2019 Daytona 500: Richard Childress Racing Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Race Preview
Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Daytona International Speedway ... Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 11 poles and collected six points-paying victories at the most-storied race track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit. RCR owns three Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt - 1998, Kevin Harvick - 2007, Austin Dillon - 2018), three Coke Zero 400 trophies (Earnhardt - 1990, 1993 and Harvick - 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including a record 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 - 1999). In addition, RCR has earned the Advance Auto Parts Clash a total of eight times, with drivers Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013) and Earnhardt (1986, '88, '91, '93, and '95).
RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,919 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,108 wins, 488 top-five finishes and 1,067 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 and an average finishing position of 16.1. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, '87, '90, '91, '93 and '94, six NASCAR Xfinity Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Menards Series title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR's three national series.
Time to Duel ... The Can-Am Duels at Daytona feature two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 will be set. Hemric starts third in the first Duel after qualifying fifth on Sunday, while Tyler Reddick starts ninth after qualifying 16th. Austin Dillon starts fifth in the second duel after qualifying 10th. Watch the Can-Am Duels live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.
#RCR50 ... Richard Childress Racing celebrates it's 50th Anniversary in 2019.
Interactive RCR ... For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR's corporate Twitter page - @RCRracing - along with the RCR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Twitter page - @RCRCup, and driver Twitter pages @austindillon3, @TylerReddick and @DanielHemric. Information about the 15-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRracing.com along with official driver pages - http://www.facebook.com/austindillon3 and www.facebook.com/DanielHemric.
Catch the Action ... The 61st running of the Daytona 500 will be televised live Sunday, Feb. 17 beginning at 3 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The Can-Am Duels at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races, will take the green flag Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
This Week's Dow Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway ... Dillon enters this year's Daytona 500 as the defending race winner, having clinched the 2018 Daytona 500 in the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet exactly 20 years to the date after Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the race in the No. 3 car. In 11 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway, Dillon has acquired two top-five and seven top-10 finishes. The Welcome, North Carolina, driver, who grew up attending races at Daytona International Speedway with his family, has 10 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with one win, seven top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has two starts at the track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Former Pole Winner ... Dillon earned his career-first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole award with a lap of 196.019 mph (45.914 seconds) in the 2014 edition of the Daytona 500. It marked the fourth time the No. 3 has won the pole for the Daytona 500, and its 67th Cup Series pole, overall. Dillon also started on the front row for the July 2015 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. Dillon's starting position for this year's Daytona 500 will be determined by his finishing position in the Can-Am Duels on Thursday.
Dow brings a science and engineering crew who is driven by limitless curiosity to the RCR Team ... Austin Dillon and the RCR team are again supported by Dow's materials science expertise and technologies this season. Backed by the power of data analysis and virtual modeling, Dow develops and manufactures high-performance components and materials custom-made for the No. 3 car. Dow and RCR's partnership has expedited innovation and shortened testing time in the automotive industry by recreating in the lab one of the most extreme environments - the racetrack. After 5 years of collaboration, Dow scientists and RCR engineers are continuing to work together to make the No. 3 car faster, safer and more precise. Stay up to date with Dow's exciting developments at www.dow.com/sports and follow us on Twitter @DowRacing, @DowSports & @DowChemical
Meet Dillon ... Dillon is scheduled to sign autographs at the RCR merchandise hauler outside the frontstretch grandstands in the fan midway on Thursday, February 14, starting at 1:15 p.m. ET. Fans that purchase an item from the merchandise hauler will receive a wristband to ensure their place in line. Wristbands will be limited. Dillon is also scheduled to join his teammate, Daniel Hemric, at Bass Pro Shops (1880 W Checkered Flag Blvd., Ste. N-100, Daytona Beach, FL 32114) at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. He is scheduled to participate in a Q & A on the Team Chevy Stage in the Daytona International Speedway fan midway area on Saturday, February 16 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
Take us through the last two laps of the Daytona 500 last year ...
"Looking back at those last two laps, I knew we were in a great position. We were running fourth and in a position where you know you're going to have a run at some point. We went into turn 1 on the final lap on the outside of Denny Hamlin and I knew that if he moved up it would create a great run for Bubba Wallace, which is what he did. He side-drafted me hard which gave Bubba a run off of Turn 2. When Bubba got to my back bumper I was thinking okay, the next move has got to be for the win because we're going to have the momentum. We made a move and Aric Almirola did a good job trying to block the first one but we carried so much momentum that everything happened right there. He turned into the wall and I looked in the mirror and we were still driving away from the field. I couldn't believe it coming off Turn 4 and looking up and realizing no one could catch us. I had that feeling of 'Wow. We are going to cross the start/finish line at the Daytona 500. It was a special moment."
