Thursday, April 8, 2010

All Three Richard Childress Cars Figure to Run Well Saturday Night at Phoenix

RCR at PIR … Team owner Richard Childress has three victories, tying him with Robert Yates for third on the all-time car owner victories list at the Avondale facility. In 62 races at Phoenix, RCR has earned three wins, including Kevin Harvick’s sweep of both races at PIR in 2006. Prior to that, Dale Earnhardt won the Checker 500 on Nov. 4, 1990. Additionally, the Welcome, N.C.-based organization boasts 12 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes.

Kevin Harvick
This Week’s No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Phoenix … Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 304 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet is a completely brand new car which will see its first laps on the track during Friday’s practice session.


What is the key to completing a good lap at Phoenix?
“I think there are two parts that are important at Phoenix. You have to be able to get through the middle of turns one and two and get back to the throttle early, and then you have to be able to get your car to come straight off the corner in turn four. If you can do that and keep your car turning in turns one and two, you will be in great shape.”

This race starts in the middle of the afternoon and ends under the lights. What kind of challenge does that present to the teams?
“It’s going to be a challenge because a lot of it depends on the type of weather that we have. If it’s really hot during the day, then it usually cools off quite a bit at night. As soon as the sun goes behind the suites in turns one and two, the temperature really drops and the track gains quite a bit of grip. The lap times generally pick up a few tenths a lap.”

Jeff Burton
This Week’s No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet at Phoenix International Raceway … Jeff Burton will pilot chassis No. 280 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend’s 375-lap affair. Built new for 2009, this Caterpillar Chevrolet was put through its first paces at Chicagoland Speedway last July where the 17-year veteran was credited with a 37th-place finish after being collected in a late-race multi-car incident. Burton then piloted this No. 31 racer at Kansas Speedway where he finished 23rd before posting a runner-up finish at Phoenix International Raceway in November.


You scored a runner-up finish in the fall race at Phoenix last year. What does the Cat Racing team need to do to better themselves by one spot? “Phoenix has been a really good race track for me. I felt that if we had qualified better and been up front earlier, we would have been hard to beat in that race. We were really fast and got by a lot of cars early but never had good track position until later in the race. It’s been a while since I’ve won there and we’re going back to finish where we left off in the fall. The key for us to do that is to go back better than we were and respond better to the spoiler than everybody else.”

Clint Bowyer
This Weekend’s No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala at Phoenix International Raceway … Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 265 from Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Bowyer drove this Chevrolet twice last season, finishing sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March and 36th at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. The Impala was completely updated over the offseason.


You finished seventh at Phoenix in the fall. What do you expect as you head there this weekend?
“Phoenix is one of my favorite race tracks. It’s another short track that races well. We had a good run there in the fall and I feel like we’ve hit on some things which will allow us to come back and be better. I’m looking forward to going to Phoenix and having some fun. Hopefully, we can run up front all day. So far this season, we’ve been able to do that consistently. We have to keep that going and, if we keep doing that long enough, we’re going to get ourselves a win. Phoenix is one of those places where we can get our first win.”

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