- Richard Childress Racing teammates Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Austin Dillon finished ninth, 13th and 17th, respectively, in the Sonoma 350 at Sonoma Raceway
- Menard ranks 12th in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing current leader Kevin Harvick by 164 points, while Newman ranks 14th and Dillon 22nd.
- Kyle Busch earned his first win of the 2015 season and was followed to the line by Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick.
- The 17th race of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season is the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, July 5, 2015, which is scheduled to be televised live on NBC beginning at 7:45 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Austin Dillon Climbs 20 Positions to Finish 17th at Sonoma Raceway
Austin Dillon started 37th and climbed 20 positions during Sunday afternoon's 218.9-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course race at Sonoma Raceway to earn a 17th-place finish in Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Dow Chevrolet. The sophomore Sprint Cup Series driver noted he needed forward drive and side-bite from the start of the 110-lap race, but handling on the Dow Chevrolet improved as the race progressed. Dillon was running lap times competitive with the top-10 competitors within the first 20 laps of the race and was scored in the 22nd position by the race's first caution on lap 22. Crew chief Slugger Labbe, calling the shots from the top of the No. 3 pit box for the first time this weekend, called for routine adjustments on laps 23, 53, 75 and 100 during four-tire pit stops. During a final restart with seven laps remaining in the race, Dillon was scored in the 21st position but advanced his way to 17th. He now ranks 22nd in the driver point standings leading into the next race on the schedule, the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola, at Daytona International Speedway, live on NBC on Sunday, July 5 at 7:45 p.m. ET.
Start - 37 Finish - 17 Laps Led - 0 Points - 22
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
"We're making progress. We were a little too tight during the race but I think we have something to work with and to add to our notebook. We made a lot of strides during the race from where we were on Friday and Saturday, so I'm proud of everyone on the Dow Chevrolet team. I'm excited for Daytona."
Paul Menard Finishes 13th at Sonoma Raceway
Paul Menard finished 13th on Sunday afternoon in the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course event of 2015. The Wisconsin native qualified 32nd but moved to the rear of the 43-car field after an engine change during Friday's practice sessions. Menard noted a decent handling condition throughout the 110-lap race in Sonoma, Calif. Crew chief Justin Alexander had a pit strategy plan and called Menard to pit road on lap 13 for four tires and fuel. This put Menard in line for a seventh-place restart after the caution was displayed on lap 21. Staying on the same off-sequence green-flag pit strategy, Menard visited pit road three additional times for four tires and fuel. The Richard Childress Racing driver raced his way into the top 15, gaining 30 spots to finish 13th. This finish marks Menard's 11th top-15 finish of 2015 and places him 12th in the driver point standings. Up next for the No. 27 team is the night race at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, July 5.
Start - 32 Finish - 13 Laps Led - 0 Points - 12
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"We fought hard today. It's not what we wanted, but to start in the back and make the gains we did equals a good day. I'm proud of my guys for fighting all day and appreciate the work they did to make the Richmond/Menards Chevy fast today."
Ryan Newman and WIX Filters Team Earn Ninth-Place Finish at Sonoma Raceway
Ryan Newman drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 31 WIX Filters Chevrolet SS to a ninth-place finish in Sunday's Sonoma 350 at Sonoma Raceway. The South Bend, Ind., driver started 16th and battled tight through the center of Turns 2 and 4 while loose in the fast right-hand turns during the 110-lap event. The team's strategy called for a stop under green on lap 20 with Newman scored in 16th. After a caution on lap 21, several pit cycles occurred allowing the WIX Filters team to climb into third position. The race was red flagged on lap 30 after the No. 78 Chevrolet crashed into the tire barriers. When the race restarted, Newman took the green on lap 33 in third place and on lap 49, interim crew chief Todd Parrott called the No. 31 onto pit road for a scheduled four-tire stop. In ninth position, Newman returned to pit road for a third service by the WIX Filters crew on lap 70 for four fresh tires and fuel. The team competed in the top 10 before the caution flag waved on lap 100 to set up a shootout. With just seven laps remaining, the WIX Filters Chevrolet lined up 11th and raced hard to cross the finish line in ninth place. In the first 16 races of 2015, Newman has earned four top-five and nine top-10 finishes. Next Sunday the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will return to Daytona International Raceway for the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola. Grainger will be the primary partner.
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:
"We needed that top 10 today. We've had good cars the last three weeks but not a lot to show for it because of bad luck so to race this WIX Filters Chevy in the top 10 all day, and finish top 10, is such a good feeling. I want to thank Todd Parrott for his help over the last six weeks and look forward to having Luke Lambert (crew chief) and the rest of the boys back next week in Daytona."