NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Food City 500 Post Race Report
Bristol Motor Speedway
March 16, 2014
Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard finished 11th, 16th and 21st, respectively.
Ryan Newman ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing current leader Brad Keselowski by 38 points, while Austin Dillon ranks 13th and Paul Menard ranks 17th.
The No. 31 Chevrolet team ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 3 team 13th and the No. 27 team 17th.
Carl Edwards earned his first victory of the 2014 season and was followed to the finish line by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Aric Almirola, Tony Stewart and Marcos Ambrose.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 23. The fifth race of the 2014 season is scheduled to be televised live on FOX beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Austin Dillon Posts 11th-Place Finish at Bristol Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing’s Realtree/Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet to an 11th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon, after starting the scheduled 500-lap event from the 27th position. During the early stages of the race, Dillon ran in the 27th spot as he reported a loose-handling condition on his No. 3 Chevrolet, especially on entry to the corners. The handling began to improve as rubber built up on the racing surface. However, as Dillon began to pass a significant number of competitors, a caution flag was displayed to the field slowing the pace of the race. Routine pit stops allowed the Gil Martin-led team to further adjust the handling of the car, which varied from loose to tight depending on the amount of rubber on the racing surface and the outside air temperature, which dropped significantly as weather set in over the Bristol, Tenn. track. On lap 119, Dillon was scored in the 27th position when the field was directed to pit road for a red flag that lasted more than 3 hours as rain started to fall. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 137. Dillon fell one lap down to the race leader during an ensuing long green-flag run, but earned his lap back before the race ended advancing into the top-20 on lap 263, and into the top-15 by lap 424, ultimately posting an 11th-place finish.
Start – 27th Finish – 11th Laps Led – 0 Points – 13th
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
“It was a solid effort by everyone on the Realtree/Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet team today. I really wish we could have gotten the No. 42 (Kyle Larson) and passed him for one more position at the end of the race so we could have finished inside of the top-10, and earned Rookie of the Race honors. But overall, we really have to be happy with a performance like that our first time out in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway. The car changed a lot during the race with the weather and rubber build-up on the track, but Gil Martin and the team were well-prepared with chassis adjustments on pit road.”
2011 CC Team Icon 27 NSCS Menards
Paul Menard Hangs Tough for 21st-Place Finish at Bristol Motor Speedway
Paul Menard and Richard Childress Racing’s No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet SS team qualified 28th for Sunday’s 500-lap race at Bristol Motor Speedway. After the final practice on Saturday, the Slugger Labbe-led team had an indication there was something amiss in the motor. They discovered a concern and opted to change motors on Sunday morning before the race. This resulted in starting at the rear of the field because of the NASCAR-mandated penalty for making the change after qualifying. After an almost two-hour rain delay, the 43-car field took the initial green flag. From the start, Menard raced through the field from the back breaking into the top-20 by lap 43. After pitting during a competition caution on lap 50 to take four tires and fuel, he restarted 17th and moved up to 15th when rains forced another delay for three hours and 19 minutes. When racing resumed, Menard went from 13th to 19th by lap 246. He radioed in that it felt like something was coming apart causing him to loose speed and handling. Forced to pit under green on lap 271 for tires, fuel and adjustments, the crew discovered the left-front tire suffered severe wear. Now back in 33rd place two laps down, Menard used the remainder of the race to work his way through the field, take advantage of wave-arounds under caution and a strong race car to finish in 21st place.
Start – 28th Finish – 21st Laps Led – 0 Points – 17th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“We had a really strong race car here at Bristol. We took off there at the beginning and moved towards the front before we had that issue around the halfway point. After that, we didn’t have any more problems and still had fast lap times. Bad part was we got trapped laps down when we pitted under green there in the middle of the race. Great effort by everyone on this team, the finish just doesn’t show how good we really were out there.”
Ryan Newman Rallies To 16th-Place Finish at Bristol Motor Speedway
Ryan Newman drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 31 Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge Chevrolet SS to a 16th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday. After qualifying ninth, Mother Nature delayed the start of the event by more than an hour. When the 43-car field finally took the green flag, Newman drove conservatively for the first 50 laps before the competition yellow flew with the No. 31 scored in 11th position. The only handling concern was a tight condition through the center of the corners and off. The South Bend, Ind. native raced up to seventh position before hitting pit road for a four-tire service on lap 120 while rain moved in for a second time to stop the race until 7 p.m. Eastern Time. When it was time to go back to work, Newman competed in 13th position with plans to break back into the top 10. Unfortunately, an issue with the left-rear tire forced the No. 31 onto pit road for unscheduled service on lap 220. The RCR driver returned to the track in 35th position, but with plenty of speed and laps for crew chief Luke Lambert to formulate a plan to race back onto the lead lap after the mishap cost the team two laps to the leader. Then, with less than 40 laps remaining, Newman was in line for the free pass and got it when the caution waved on lap 498 for an accident. But moments later, the skies opened up and ended the race forcing Newman to finish 16th, which was rally of 19 positions. The top-20 result enabled Newman to remain ninth in the championship driver standings, less than 40 markers out of first. Next Sunday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competes at Auto Club Speedway in the Auto Club 400.
Start – 9th Finish – 16th Laps Led – 0 Points – 9th
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:
“We had a top-10 Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Chevrolet today, but had an issue with the left-rear tire. It seemed out of balance or something, so I held on as long as I could but we had to pit. It put us back in the field two laps down, but this Richard Childress Racing team never lost faith and Luke (crew chief – Lambert) put
a really good game plan together to allow us a chance to race back onto the lead lap. Unfortunately, the rain prevented us from taking the final restart. I think we could have gained a lot more track position and possibly get ourselves a third-straight top-10 finish. All in all, it was a solid weekend for us. We were able to come back from adversity and put ourselves in contention for a run at the win. That’s all we can really ask for and I am proud of this team. We now head to back out west to California to a good track for me at Auto Club Speedway. I hope we can keep this positive momentum going.”