Richard Childress Racing–Martinsville

Austin Dillon Drives the No. 3 Okuma Chevrolet to a Fifth-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway to Earn Best Finish of Season

“We had a really fast Okuma Chevrolet and that’s because of the guys on the team and everyone at RCR. No one panicked. We didn’t have the speed we needed during the first couple of practice sessions. For some reason we never do here. I just can’t go fast enough to start then consistently get better throughout practices and throughout the race. It’s nice to be able to do that but I wish I could be fast right away. Starting 20th was big for us. Our car had takeoff speed. It’s the first racecar we’ve had that can actually restart and go for the first five laps. That’s important for us and something you have to focus on with the way that the racing is now with stages. Short run speed is key and if you have long run speed, falloff doesn’t really matter because you’re going to have a caution at some point. I’m just proud of the guys because we finished fourth in this race last year and we were able to come back and back it up with a fifth place finish today. I thought we were going to have a little something for the two leaders. In the middle of the run our car just lacked a little bit more turn and forward drive. At the end we could come back to them but the 22 car backed down in front of me. Overall it was a good run.”

– Austin Dillon

Paul Menard and the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevy Team finish 19th at Martinsville Speedway

“We took a gamble with 82 laps to go by taking the wave-around rather than pitting for fresh tires. Track position is so important here at Martinsville Speedway. The gamble seemed to work, and it looked like it was going to pay off nicely for us for the finish. Unfortunately, we got collected in an accident shortly after that which caused some pretty bad nose damage to our No. 27 Duracell / Menards Chevy. But that’s part of racing at a short track like this. I always enjoy racing at Martinsville, and I hope to improve on our finish later this season when we come back.”

– Paul Menard

Ryan Newman and the No. 31 Chevrolet Team Score Eighth-Place Finish in First Short-Track Event of 2017 at Martinsville Speedway

“We never got the corner connected, entry, middle and exit all day long for our No. 31 Chevrolet. We just struggled a little bit. I’m surprised we finished as good as we did for how bad the car felt, but all in all, it was a good job for the guys. Matt Kenseth and I had a hell of a race for nothing, but that is sometimes what you’ve got to do. It was just fun racing at Martinsville Speedway all day long. A lot of single-file racing today. I think the other tire might have been better, but we will just keep digging.”

– Ryan Newman