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Apr 08, 2013 - 11:37 AM
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2013 Martinsville: Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Apr 08, 2013 - 11:34 AM
2013 Martinsville: Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recap

Race Highlights:
• Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 13th (Kevin Harvick), 18th (Jeff Burton) and 19th (Paul Menard).
• Menard is tied for eighth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing point leader Jimmie Johnson by 52 markers, while Harvick ranks 14th and Burton 24th.
• The No. 27 Chevrolet team is also tied for eighth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 29 team 17th in the standings and the No. 31 team 25th.
• According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Harvick was the fifth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run, the ninth-Fastest driver Late in a Run, the ninth-Fastest on Restarts, ranked ninth in Average Running Position (9.016), had the ninth-best Driver Rating (96.3) and had the third-best Speed in Traffic.
• Harvick also spent 479 Laps in the Top 15 (95.8 percent) and made 42 Quality Passes (passes made while running in the top 15).
• Burton spent 385 Laps in the Top 15 (77 percent) and made the second-most Green Flag Passes (76) with 32 of them coming while running in the top 15 (Quality Passes).
• Menard made 48 Green Flag Passes during the 500-lap event, nine of them taking place while running in the top15 (Quality Passes).
• The RCR entries posted the fastest laps of the race 19 times, with Harvick (15 laps) and Burton (4 laps).
• Jimmie Johnson earned his second Sprint Cup Series win of the season and was followed to the finish line by Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch.
• The next Sprint Cup Series race is the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 13. The seventh race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on FOX beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.


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Paul Menard Earns Hard Fought 19th-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway

Starting from the 16th position, Paul Menard and the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards team faced handling issues throughout the 500-lap event, earning a 19th-place finish when the checkered flag flew at Martinsville Speedway. The early laps of the race looked promising as the No. 27 machine quickly made its way to 12th by lap 38. As the race went on, Menard began to struggle with a loose-handling racecar on entry and exit, and a tight condition through the middle of the corners. Long green-flag runs coupled with handling issues caused Menard to fall a lap down to the leader on two separate occasions during the 263-mile event. The Menards crew never gave up making an array of adjustments to the No. 27 in hopes of remedying the issue. The series of chassis and air pressure adjustments provided some relief to the Eau Claire, Wis., native and he was credited with the "Lucky Dog" pass, allowing him to return to the lead lap both times. Maintaining a top-20 running position throughout the majority of the race, Menard crossed the finish line 19th when the checkered flag flew. Menard's top-20 finish ties him for eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Texas Motor Speedway.

Start - 16 Finish - 19 Laps Led - 0 Points - 8

"It was a tough day for the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards crew. We struggled with handling issues for the majority of the day and never seemed to hit on the right setup. I have to give my team credit though, they never gave up and made a variety of adjustments all day to try and get the car to handle better. We fought hard getting our lap back twice, but we just couldn't gain much track position. We'll keep our heads up and hope for a better result in Texas next weekend."

Kevin Harvick Finishes 13th at Martinsville Speedway

Kevin Harvick drove the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS to a 13th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday afternoon after late-race pit strategy played against the Richard Childress Racing team. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the STP Gas Booster 500 from the 21st position and set his sights on the front of the field, moving into the top 10 by lap 36. As the race progressed, Harvick was able to maintain a position within the top 10, but reported to crew chief Gil Martin that the red and white machine had developed a tight-handling condition. The team worked on the handling of the Budweiser Chevrolet during multiple four-tire pit stops in an effort to combat the handling issue, including a final four-tire pit stop on lap 489 that positioned the No. 29 machine 14th for the final restart. Back under green-flag conditions, Harvick was able to gain one position during the final laps, crossing the finish line 13th. The top-15 result allowed Harvick to gain one position, to 14th, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

Start - 21 Finish - 13 Laps Led - 0 Points - 14

"The Budweiser team had a solid run today, but it came down to pit strategy at the end, and it didn't work in our favor. Next weekend is another race. We'll move on from Martinsville (Speedway) and put our focus on Texas (Motor Speedway)."

Jeff Burton Battles Back to 18th-Place Finish After Early Incident

Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma Chevrolet SS team battled back for an 18th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway after being involved in an early-race incident. Starting the 500-lap event in the 29th position, the South Boston, Va., native showcased he was one of the fastest drivers in the 43-car field by climbing into the top 15 by lap 50, and then the top 10 on lap 60. Burton eventually settled into the 12th position and radioed to crew chief Luke Lambert that the No. 31 Chevrolet was loose entering and tight in the middle of the 12-degree banked corners. However, disaster struck on a lap-172 restart when multiple cars in front of the Richard Childress Racing driver checked up causing an accordion-style wreck that collected 11 competitors, including Burton's black and gold machine. The No. 31 pit crew fixed the moderate damage to the hood and front bumper of the car on pit road without losing a lap to the leader. The 45-year-old driver maintained a top-15 spot on the leaderboard for a majority of the next 300 laps, while fighting a tight-handling condition that developed after the incident. When the checkered flag was displayed, Burton crossed the finish line in 18th-place and maintains the 24th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

Start - 29 Finish - 18 Laps Led - 0 Points - 24

"It is disappointing for the No. 31 team to come out of here with an 18th-place finish with a car that was running top-five lap times before the accident. The damage we suffered in the early incident caused a tight-handling condition we just couldn't overcome in the end. We'll look for our luck to change next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway."

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