Through the 18 races contested this season, RCR has acquired four wins in the Nationwide Series, with Elliott Sadler at Phoenix International Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway and Austin Dillon at Kentucky Speedway. RCR has earned seven pole awards in 2012, with Sadler at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Iowa Speedway, Paul Menard at Texas Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick at Richmond International Raceway and Austin Dillon at Michigan International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. The organization has 25 top-five and 43 top-10 finishes and has led 956 laps in 2012.
RCR in the NNS … In 820 Nationwide Series starts over the course of the last 15 years, Richard Childress Racing has earned 60 wins, 275 top-five finishes, 454 top-10 finishes and 39 pole awards, with an average starting position of 12.4 and an average finishing position of 12.7 among all races contested. RCR earned the Nationwide Series driver points championships in 2001 and 2006 with Harvick and in 2008 with Clint Bowyer. The Welcome, N.C.-based team earned the owner’s title in 2003 with Johnny Sauter and Harvick and again in 2007 with Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer.
To the Point … RCR’s two full-time Nationwide Series entries rank first (Sadler) and second (Dillon) in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings heading into the Indy 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The No. 2 team sits second in the owner point standings while the No. 3 team ranks third. The No. 33 team sits sixth in the owner championship point standings.
Live on ESPN … Flag-to-flag coverage of the Indy 250 is scheduled to be televised on ESPN beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, July 28 and broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Elliott Sadler #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet
This Week’s OneMain Financial Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway… Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team will unload Chassis No. 117 from Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series stable this weekend. This is a brand new chassis for RCR that will be utilized for the first time this weekend at the Brickyard.
Back to the Brickyard … This weekend may serve as the inaugural Nationwide Series event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Sadler is no stranger to the Brickyard. He has 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at the 2.5-mile track, including one pole award, two top-five finishes and 76 laps led.
Just The Stats … According to NASCAR’s 2012 Loop Data Season-to-Date statistics, Sadler leads the Nationwide Series in Average Running Position (7.358), Average Mid-Race Position (6.8), Quality Passes (845), Laps in the Top 15 (3091)and Percentage of Laps in the Top 15 (96.0).After 18 events in the Nationwide Series season, Sadler has earned three wins, two pole awards, seven top-five and 14 top-10 finishes with 174 laps led.
To the Point … Sadler sits atop the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, leading RCR teammate Austin Dillon by 11 points.
Meet Sadler … Fans have several opportunities to meet Sadler this weekend in the Indianapolis area. On Friday at 4 p.m., Sadler will meet fans at the OneMain Financial branch at 6060 East 82nd Street in Indianapolis. On Saturday morning, Sadler will head to the Nationwide Insurance display for a Q&A at 10:10 a.m. The RCR driver is also scheduled to participate in the Nationwide Series full-field autograph session at IMS on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
Tune In … Sadler will join the Trackside crew on Friday night to discuss last weekend’s win at Chicagoland Speedway and his experience at the Brickyard. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET on SPEED.
Race Rewind: Chicagoland Speedway … Sadler was able to overcome sickness to hold off charging competitors for the victory on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. Starting from the 15th position, the Emporia, Va., native began working his way through the field. Strategic pit calls by crew chief Luke Lambert and quick restarts pushed Sadler to the front of the field with less than 40 laps remaining in the event. A late-race caution forced the field into a green-white-checkered finish, and Sadler was able to get the No. 2 Hunt Brothers Pizza out in front of the field to bring home the team’s third win of the season.
All About the Dash 4 Cash …The win at Chicagoland Speedway earned Sadler not only the race-winning trophy, but also the $100,000 Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash bonus. The driver beat out RCR teammate Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. for the prize as the highest finishing of the four. Sadler automatically qualifies for the Dash 4 Cash bonus this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and will win an additional $100,000 bonus courtesy of Nationwide Insurance if he finishes ahead of the other qualified drivers of Stenhouse Jr., Justin Allgaier and Kenny Wallace. The winner of the Dash 4 Cash bonus this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will automatically qualify for the final event at Iowa Speedway. The three-highest finishing drivers that receive Nationwide Series championship driver points at Indianpolis will also qualify for the Iowa bonus. Fans have the opportunity to win their own cash bonus by entering the Nationwide Series $100,000 Sweepstakes at www.nascar.com/dash4cash. Last season, Sadler scored a Dash 4 Cash victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning $100,000 for himself and $100,000 for a lucky fan, Joe Thornton.
