|Newman is 30/1 and Dillon is 25/1, down from 45/1|
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Notes
Event/Date - Daytona 500, Sunday, February 23, 2014
Venue - Daytona International Speedway
Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history at Daytona International Speedway … Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 12 poles and collected five points-paying victories at the most-storied race track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. RCR owns two Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt – 1998, Kevin Harvick – 2007), three Coke Zero 400 trophies (Earnhardt – 1990, 1993 and Harvick – 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 – 1999). In addition, RCR has earned the Sprint Unlimited a total of eight times, with drivers Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013) and Earnhardt (1986, ’88, ’91, ’93, and ’95).
RCR in the NSCS … In 2,381 Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 43 pole awards,105 wins, 449 top-five finishes and 946 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 and an average finishing position of 15.8. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Sprint Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, ’87, ’90,’91, ’93 and ’94, six NASCAR Nationwide Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR’s three national series.
No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS
his Week’s Caterpillar Chevrolet SS at Daytona International Speedway … Ryan Newman will drive chassis No. 446 in Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. This No. 31 Chevrolet SS is brand new and will take to the track for the first time on Wednesday for the two scheduled practice sessions.
Newman in the Daytona 500 … Newman is the proud owner of a Harley J. Earl trophy by winning the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. In total, the South Bend, Ind., native has 25 starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway as well as four top-five and six top-10 finishes. His average start is 20th, average finish is 20th and he’s led 101 laps of completion.
Down to the Duels … Newman recorded the fifth-fastest lap on Sunday during NASCAR’s Daytona 500 qualifying session earning him the third starting spot in Thursday night’s first 150-mile Duel event. He’ll start directly behind the Daytona 500 pole sitter and teammate Austin Dillon. The top-15 finishers in each Duel race — excluding Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. who are starting first and second in the field — will earn an automatic spot in the Daytona 500 by filling positions three through 32.
Ask Ryan Anything … Newman is schedule to participate with fans in a one hour NASCAR Reddit AMA session presented by Quicken Loans on Friday starting at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.
What are your thoughts heading into this weekend’s Daytona 500 with your new CAT Racing team at RCR?
“I am really looking forward to it, especially seeing how fast we have been running so far here in Daytona. I feel it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to be a part of an organization that has been so successful in so many ways and on so many levels. I have had three heroes as race car drivers growing up. They were Richard Petty, A.J. Foyt and Dale Earnhardt. The point about Dale Earnhardt was a lot of people that are still at RCR had an influence and were a part of so many great championships. Those championships happened because Earnhardt could beat the competition before he ever got to the race track. That’s our chore or our task to replicate that and have every organization out there fearing us when we show up at the track. As a member of this RCR team, I look forward to the next couple of days of racing. It’s all about having fun. If I can see that checkered flag before everybody else, then it’s a good day. It will make the start to 2014 so much better.”
What does winning the 50th Daytona 500 mean to you?
“It was such a special day for so many reasons especially when you look at the history of NASCAR. I joined a prestigious group of drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty and Buddy Baker. I always thought if I was going to amount to anything in NASCAR, I would need to win the Daytona 500. I did and let me tell you, winning that race meant, and still means, a lot.”
No. 33 Whitetail Chevrolet SS
This Week’s Whitetail Chevrolet SS at Daytona International Speedway … Brian Scott will pilot chassis No. 442 for Sunday’s 56th running of the Daytona 500. This is a new chassis that was utilized for the first time during January testing at Daytona International Speedway.
Daytona History … The 26-year-old driver will make his debut at the 2.5-mile speedway in the Sprint Cup Series, in only his second Sprint Cup series start. Scott has eight previous starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Daytona International Speedway. His best start of fourth came at the Series’ last visit to the 2.5-mile track in July. He scored his best finish of sixth in the 2013 season opener. Additionally, Scott has two Truck Series starts with a ninth-place finish made in his 2008 Daytona debut.
Newly Wed … Congratulations to Scott and new bride, Whitney Scott on their marriage. The pair wed on January 25th at the Shore Lodge in McCall, Idaho. To see exclusive behind the scenes footage from the wedding visit http://bit.ly/1gXorVM.
Double Duty … In addition to competing at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend, Scott is scheduled to drive the No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Daytona Nationwide Series race kicks off a season-long campaign in which Scott plans to battle for the 2014 Driver’s Title after earning his best career points finish of seventh in 2013. The DRIVE4COPD300 is live on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Talk about what it means to you to be a part of the Great American Race?
“The Daytona 500, obviously, is the biggest Great American race. It is what stock car racers dream about. I am thrilled to death to be making my debut with a company like Shore Lodge and Whitetail with ECR Engines under the hood. I’m excited to keep learning how to race at the Sprint Cup level and try to put forward a good effort with my team that will be capable of doing it. Having good consistent finishes is what I’m hoping for during this new step in my life.
What does it mean to come into Speedweeks and be at the top of the charts?