When you looked into the mirror, was that the moment that it hit you that you won the Daytona 500?
"It did not. I was freaking out at that point. I didn't believe it. It was like a dream. I feel like it hit me days later. You're in that moment sitting in Victory Lane. I wish I could just like live in Victory Lane. It's a great place to be, especially at Daytona. Those moments are what you remember and relive and want to get back to. It's such a cool feeling. It's time to try and create more of those moments. We want more wins."
Is there something that stands out that you were able to do or experience while celebrating the Daytona 500?
"The Media car wash stands out. Going on Ryan and Kelly. I think my favorite interview of all was with Shaq. He did a podcast in Atlanta with me and he told me to take my Daytona 500 trophy, go to dinner with my mom and wife and after I'm done with dinner, give your mom the Daytona 500 trophy and say don't give it back. You need to go win some more big trophies. I was like dang man, I just won the Daytona 500 and you're going to tell me to go win more. And he said you've got to. It's all about keeping that focus and pushing to win more big trophies. That sticks in my mind and makes me fired up."
This Week's Bass Pro Shops / Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway ... Hemric will be making his first start in the 61st annual Daytona 500 as he kicks off his 2019 Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign as the driver of the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops / Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native earned one top-10 finish and one pole award at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, as well as one top-10 finish in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
Meet the Driver ... Fans will have multiple opportunities to meet Hemric during Speedweeks in Daytona. He will be at the Bass Pro Shops at 1880 W. Checkered Flag Blvd, Daytona Beach on Thursday, Feb. 14, starting at 2 p.m. ET to sign autographs with RCR teammate Austin Dillon. Hemric will also be signing autographs at the RCR merchandise hauler outside the frontstretch grandstands in the fan midway on Saturday, Feb. 16, starting at 10 a.m. ET. Fans that purchase an item from the merchandise hauler will receive a wristband to ensure their place in line. Wristbands will be limited.
About Bass Pro Shops ... Bass Pro Shops is North America's premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela's to create a "best-of-the-best" experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America's Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as "one of America's Best Employers."
About Caterpillar ... For nearly 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. With 2013 sales and revenues of $55.656 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three product segments - Resource Industries, Construction Industries and Energy & Transportation - and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment. For more information, visit caterpillar.com. To connect with us on social media, visit caterpillar.com/social-media.
DANIEL HEMRIC QUOTES:
You posted the fifth-fastest time in Daytona 500 qualifying and had the top spot until the final four cars. Did you expect to show that kind of speed in qualifying?
"I'm incredibly proud of all of the No. 8 team, everybody on this Bass Pro Shops/Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 for picking up the speed we picked up. I didn't know what we had for speed based off Saturday's practice sessions and we exceeded what my expectations were. Proud of these guys, so cool to have the whole top five be all Chevy Camaro ZL1's. It's cool to be here and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do this week."
What have you been doing to prepare for your first start in the Daytona 500?
"It is just so special to be here in the No.8 Chevrolet, celebrating RCR's 50th anniversary with the support of Bass Pro Shops and Caterpillar this weekend. I have been trying to take it all in and enjoy the experience. It has been a lot of hard work to get to this point and it is an honor to be in this position. To help prepare for the upcoming week, I went back to watch old film and spent some time around the other cars - particularly our teammates - during practice, which helped. We never made a qualifying run during the weekend's first two practices, so to show the speed we did in qualifying was very encouraging. I will look to work more with my teammates Austin and Tyler Reddick during the upcoming practices this week and learn all I can in the draft."
Does it help that going into this weekend's race the aero package is the same it was in 2018, when your teammate Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500?
"Without a doubt, having the same package as last year and knowing the success Austin had with it in the Daytona 500 drives a lot of confidence in everyone at RCR. The men and women at the shop have had a lot of pep in their step during the offseason preparing for this event - and rightfully so. To know that we have a package that we can build on from last year that Austin and the No. 3 team had success with is very encouraging. It has been fun working with Luke Lambert and everyone on this No. 8 team and hopefully that all leads to a successful start to the season in Thursday's Duel and Sunday's Daytona 500."
This Week's SYMBICORT Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway ... Tyler Reddick will be making his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut with his entry into the 2019 DAYTONA 500 in the No. 31 SYMBICORT® (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate) Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion has two previous wins at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, one in the Xfinity Series (2018) and one in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (2015).
SYMBICORT Partners with the No. 31 at Daytona ... SYMBICORT is an AstraZeneca product and the sponsor of No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 IN the DAYTONA 500 with Tyler Reddick in 2019. You can learn more at MySymbicort.com. AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.
