Richard Childress Racing Dover race report

Dover International Speedway

RCR teammates finished sixth (Clint Bowyer), 10th (Kevin Harvick), ) 11th (Jeff Burton) and 24th (Paul Menard).

RCR teammates are fifth (Harvick), eighth (Bowyer), 17th (Menard) and 23rd (Burton) in the Sprint Cup Series point standings following Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway.

Burton ran in the top 15 for 95.3 percent of the contested laps (381 out of 400).

Since joining RCR in August 2004, Burton has posted top 16 finishes in all 17 races at Dover with the lone exception being Sept. 2004.

Harvick's average running position in the 400 miler was 6.3.

Paul Menard, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Paul Menard, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

Harvick passed 41 cars while running in the top 15 - the most of any driver - while Burton passed the second-most cars with 40.

Menard has completed each of his eight contested NSCS races at Dover International Speedway.

Menard tied for ninth in number of green-flag passes (55) during the FedEx 400 at DIS. He also ranked seventh in the category of Closers, gaining two positions in the final 40 laps of the 400-lap race.

Bowyer has six top-10 finishes in his last seven starts

Bowyer earned a bonus point by leading one time for 29 laps

The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Sprint Showdown and the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21.

***

Paul Menard, No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet Team Finishes 24th in Dover

Inclement weather on Saturday afternoon forced the starting lineup for Sunday's FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway to be set per the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rulebook. Richard Childress Racing's Paul Menard started the CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet from the 20th position. Handling issues plagued the No. 27 Impala early in the 400-lap race and Menard quickly slipped backwards. The Slugger Labbe-led team made chassis and air pressure adjustments during each pit stop in order to neutralize the loose condition that the Eau Claire, Wis., native was battling. Contact with the No. 42 car on the lap-338 restart resulted in left-front fender damage that, ultimately, caused the tire to go flat. The unscheduled green-flag pit stop to change the tire and repair the fender put Menard costly laps down to the leader late in the race. Unable to climb through the field any further, Menard took the checkered flag in the 24th position. He now sits 17th in the championship driver points, a mere five points out of the top 15.

PAUL MENARD QUOTE: "The best the CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet handled was at the very end of the race. Unfortunately, having to come to pit road under green for the left-front flat ended our chances of finishing any higher than we did. Today was a bit of a mystery because the car was so different from what it was in Happy Hour (practice) on Friday. We have a lot of notes to go over before we come back here (Dover International Speedway), but we'll get it figured out. I know these guys won't quit until we do."

Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

***

Harvick, No. 29 Team Notch Top-10 Finish at Dover

Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team scored a 10th-place finish in the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway but were left wanting more after competing in the top five during the majority of the race. The Budweiser Chevrolet was strong during the early stages of the race as Harvick surged into the top five by lap 25 and was in the third position by the time the competition caution waved on lap 40. Harvick reported the car was perfect and that he was "just cruising." With rain threatening the area, unstable weather conditions created a variety of track conditions throughout the day. It was during the first long run of the race that the Budweiser Chevrolet drifted to the loose side. A track bar adjustment during a green-flag pit stop on lap 108 seemed to help as Harvick reported the car to be pretty good during the second half of the following run. The Budweiser Chevrolet really came to life in the second half of the race, strengthening the longer a run continued. Harvick picked up the sixth, fifth and fourth positions in successive circuits from laps 263 to 265. He maintained the position after a round of green-flag stops on lap 283. Harvick was poised to score a top-five finish when the sixth and final caution of the race waved on lap 362. He, along with almost all of the leaders, took four tires on the last stop of the day. A number of cars running behind Harvick elected to only take two tires in order to gain track position. The strategy placed Harvick in 15th place for the restart on lap 366. Time ran out before the driver of the Budweiser Chevrolet could regain all that had been lost and was in the 10th position when the checkered flag waved. Harvick remains fifth in the driver point standings following the 10th-place run at Dover. He is 54 points out of first place.

GIL MARTIN QUOTE: "We came in and got four tires and obviously, it is easy to say we should have stayed out right there. But, I really thought with 35 laps to go and the guys that were going to be up front like that, the tires were going to blow through them and it would have caused a caution if you didn't have tires and you were going to be in big trouble. But the way it played out, it was again, a perfect storm for the guys that stayed out. You live and learn and sometimes you gamble different ways. But, today, the Budweiser Chevrolet was good all day so I'm happy with it."

