Speedway Digest Staff
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For defending race winner Jeff Gordon, the party in the Poconos may begin race morning. Will the celebration continue well past that afternoon's GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway?
Gordon, who will celebrate his 42nd birthday on Sunday, will make his 42nd start at the 2.5-mile track this weekend. His six victories and 965 laps led are tops at "The Tricky Triangle" while he also has two poles, 18 top-fives and 28 top-10's in his previous 41 starts at the Pennsylvania track.
"This is a very challenging track, but I love racing here," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet. "In June, we had a fast race car but we struggled early in the run.
"We need to find some more speed early in the run while also having a fast car over the long runs."
In this event one year ago, Gordon restarted sixth just past the halfway mark and was able to 'clear' Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne before turn 1. When contact sent the top four out of the groove or into a spin, Gordon drove the inside lane to the lead - and to victory since a persistent rain halted the race short of full distance.
"I love the fight in this team," said Gordon. "Last year, we battled hard all day long and got into a position to battle for the win. We got a little bit of a 'gift' at the end to win, but we worked hard to put ourselves in a position to take advantage of any miscue."
"It was Alan's (Gustafson, crew chief) birthday and he had family with him, and my family was here with me, too. It was just a special win."
Last Sunday at Indianapolis, Gordon finished seventh to move up to 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings - the first time he has been in the top 10 since the second race of the season. Four top-10 finishes in the last five races have advanced the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion up six positions in the standings.
"We've had some fast race cars, but we just need to string together some strong finishes," said Gordon. "It seems like every time we get some decent finishes, something happens to halt that momentum. We have six races left before the Chase, and we need to make the most of them so we can earn a spot.
"If you earn a spot, the points reset puts you right back in the title hunt."
And a fifth series title at age 42 is definitely not out of the question.
Following a successful debut in the No. 40 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past weekend, driver Landon Cassill will once again pilot the No. 40 Sprint Cup Series entry with sponsorship from Interstate Moving Services in the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. With a solid 29th-place qualifying effort to lock into the 43-car Brickyard 400 field, Cassill will drive that same car with support from Richard Childress Racing and ECR Engines this weekend.
Tony Raines will fill the seat of the No. 33 Circle Sport Chevrolet, marking his first Sprint Cup Series start of the 2013 season. Raines has competed in four NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season, and drove two Sprint Cup races for the Joe Falk-owned Circle Sport Racing No. 33 in 2012.
“It’s our intention to run the No. 40 in select Sprint Cup races throughout the remainder of the 2013 season, and last weekend was a successful launch of that program with the Morrissettes and Interstate Moving Services.” said Joe Falk. “Landon did a great job locking the 40 car into the field with no owner points to fall back on, and we’re taking that same car to Pocono this weekend with support from Interstate Moving Services, RCR and ECR, so we’re confident that Landon will once again be able to qualify the car in the top 36. The Interstate Moving Services Chevy is a great looking car and I’m glad we’re able to take it to Pocono where we hope to improve upon the finish we had last week in Indy. As long as we continue to see sponsor interest in the 40 program we will continue to field it and build that program.”
Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Arthur Morrissette originally founded Interstate Moving Services in Washington, D.C., in 1943. The organization has seen tremendous change and evolution over seven decades of business, and during that time, one constant has remained a focus… to deliver quality “Top Hat Service” to each and every customer. Through three generations of family ownership and management, Interstate pledges to remain at the leading edge of training, methods and innovation while striving to deliver excellence to all of our customers without exception.
Circle Sport PR
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Justin Allgaierreturns home on Thursday, Aug.1 to kick off his road from Springfield, Ill., to Chicagoland Speedway later this summer. The driver of the No. 31 BRANDT, who grew up in nearby Riverton, Ill., will be participating in the Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola, part of a triple header NASCAR weekend to kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Sept. 13-15.