Seeing Pink … For the remainder of the season, Sadler will have a little more color to his outfit on race days. The Emporia, Va., native will sport pink driving shoes, showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness. Sadler’s mother, Bell, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and is now a survivor. Fans have the opportunity to bid on his race-worn pink shoes throughout the season, benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For more information, visit www.sadlerfoundation.org.
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTES: This is the first Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What would it mean to you to win this race?
“You always want to win that inaugural race. To win the first race at the Brickyard would be pretty special. It is such a historical track, and the fans are so loyal to that track and what it means to the racing world. We are going to bring a brand new car to the track, and I’m really confident in our No. 2 OneMain Financial team. We want to be in Victory Lane for that inaugural win.”
What is it like to lead a lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
“Honestly, one of my favorite memories in my career is leading my first lap at the Brickyard. There is nothing like it. Coming down that straightaway is like tunnel vision with stands on either side of the track. It is so loud, with the great crowd that always comes out, and you feel like you are part of history. I have been lucky enough to lead laps there in a few Sprint Cup events, and there is nothing like it.”
Austin Dillon #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet
This Week’s AdvoCare Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 109 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This is the same Chevrolet that Dillon drove to a fifth-place finish at Michigan International Speedway in June after earning his first career Nationwide Series pole award and setting a new track record. Dillon also earned an 11th-place finish after starting second in this Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.
Dillon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway … Although this weekend marks the Nationwide Series’ inaugural appearance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dillon grew up attending Brickyard 400 races at the historic track with his grandfather, team owner Richard Childress. Dillon was in Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year when his grandfather’s team won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race with driver Paul Menard. Dillon also recalls taking a ride around the track in a pace car as a young child.
The Season So Far … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Season-to-Date Statistics, Dillon has completed 99.07 percent of Laps on the Lead Lap, leading all competitors. He has completed 93.4 percent of his Laps in the Top 15, ranking him second and has an Average Running Position of 8.489 in the season’s 18 contested Nationwide Series races, also ranking him second among all drivers. The Nationwide Series rookie is ranked third in the Fastest Laps Run category with 224 laps so far this season, maintains a Driver Rating of 104.6, ranking him fourth, is the fourth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run and has the fourth-fastest Speed in Traffic. He has 230 Laps Led this season, ranking him fifth, has the sixth-fastest Green Flag Speed, is sixth-Fastest on Restarts, is the sixth-fastest Driver Early in a Run and ranks seventh in Quality Passes with 739.
Get to the Points … Dillon is second in the 2012 Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing RCR teammate Elliott Sadler by 11 points. Dillon currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
Spark your Engines … Dillon and the No. 3 Chevrolet team will sport the colors of award-winning premier health and wellness company AdvoCare this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. AdvoCare offers nutrition, weight loss, energy and sports performance products of the highest quality developed through comprehensive research and backed by a Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. Dillon trains with AdvoCare products throughout the week and is a distributor as well. For more information about Dillon’s favorite products, including Spark, Rehydrate, meal replacement bars and Post-Workout Recovery, visit http://www.AdvoCare.com.
Off the Track … When Dillon is not racing, he follows other sports including the NFL and is active in several fantasy football leagues, including a league he maintains with his family and friends and a celebrity league he manages with Scott Engel, host of the RotoExperts show on the SiriusXM Radio Fantasy Sports Channel. Dillon and Engel will compete against celebrities such as Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, former General Manager of the Mets, Steve Phillips, Cheers cast members Jay Thomas and George Wentz, MTV Real World cast member-turned WWE wrestler, the Miz and several radio personalities from the Howard Stern Channel on SiriusXM radio, among others.
Meet Dillon … Dillon is scheduled to participate in the Nationwide Series driver autograph session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. He will also take part in an autograph session on behalf of Chevrolet at the track on Friday at 12:50 p.m.
