RCR Post Race Report - Texas Motor Speedway

Race Highlights:
  • Richard Childress Racing drivers Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman finished 11th, 13th and 22nd, respectively, in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
  • Newman and Menard rank 11th and 14th in the Chase for the Sprint Cup while Dillon ranks 21st in the standings.
  • Jimmie Johnson earned his fifth victory of the 2015 season and was followed to the line by Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards.
  • The 35th race of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season is the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 15, 2015, which is scheduled to be televised live on NBC beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Austin Dillon Drives No. 3 Dow Packaging H-E-B Chevrolet to 11th-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway
 
Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Dow Packaging H-E-B Chevrolet to an 11th-place finish in the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Dillon started the 334-lap race from the 26th position but fell to 33rd in the running order following a lap-25 competition caution when he was boxed into his pit stall and lost valuable track position. The Slugger Labbe-led team helped Dillon maneuver over the bumps on the worn and rugged track through routine pit stops for four tires, fuel, air pressure and, on several occasions, chassis adjustments that included pulling packer from the front of the car. The finessing worked as Dillon made his way into the top 15 by lap 150, and into the top 10 with 70 laps remaining. Ultimately, Dillon crossed the finish line 11th in the No. 3 Dow Packaging H-E-B Chevrolet. Next, Dillon will drive the No. 3 Realtree / Bad Boy Chevrolet in the Goody's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 15. The race is live on NBC at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
 
Start - 26                Finish - 11                   Laps Led - 0                Points - 21
                                             
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
"It seemed like every time we had a really strong run going, the caution flag would come out and hold us back a bit. We had a really strong Dow Packaging H-E-B Chevrolet and I'm proud of this team's mile-and-a-half program. I'm looking forward to closing out the year on a strong note."

   2011 CC Team Icon 27 NSCS Menards
Paul Menard Finishes 13th at Texas Motor Speedway in the No. 27 Schrock / Menards Chevrolet SS
 
Paul Menard started Sunday's 501-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway from the 20th position and crossed the finish line 13th. Menard fought a tight-handling No. 27 Schrock / Menards Chevrolet in the opening laps of the 334-lap race and reported that it was on the splitter in the turns. During the first caution on lap 10, the Richard Childress Racing driver radioed to crew chief Justin Alexander that he needed an adjustment to help drive off as well. With the NASCAR-mandated competition caution just laps away, Alexander opted to keep Menard on track until the next caution. Four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment on lap 26 put Menard in the top 16, but bumps on the 1.5-mile track started to cause issues for the driver. Alexander used pit stops on laps 37, 53, 102, 152, 169, 198, 252 and 295 to fine tune the Chevrolet to Menard's liking with a variety of adjustments. As the laps wound down, the Eau Claire, Wisconsin native found speed in recent adjustments and radioed to the team that the car was the best it had been all day. Menard raced his way from 16th on lap 310 to 13th on lap 334 when the checkered flag flew. This marks the team's 20th top-15 finish of the 2015 season. Up next for the RCR team is Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway.
 
Start - 20            Finish - 13           Laps Led - 0          Chase Grid - 14
 
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"Justin (Alexander, crew chief) and the guys made some really good adjustments today. We had the Schrock / Menards Chevy handling really well by the end of the race. We found some speed. My guys also had fast stops on pit road. I'm proud of this entire team." 
    
Tire Issues Slow Ryan Newman to a 22nd-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway 
 
Ryan Newman drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS to a 22nd-place finish in Sunday's 501-mile event at Texas Motor Speedway. The South Bend, Ind., native started 19th and raced in the top 13 during the first 100 laps. Crew chief Luke Lambert used visits to pit road on laps 12, 26, 37, 53 and 102 to tune up the No. 31 Chevy and neutralize the balance in Turns 3 and 4. At lap 138, the driver broke into the top 10 to race in ninth position but seven laps later, a left-rear tire cut down. It forced Newman onto pit road for an unscheduled stop and a loss of two laps. Lambert and crew implemented a strategy to race back onto the lead lap. A lap-168 caution helped the team gain one lap back and in contention for the free pass but another cut-down tire with 100 laps to go slowed the team's progress. Newman went on to take the checkered flag in 22nd position. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to competition Sunday at Phoenix International Speedway. Caterpillar will be the primary sponsor.
 
Start - 19                      Finish - 22                   Laps Led - 0                Chase Grid - 11
 
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:  
"What a frustrating day. We had at least a top-10 Quicken Loans Chevy before experiencing not one but two cut down tires. After the first one we were looking good to race back onto the lead lap. All we needed was a caution since we were the free pass. Unfortunately we had a right-front tire unravel and it really hurt us. I'm not sure what was happening out there but it sure is frustrating to have a fast car and have issues like this."

RCR PR
Speedway Digest Staff

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