Allgaier, a ’04 graduate of Riverton High School, will participate in an intimate question-and-answer session with fans at 11:00 a.m. in the popular Springfield restaurant, D’Arcy’s Pint. Following the Q&A, Allgaier will test his skills creating the famous horseshoe sandwich, a Springfield-area specialty, which allows the creator to make a sandwich with their choice of meat, served over Texas toast, piled high with fries and topped with homemade traditional or spicy cheese sauce.
For fans looking to make a weekend getaway for the start of NASCAR’s playoffs, Chicagoland Speedway and the Illinois Office of Tourism will highlight area attractions from Springfield to Joliet, including where to eat and visit along historic Route 66! Click here for more information on camping at Chicagoland speedway.
The event at D’Arcy’s Pint is open to the public, but space is limited. To ensure your spot with Chicagoland Speedway and Justin Allgaier, click here!
Allgaier is currently sixth in the Nationwide Series point standings, where he has had 10 top-10 and three top-5 finishes in the 2013 season. Most recently, Allgaier finished eighth in last weekend’s STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway after winning the event in 2011.
For the third consecutive year, Chicagoland Speedway hosts the first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this September – the first of ten ‘playoff’ style NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in pursuit of the 2013 championship. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick off the weekend on Friday, Sept. 13. On Saturday, Sept. 14, the Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series returns with the GEICO 400 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup concluding the weekend on Sunday, Sept. 15.
Matt Crafton accomplished his primary goal Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway in the inaugural CarCash Mudsummer Classic presented by CNBC Prime's 'The Profit' and the bonus was his eighth-place finish expanded his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship lead.
"Awesome facility -- very cool -- but the track was definitely a lot narrower, the groove at least, than I thought it was going to be," Crafton said. "It really one-grooved itself but all in all, I hope it was a success for NASCAR because it was very interesting, to say the least.
"After the second segment it started laying rubber and that made it one groove. It was all track position. Everything was about where you started. If you started on the outside groove that was a good spot and if you started on the bottom, you'd lose spots until you could get back up top."
Crafton continued his career year in the No. 88 Ideal Door / Menards Toyota by scoring his 10th consecutive top-10 finish this season for ThorSport Racing in his 304th consecutive Truck Series start. But the best aspect of his successful run in NASCAR's first national series dirt-track race in 42 years was his position in relation to his championship contenders.
Since Crafton once again outran his closest contenders for the championship, he now has a full-race lead in the points, 48 over rookie leader Jeb Burton heading to this weekend's next event, at Pocono Raceway.
"Definitely mission accomplished," Crafton said, wearing a relieved smile on pit road at Eldora after the race. "I think we definitely could have run a little better than what we did, but we couldn't take the chance. There at the end, we just had to play defense instead of playing offense, and try to pick off more spots and be aggressive and let something happen.
"We just had to play defense right there at the end, because we knew all the points guys were behind us, and we needed to keep them behind us, and just do what we had to do right there."
Crafton kept a significant season streak going at Eldora by notching his 10th consecutive top-10 finish this season, remaining the only NCWTS driver to do so. Crafton was particularly pleased to do it at the track he considered one of the Truck Series' four "wild card" races this season -- along with its two superspeedway races and the lone road course.
Several late cautions that set former series champion Austin Dillon up for the historic victory had Crafton a little nervous.
"Those cautions at the end were the last thing we wanted to see, because it put some people around me I definitely didn't want to see around me, with the way they were racing," Crafton said, chuckling at having escaped relatively unscathed. "But all in all, it wasn't a bad night. Last week, I said if you would have given me seventh I would've taken it, gone home and not shown up...
"We finished one short of that so we're all right."
Crafton did appreciate one other aspect of the historic event.
"What was really cool was to pull into (Eldora) on Monday night and to see how many fans were here," Crafton said, after noting that small short tracks were a part of the Truck Series' historical legacy. "To see how the fans took to this race was the coolest part of the weekend, to me."
