In 15 Nationwide Series starts at Watkins Glen International, Richard Childress Racing has made one appearance to Victory Lane, with Kevin Harvick in 2007, among five top-five and eight top-10 finishes. The Welcome, N.C.-based organization has completed 96.8 percent of laps attempted at the track, with 111 laps led.
The Season So Far … In the 20 races contested this season, RCR has acquired five wins in the Nationwide Series, with Elliott Sadler at Phoenix International Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Iowa Speedway and Austin Dillon at Kentucky Speedway. RCR has earned eight pole awards in 2012, with Sadler at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and both Iowa Speedway events, 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 27 top-five and 46 top-10 finishes and has led 1,069 laps in 2012.
RCR in the NNS … In 826 Nationwide Series starts over the course of the last 15 years, RCR has earned 61 wins, 277 top-five finishes, 457 top-10 finishes and 40 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 point 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 this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen International. The No. 2 team sits second in the owner point standings while the No. 3 team ranks third. The No. 33 team sits seventh in the owner championship point standings.
Live on ABC … Flag-to-flag coverage of the Zippo 200 at The Glen is scheduled to be televised on ABC beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, August 11 and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Elliott Sadler #2 Charter Chevrolet
This Week’s Charter Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International … Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 Charter team will unload Chassis No. 498 from Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series stable this weekend as the series travels to Watkins Glen International. This chassis was acquired from the merger with Kevin Harvick Inc., and refurbished by the No. 2 team in the off season.
Road Racing … The event at Watkins Glen International serves as the second of three road course races on the 2012 Nationwide Series schedule this season. In June, Sadler finished 15th at Road America after a late-race incident damaged the No. 2 Chevrolet in the first road course event of the season. Sadler returns to “The Glen” for the fourth time in his Nationwide Series career scoring one top-10 finish and completed 100 percent of laps contested. He also brings experience at the 2.45-mile track from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 12 starts and a best finish of seventh-place in 2006.
Welcome Back, Charter … The No. 2 Chevrolet will sport the Charter blue and green paint scheme for the second time this season this weekend at Watkins Glen International. Charter, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States and a leading broadband communications company, also adorns several RCR entries throughout the 2012 season, including the Nos. 29 and 31 Sprint Cup Series Chevrolets, the Nos. 2 and 3 Nationwide Series Chevrolets and the Nos. 2 and 22 Chevrolets in the Camping World Truck Series. Sadler drove the No. 2 Charter Chevrolet earlier this season at Road America.
Last Time By … In Sadler’s last visit to “The Glen” in 2011, the Emporia, Va., native wheeled his way to a 10th-place finish, his best Nationwide Series finish at the track to date.
Just The Stats … According to NASCAR’s 2012 Loop Data Season-to-Date statistics, Sadler leads the Nationwide Series in Average Mid-Race Position (6.7), Average Running Position(7.1), Quality Passes(879), Laps in the Top 15(3432)and Percentage of laps in the Top 15(96.1).After 20 events in the Nationwide Series season, Sadler has earned four wins, three pole awards, eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes with 234 laps led.
To the Point … Sadler remains atop the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, leading RCR teammate Austin Dillon by 18 points.
Race Rewind: Iowa Speedway … Starting from the pole position last weekend at Iowa Speedway, Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team competed at the front of the pack for much of the 250-lap event. Taking over the lead on lap 193, Sadler held onto the top spot to bring home the team’s fourth victory of the 2012 Nationwide Series season, his ninth-career Nationwide Series win.
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTES: What are your thoughts on Watkins Glen International? ”I always look forward to the road course races on the schedule. Watkins Glen (International) is a great course, and it is pretty fast. I think that it is a lot faster than Road America, or even Sonoma on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. We have a decent record there, and I’m really looking forward to improving on my 10th-place finish from last season. The trick of the track is to get through the s-turns and around the back side of the carousel, you are doing pretty well when you can make it through without incident.”
Austin Dillon #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet
This Week’s AdvoCare Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 098 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This is a new Chevrolet from the RCR stable that will be utilized for the first time this weekend.
Dillon at the Glen … Dillon will make his first Nationwide Series start at Watkins Glen International this weekend and has one Nationwide Series road course race to his credit, finishing in the 18th position at Road America in June. He has competed in two road course races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Division, finishing 12th at Watkins Glen and finishing 21st at Lime Rock Motorsports Park, both in 2008. The 22-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender has been training with road course racing veteran Max Papis this season.
