In 45 previous Nationwide Series starts at Dover International Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has visited Victory Lane three times. Clint Bowyer is a two-time race winner at the track for RCR, earning victories in September 2009 and September 2006, while Jeff Burton earned a win for the organization in June 2006. The organization has started from the pole position four times and has 13 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. RCR entries have completed 95.7 percent of laps attempted, with 653 laps led.
Elliott Sadler #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet
This Week’s OneMain Financial Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway … Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team will unload Chassis No. 104 from Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This weekend’s event at Dover International Speedway marks the eighth time the No. 2 team will utilize this chassis. Sadler drove this Chevrolet to a win at Chicagoland Speedway in July, in addition to racing it at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March (pole and finished third), Texas Motor Speedway in April (started fifth, finished 12th), Darlington Raceway in May (started sixth, finished 24th), Dover International Speedway in June (started sixth, finished seventh), Michigan International Speedway in June (started sixth, finished 11th) and Atlanta Motor Speedway in August (started seventh, finished fourth).
Taming the Monster Mile … In his Nationwide Series career, Sadler has made nine starts at Dover International Speedway in the Nationwide Series. He four top 10 finishes, one pole award, 11 laps led and a best finish of sixth in 1997 and 2011. Sadler also has NASCAR Sprint Cup Series experience at Dover, with 24 starts, three top-10 finishes and 188 laps led. He also made one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in 2010.
Open Track Session … Ticketholders for the OneMain Financial 200 will have the opportunity to attend a free open track session prior to the race on Sept. 29 at Dover International Speedway and will have special access to the frontstretch. Team owner Richard Childress, Kevin Harvick and Sadler will make an appearance at the event for a question-and-answer session at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, and the track will be open from 10-11:30 a.m.
Last Time By … Starting from the pole position in the 2011 OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway, Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet team raced among the top 15 for the majority of the day before an untimely caution put the OneMain Financial team one lap down to the leader and left the team to finish 14th.
Just The Stats … According to NASCAR’s 2012 Loop Data Season-to-Date statistics, Sadler leads the Nationwide Series in Average Mid-Race Position (6.2), Average Finishing Position(7.3),Average Running Position(7.0), Quality Passes(1,089), Percentage of Quality Passes (73.33),Laps in the Top 15(4,603)and Percentage of laps in the Top 15(95.3).After 27 events in the Nationwide Series season, Sadler has earned four wins, three pole awards, 12 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes with 347 laps led.
To the Point … Sadler moved back to the top of the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, four points ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Race Rewind: Kentucky Speedway … Starting from the eighth position, Sadler and the OneMain Financial team quickly worked their way to the front of the field to lead 93 of the 200 laps in last Saturday’s event. Late in the race, the No. 2 Chevrolet lost power steering capability, but Sadler continued to battle around the 1.5-mile track to finish fifth.
What are your thoughts on Dover International Speedway? “Wow, Dover is a huge weekend for us with the OneMain Financial 200. I know there is a lot of pressure because we are going to have a lot of people there from a lot of different branches and the home office in Baltimore, Md. We love all the support the entire organization gives to us, and we want to go out there and win for everyone that will be at Dover International Speedway that weekend. We were able to sit on the pole for the OneMain Financial 200 last year, but we were not able to pull out the win. I think that we have learned a lot about the track and our set ups since then. We definitely want to perform well in our sponsor’s race, and we will come as focused as ever looking to be in Victory Lane at the Monster Mile.”
Austin Dillon #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet
This Week’s AdvoCare Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 093 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in the OneMain Financial 200. Dillon drove this Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, a third-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July, a ninth-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in April and a fourth-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway in March. This is a former Kevin Harvick Inc., chassis which was refurbished during the off season.
Dillon at Dover International Speedway … Dillon has one previous start at Dover International Speedway in the Nationwide Series, posting a sixth-place finish in June after starting from the 11th position. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion has two starts at the track in the Truck Series, earning his best finish of fourth in the May 2011 event.
The Season So Far … According to NASCAR’s Season-to-Date Loop Data Statistics, Dillon has completed 96.15 percent of Laps on the Lead Lap, ranking him second among all competitors. The Nationwide Series rookie has completed 90.8 percent of his Laps in the Top 15, ranking him second and has an Average Running Position of 8.580 in the season’s 26 contested Nationwide Series races, ranking him second. He is ranked third in the Fastest Laps Run category with 399 laps so far this season, maintains a Driver Rating of 105.3, ranking him third, has the fourth-fastest Speed in Traffic, is the fourth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run and has 414 Laps Led this season, ranking him fourth. He has the fifth-fastest Green Flag Speed, is fifth-Fastest on Restarts, ranks fifth in Quality Passes with 949 and is the sixth-fastest Driver Early in a Run.
