Richard Childress Racing teammates finished first (Kevin Harvick – First Budweiser Duel), third (Austin Dillon – Second Budweiser Duel), seventh (Paul Menard – Second Budweiser Duel) and eighth (Jeff Burton – Second Budweiser Duel). The next scheduled Sprint Cup Series race is the 55th running of the Dayton 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24. The ‘Great American Race’ is scheduled to be televised live on FOX beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Menard Finishes Seventh in Budweiser Duel at Daytona, Will Lineup 16th for ‘Great American Race’
Paul Menard started the second Budweiser Duel, 150-mile qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway from the seventh spot on Thursday afternoon. Menard maintained his position inside the top 10 in the opening laps, running the bottom line until lap nine when the 22-car field began to spread out single file. Running ninth on lap 20, Menard was turning lap times faster than the leader, when he communicated to the crew that he was happy with the handling of the PEAK/ Menards Chevrolet SS. At lap 41, crew chief “Slugger” Labbe called his driver into the pits for a routine green-flag pit stop, and the No. 27 crew went to work adding fuel and changing right-side tires. Coming out of the pits in the eighth position, Menard quickly made his way toward the front of the field and moved into third at lap 50. With just 10 laps remaining in the 60-lap event, the Eau Claire, Wis., native was working the draft with Kasey Kahne, when Kahne moved up to the high line to make a move for the lead. Unable to stay hooked up with Kahne, the No. 27 machine was shuffle back to seventh on lap 52. Running single file, Menard maintained his position during the final eight laps to take the checkered flag with a top-10 finish. By virtue of his seventh-place finish in the non-points paying qualifying race, the PEAK/Menards Chevrolet SS team will start 16th for the 55th running of “The Great American Race” on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Start – 7 Finish – 7 Laps Led – 0 Points – N/A
PAUL MENARD QUOTE: “I was really happy with the way the PEAK/Menards Chevrolet drove in the Budweiser Duel. It was a good practice session for us to see how the car is going to handle under race conditions. I was disappointed we didn’t get a better finish, we had a good run and were up to third with 10 laps to go. We had a lot of momentum and had caught the lead pack. We were working with Kasey (Kahne) well and he moved up the track and I didn’t have a run. We just kind of mistimed it a little bit and it cost us both a few spots. We learned a lot about how the new car handles in the draft, and we have some ideas of what we can do to get a little more speed out of the car on Sunday. All in all I feel good about our chances in the Daytona 500.”
Harvick Goes Two-for-Two during Budweiser Speedweeks Winning the First Budweiser Duel
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS team followed up their Sprint Unlimited win on Saturday night by pulling into Victory Lane Thursday afternoon following the first Budweiser Duel at Daytona International Speedway. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the Daytona 500-qualifying event from the 13th position and methodically worked his way toward the front of the field, taking over the lead on lap 37. Harvick held onto the top spot after coming down pit road for fuel and right-side tires on lap 41. A speedy pit stop and a fast Chevrolet SS allowed Harvick to grab the checkered flag for the second non-points paying event of the 2013 season. Courtesy of Harvick’s victory the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, the team will line up third for the 55th running of the Dayton 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Start – 16 Finish – 1 Laps Led – 23 Points – N/A
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE: “I just want to thank everybody on our Budweiser Chevrolet team. To win the sponsor’s race (Budweiser Duels) here (Daytona International Speedway) is hard to align and put it all together. It all worked out for us today. Gil (Martin, crew chief) made a great call on pit road, and it all worked out. We learned a lot during the last two races, and we’re ready to go racing on Sunday.”
Burton Finishes Eighth in Budweiser Duel, Will Start 18th in the 2013 Daytona 500
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS team finished eighth in the second Budweiser Duel qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon. After finishing 20th in Daytona 500 qualifying on Sunday, the South Boston Va., native started 10th in the second 60-lap showdown that determined the starting lineup for the 55th annual Daytona 500. Burton immediately vaulted into the top five and settled into the fourth position while most of the 22-car field ran single file until it was time for green-flag pit stops on lap 40. Crew chief Luke Lambert called the driver in for fresh right-side tires and enough Sunoco Green E15 fuel to finish the 150-mile event. Running seventh with 12 laps to go, Burton made a move to the inside lane, but received no drafting help from his peers. After losing the draft of the lead pack, a caution-free race didn’t allow Burton to regain track position and relegated him to an eighth-place result. With the top-10 effort, the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team will start 18th in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Start – 10 Finish – 8 Laps Led – 0 Points – N/A
JEFF BURTON QUOTE: “This race gave us the opportunity to try some different things out and I think we learned a lot about what the cars will do when drafting in a pack. Even though we didn’t get the finish we were hoping for, we will have a good starting position for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. I’m excited about our chances.”
Austin Dillon Qualifies for his First-Career Daytona 500 with Third-Place Finish in Budweiser Duel at Daytona International Speedway
Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet SS to a third-place finish in the second Budweiser Duel qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon and will start eighth in Sunday’s Daytona 500. It will mark the 22-year-old driver’s first-career start in “The Great American Race”. Dillon started the 60-lap qualifier from the eighth spot and maintained his position within the top-10 for the duration of the event. Dillon and his Honey Nut Cheerios team made a single pit stop during the 125-mile race for right-side tires, Sunoco Green E15 fuel and a track bar adjustment to tighten a loose-handling condition in traffic. Exiting the pits in the eighth position with 20 laps remaining, Dillon utilized the high line of the track to advance to the third position and secure a starting position in Sunday’s race.
Start – 8 Finish – 4 Laps Led – 0 Points – N/A
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: “I had some good people helping me during the race with Jeff Burton and Kasey Kahne. I wanted to get a Chevrolet in Victory Lane today, but it was awesome just to qualify for the Daytona 500. It’s going to be a great race and I will always remember the first one. I want to thank Honey Nut Cheerios for giving me this opportunity. It’s a dream come true to be able to participate in “The Great American Race.”
-Richard Childress Racing PR