BACK TO HIGH SPEED: Germán Quiroga couldn't be happier to get behind the wheel of the No. 77 OtterBox Toyota Tundra this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Quiroga and his OtterBox team have showcased their speed on many tracks this season and would like the 2.5-mile tri-oval raceway to be the one that puts them into victory lane. The three-time Mexico Series champion will make his track debut during the Pocono Mountains 125 and looks to gain momentum on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year standings where he currently sits fourth.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN: Engine Tuner for Germán Quiroga and the No. 77 OtterBox Toyota Tundra Team, Brian Fisher is close to home when it comes to Pocono Raceway. The Chambersburg, PA native grew up racing go-karts beginning at age of 12. Fisher was a front runner at Shippensburg Speedway for many years, even capturing a track championship. Once he graduated high school, Fisher and his brother started a dyno cart shop in 1988. He made the move to North Carolina in 1994 and joined Joe Gibbs Racing Engines at the beginning of the season.
OTTERBOX®: For the fourth consecutive week, OtterBox joins German Quiroga and his No. 77 Toyota Tundra team as primary sponsor for the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway. The company known for their protective solutions for the leading global handheld manufacturers, wireless carriers and distributors will sport the OtterBox yellow and black paint scheme. For more information on OtterBox visit www.OtterBox.com.
CHASSIS HISTORY: Germán Quiroga will be behind the wheel of Chassis No. 008 this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Quiroga earned his highest finishing position (third) and highest finishing position for a Mexican in a national division of NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway with Chassis No. 008. The chassis also scored an 11th-place finish at Kansas Speedway earlier this year. The notebook for Chassis No. 008 had started during the 2012 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. There, the chassis earned Red Horse Racing's 10th pole position and took home a seventh-place finish.
MEET & GREET: Quiroga, along with teammates Timothy Peters and John Wes Townley will join the NASCAR Camping world Truck Series drivers for an autograph session on Friday, August 2nd from 12:00 - 1:00 pm at Pocono Raceway in the Chalet Village located outside Turn 3.
REARVIEW MIRROR - ELDORA: Germán Quiroga and his No. 77 OtterBox Toyota Tundra team faced a new type of surface as they qualified 35th and lined up seventh in the fifth and final heat. Quiroga was able to collect two positions and finish the eight lap heat in fifth. His finish moved him to the 25th starting position for the 150-lap main. When the checkered flag waived, it was a 20th-place finish for the No. 77 OtterBox team at Eldora Speedway. The team picked up two positions in the point standings, now 14th.
Germán Quiroga on Pocono Raceway:
On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your season at the half-way mark?
"I think speed wise we are very good. I am comfortable and happy with Dan (Stillman, Crew Chief) and my Red Horse Racing crew. I think I have improved from Daytona and Pocono will be my 17th race in the series. My first year in the NASCAR Mexico Series was okay. But it started to change after my second year. I'm expecting to have the same rhythm in the Truck Series, but just a little better. We want a win for OtterBox, NET10 Wireless, Toyota, and my country. I've jumped to 14th in the point standings and we want to finish inside the top-10.
What is your approach to getting around Pocono Raceway?
"We are going to use our Texas Tundra which I feel very comfortable in that truck. We had good runs at Kansas and Texas. And I love fast tracks, so we have to keep that momentum going. This race can really help us points wise, and after a 20th-place finish at Eldora we need a top-5 finish."
REDEMPTION FOR PETERS AT THE TRICKY TRIANGLE: Timothy Peters has one goal in mind for the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday afternoon. To redeem the No. 17 Parts Plus Tundra team from last year's finish at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Peters now sixth in points (tied for fifth) has 11 races left in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship battle and is ready to climb to the top.
In his previous starts at Pocono Raceway, Peters has qualified 13th and 11th respectively (2010, 2011) with an eighth-place qualifying effort in 2012. Peters has also taken away two top-10 finishes with an eighth-place finish in 2010 and a 10th-place finish in 2011 but was relegated to a 22nd-place finish due to an early crash in 2012.