“This 33 group is such a great group of guys and I’d love to race with them a lot more than five times if I could. You know, Daytona is always neat because it’s a chance for all the guys to see the results of all their hard work and labor. Everyone has put in a lot of time this off season. They have done a great job at ECR Engines getting power and the body shop has done a great job, too. Our Chevrolet SS cars are really fast right now and that’s a testament to all their work. I’m the lucky fool who gets to hold it to the floor and give them my input.”
No. 27 PEAK/Menards Chevrolet SS
This Week’s PEAK/Menards Chevrolet … Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 447 for both the Budweiser Duel and Daytona 500. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS is a new addition to the Richard Childress Racing stable this season.
Stats for “The Great American Race”… Menard has 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway. His best start of first came in July 2008 and his best finish of sixth came in the 2012 Daytona 500. The Wisconsin native has completed 2,156 of 2,309 laps attempted at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, leading 38 of them.
Meet Menard at the Chevy Q&A … Fans can participate in a question-and-answer session with Menard on Friday, Feb. 21 at 1:40 p.m. Eastern Time on the Team Chevy Stage, located in the merchandise area outside of Turn 4.
Paul Menards Thoughts about Teammate Changes This Season:
“The atmosphere is good around Richard Childress Racing with the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The No. 27 team is pretty intact with the exception of two new engineers, but for the most part we have the same core group of guys. There are a lot of changes around us with Ryan (Newman) and Austin (Dillon), which is exciting. Ryan brings a new outlook to RCR and a level of experience to our group as a consistent Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) driver with multiple wins and has worked with several premier racing organizations. Austin has more NASCAR championships than Ryan and I combined. He’s a young kid full of energy and he’s a lot of fun to be around. I think it’s going to be a great and I’m ready to get it all started.”
Menard’s Thoughts on the Daytona 500: “The Daytona 500 is the biggest race of the year for our sport. You can hear and feel the excitement building through the day as we get ready for the green flag. RCR and our No. 27 Menards team has put a lot of work into this race and we feel good about our Chevrolet. The best part for me is getting in the car, strapping in and thinking about the 500 miles of intense racing that lies ahead at Daytona. Winning this race is a dream for any driver and I hope we’re right there when the checkered flag flies on Sunday.”
No. 3 Dow Chevrolet SS
This Week’s Dow Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 440 in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. This is the same Chevrolet SS that Dillon utilized during January testing, where he topped the speed charts.
Dillon at Daytona … Dillon made his first start in the Great American Race in last year’s Daytona 500 driving the No. 33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet to a 31st-place finish, after he was involved in a multi-car incident on lap 137 of 200. In four Nationwide Series starts at the 2.5-mile restrictor-plate track, the Welcome, N.C., driver has three top-five finishes, with a best finish of fourth in July 2012. He also has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Daytona.
Pole Sitter … Dillon will lead the 43-car starting field to the green flag on Sunday afternoon after earning his career-first Sprint Cup Series pole award with a lap of 196.019 mph (45.914 seconds). It marks the fourth time the No. 3 has won the pole for the Daytona 500, and its 67th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, overall.
#CheerThe3 … Beginning this week, limited edition Cheerios boxes to commemorate the return of the No. 3 to NASCAR’s premier series with NASCAR champion Austin Dillon will be available to shoppers exclusively at The Kroger Co. Family of Stores nationwide. The collectible Cheerios box, which required rare brand approval to replace the traditional red heart with the iconic No. 3, also features historic photos and facts about the legendary number. Fans can interact and receive unique content about Austin Dillon and the No. 3 race team throughout the 2014 season by visiting the “Cheer the 3″ social media communities on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/Cheerthe3 ) and Twitter @Cheerthe3.
What does it mean to you to sit on the pole for the Daytona 500 driving the No. 3 car?
“It’s amazing. Dow has had a good start. They actually just got the first Olympic medal for us in the luge, in the women’s luge for a bronze, and now they got the pole at the Daytona 500. It shows that the technology that that group is able to bring, not only as a partner with us, but as a performance partner. So, it’s pretty cool to see what they’ve been able to do. As far as starting the year off with a pole right here, it brings some momentum into our season already to show that RCR cars have speed, and I’m so happy to be working with Gil Martin and all of our guys. I sat down at the test at Nashville Superspeedway we had, and it was fun just to sit back and watch them work. They’re so experienced and good at what they do. I know I’m the young guy out of the group, the rookie of the group, and I really think I’m going to learn a lot this year from these guys.”
How much responsibility is it to drive the No. 3 car?
“I think it is a huge responsibility. Everybody knows who made this number famous, and with my grandfather and his friendship they were able to build something great that will never be touched. But, we feel like with bringing it back as my grandfather’s grandson and working with RCR it’s going to be special. And I feel like we’ve put in a lot of hard work and effort at the shop and we’re prepared for everything that’s to come. I’m just so thankful that we were able to work with great sponsors like Dow and Cheerios to make this happen. It takes a lot of things to come into place to get this opportunity and it’s a dream come true to be in the situation that I’m in. I’m going to take it every day and I feel fortunate to be in this situation. I want to go out there and run well, and go out each time try and set goals to be able to crush. We want to go out there and set high goals and maintain those. I feel like if we do that, it makes everything that much sweeter.”
- Richard Childress Racing