Richard Childress Racing Kansas Race Report

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Kansas Speedway

RCR teammates finished 11th (Kevin Harvick), 18th (Clint Bowyer), 19th (Paul Menard) and 25th (Jeff Burton).

RCR teammates are fourth (Harvick), ninth (Bowyer), 20th (Menard) and 24th (Burton) in the Sprint Cup Series point standings following Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway.

Burton has been running at the end of all contested races at Kansas Speedway under the RCR banner with eight.

The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, June 12.

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

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

Menard and No. 27 Zecol/Menards Team Bring Home Top-20 Finish from Kansas

Paul Menard and the No. 27 Zecol/Menards Chevrolet dealt with handling issues throughout the STP 400 to come home with a 19th-place finish in the first of two races this season at Kansas Speedway. Menard qualified the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing entry in the ninth position and started the race next to his RCR teammate Kevin Harvick, who had qualified 10th. The Eau Claire, Wisc., native was 11th on lap 44 during the first round of green-flag stops. Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the Zecol/Menards team made adjustments to the car over next 70 laps which resulted in the car being both loose and tight in the turns. Menard made minor contact with the No. 4 car on lap 118 but there was only minimal damage to the No. 27 Chevrolet. The team raced between 17th and 19th through lap 200 before green-flag stop on lap 202 dropped the team to 21st and a lap down to the leader. Menard battled back, however, running as high as 13th but, after a late-race stop to take on two tires and enough fuel to get to the checkered flag, he had to settle for the 19th-place finish.

PAUL MENARD: "We struggled throughout the race to find the right setup for the Zecol/Menards Chevy but were never able to get exactly what we needed. Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) and the team worked really hard to get the car's handling balanced, making adjustments on almost every pit stop, but it seemed like we would be loose one run and then tight the next."

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

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Team Finish 11th in Kansas

As fuel mileage came into play for the second week in a row, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team finished 11th in Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Harvick started the race from the 10th position and remained inside the top 10 through the team's first trip to pit road on lap 44 as he battled a tight-handling race car. Crew chief Gil Martin called for a four-tire stop with air pressure adjustments to try to help get the car to turn better in the corners. The team made adjustments throughout the race, but Harvick continued to deal with a tight-handling Chevrolet for the first seven to 10 laps of a run and then, all of a sudden, the car would come to him before developing a loose handling condition. Despite the handling problems, Harvick continued to run inside the top 10 after the field cycled through green-flag stops. Toward the end of the race, a few teams elected to come down pit road while a majority of the field stayed on the track. Those teams stretched their fuel mileage in the closing laps of the race, making only one trip to pit road while the other teams, including the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team had to pit twice. Harvick came down pit road under green in eighth position at lap 241 for the final stop of the day. As the green-flag stops cycled through in the remaining laps, he ended up 11th, losing spots only to the three cars that were able to stretch their fuel mileage at the end of the race.

KEVIN HARVICK: "We fought it up and down; tight and loose. We had a decent car; not a great car. We gambled a little bit and just had to come in there for gas. But, that's what we're supposed to do, gamble."

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Jeff Burton, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Jeff Burton, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

Burton, Cat Racing Team Finish 25th in Kansas

Jeff Burton and the Cat Racing team endured a tough outing at Kansas Speedway in Sunday's STP 400, finishing 25th in the rundown. Saturday's time trials session led to an outside row eight starting spot for the South Boston, Va., native - a position that he, unfortunately, could never advance from. Immediately after the drop of the green flag, an ill-handling machine transpired and crew chief Todd Berrier used every opportunity the Richard Childress Racing team had to apply doses of medicine to the ever-so-touchy No. 31 entry. However, nothing seemed to remedy the condition and Burton spent most of his afternoon running in and around the 20th position. Adding a complex race car to a track notorious for track position and long green-flag runs made it that much more difficult for the 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner to make up any ground. In the end, he found himself one lap down to the leader with 27 laps to go, dropping as low as 27th, but was able to notch two spots before the checkered flag waved.

JEFF BURTON: "Today wasn't a very good day for the Cat Racing team. We could never get the Caterpillar Chevrolet handling well which made for a long day. It's definitely frustrating to post a 25th-place finish."

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No. 33 American Ethanol Team Brings Home Top-20 Finish at Kansas Speedway

Clint Bowyer, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Clint Bowyer, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 American Ethanol Chevrolet fought loose conditions all day long in 90-degree summer heat and salvaged a top-20 finish in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. After qualifying 27th on Saturday, the Richard Childress Racing driver was loose when the green-flag dropped as hot temperatures and sunny skies led to a slick racing surface on the 1.5-mile oval. Despite the loose conditions, Bowyer worked his way up to 21st position over the first 50 laps and gained five more spots by lap 100. He moved into 16th while routine pit stops gave crew chief Shane Wilson and the "Helping Hands" pit crew opportunities to make chassis adjustments to the No. 33 Chevrolet to gain more grip throughout the 267-lap affair. On a lap 111 yellow-flag pit stop, the "Helping Hands" pit crew gave another great performance, which included track bar and air pressure adjustments, and Bowyer left pit road in 14th. Over the next long green-flag run, Bowyer settled into 13th on the race track and by lap 168, the black, silver and green Impala moved into the top 10. The Emporia Kan., native maintained the top-10 running position over the next 50 laps until a green-flag pit stop on lap 201 shuffled him back to 13th. For the remainder of the race, the four-time Sprint Cup Series race winner struggled to find grip and pit strategy, once again, came into play at the Kansas City Kan.,-based facility as the last 102 laps of the race were run under green-flag conditions. After a four-tire pit stop on lap 243, Bowyer went a lap down to the leaders, but was able to gain three positions in the last 24 laps and come home with a top-20 finish in 18th. Bowyer is now ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings and sits 94 markers out of first.

CLINT BOWYER: "Obviously, I wanted to run better than 18th, especially at my hometown track. It was really hot and we just couldn't find any grip the entire day and it got worse as the day went on. Somehow, we turned it into a top-20 finish. I am proud of everyone on the American Ethanol Chevrolet team. It was great to have American Ethanol on the car this weekend. The paint scheme looked awesome. I can't thank them enough for being great partners of RCR and our sport."

-source: rcr

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags bowyer, burton, chevrolet, harvick, menard, sprint cup