- Richard Childress Racing teammates Paul Menard, Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon finished 23rd, 27th and 41st, respectively, in the Martinsville 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
- Newman ranks sixth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing current leader Kevin Harvick by 83 points, while Paul Menard ranks seventh and Austin Dillon ranks 23rd.
- Denny Hamlin earned his first win of the 2015 season and was followed to the line by Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan
- The seventh race of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season is the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 11, 2015, which is scheduled to be televised live on FOX beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Mechanical Issues Relegate Austin Dillon to 41st-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway
Sporting the yellow and black colors of Cheerios on Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Chevrolet for the first time this season, sophomore NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor Austin Dillon raced as high as 13th in the Martinsville 500 before developing a mechanical issue and finishing 41st. Dillon started the 500-lap race from the 22nd position and raced inside the top 20 for the first 100 laps before developing a loose-handling condition and dropping to 31st in the running order. As Dillon struggled with a lack of forward drive, he fell one lap down to the race leader, but found relief to the handling issues following a pit stop on lap 166 for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Restarting 30th on lap 170, Dillon spent the next 50 circuits battling for the "Lucky Dog" position and earned his lap back when the caution flag was displayed on lap 218. Once back on the lead lap, Dillon quickly raced his way into the top 15 driving up to 13th in the running order. As the laps progressed, Dillon started to report a loose-handling condition and the No. 3 Chevrolet began smoking shortly after lap 300. The team made an unscheduled, green-flag pit stop on lap 331 to evaluate the issue, ultimately retiring Dillon and the Cheerios Chevrolet to the garage area 200 laps before the advertised finish. Dillon and team were forced to take a 41st-place finish.
Start - 22 Finish - 41 Laps Led - 0 Points - 23
Paul Menard Finishes 23rd in Caution-Filled Race at Martinsville Speedway
Paul Menard drove to a hard-fought 23rd-place finish in Sunday's 500-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway. Menard started from the 13th position and maintained a spot in the top 20 for 52 laps of competition. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 53, Menard reported the Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet was loose through the center of turns. Crew chief Justin Alexander made the call for four tires, fuel and removed a spring rubber from the right rear. Through the next 164 laps, Menard fought a loose-handling condition and chatter in the right rear which brought him to pit road four times for fresh tires, fuel and wedge adjustments. The Wisconsin native was caught up in a multi-car incident on lap 227, forcing him to pit road for damage repair to the nose of his Chevy. The Alexander-led team confidently made repairs and kept Menard on the lead lap after five stops on pit road. Once under green-flag conditions again, the Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevy driver raced his way from 23rd to the 10th spot on lap 363 with lap times faster than the leader. Menard was caught up in an incident on lap 366 and sustained minimal damage to the nose. The Richard Childress Racing team fought hard for the remainder of 263-mile event and crossed the finish line 23rd, which moves Menard up to seventh in the driver point standings. Up next for the No. 27 team is the Saturday night event at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11th.
Start - 13 Finish - 23 Laps Led - 0 Points - 7
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"We had a good car today and I appreciate my team for that. We just got caught up in some stuff that we couldn't control. There at the end, I'm still not sure what happened. I may have just been on the brakes too hard. The guys did a good job making fast and good repairs on pit road. I'm looking forward to the off weekend then we will be ready for Texas."
Ryan Newman and Team Endure Rough Ride to 27th-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway
Ryan Newman and the No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS team started the 500-lap race at Martinsville Speedway with high hopes and aspirations after starting on the outside pole for Sunday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race but ultimately secured a 27th-place finish. Early in the race, Newman raced in the top five and led two of the first 20 laps. After pitting under the second caution flag for tires, fuel and minor chassis adjustments, he restarted second on lap 60. However, through the next long run under green, Newman was caught in the outside line and freight trained by other cars causing him to fall in the running order. Then, the rear tires were not responding to track conditions and caused an even farther fall, placing him in 37th-place by lap 120. Two more pit stops under caution allowed the team to move into the top-20 by lap 284. More bad luck ensued for the Luke Lambert-led team as the left-rear quarter panel and side received damage when the No. 31 Chevrolet was run into from behind in a multi-car wreck. From there, driver and team did what they could to maintain track position through several more pit stops only to be saddled with a 27th-place finish. Newman is sixth in driver championship point standings as the Sprint Cup Series takes a weekend off for the Easter holiday.
Start - 2 Finish - 27 Laps Led - 2 Points - 6
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:
"This is not how we saw our race going for this Quicken Loans Chevrolet team at Martinsville Speedway. We were good in all the practices and qualified on the outside pole. We started out pretty good, then something wasn't feeling right in back end of the car. We started go get good again, then got tagged in the one wreck and were never able to recover. I'll give credit where due, this No. 31 RCR team never gave up. Hope everyone enjoys their Easter weekend."