PARTS PLUS: Parts Plus will serve as primary sponsor this weekend at Pocono Raceway for Timothy Peters and his No. 17 Toyota Tundra for their 10th primary race this season. The Memphis-based warehouse distributor originated more than 56 years ago tracing back to a series of jobber programs. Since 2005, Parts Plus has been a member of the Automotive Distribution Network that has over 300 member distributors under five brand names and from over 400 separate warehouses across the United States, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information on Parts Plus and locations near you, visit PartsPlus.com.
CHASSIS HISTORY: Timothy Peters and his No. 17 Parts Plus Toyota Tundra team will debut a brand new chassis this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Chassis No. 015 will hit the pavement for the very first time around the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The chassis is part of a series of new chassis that are all built around the intermediate track program.
MEET & GREET: Peters, along with teammates Germán Quiroga and John Wes Townley will join the NASCAR Camping world Truck Series drivers for an autograph session on Friday, August 2nd from 12:00 - 1:00 pm at Pocono Raceway in the Chalet Village located outside Turn 3.
REARVIEW MIRROR - ELDORA: Timothy Peters and his No. 17 Parts Plus Toyota Tundra had a solid day at Eldora Speedway as Peters embarked on a milestone in his career, his 150th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start. In a race that many called the 'wild card,' Peters and his Tundra team shined and excelled. With a third-place qualifying effort, Peters would start on the pole in the third heat. The Parts Plus driver made it look easy as he led all eight laps in his heat, securing his third starting position in the 150-lap main event.Peters was scored in the sixth position when entering pit road for the final stop and would cross the finish line in the same position. A sixth-place finish for the Parts Plus team puts Peters up two spots to sixth in the driver point standings, tied for fifth.
Timothy Peters on Pocono Raceway:
Talk about returning to Pocono Raceway. What are you looking forward to?
"I am excited about Pocono. I'm ready to get back there and redeem myself for wrecking early last year. I always look forward to Pocono because of the Igdalsky family. We have a racing history together and it's always great to catch up with them. As always, we want to put our Parts Plus Toyota Tundra into victory lane and hopefully this weekend we can pull it off.
How do you get around Pocono Raceway?
"The tricky part - 'the tricky triangle' is a good name for the place. I feel like the race is won or lost in the tunnel turn. Getting through the tunnel turn seems the most difficult. If you can get through that turn with no hiccups you are bound to make a great lap."
LEBANON NATIVE RETURNS HOME: Justin Peiffer remembers his first visit to Pocono Raceway in 1993, Rusty Wallace won the race. The Lebanon, PA native grew up a race fan and had aspirations to become a part of the NASCAR industry. Peiffer moved to North Carolina in 2005 to attend school and returned to Lebanon, PA to work alongside Bobby Gearhart in 2007. Peiffer returned to NC in 2008 working for Eddie Sharp Racing and won the 2010 ARCA race at Pocono with Craig Goess. Notably his favorite track because of its distinct characteristics, Peiffer is anxious for a repeat of the 2010 victory lane.
NEW MENU ITEMS AT ZAXBY'S: Zaxby's, a southeast favorite for chicken fingers and wings, has been indescribably good for more than 20 years. The Athens, Georgia based chain offers its guests prepared-at-order Chicken Fingerz, Traditional or Boneless Wings, sandwiches, Zalads and Zappetizers, along with a variety of nine sauces ranging from Wimpy and Tongue Torch to Nuclear and Insane. Mixing things up, guests can now enjoy Zaxby's new Cobb Zalad through summer's end. Additionally, Zaxby's offers a new line of premium milkshakes including the popular Birthday Cake and Banana Pudding Milkshakes and the new Chocolate Cookie Milkshake. The company operates more than 575 locations in 13 states. John Wes Townley will compete with Zaxby's serving as primary sponsor for the entire 22 Truck Series race schedule. For more information, please visit zaxbys.com, facebook.com/zaxbys or follow on Twitter @Zaxbys.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 7 Zaxby's Toyota Tundra team will unloadChassis No. 001 at Pocono Raceway. Townley most recently collected an 11th-place finish at Dover International Speedway with chassis 001. Chassis 001 also collected four consecutive top-five finishes on intermediate tracks in 2012 at Michigan International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.
