Richard Childress Racing–Dover 400 Preview

Richard Childress Racing at Dover International Speedway … RCR has earned four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at Dover International Speedway, most recently in September 2006 when Jeff Burton drove the No. 31 Chevrolet to Victory Lane. Three additional victories came with Dale Earnhardt behind the wheel, including both events at the Monster Mile in 1989 as well as the spring race in 1993. RCR has also earned one pole award, 24 top-five and 56 top-10 finishes in 164 combined starts at the high-banked, one-mile oval. Childress, a former driver in NASCAR’s top division, contributed three of those top 10s from 1976-1980.

RCR in the MENCS … In 2,822 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards, 107 wins, 485 top-five finishes and 1,048 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.

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Interactive RCR … For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR’s corporate Twitter page – @RCRracing – along with the RCR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Twitter page – @RCRCup, and driver Twitter pages @austindillon3 and @RyanJNewman. Information about the 15-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at and at along with official driver pages –, and

Catch the Action … The Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil at Dover International Speedway is scheduled to be televised live on Sunday, October 1 on NBC Sports Network beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
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This Week’s No. 3 AAA Chevrolet SS at Dover International Speedway … Dillon has eight previous Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts to his credit at Dover International Speedway, earning his best finish of eighth in October 2016 and best start of ninth in June 2017. In seven previous NASCAR XFINITY Series appearances at the track, Dillon has not finished worse than 10th. He is the June 2013 XFINITY Series pole sitter at the Monster Mile. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion has two starts at the track in the Truck Series, earning his best finish of fourth in the May 2011 event. He also finished ninth at the track in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.

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Meet Dillon … Dillon is scheduled to make an appearance to the AAA Victory Lane Display at Dover International Speedway on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. ET.

Talk about racing at Dover International Speedway. The place looks like a gigantic Bristol Motor Speedway. Does it race that way?
“It is a little crazier the way the rubber lays down on the track and the way you can get up really high at certain times in that race. The bottom is obviously always the preferred groove there, but the top does come in pretty early in the race. I have always enjoyed Dover. Last year it was the cutoff race that put us into the second round and we had a solid run and were really fast on the long run there. I can’t wait to get there.”

This week’s No. 27 Richmond / Menards Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway … Menard has made 20 MENCS starts at the Monster Mile since his first event in 2007. During that time Menard has recorded three top-10 finishes, has an average start of 19.8 and an average finish of 19.2, with 98.4 percent of the laps completed that he has attempted.

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Your day ended early because of a wreck earlier this year at Dover, but before the incident what were you able to take away that you can apply to this weekend’s race?
“We had a decent car at Dover in June. It was all about track position. We have struggled in qualifying all year, and that just puts you behind right off the bat. When we finally did get track position we were running fifth or sixth and got wrecked late in the race. It had potential for a good result. I don’t think we have to stray too far from that setup, we just need to work on qualifying this weekend.”

How frustrating is it as a driver to have a top-five car and get wrecked late in the going?
“It is what it is. It’s frustrating, but there are a lot of things in this sport that are frustrating and there are a lot of things in life that are frustrating. That’s just part of life. You just have to deal with it, move on, learn from it and move on. We learned where we needed to be. It’s different now coming back this weekend, but at least we have a solid baseline setup.”

This Week’s No. 31 Waste Masters Chevrolet SS at Dover International Speedway …
Ryan Newman will make his 560th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when he competes at Dover International Speedway, the third and final venue in the Round of 16. In 31 Cup Series events, Newman has three victories to his credit including a Dover sweep in 2003 and a win in the fall of 2004. The “Rocket Man” also owns three pole awards. In total, he owns seven top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. Also, he has led 849 laps in competition. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 10.1 and average finish of 13.6.

#B31ieve … Newman is making his eighth appearance in what is now known as the NASCAR Playoffs. Entering the final race in the Round of 16, he is 14th in points, one marker out of a Round of 12 transfer spot. His highest finish in the championship standings is second place while driving in his first season for RCR with crew chief Luke Lambert.

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Media Availability … Newman will join teammate Austin Dillon and driver Ricky Stenhouse for a NASCAR Playoffs media Q&A in the DIS media center on Friday at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Entering the cut off race for the Round of 12, there is just one point separating you from the transfer spot. What are some of your biggest focuses and what do you need to work on to make the second bracket of the NASCAR Playoffs?
“I have said many times that this team has got a lot of fight in them. Despite a disastrous start at Chicagoland, we regrouped and turned in a solid performance in New Hampshire. We remain in contention. We’ve worked really hard for 28 races and we just have to go out there and do the best that we can. If our best isn’t good enough then we don’t deserve to be in it.”