Get to the Points … Dillon ranks third in the 2012 Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing current leader and RCR teammate Elliott Sadler by 19 points. The Welcome, N.C., driver currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
Kentucky Speedway Recap … Returning to the site of his first-career Nationwide Series victory in July, Dillon started the Kentucky 300 from the pole position and led 65 laps en route to his second Nationwide Series win in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 Chevrolet. The win marked his first with primary sponsor AdvoCare and positioned him within 19 markers of the Nationwide Series championship driver points lead with six races remaining in the 2012 season.
What do you think about Dover International Speedway? “Dover International Speedway is one of my favorites! We ran really well there at the beginning of this year and going back I think we have a package that will be able to compete against the Joe Gibbs Racing cars, which have been dominant there. We ran sixth at the last Dover race and there were three Joe Gibbs Racing cars that finished ahead of us, so I think that if we have a package that can beat them we will be competitive there.”
You swept both Nationwide Series events at Kentucky Speedway this year. What made you so successful there? “My win at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday did not come as easily as my win at Kentucky Speedway in July. No wins come easy but I feel like we did not have the best car in the field this time around. However, we were able to get up front and fight. We had to get this win by getting on and off pit road well. When we got the chance to take the lead, I just took it. On the last restart I chose the bottom groove and we were able to take off really well. Earlier in the race I lost all of the restarts on the top groove so I knew we had to try something different. Clean air is big. If you could get lots of air on the nose the car would turn.”
What does it mean to you to bring AdvoCare their first NASCAR win? “I’m so happy for AdvoCare. They are a big part of why we are able to run for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship this year and run all of the races. AdvoCare is a sponsor that came in to talk to us at Atlanta Motor Speedway last year and we were able to put this program together. To come here and get their first win for them at Kentucky Speedway was very cool and I’m excited for them. I’m sure they are cheering. It’s going to be a fun championship race, we’ve closed to within 19 points of the leader and all we need to do is win races and we’ll have a shot at winning the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.”
Four of the last six races are 1.5-mile tracks, which seem to be your strength. Can you talk about that? “Mile-and-a-halves have been good for us, especially in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and then we were able to transfer that success to the Nationwide Series. I’m looking forward to places like Kansas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway but truthfully, I really like the flat tracks. I’m really looking forward to Phoenix International Raceway.”
Paul Menard #33 Menards Chevrolet
This Week’s Rheem/Menards Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway … Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 99 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This No. 33 Chevrolet was previously driven by Kevin Harvick at Phoenix International Raceway in March (finished fifth) and at Bristol Motor Speedway in August (finished 15th), by Brendan Gaughan at both Iowa Speedway events (finished 10th in May and 14th in August) and by Ty Dillon at Dover in June, where the youngest grandson of team owner Richard Childress drove it to an eighth-place finish in his career-first Nationwide Series start.
By the Numbers at the “Monster Mile” … In nine Nationwide Series starts at Dover International Speedway, Menard owns three top-10 finishes, completing 94.5 percent of his laps (1,708 of 1,807). He holds an average starting position of 15.1 coupled with an average finishing position of 20.8. He claimed his best finish of sixth in the May 2009 Nationwide Series race with his best start of fifth coming in both the 2010 and 2006 Dover 200.
2012 in the Nationwide Series for Menard … This weekend marks Menard’s sixth of seven scheduled starts in the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet for RCR in the 2012 Nationwide Series season. He holds two top-five and five top-10 finishes this season, earning one pole award (Texas Motor Speedway, April) and leading for 137 laps. Menard has an average starting position of 5.4 and an average finishing position of 6.2. He will return to the driver’s seat of the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet for his final appearance of the season at Kansas Speedway in October.
Race Rewind: Dover International Speedway … Menard qualified in the fifth position for the 2012 Dover 200 and competed among the top 10 throughout the 200-lap event while battling a tight-handling condition before earning a seventh-place result.
In the Rearview Mirror: Chicagoland Speedway … Menard and the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet team rallied to a top-five finish in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola after battling handling issues at Chicagoland Speedway.
Does the additional track time running in the NASCAR Nationwide Series help you for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race? “The racing does because you can see which way the groove is going to go. But as far as translation between our Chevrolets, there isn’t a whole lot you can take with from one to the other. Anytime you can race in a competitive situation on the same race track, it’s helpful.”
Do you enjoy running in the NASCAR Nationwide Series? “It is pretty hectic jumping between the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car and the Nationwide Series car. But the racing in the Nationwide Series is a lot of fun. The best part is being able to jump behind the wheel on race day and learn things about the track conditions that will translate the next day. We don’t do it for fun. We do it for knowledge.”