MEET & GREET: Townley, along with teammates Germán Quiroga and Timothy Peters will join the NASCAR Camping world Truck Series drivers for an autograph session on Friday, August 2nd from 12:00 - 1:00 pm at Pocono Raceway in the Chalet Village located outside Turn 3.
REARVIEW MIRROR - ELDORA: John Wes Townley and his No. 7 Zaxby's Toyota Tundra earned the 24th qualifying spot at Eldora Speedway which placed him in heat No. 4 lining up fifth. Townley found his groove around the half-mile clay track and finished his heat race in the sixth position, starting the 150-lap main feature in the 24th position. Immediately, Townley maneuvered his way into the 22nd position. The final leg of the show, 40-laps of hard racing, Townley held his own and finished in the 22nd position.
John Wes Townley on Pocono Raceway:
You've had some great races at Pocono Raceway. What is it about the track you like so much?
"Pocono is a challenging race track, but it's really fast. That is my driving style. It has three distinct corners and they're all different, I just really enjoy racing there.
What is the main focus for your Zaxby's Tundra team during the second-half of the season?
"We are going to start stepping up our program now. I am going to try and keep my Zaxby's Toyota Tundra inside the top-10 and compete for wins. We are going to follow the same guidelines as before and do our best to stay out of trouble and put ourselves in contention at the end of the race."
There’s no place like home, and Indiana native Ryan Newman celebrated that well-regarded sentiment by winning the 20th annual Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his first at the historic 2.5-mile oval.
It was a vintage “Rocket Man” performance for the driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans/Smurfs 2 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), who started from the pole and led four times for 45 laps en route to his 17th career Sprint Cup victory and his first since April 1, 2012 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Newman, the third driver to win the Brickyard 400 from the pole, joining Kevin Harvick (2003) and Jimmie Johnson (2008). “I don’t think that, if it hits you all at once, it’s not good enough. It will take a week or so for this to set in. Just thank everybody for this opportunity, everybody in my racing career. This is just like when I won the Daytona 500. Everybody who helped me get to that day, same thing again – thank you. I’m just so appreciative for all these guys. They work so hard. We struggled on and off this year, but just a great run today.”
Although the South Bend, Ind.-native and Purdue University graduate started from the pole, it was driver Jimmie Johnson who nearly stole the show as he led a race-high 73 laps, looking virtually unstoppable in the process. While Johnson showed the brawn, however, Newman and the No. 39 Chevrolet team provided the brain, taking advantage of late-race pit strategy. Crew chief Matt Borland called for just a two-tire change during the last round of green-flag pit stops while the majority of the field, including Johnson, elected to take four. The call placed Newman in the lead with less than 20 laps to go and the Hoosier never looked back.
It was the 19th point-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and its second this season. Tony Stewart won June 2 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
“This is awesome,” Newman said. “I’ve only had so many opportunities. It’s not like we come here twice a year. The Quicken Loans Chevrolet was amazing today – the best car I have probably ever driven in my career. It takes that here at Indy. You have to have a good car. Matt (Borland) did an awesome job calling the shots and taking the two tires and getting us the track position. We needed that.”
Newman’s victory is also a win for five lucky race fans courtesy of the Quicken Loans’ season-long “Bring It Home” promotion. Five fans who have already registered will get their mortgages paid for a month as a result of Newman’s top-five finish. Fans can register for future races by visiting www.qlracing.com.
Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished fourth. It was Stewart’s seventh top-five and 11th top-10 in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis. It was also his fifth top-five and seventh top-10 this season.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 30th in her first Sprint Cup start at Indianapolis.
Johnson finished 2.657 seconds behind Newman in the runner-up spot while Kasey Kahne, Stewart and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were three caution periods for a total of 14 laps with all 43 cars running at the finish of the 160-lap race.
With round 20 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up two spots to 11th and has 558 points, 182 back of series leader Johnson and just one point behind 10th-place Gordon. By virtue of his victory, Newman gained three spots and sits 16th with 534 points, 206 out of first and 25 behind Gordon. Patrick gained one spot and sits 26th in the standings with 364 points, 376 behind Johnson and 195 away from 10th.