In 2014, you made it all the way to Homestead on consistency. That is a word we haven’t used much due to stage racing. Does it change the way you approach stage racing now? Do you have to run harder, sooner?
“You have to run hard the whole time. The way the points work there is just more of a gap now from first to 16th and especially the top 10 with the stage breaks. You just have to run as hard as you possibly can and get as much as you can the whole time. At the same time, you cannot sacrifice the next stage for the stage that you are in. The big one is at the end. So, getting stage points and then costing yourself a bunch of track position for the next stage is not a good plan in my opinion.”

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Dover International Speedway … In 82 Series starts at the one-mile concrete oval, RCR has captured three victories with drivers Jeff Burton (2006) and Clint Bowyer (2006 and 2009). The Welcome, North Carolina, organization has accumulated five pole awards, 19 top-five finishes, 44 top-10 finishes, led 731 laps and averages a starting position of 10.8 and finishing position of 13.3. RCR has completed 15,294 laps of the 16,103 (95 percent) that they have competed.

Kentucky Review … Daniel Hemric was the highest RCR finisher in seventh, Brian Scott eighth, Ben Kennedy 11th, Brandon Jones 13th, and Brendan Gaughan 14th, respectively, at Kentucky Speedway.

NASCAR Playoffs Standings … With the regular season of competition complete, the XFINITY Series Playoffs continue this weekend with the Round of 12 at Dover International Speedway. Daniel Hemric is currently seeded fourth and Brendan Gaughan is ninth on the Playoff grid. The first round of eliminations will take place following the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway next month.

The Points … The No. 3 RCR team is 10th in the owner point standings, with the No. 2 RCR team close behind in 12th. Brandon Jones is currently 17th in the driver point standings. Daniel Hemric is currently second in the XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings.

Catch the Action … Coverage of this weekend’s Drive Sober 200 at Dover International Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, Sept. 30, beginning at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. It will also be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.

This Week’s Rheem Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway … In seven NASCAR XFNITY Series Starts at Dover International Speedway, Austin Dillon has acquired one top-five and six top-10 finishes. He’s also earned one pole award at the Monster Mile.

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Describe the feeling of going down into the turns at Dover International Speedway …
“I will tell you… you don’t catch your breath. It is one of those places you get finished qualifying and you are still… you know what you want to tell your crew chief, but you can’t say it because you don’t have your breath yet. I always have to say ‘hold on’ and I catch my breath and then say ‘okay, I’m too loose here or too tight and it’s more like (in a breathy tone) I’m too loose we’ve got to do something’ and then you work on the car a little bit more and get your bravery up and go again.”

This Week’s Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway … This weekend will mark Ty Dillon’s 10th race at Dover International Speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. In his nine previous starts, Dillon’s best finish of second came in the fall of 2016. It matches his best starting position of second from the spring race of 2016. In total, Dillon has two top-five finishes and seven top-10 NXS finishes at Dover. Earlier this year at the “Monster Mile,” Dillon finished 10th in the NXS race and found success in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, leading 27 laps. He was taken out from fourth place during a wreck on the final restart and finished 14th. Dillon has two starts in the Camping World Truck Series at the Delaware track and earned his best finish of sixth in 2012.

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What are your thoughts heading to Dover for the second time this season?
“Dover is a fun track to go to. There’s a sensation of speed through the corners unlike any other. Diving into Turn 1 and Turn 2 is something that you have to be prepared for every lap. I feel like it’s a track that suits my driving style. I’ve been successful there in the XFINITY Series, and I had a great run going during the Cup race back in the spring. There are definitely improvements that we can make after our 10th-place finish in the XFINITY Series earlier this year. I know that Matt (Swiderski, crew chief) and the team have worked hard studying the notes and building this setup. I’m hoping that we can get it done this weekend.”

Daniel Hemric and the No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet Camaro at Dover International Speedway … Hemric will be making his second NASCAR XFINITY Series start at Dover International Speedway during this weekend’s Drive Sober 200. Earlier this year, Hemric started 10th and finished 13th at the Monster Mile, earning points in Stage 1 and Stage 2.

Meet the Driver … Fans will have two opportunities to meet the XFINITY Series Playoff contender this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Hemric will appear with RCR XFINITY Series teammate Brendan Gaughan at the XFINITY Zone on Saturday, Sept. 30, starting at 9:40 a.m. local time. Hemric will then be part of the XFINITY Series Playoff driver autograph session at the Delaware Office of Highway Safety Display in the Fan Zone starting at 10 a.m. local time.

Rearview Mirror: Kentucky … Qualifying in the seventh position, Hemric kicked off the first race of the XFINITY Series Playoffs with a strong Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender ran inside the top 10 for much of the evening, but fell back on the second-to-last pit stop of the night when the car popped out of gear while leaving the stall. With a fast Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet, Hemric was able to make up time on the leaders and fought his way back to seventh when the checkered flag flew, maintaining his fourth-place spot in the XFINITY Series Playoff standings.