Chicagoland Speedway Recap … Dillon started Sunday’s STP 300 from the front row after qualifying in the second position and ran in the top three for much of the 200-lap race, ultimately posting a sixth-place finish. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender was scored in the fourth position when he made his final green-flag pit stop of the race on lap 164, receiving four tires and fuel. However, the team was pinned one lap down to the race leader when the caution flag was displayed as Dillon left his pit box. Forced to take the wave around in order to rejoin the lead lap cars, Dillon restarted in the 12th position when green flag racing resumed at lap 171. He used the last 29 laps of the event to race his way to the sixth position.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES: What are your thoughts on racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
“It’s really exciting that the Nationwide Series is going to be racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’ve never raced there before, but I’ve been to plenty of races and have talked to other drivers. I imagine it will be like tunnel vision when you go down the long front stretch and see grandstands on either side. My plan is to lean on Paul Menard a lot for advice. He won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last year, so I am sure he can provide a lot of insight. No driver has been there in the Nationwide Series before, and the cars are a bit different, but leaning on the experience of the Cup drivers will be helpful.”
Paul Menard #33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet
This Week’s Rheem/Menards Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway … Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 107 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This No. 33 Chevrolet was built new for 2012 competition and has been utilized on three previous occasions. The chassis was last utilized at Michigan International Speedway in June, where Menard finished eighth after starting from the seventh position.
Menard started this Chevrolet from the pole position and drove it to a second-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in April while RCR teammate Kevin Harvick started from the seventh position at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and finished fourth.
Inaugural Nationwide Series Event at IMS … As the Nationwide Series makes its first appearance at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, the defending 2011 Brickyard 400 Champion will make his 175th Nationwide Series career start. Menard has amassed one win, 24 top-five and 69 top-10 finishes, five pole awards and has led 551 laps during a career that has spanned nine years. The 31-year old driver made five starts with the Nationwide Series at nearby Lucas Oil Raceway, earning four top-10 finishes and completing 99.9 percent of the contested laps (1,004 of 1,005).
2012 in the Nationwide Series for Menard … The weekend marks Menard’s third of seven scheduled starts for RCR in the Nationwide Series in 2012. He holds one top-five and two top-10 finishes in two starts this season, earning one pole award (Texas Motor Speedway, April) and leading for 137 laps. He will return to the driver’s seat of the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet next at Watkins Glen International, followed by Chicagoland Speedway, Dover International Speedway (September) and Kansas Speedway (October).
Menards is a familiar sight at IMS … Entries fielded by Team Menard, owned by Menards founder and owner, John Menard, were fixtures at the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway long before NASCAR made its first visit to the Brickyard in 1994. The first Menards open-wheel entry that qualified for the Indianapolis 500 was driven by another Eau Claire, Wis., native, Herm Johnson, in 1982, earning a ninth-place finish. Johnson followed up his rookie performance with a top 10 in 1984. Another notable performance came in 1995 (and was repeated in 1996) when Scott Brayton claimed the pole position for the historic event. Other well-known wheel men who drove for Team Menard at Indy include Nelson Piquet, Al Unser, Eddie Cheever, Arie Luyendyk and Buddy Lazier. With the CART-Indy Racing League split in 1996, Team Menard joined the IRL full time, winning back-to-back championships with Tony Stewart in 1996 and 1997. Greg Ray brought the team their third championship title in 1999. In 2004, Team Menard merged with Panther Racing, with Menard eventually withdrawing from motorsports as team owner. Today, the recognizable neon yellow paint scheme adorns entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (No. 27 Chevrolet), Nationwide Series (No. 33 Chevrolet), and Camping World Truck Series (No. 88 Chevrolet Silverado) and the No. 44 entry in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
Meet Menard … Menard is scheduled to meet with fans and sign autographs alongside NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Matt Crafton and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Frank Kimmel at the Menards in Avon, Ind. on Thursday, July 26, from 7-8 p.m. ET. The home improvement store is located at 10555 East U.S. Hwy 36. In addition to the Menards show cars, the 2011 Brickyard 400 race-winning trophy will be on display and available to fans for pictures. There will also be opportunities to win general admission tickets to Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race. Details will be released on Twitter via @RCR27PMenard.
