IRWIN Tools Night Race
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Bristol Motor Speedway
August 24, 2013
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished sixth (Paul Menard), 13th (Jeff Burton) and 34th (Kevin Harvick) in the IRWIN Tools Night Race.
Following the event at Bristol Motor Speedway, Harvick remains fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 61 markers, while Menard sits 17th, 183 points back, and Burton is 20th, 229 points behind the leader.
The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks fourth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 18th in the standings and the No. 31 team 21st.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Menard ranked third in Laps Led, with 64 during the 500-lap event.
Menard was the fourth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run.
Burton made 120 Green-Flag Passes, third-most in the 43-car field, with 37 of them coming while running in the top 15 (Quality Passes).
Completing 55 passes while running in the top 15, Harvick ranked fourth in Quality Passes.
Harvick was the third-Fastest Driver Early in a Run and sixth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run, who did not finish within five laps of the leader.
Matt Kenseth earned his fifth victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Kasey Kahne, Juan Pablo Montoya, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 1. The 25th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Menard Captures Third-Consecutive Top-10 Finish at Bristol Motor Speedway
Paul Menard captured his third-consecutive top-10 result in “Thunder Valley,” finishing sixth under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday evening. Starting 21st, Menard maintained a spot within the top 20 until a lap-91 caution-flag period when the No. 27 Schrock/Menards team elected not to come down pit road, positioning Menard in fifth for the ensuing restart. Another caution on lap 108 positioned Menard in the inside lane for the restart and he slipped back to 19th before blending back in line with the rest of the 43-car field. Struggling to get his No. 27 machine to point through the center of the corners, Menard pitted under yellow for four tires and fuel with wedge and air pressure adjustments. Upon exiting pit road, Menard was tagged with a speeding violation forcing him to serve a “pass through penalty” and he restarted in 29th on lap 185. With his car handling to his liking, the Wisconsin native worked his way back inside the top 20 and was running in 20th when the caution flag flew on lap 258. With track position proving to be crucial in the 500-lap event, crew chief “Slugger” Labbe elected not to bring his driver down pit road. The 19 cars in front of Menard pitted and he took the green flag as the race leader on lap 267. The Richard Childress Racing driver maintained the point position for the next 64 laps before falling to third with a tight-handling race car. Menard maintained a spot in the top 10 until pitting on lap 361 for fuel only. Several cars in front of the 33-year-old driver elected not to pit or take right-side tires only and Menard restarted 15th. Another caution period on lap 440 allowed Menard and crew to play pit strategy and Labbe again elected to keep his driver out under caution. Menard restarted in seventh on lap 447 and was able to gain one position in the remaining laps to finish sixth in the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Menard’s top-10 finish at Bristol marks his sixth top 10 of the season. He remains in the 17th spot in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend.
Start – 21 Finish – 6 Laps Led – 64 Points – 17
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“It’s great to bring home another top-10 finish this weekend. Bristol (Motor Speedway) has been good to me over the past couple of years and I love this short-track racing. We had a great Schrock/Menards car and it was awesome to be able to lead some laps tonight. We got shuffled back in the field taking fuel, but we were able to make some ground up with pit strategy at the end. It was a solid night for the No. 27 team and we’re looking forward to going to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend and continuing our top-10 finishes.”
Late-Race Accident Leaves Harvick with a 34th-Finish at Bristol Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John’s team finished 34th under the lights of Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday evening after being collected in a late-race accident. The California native started the 500-lap event from the 15th position and competed within or near the top 10 of the running order for the majority of the IRWIN Tools Night Race, leading the field for seven laps, all while battling a lack of grip on the red, black and white Chevrolet. Harvick was running in the second position on lap 360 when crew chief Gil Martin called his driver to pit road under caution for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. The Richard Childress Racing driver lined up 19th for the ensuing restart and worked his way up to the 13th position before being collected in a multi-car accident on lap 446. Harvick brought the battered Chevrolet into the garage for the team to repair damage and returned to the track with two laps remaining in the event. Despite returning to the racing action, Harvick crossed the finish line 34th, 51 laps down to the lead lap cars. Harvick remains fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 15 Finish – 34 Laps Led – 7 Points – 4
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“This is definitely not the result we were going for tonight. I just hate it for the Jimmy John’s crew, but that’s part of racing at Bristol (Motor Speedway).”
Burton Survives Multiple Accidents to Finish 13th at Bristol Motor Speedway
Despite being involved in multiple accidents, Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team brought home a 13th-place finish in the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. After starting the race in the 41st position, Burton gained nine spots during the first 42 laps until the first yellow flag of the 500-lap race was displayed. Under the caution-flag period, crew chief Luke Lambert directed the Richard Childress Racing driver not to pit, allowing him to gain track position. Restarting 11th, Burton climbed into the top 10 while running fast lap times, but the No. 31 machine suffered significant damage to the left-rear quarter panel after a competitor directly in front of him struck the outside retaining wall. The Caterpillar pit crew was unable to refill the car with Sunoco fuel because of the damage and Burton was forced to make multiple pit stops for repairs. Once back on track, Burton reported that the damage suffered in the incident altered the handling on his Chevrolet, but the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner was able to maintain a top-15 running position. During the
middle stages of the event, Burton radioed to Lambert reports of a tight-middle and loose-off condition, but maintained competitive lap times. After barely missing a multi-car pileup up on lap 359, Burton fell victim to bad luck when two competitors running below him made contact, sending the No. 31 Chevrolet spinning off turn two, barely making contact with the inside retaining wall. The 46-year-old driver was able to drive back to pit road and the No. 31 crew made more repairs to the battered machine without losing a lap to the leader. Burton restarted in the 24th position and worked his way back inside the top 20 over a long green-flag run, but fell one lap down to the leader in the process. The RCR driver caught a break when the caution flag was displayed and Burton was given the “Lucky Dog” award with 54 laps remaining. Restarting 21st, Burton managed to escape another multi-car pileup two laps later and Lambert decided not to pit in hopes of gaining important track position. Burton restarted in the 14th and managed and gained one position over the final 47 green-flag laps to bring home a hard-fought 13th-place result. With the solid finish, Burton remains 20th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 41 Finish – 13 Laps Led – 0 Points – 20
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
“To bring home this Caterpillar Chevrolet in 13th-place says a lot about this team. We had a terrible day on Friday in practice and qualifying, but never threw in the towel. After being involved in two separate accidents, we didn’t complain. The guys went to work, fixed it and in the end, here we are with a solid top-15 finish. It was just a great team effort by this Caterpillar crew in a tough situation.”