even though they are two completely opposite tracks. It’s good ol’ short track racing where if you get your fenders knocked off, it doesn’t really matter a whole lot. It’s hard racing. I’m looking forward to getting back there after the race this No. 27 team had last year in the spring.”

This Week’s No. 31 Chevrolet SS at Martinsville Speedway … Ryan Newman will make his 553rd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in the first short-track event of the 2017 season. In 30 Cup Series events at Martinsville Speedway, Newman visited Victory Lane at this event in 2012. The Rocket Man also owns three pole awards, all happening in the fall of 2002, ’04 and ’09. In total, he owns eight top-five and 14 top-10 finishes, along with 196 laps led in competition. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 9.3 and average finish of 15.0.

Meet Ryan … Ryan Newman is scheduled to participate in a fan question and answer session on Sunday at approximately 12:20 p.m. EDT at the Team Chevy stage. The stage is located in the Martinsville Speedway midway.

Breaking News … Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Kalahari Resorts & Conventions have renewed their partnership for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Now home to America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark, Kalahari Resorts will once again serve as the primary sponsor on Ryan Newman’s No. 31 Chevrolet SS at Pocono Raceway on June 11, 2017, as well as host RCR during its two stops on the Series schedule in Pennsylvania.

Rescue Ranch Playground Project … Ryan and Krissie Newman are in the midst of a $400,000 fundraising project for Rescue Ranch. It is a community wide effort that will benefit countless children annually. The fully-inclusive playground will be 10,000 sq./ft. and encompasses a barrier-free option for children of all abilities to play together. For more information, please watch:

What is the key to being successful at Martinsville Speedway?
“Martinsville to me is one of the best short tracks, if not the best short track we go to. One of the keys is really keeping your tires underneath you. You do that by keeping your brakes underneath you. You have to have good cooling, but how you apply the brake can really change your day for the good or bad.”

What is the hardest thing for you to figure out there?
“I think one of the challenges to Martinsville is the 500 cycles, so you have a lot of chances to make up ground and a lot of chances to catch up like the free pass and implement strategies to be there at the end of the race. If you start off having a bad race, like a tire cutting down, you just have to give it time. It usually comes back to you. It might not be until 10 to go, but it usually comes back to you.”

The next three of the four Cup races are short tracks. Do you like the short-track swing?
“I like short tracks. My stats prove it. Going to them is nice, but we’ll go to them regardless so it doesn’t really matter to me.”

How do you feel about the lights being added?
“I think just having lights is cool. The technology is impressive. It will be nice to see and it gives us that out where we can make the right calls and finish the race in the best situation and conditions possible.”