In the Rearview Mirror: Chicagoland Speedway … Brendan Gaughan and the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet team started the STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway from the 10th position and after overcoming challenges which caused him to lose track position on a number of occasions, ultimately drove back into the top 10. The Las Vegas native was racing side-by-side with another competitor when the car on the bottom grove was spun from behind, pinning the Rheem/Menards Chevrolet against the outside wall. The late-race incident caused substantial damage that could not be repaired, leaving Gaughan to retire from the race five laps shy of the checkered flag, relegating the team to a 28th-place finish.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES: What are your thoughts on the NASCAR Nationwide Series running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend?
“I think it is going to be very interesting. The Nationwide Series cars will have a lot of wide-open throttle time around the track. I think the cars will draft well and I think turns two and four are going to be pretty much wide open. It’s going to be really exciting. I love Indianapolis Motor Speedway so I’m looking forward to getting as many laps around there as possible this weekend.”
Do you think that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will dominate the race having the advantage of previous experience at Indianapolis Motor Speedway whereas the Nationwide Series regulars do not?
“I don’t think it is going to be any different that it is any other week. Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) is going to be fast, as will our RCR teammates Austin (Dillon) and Elliott (Sadler). Elliott has run a lot of laps there with the Sprint Cup Series. There are a lot of Nationwide Series regulars that have run laps there in the Sprint Cup Series.”
Ty Dillon #51 WESCO Chevrolet
This Week’s WESCO Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway … Ty Dillon will pilot chassis No. 115 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in Saturday’s Indy 250. This chassis was acquired from Kevin Harvick Inc., at the end of last season and has since been transformed into an RCR Chevrolet.
Inaugural Weekend … The Nationwide Series will make its inaugural appearance at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for Saturday’s 100-lap event. Although Dillon has yet to make any laps at the Speedway, Ind.-based track, he has six starts on tracks exceeding two miles in length with three victories, two pole awards, four top-five and five top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
Nationwide Racing … The 20-year-old driver made his Nationwide Series debut at Dover International Speedway in June, earning an eighth-place finish in the No. 33 Chevrolet after starting from the third position. Dillon is also slated to compete in the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide Series event at Richmond International Raceway on September 7.
Welcome to the Family, WESCO … Dillon and the No. 51 team will sport the colors of WESCO Distribution this weekend for the inaugural Nationwide Series race at historic 2.5-mile facility. WESCO Distribution is a leading full-line wholesale distributor of electrical, industrial, utility and data communications products and advanced supply chain procurement services. The Pittsburgh -based company develops strong, enduring relationships with leading-edge regional, national and global organizations in a variety of markets and industries including: construction, education, government, healthcare and industrial manufacturers.
Top of the Box … Leading the charge for the No. 33 Chevrolet team is veteran crew chief and longtime RCR employee Gil Martin. The Nashville, Tenn. native has been at RCR since 2000 and has served as crew chief for Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Casey Mears, Kerry Earnhardt and Robby Gordon. He is one of a select few crew chiefs to win races in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. In addition, Dillon’s No. 3 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pit crew will pit the No. 51 WESCO Chevrolet at IMS.
Friday Fun Day … Nationwide Series track activity takes a break on Friday, but Dillon won’t be taking a breather from racing. He will join his sponsor, WESCO, for a friendly competition at a local go-kart track in Indianapolis.
Meet the Driver … Prior to competing in the Indy 250, Dillon is scheduled to participate in the Nationwide Series autograph session on Saturday, July 28 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Nationwide Debut Rewind: Dover … Earlier this season, Dillon made his Nationwide Series debut at Dover International Speedway in June. Driving the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, the 20-year-old qualified third and maintained a position in the top 15 for the majority of the 200-lap event. Dillon moved into the top 10 in the later portion of the race, claiming an eighth-place finish when the checkered flag was displayed.
TY DILLON QUOTES: This is the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What are your thoughts heading into this historic weekend?
“It’s an honor to have WESCO onboard the No. 51 Chevrolet this weekend and to be part of history at such a famous race track. I’m excited to be able to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There are drivers that want to race here from the beginning of their careers, and I get the opportunity this weekend. I can’t wait.”
You qualified third and finished eighth in your NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. What are your expectations for the Indy 250?
“The No. 33 team put together a fast car at Dover (International Speedway), and we almost sat on the pole. I was pretty happy with a top-10 finish in my first Nationwide Series race. Of course, we’re going to do our best to go for the win, but a top-five finish is what we’re shooting for in the WESCO Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”