The Season So Far … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Season-to-Date Statistics, Dillon has completed 90.8 percent of his Laps in the Top 15, ranking him second and has an Average Running Position of 8.496 in the season’s 20 contested Nationwide Series races, also ranking him second among all drivers. The Nationwide Series rookie is ranked second in the Fastest Laps Run category with 279 laps so far this season and has completed 96.02 percent of Laps on the Lead Lap, ranking him third among all competitors. He maintains a Driver Rating of 105.1, ranking him fourth, has the fourth-fastest Speed in Traffic and is the fourth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run. He has 283 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 sixth in Quality Passes with 774.
Get to the Points … Dillon is second in the 2012 Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing RCR teammate Elliott Sadler by 18 points. The Welcome, N.C., driver currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
Spark your Engines … Dillon and the RCR team will sport the colors of award-winning premier health and wellness company AdvoCare on the No. 3 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen. 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.
Iowa Speedway Recap … Dillon started from the third position and led 53 laps in the Nationwide Series’ second Iowa Speedway appearance of the season before a vibration caused the RCR driver to make an unscheduled pit stop and fall one lap down to the leader. A long green-flag run ensued, preventing Dillon from earning the “Lucky Dog” award and he ultimately finished in the 15th position.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES: With limited road course racing experience, what are your goals for this weekend at Watkins Glen International? “This weekend could be a big game changer for a lot of people in the point standings. I’ve been working with Max Papis a lot and I know that his feedback will be helpful throughout the race weekend. Max has given me a lot of confidence and I’m definitely more prepared, both physically and mentally, for this weekend. I think the biggest thing when racing at Road America, Watkins Glen International and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is to stay on the race track. It’s easier said than done. If we can survive and finish the race, I know that it will be very helpful for us in the point standings.”
Paul Menard #33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet
This Week’s Rheem/Menards Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International … Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 97 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This No. 33 Chevrolet was built new for 2012 competition and was previously driven by RCR teammate Max Papis at Road America in June where he started from the fifth position and finished fourth.
By the numbers at “The Glen” … In six Nationwide Series starts at Watkins Glen International, Menard has one top-five and three top-10 finishes, completing 99.6 percent of his laps (494 of 496) and leading for three circuits. He holds a 13th-place average starting position and an average finishing position of 13.7. He claimed his best finish of fourth in the 2007 Nationwide Series race with his best start coming in his 2005 NNS debut at the 2.45-mile road course.
A Little Loopy the Last Time Around … Menard posted some impressive NASCAR Loop Data Statistics with his sixth-place performance at “The Glen” in August 2011. The Eau Claire, Wis., native tied for first in Laps in the Top 15 (85, 100 percent), ranked fourth in Fastest on Restarts (117.353 mph), fifth in the categories Speed in Traffic (117.559 mph), Green-Flag Speed (118.689 mph) and Average Running Position (6.341), seventh in the categories Driver Rating (107), Drivers Fastest Early in a Run (118.733 mph) and Drivers Fastest Late in a Run (118.492 mph) and tied for eighth in Closers (1 position).
2012 in the Nationwide Series for Menard … This weekend marks Menard’s fourth of seven scheduled starts in the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet for RCR in the 2012 Nationwide Series season. He holds one top-five and three 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 5.7 and a sixth-place average finishing position. He will return to the driver’s seat of the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet next at Chicagoland Speedway in September, followed by Dover International Speedway (September) and Kansas Speedway in October.
Race Rewind: Watkins Glen … Menard started the 2011 Zippo 200 at The Glen from the seventh position and remained in the top 10 throughout the 85-lap race to bring home a sixth-place finish.
In the Rearview Mirror: Iowa Speedway … After running in the top 10 for the majority of the Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway, Brendan Gaughan nursed a shredding right-front tire on the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet in the closing laps of the American Ethanol 200 to finish in the 14th-position.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES: How do you go about picking out the races you run in the NASCAR Nationwide Series? “We always choose our (Menards) markets first. Even though it is not in a Menards market, I like to race Watkins Glen (International) because it is a road course. Since we don’t get to run many throughout the year, I like to switch it up a bit.”
Are the Nationwide Series cars close enough to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars that you can learn things on Saturday to use during Sunday’s race? “On a road course, I think that the cars are close enough. On a typical oval, no, I don’t think that they are. I think that you can pick up a little more on how to drive the race track on a road course to help you on Sunday.”