NASCAR Media Site
Dover, DE- When looking at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings, you would think Richard Childress Racing is in good shape. Ryan Newman sits 10th in the standings while rookie Austin Dillon and Paul Menard sit 15th and 16th respectively.
They have a chance to get all three drivers in the 16-car Chase field by September if all goes well. But, one big problem lies within the organization – they struggle to run up front.
In 12 races so far, the entire RCR organization has one top five between the three drivers.
How does a team with some talented drivers only have one top five in 12 races? That lone finish came when Paul Menard finished third at Las Vegas in the third race of the season. If this group wants to make the Chase, they need to find a way to get some top five’s and win and they need to do so very quickly.
The new points system rewards victories. With 10 different winners already this year, there’s only six spots open in the Chase. With 14 races left counting this weekend in Dover, six more winners could be likely. Drivers like Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne have yet to reach victory lane this season. If they do so, that leaves only three spots left to be filled.
Outside of Newman, the organization may have a rough time getting a top five finish. Menard and Dillon have no top fives there while Newman only has six in 24 starts. The Indiana native though does have two victories at the Monster Mile so he does have an outside shot at getting a top five finish on Sunday if everything goes well.
No one really knows why this organization is struggling so bad to get consistent up front finishes, but one thing we do know – it needs to end soon.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. He’s covered both NASCAR and IndyCar action since 2010 and has been credentialed to many races around the country. He’s also recognized as an accredited member of the media by both NASCAR and IndyCar. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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