Six races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.
Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., and Newman are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory. Since Stewart and Truex sit 11th and 12th in the standings, respectively, they hold the first and second wild-card spots.
Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished five spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 25th.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the GoBowling.com 400 Sunday, Aug. 4 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.
Trevor Bayne got some good TV exposure for the special paint scheme on his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion during the ESPN broadcast of Sunday’s Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard. The type of coverage; however, wasn’t exactly what Bayne had in mind when he strapped in for the 400-miler at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Bayne made the broadcast – and post-race highlights - with a couple of spectacular saves when his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, carrying a special paint scheme commemorating Henry Ford’s 150th birthday, broke loose in traffic.
A loose condition plagued Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew throughout the race. It led to him losing a lap early on, kept him mired in traffic and left him with a 28th-place finish, the same place he started.
Team co-owner Len Wood said the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew made adjustments to their black-and-white Ford Fusion throughout the race, but the way the race played out kept them pinned a lap down and unable to recover.
With just three caution periods, the opportunities to rejoin the lead lap through the free pass or wave-around were very limited.
“We never got to use the wave-around rule to get our lap back, because every time we were planning to use it, one of the leaders stayed on the track, and that kept us a lap down,” Wood said.
By NASCAR rules, if any of the leaders choose not to pit during a caution, there is no wave-around.
Still, Bayne and the team kept working to improve the handling of their car.
“We made adjustments on every pit stop, but we never really got it right,” Wood said. “It was better at the end, and it was really good in clean air, but unfortunately there wasn’t much clean air where we were running.”
Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew return to the Sprint Cup Series on Aug. 18 for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Wood Brothers Racing PR
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 12th (Paul Menard), 19th (Kevin Harvick), 26th (Austin Dillon) and 43rd (Jeff Burton) in the Brickyard 400.
- Following the event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Harvick remains fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 92 markers, while Paul Menard sits 19th, 39 points outside of the top 10, and Burton ranks 20th, 241 points back from the leader.
- The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks fourth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 20th in the standings and the No. 31 team 21st.
- According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Menard ranked third in Green Flag Passes making 119 throughout the course of the 160-lap event, and was credited with one of the Fastest Laps Run.
- Harvick made 99 Green-Flag Passes, ranking him fifth in the loop-data category, 29 of those passes came while running in the top 15 (Quality Passes).
- Burton completed 53 Green-Flag Passes during 160-lap event and was credited with two of the Fastest Laps Run.
- Dillon made 74 Green-Flap Passes during the Brickyard 400.
- Ryan Newman earned his first victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.
- The next Sprint Cup Series race is the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 4. The 21st race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at Noon Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Satellite Radio channel 90.
Menard Finishes 12th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400
Paul Menard started the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet from the 23rd position and persevered through handling issues to finish 12th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. In the early stages of the Brickyard 400, Menard relayed to the crew that he was fighting a loose-handling condition. Crew chief "Slugger" Labbe elected to make a variety of chassis adjustments during the ensuing pit stops to help remedy the handling issues. Restarting 19th after a lap 83 pit stop, Menard quickly picked up three positions and was running in 14th when he communicated to the crew his car was the best it had been all day. On a different pit strategy than the majority of the 43-car field, Menard was able to stay out and lead lap 146 before bringing his No. 27 machine down pit road one final time on lap 147. Pitting for right-side tires and fuel only, the Richard Childress Racing driver restarted 17th with just 12 laps remaining. Determined to make his way back toward the front of the field, Menard gained five spots in the final laps to finish 12th at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Menard sits in the 19th spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Pocono Raceway next weekend.
Start - 23 Finish - 12 Laps Led - 1 Points - 19th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"We battled handling issues throughout the majority of the race, but the guys never gave up. The No. 27 Duracell/Menards crew worked hard all day and we made a bunch of different adjustments. 'Slugger' (Labbe, crew chief) did a great job on the box with pit strategy; it wasn't an easy race to call. The whole team fought hard all day and we were able to come home with a 12th-place finish."
Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John's Team
Settle for a 19th-Place Finish in the Brickyard 400
Following a string of nine-consecutive top-10 finishes, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John's team settled for a 19th-place result in the Brickyard 400 Sunday afternoon. The California native started the 160-lap race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the 24th spot and maintained a position within the top 20 for the majority of the event, while battling handling issues. Crew chief Gil Martin utilized pit strategy by coming down pit road on lap 115 under caution for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment while other teams opted to stay out. The decision allowed Harvick to take over the lead on lap 144, while those who opted not to visit pit road under caution did so during green-flag conditions. Despite moving to the front and leading laps, the Jimmy John's team wasn't able to make it to the end without stopping again for fuel. Harvick relinquished the lead on lap 146 for the team's final two-tire and fuel pit stop. The Richard Childress Racing driver returned to the track in the 19th position, where he ultimately finished the race. Following the event, Harvick remains fourth in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start - 24 Finish - 19 Laps Led - 2 Points - 4th
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
Mechanical Issue Ruins Burton's Afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
After running in the top 20 for most of the afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jeff Burton's No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet suffered severe mechanical issues that relegated the Richard Childress Racing driver to a 43rd-place finish in the 2013 Brickyard 400. Starting from the 16th position, the South Boston, Va., native maintained a top-20 running position for the majority of the 20th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the historic 2.5-mile track. Working with interim crew chief Matt McCall, who was subbing for the ill Luke Lambert, the No. 31 Chevrolet pit crew improved the handling of the car during multiple four-tire pit stops early in the race. On lap 82, the 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner radioed to the team there was a problem with the transmission of the RCR machine. Burton tried to bring the car to pit road for service, but wasn't able to make it back and the caution flag was displayed. Burton went to the garage where the Caterpillar crew replaced multiple parts underneath the car and returned to the track on lap 128 in the 43rd position, 49 laps down to the leader. Burton spent the final 40 laps running consistent top-15 lap times, but the 46-year-old driver was unable to gain any positions in the process and scored a 43rd-place result. Burton now sits 20th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start - 16 Finish - 43 Laps Led - 0 Points - 20th
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
"It was a tough day for the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team. We were hanging around the top 20 when something in the transmission broke and sent us to the garage area for repairs. I'm not sure what happened, but I'm proud of the team for getting the car back out there. This team never gives up. We just need to stay positive and know our Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) hopes are still very much alive."
Dillon Earns a 26th-Place Finish in First-Career Brickyard 400 Start
Driving the No. 33 Chevrolet for Mycogen Seeds, an Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences brand, Austin Dillon earned a 26th-place finish in his first-career Brickyard 400 race. The Welcome, N.C., driver started the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the 20th position and cited a tight-handling condition at the start of the 160-lap event. A green-flag pit stop on lap 27 for four Goodyear tires, Sunoco Green E15 fuel and a right-side track bar adjustment designed to improve Dillon's handling challenges provided no relief to the driver in subsequent laps, and he fell one lap down to the race leader during the next green flag run. Dillon spent the remainder of the race battling for the "Lucky Dog" position so he could rejoin the lead lap cars, but caution flags did not fall in his favor. When the caution was displayed on lap 59, the leader opted not to pit preventing the No. 33 team from taking the "wave around" to rejoin the lead lap. Instead, Dillon pitted for fuel and right-side tires, restarting in the 26th position on lap 64. The tight-handling condition remained problematic for the current NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader, even after making his final pit stop for four tires and adjustments under green-flag conditions on lap 145. He ultimately posted a 26th-place finish, one lap down.
Start - 20 Finish - 26 Laps Led - 0 Points - N/A
"It was a long day in the Mycogen Seeds Chevrolet, but I learned a ton that I can use next year in this race. I was really tight all day and we never really got the track position we needed here, which is what it's all about at Indianapolis Motor Speedway."