Does Dover feel like a giant version of Bristol Motor Speedway or is it completely different?
“I feel like Dover and Bristol used to be similar in feel, but there are is just so much on-throttle time at Dover that you actually feel the speed. At Bristol, there’s so much happening so fast, you just feel the sustained vertical load in and out of the corners. Dover is just always a place that requires a different driving style. I don’t know why. You can run throttle and it’s not the normal track where you lay into the corner and coast around to the exit and pick up throttle. You find yourself doing things at Dover with the throttle pedal that isn’t ideal, but you’re making good lap times. That is something that becomes crucial at concrete racetracks to making lap times, especially at Dover.”

A lot of people describe driving into the corners at Dover like being on a rollercoaster ride. Is that an accurate description?
“Dover does give you that rollercoaster feeling. It’s the kind of track that no matter how many times you’ve been there, going off into the corner that first time always kind of gets you. That’s what you like as a driver. You put yourself in a position to compete in a sport that is incredible and you still get that sensation of a first-time feeling every time. You can’t beat that. It will be cool to go back there this weekend with the Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet and keep this momentum going into the second race of the XFINITY Series Playoffs.”

Brandon Jones and the No. 33 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet Camaro at Dover International Speedway … Brandon Jones has a total of nine starts at Dover International Speedway across his entire NASCAR career. Jones, who has three NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at the milelong concrete track, will be looking to better his series-best finish of 17th this weekend. The 20-year-old driver also has four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, resulting in one top-five and three top-10 finishes, along with two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts, with one seventh-place finish from 2013.

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Safeway Shopping Spree … Jones will be at the Safeway located at 190 John Hunn Brown Rd in Dover, Delaware beginning at 5 p.m. local time on Thursday, September 28, to challenge a sweepstakes winner to a shopping spree. Jones will have two minutes to race around the store and collect as much food as he can in hopes of earning a higher total than his challenger. After the shopping spree, Jones will be available to sign autographs for fans.

Meet Jones … Jones is scheduled to take part in the XFINITY Series autograph session at Dover International Speedway this Saturday, September 30 at 10 a.m. local time. Jones and his fellow competitors can be found at the Delaware Office of Highway Safety display in the track’s Fan Zone.

Dover International Speedway is a bit of a unique mile-long concrete oval. Do you like racing there?
“Dover is a lot of fun, and one of the tracks I’ve run the most races at. I ran there with both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the Camping World Truck Series. I just started running in the NASCAR XFINITY Series there last season. The track has a short track feel to it, and that’s what I grew up racing on so every time we can step down and run at a track one mile or less it’s pretty special. The track fits my driving style pretty well, too. Dover International Speedway is a roller coaster. You really have to attack the corners every single lap in order to make good time. I feel like I know where I need to run there in order to go fast, so I’m looking forward to getting back there this weekend with my No. 33 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet Camaro.”

Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway … Brendan Gaughan has 11 previous NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Dover International Speedway with his best finish of seventh coming in May 2015. Gaughan also has eight starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the “Monster Mile,” collecting one top-five and three top-10 finishes. The veteran driver also has three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at the speedway.

XFINITY Series Playoffs Update … Gaughan gained two NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff points after finishing 14th in Saturday night’s race, moving from 11th to ninth in the standings. The first elimination of four drivers will occur after Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Drive for the Cure 300 on Saturday, October 7.

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Meet Gaughan … Fans can meet Gaughan when he takes part in a Q&A session with RCR teammate Daniel Hemric at the XFINITY Zone on Saturday, September 30 beginning at 9:40 a.m. local time. Gaughan will also take part in the XFINITY Series autograph session beginning at 10 a.m. local time on Saturday at the track’s Delaware Office of Highway Safety display in the Fan Zone.

Dover International Speedway is wider short track. Does that present a lot of racing grooves to you as a driver?
“Yes, it does. I love the concrete monster. It’s a lot of fun to race at Dover. It’s the only track I’ve been reminded to breathe at. I want fans to know there are so many sensations we go through at Dover. It’s just a ton of fun. I’ve been fast so often there, I just keep having stuff happen to take me out of contention. That’s part of the challenge of Dover, though. One mistake can happen, and it’ll take 15 cars with it. As a driver, you must be sure you don’t put yourself anywhere too stupid out on the track. You’ve got to play it a little bit smarter there. I do love that it has five lanes. I’ll run to the wall, I’ll run to the white line. I’ll be all over that race track and that’s what makes it so fun. It gives you all those options just about every year.”