Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 12th (Paul Menard), 15th (Kevin Harvick) and 30th (Jeff Burton).
According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Menard ranked eighth in the category Fastest Drivers Late in a Run (120.444 mph) and tied for fifth in category of Quality Passes with 20 made while running in the top 15 during the Finger Lakes 355.
Harvick ran within the top 15 for 44.4 percent (40 laps) of the 220.5-mile event and maintained an average speed of 121.304 mph ranking him fifth amongst his competitors in the category of Green Flag Speed.
Burton made 22 green-flag passes over the course of the 90-lap event.
Marcos Ambrose captured his first Sprint Cup Series win of the 2012 season and was followed to the finish line by Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Sam Hornish Jr.
The next scheduled Sprint Cup Series race is the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, August 19. The race is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at noon Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Paul Menard, No. 27 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet Team Bring Home 12th-Place Finish from Watkins Glen International
Paul Menard started the No. 27 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet from the 22nd position in Sunday’s Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen, driving to a 12th-place finish at the seven-turn upstate New York-based road course. Early in the 90-lap event, the Eau Claire, Wis., native reported he was experiencing a tight-handling condition on the No. 27 Chevrolet in the exits of the right-hand turns. As teams began to cycle through green-flag pit stops, Menard moved the neon yellow machine into the 13th position by the time the first caution period occurred on lap 25 and competed in the top 15 for the remainder of the race. The Slugger Labbe-led team made minor air pressure adjustments during the two routine four-tire pit stops on laps 27 and 59 to assist with the car’s balance. Following the final restart on lap 74, Menard broke into the top 10 one lap later; however he lost two positions in the closing turns on the last lap to bring home a 12th-place result in the second and final road course event on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.
Start – 22
Laps Led –0
Points – 16
PAUL MENARD QUOTE: “Well, it wasn’t the result we had hoped for today. The Rheem/Menards team did a great job this weekend and the pit crew had solid stops today.”
Kevin Harvick and the Budweiser Team Finish 15th at “The Glen”
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team brought home a 15th-place finish in the Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International Sunday afternoon. The 2006 WGI race winner started the 90-lap event from the 19th position and gained two spots during the early laps as he reported to the Shane Wilson-led team that the Budweiser Chevrolet was tight when traveling through the left hand turns and in the esses. Harvick had worked his way into the 14th position when Wilson instructed him to pit road on lap 22 for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Back on track, the Bakersfield, Calif., native worked his way into the top 10 and informed the team that the handling of the red, white and blue Chevrolet had improved, but was still tight through the esses. As the race progressed, Harvick brought the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing machine down pit road for additional pit stops on laps 46 and 59 for new tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. After the final pit stop, Harvick radioed to the team that last set of tires did not agree with the car and he needed more grip as he fell back in the pack, ultimately crossing the finish line in the 15th position. Harvick remains ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 67 points behind the leader.
Start – 19
Finish – 15
Laps Led – 0
Points – 9
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE: “The Budweiser crew worked hard and had some great pit stops today, but that last set of tires didn’t agree with the car and we couldn’t get the grip we needed to make it toward the front at the end.”
Mechanical Issue Relegates Jeff Burton to a 30th-Place Finish at Watkins Glen International
After climbing into the top 20 just past the halfway point of the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen, Jeff Burton’s No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team experienced a fuel pump issue, temporarily forcing the Richard Childress Racing driver to the garage area, relegating him to a 30th-place finish. The South Boston, Va., native started in the 28th position, climbed into the top 25 by lap 20 and cracked the top 20 by lap 30. Just past the halfway mark of the 90-lap event, the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner reported that the fuel pressure on the No. 31 Chevrolet dropped dramatically and the engine was beginning to miss fire. Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer, car owner Richard Childress and ECR engine specialists worked together in an attempt to find a solution to the problem, but Burton couldn’t maintain minimum speed on the race track and was forced to the garage area for repairs. The Caterpillar pit crew quickly diagnosed the issue and replaced a faulty fuel cell in six laps and Burton returned to the track in the 31st position. Over the remaining 30 laps, the RCR veteran posted his fastest laps times of the race while testing different strategies and gaining one position to finish in the 30th position. The “never give up” attitude that the No. 31 team has displayed all season paid off as Burton also gained one position in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings to 19th.
Laps Led– -0
JEFF BURTON QUOTE: “Once again, bad luck found us, this time it was in the form of a fuel pump issue. I am so proud of the No. 31 team. We had to go to a backup car on Friday after spinning in some oil and damaging the car. The guys had me in the backup car ready to go in less than 10 minutes. That is impressive. We had a good test up at Michigan International Speedway not long ago, so I am expecting to run well up there next week.”
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