Richard Childress Racing - Phoenix event recap

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Richard Childress Racing teammates Ryan Newman finished seventh, Paul Menard 23rd and Austin Dillon was 24th.

Ryan Newman Records Seventh-Place Finish at Phoenix International Raceway

Richard Childress Racing driver Ryan Newman drove the No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS to a seventh-place finish in Sunday's 312-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix International Raceway.

Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

During the opening laps, the Rocket Man climbed from the 15th-starting position to ninth. As the race settled in, Newman drove comfortably in the top 15 while the Luke Lambert-led team focused on tightening up the No. 31 Chevrolet during several pit stops. A service stop on lap 188 helped Newman break into the top 10 at lap 211. Then on lap 243, he was scored the leader and held the top spot for six circuits before pitting one final time with 60 laps to go. When he returned to the track, Newman kept up a fast pace and, with one final nine-lap dash to the finish, Newman recorded a seventh-place finish. Next Sunday, Newman and the No. 31 team will compete at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

RYAN NEWMAN (Start - 15th / Finish - 7th / Laps Led - 6 / Points - 15th): "It was a good team effort for our Quicken Loans Chevrolet. The guys did a good job in the pits. We caught a good break with the debris caution, which was a good thing for the team. It feels good to have run up front, lead laps and earn a top-10 finish with my new team."

Paul Menard Hangs Tough for 23rd-place Finish at Phoenix

Paul Menard and the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet SS began the 312-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in 22nd place. For the early portions of the event, the Richard Childress Racing driver radioed to crew chief Slugger Labbe and team that he was turning well in Turns 1 and 2, but loose in 3 and 4 of the one-mile oval. After the competition caution on lap 35, Menard pitted for fuel, four tires and chassis adjustments. From there, Menard would remain in and near the top-20 positions through long, green-flag runs when, at one point, there were only 18 cars on the lead lap. Two more stops under green left Menard with enough fuel to go the distance, but handling conditions of being tight into and in the center of turns remained an issue. That, combined with being loose off the turns, kept the No. 27 team from progressing up the running order and they finished where they started in 23rd place.

PAUL MENARD (Start - 22nd / Finish - 23rd / Laps Led - 0 / Points Position - 24th): "We just seemed to struggle with changing track and handling conditions during the entire race. We'd make the changes to fix one part, and then the other end of the track would give us a problem. But, we never gave up, tried to race our way back onto the lead lap there at the end but we couldn't gain on the two cars in front of us that were on our lap. The Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet crew did a good job on our pit stops."

Austin Dillon Finishes 24th at Phoenix International Raceway

Austin Dillon finished 24th in his career-first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday afternoon, driving the No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. The Welcome, N.C. driver started the 312-lap event from the 24th position and reported a loose-handling condition to crew chief Gil Martin from at the start. The team made chassis adjustments during routine pit stops under yellow flag and green flag conditions, which improved the handling conditions the driver was facing. In the closing stages of the race, he was posting lap times competitive with the top-five competitors even one lap down to the race leader and unable to earn his lap back, ultimately finishing 24th.

AUSTIN DILLON (Start - 24 / Finish - 24 / Laps Led - 0 / Points - 16): "It was a long day for sure, but I learned a lot. The handling of the American Ethanol Chevrolet SS changed completely from yesterday to today. We were extremely loose to begin the day. I definitely learned a lot throughout the race and by the end of the event, we were running some of the fastest lap times of the race."

Richard Childress Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Race report
Tags austin dillon, nascar-cup, paul menard, phoenix, ryan newman