... we didn't need that last caution to come out toward the end of the race.

Jeff Burton

***

Burton, Cat Racing Team Tie Season-Best Finish of 11th at the Monster Mile

A late-race caution period coupled with pit strategy let Jeff Burton and the Cat Racing team see the makings of a promising top-five run disappear in Sunday's FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway. After being slated in the 16th-place starting position when Saturday's time trials session was rained out, Burton hung around in the top 15 for the entire first half of the 400-lap showdown. Adjustments made during multiple pit stops helped move the Caterpillar Chevrolet from a tight-handling condition to a slightly loose form that allowed the 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner to crack the top 10 at lap 230. Stout lap times and lightning-fast pit stops advanced Burton through the field over the ensuing 100 laps, running as high as fourth at lap 337. The 400 miler started playing into the Todd Berrier-led crew's hands and a long green-flag run to the checkers would have secured the team's first top-five finish of the season. However, a caution with just under 40 laps to go left teams seeking their best pitting strategy. Four fresh tires was the call from atop the box and a 13th-place restart spot was acquired after one team chose not to pit and others took two tires. After losing a couple spots on the final restart of the day, Burton flexed his muscle and passed a handful of cars to tie his season's best effort of 11th. In the process, the No. 31 team advanced one position, to 23rd, in the championship point standings.

JEFF BURTON QUOTE: "Obviously, we didn't need that last caution to come out toward the end of the race. Everyone played a different pit strategy and our four-tire call didn't work out in our favor. Track position was huge but we were able to make up some spots in the closing laps. The No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet was fast and our pit stops were good, too. So, hopefully, we can take what we put together in Dover and carry it through the next few races."

We're really working well together and are making better decisions.

Clint Bowyer

***

Solid Team Effort Leads to Top-10 Finish for No. 33 Team at Dover

Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet team led 29 laps en route to their sixth top-10 finish in the last seven races, finishing sixth in the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway. Starting from the 22nd position after rain washed out Saturday's qualifying session, the Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet began the 400-lap event loose as it took many laps for the one-mile ova,l known as "The Monster Mile," to build rubber after rainstorms swept through the night before. Under caution 20 laps into the race, crew chief Shane Wilson decided to bring the No. 33 Chevrolet down pit road to see what would happen to the car's handling if only two right-side tires were changed. After the stop, lap times and handling did not improve and Bowyer slid back through the field, falling as low as 29th. Over the next 100-plus laps, Bowyer and the team worked hard to figure out how to find grip, making major adjustments during pit stops, slowly picking off competitors one-by-one on the track and, eventually, cracking the top 15. After a brief rain shower caused a caution-flag period on lap 164, Bowyer and the crew received the opportunity to take four fresh tires and make an assault on the top 10. On a lap 217 yellow-flag pit stop, while running 10th, the "Helping Hands" pit crew reeled off a blistering four-tire pit stop, gaining four positions on pit road and getting the No. 33 Chevrolet back on the track in the sixth position. Bowyer then had the necessary changes to the car's setup that allowed him to work his way into the top five. Another fast pit stop under a lap-333 caution put the Emporia, Kan., native into the lead, earning a valuable championship driver point. Bowyer would lead the next 29 circuits until a caution flag with 37 laps to go. At that time, after seeing what two tires did to the car's handling earlier in the race, Wilson elected to take four tires instead of two. Five other teams decided to take two tires under the same pit cycle and Bowyer restarted in the sixth position. He would stay in sixth for the remainder of the race and cross the finish line with another solid top-10 performance, gaining a spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings along the way. He now sits eighth in points, 80 markers out of first.

CLINT BOWYER QUOTE: "Our guys worked really hard in getting the car fixed up. We even got up there and led the race. We're really working well together and are making better decisions. Obviously, two tires may have won the race. When Shane (Wilson, crew chief) said four and that many guys stayed out or were on two, I still really thought we would be able to get back up through them, especially as greasy and slimy as the track was on restarts. It just didn't work out in our favor. I am really proud of my guys on the BB&T Chevrolet team. It was a great team effort."

-source: rcr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Paul Menard , Clint Bowyer
Teams Richard Childress Racing
Tags chevrolet, clint bowyer, jeff burton, kevin harvick, paul menard, sprint cup