NASCAR team owner Richard Childress has a lot of fond memories of Charlotte Motor Speedway, and he and his stable of drivers are looking forward to making new memories when NASCAR returns to the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway for the Bank of America 500 week, Oct. 10-13.
“I’ve had so many memories at Charlotte – wins, almost wins, black flags, you name it,” Childress said during a media luncheon at Richard Childress Racing to preview the upcoming races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “The thing about Charlotte, it’s a family race. Everyone’s family is there. Pit crews, crew chiefs, everyone brings their family. It’s a great family atmosphere.”
With just two weeks until drivers and teams return to the heart of NASCAR country, RCR drivers are in contention in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Elliott Sadler and Austin Dillon sit in first and third place respectively in the NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings. With a strong run last week in New Hampshire, Kevin Harvick jumped two spots to eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.
Race week in Charlotte kicks off with the World of Outlaws Circle K Late Model Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Oct. 10), followed by Bojangles’ Pole Night & UNOH Southern Slam 150 (Oct. 11), the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 (Oct. 12) and concludes with the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the Bank of America 500 (Oct. 13).
Harvick said he hopes to use his recent success at Charlotte, which includes a win in the 2011 Coca-Cola 600, to carry his team to a strong finish in the Bank of America 500.
“The last couple of years, it’s been a good racetrack for us,” Harvick said. “There were several years where we really struggled to get what we needed to as far as finishes, but the last few years have been good. We just have to go and do the things we’ve been doing the last few years.”
When Sadler takes the wheel for the Dollar General 300 on Oct. 12, he’ll have a little added motivation to do well as the track honors Breast Cancer Awareness Month with pink initiatives throughout the race. As part of that effort to raise awareness, many drivers, like Sadler, will drive special pink paint schemes.
“My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and she’s always here in Charlotte,” said Sadler. “Her favorite paint schemes, and mine too, are any that have pink in them. I wear a pair of pink shoes every race in honor of my mom and what she has been going through and is still going through – and all breast cancer survivors. It makes the Charlotte race very special for me and my family. Hopefully we’ll do good in the pink car. Real men wear pink, in my opinion.”
Dillion, who is two spots behind Sadler in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings, will run a double-feature, strapping in for the Dollar General 300 and the World of Outlaws Circle K Late Model Showdown at The Dirt Track on Wednesday.
“It’s a wild race over there (The Dirt Track) usually. You’ll see some guys rolling through the air. It’s a good race,” Dillon said. “I always love going to Charlotte. It’s one of the fastest dirt tracks we go to all year long, and they’ve done a good job at preparing it and the fans always show up. It’s a place you’ve got to go to to see the races.”