Meet Reddick ... Fans can meet Reddick when he stops by the Team Chevy display on Sunday, February 17 beginning at 10 a.m. local time for a Q&A session before the DAYTONA 500.
TYLER REDDICK QUOTES:
How does it feel making your Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut while entering the DAYTONA 500 for the first time with RCR?
"It feels awesome to be making my debut Cup Series start with an organization so significant as RCR. To have that debut race then be the DAYTONA 500 just makes it even better. This is something I've wanted to accomplish for so long, and it's an honor that RCR believes in me and is making it happen. It's cool to have it be happening during RCR's 50th Anniversary too. I hope that I can get out there and contend for the win for the team."
What do you think will be the biggest challenge during your 2019 Speedweeks experience?
"I think just being patient will be a challenge. We first needed to do everything correctly to make sure we qualify for the race, which we were successful at Sunday so that takes a little pressure of the duels for us. As for during the actual race, it's just being patient and not getting caught up in an incident before the end. You don't win the DAYTONA 500 on the first lap, you don't win it at the end of Stage 2, you win it at the end once the checkered flag waves. Just keeping that in mind during the actual race will be very important for me."
Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona International Speedway ... In 93 Series starts at the 2.5-mile speedway, RCR has captured six victories with drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2002 and 2010), Kevin Harvick (2007), Clint Bowyer (2009), Tony Stewart (2013) and Austin Dillon (2015). The Welcome, N.C., organization has completed 10,142 laps of the 10,486 (96.7 percent) that they have competed. RCR has accumulated seven pole awards, 33 top-five and 51 top-10 finishes, led 687 laps and averages a starting position of 10.9 and finishing position of 12.8.
2019 Preview ... Defending NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion, Tyler Reddick, will be the sole full-time entry for RCR for the 2019 Xfinity Series season. Reddick recorded two wins, seven top-five and 20 top-10 finishes on his way to the title last year.
Social Media ... To keep up with the latest updates from RCR's Xfinity Series teams, follow @RCRracing and @RCRNXS on Twitter. Updates can also be found via RCR's Facebook Page and Instagram (@RCRracing).
Catch the Action ... Coverage of this week's NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona International Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, February 16, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. It will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
This Week's Pinnacle Financial Partners Chevrolet Camaro at Daytona International Speedway ... Tyler Reddick returns to the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona International Speedway as both the defending series champion and race winner, as he claimed the win last February with the closest margin of victory (0.0004 seconds) in NASCAR history. The 23-year-old driver has a total of four starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in the Xfinity Series, collecting one win, one top-five and one top-10 finish. Reddick has three NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts, earning one win, one top-five and one top-10 finish. He has also made four ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards starts and collected one top-five and two top-10 finishes.
About Pinnacle Financial Partners ... Pinnacle Financial Partners is a full-service financial services firm for people and companies who want a deeper, more personal relationship with their banker. Starting with just a single office in Nashville, TN, Pinnacle is now a top 50 bank in the United States serving clients all over the country and with offices in Tennessee, the Carolinas and Virginia. From personal accounts, mortgages, business lending and services, investments, insurance and more, Pinnacle delivers community bank service with the sophistication of a much larger firm. And they've earned dozens of local and national awards to prove it. Pinnacle was founded on the simple idea that "people matter" and with a vision to be the best financial services firm and the best place to work in the Southeast.
Celebrating 50 Years ... 2019 marks 50 years for Richard Childress Racing and to kick-off the celebrations, Reddick will be piloting a gold No. 2 Pinnacle Financial Partners Camaro during Saturday's Xfinity Series race. Look for additional details on 50th Anniversary celebration plans, special digital and social content and more all season long on rcrracing.com.
TYLER REDDICK QUOTE:
For the first time in a while, the Xfinity Series will have a defending champion. How does it feel to know you have a shot at going for back-to-back titles?
"It's really cool to be coming back to the Xfinity Series for another full season as the reigning champion. I think with the team we've built at RCR with Randall Burnett as my crew chief, we've got a good chance at getting into the Final 4 at Homestead-Miami and contending for the title this year. It's going to take a lot of work, but I really think we can make it happen. Last year, I was able to come on strong in the end when it mattered most and make that championship run. With that Playoff experience and knowing which tracks may be a bit of a challenge for me and require more preparation, I see no reason why we won't be in the mix come November."
You're also the defending race winner this weekend. What does it take to win at Daytona?
"It takes patience, and a little bit of luck. I've been fortunate enough to win in both the Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoor Series at Daytona and it's not easy. You've just got to be able to have a good handle on what's going on around you throughout the entire race and know when to make your moves. Too early and you'll get caught up in something, but if you can execute at the right time it can pay off with the win."