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2019 Atlanta: Richard Childress Racing Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Feb 20, 2019 - 06:31 AM
2019 Atlanta: Richard Childress Racing Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Race Preview

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series History at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... In 144 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has earned nine wins and three pole awards, including Kevin Harvick's emotional victory in the Cracker Barrel 500 on March 11, 2001. Dale Earnhardt won eight times at the Hampton, Ga.-based track under the RCR banner. Additionally, RCR boasts 29 top-five and 57 top-10 finishes at AMS and RCR-prepared Chevrolets have led 2,955 laps at the ultra-fast, 1.54-mile oval. Richard Childress, a former driver on NASCAR's senior circuit, recorded his best finish at AMS, ninth, in the Atlanta Journal 500 on Nov. 2, 1980.

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,922 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 16.2. 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 Gander Outdoors Truck Series titles and one ARCA Menards Series title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR's three national series.

#RCR50 ... Richard Childress Racing celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2019. Follow our social channels season-long as we celebrate five decades in NASCAR.

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 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be televised live Sunday, Feb. 24 beginning at 2 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This Week's Dow Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... In six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Dillon's best finish is 11th in 2016.

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 ... Come meet Dillon and shop track-side at Atlanta Motor Speedway when he makes an appearance to his merchandise trailer in the fan midway on Sunday, February 24 at 10:40 a.m. ET. Purchase from the trailer, receive your wrist band and ensure your place in line at this limited autograph session.

Talk a little bit about the recent test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Did you like what you felt with the new rules package?
"We had a successful test. I enjoyed being out there and I felt like we had some good speed. I'm looking forward to getting to Atlanta Motor Speedway to see how that race is, and then Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be the next part of the rules package. I'm pumped. I think it's going to be interesting for sure."

What type of mentality are you going to have to have that you didn't have before on these mile-and-a-half and two-mile tracks?
"You're going to have to be really smart at making your moves on the racetrack, because when you make them you better clear people. If you pull out of line at the wrong time, you're going to lose more than just the spot you tried to gain. You're going to lose two or three spots. You're going to have to complete passes and be aggressive when you do. I think that will be key. In a sense, it feels very similar to a race at a place like Daytona International Speedway or Talladega Superspeedway. You have to be very calculated about your moves and learn what the draft is going to be like because this package is different than the package we've been running, and the draft works differently so you'll have to find different places on the track where you can gain momentum and speed."

How do you make a pass with this package?
"I think when somebody gets side-by-side it really helps the third-place guy. Obviously, being faster is a key part of that. Speed is king so we'll be trying to work on our cars to get them as fast as we can to be able to pull out and make moves. I think the air works a lot differently than it used to with having the air ducts in the front so learning that is going to be pretty key. I think learning the air is still a work in progress and once we figure that out, we'll have a better idea of what we can and cannot get away with. I'm really pumped to have Danny Stockman as my crew chief this year. He's a guy that was really good in the Truck Series and the Xfinity Series, and I think finding that balance shift between aero is going to be something he is good at. I'm really excited about it."

How do you see this package playing out on a worn-out racetrack like Atlanta Motor Speedway?
"You're still going to have to drive it a lot at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I don't care, horsepower-wise. Atlanta Motor Speedway eats tires. You're going to have to be on and off the throttle, keeping up with the track. There's still going to be a lot of driving and working on your car throughout the race to get it better. You're going to have to change your lane a lot. The person that can stay in the gas the longest is probably going to win."

This Week's Alsco / Red Kap Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... Hemric will be making his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Atlanta Motor Speedway but has starts in both the NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Truck Series at the 1.5-mile track. He had an average start of 6.0 and an average finish of 10.0 in the Xfinity Series, as well as an average start of 11.5 and an average finish of 10.5 in the Truck Series.

Review Mirror: Daytona 500 ... Hemric's first Daytona 500 start saw the gold-colored No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/Caterpillar Chevrolet race from the back in the 29th starting position to the front of the field but ended when the 'Big One' struck in the closing laps of the race. Hemric was the only rookie in the field to lead a lap, however the damage from the wreck and a penalty from NASCAR for moving under red flag conditions resulted in a 34th-place finish.

About Alsco ... Alsco is a fourth-generation family owned and operated business, founded in 1889, that was recognized by the prestigious Hohenstein Institute for having invented the linen and uniform rental industry. Celebrating 130 years of business, Alsco provides linen and workwear rental services to customers that include restaurants, healthcare, automotive industry and industrial facilities. With over 180 locations and more than 20,000 employees, Alsco provides world-class service to over 355,000 customers in 14 countries. Learn more at www.alsco.com.

What are your expectations for Atlanta Motor Speedway?
"The new package is a little bit of a moving target, but on the flip side of that I feel like Chevrolet, the people at RCR, and everyone involved in building these cars are putting all their resources into figuring out or eliminating those variables as best as possible. It's a great thing to have that comradery between all of us to make sure we can do what is necessary so that when we do hit the race track, we are as close to prepared as we can be. I think it's going to be a constant evolution of what you need. This week isn't going to be the same as the next week. It's going to be fun for everybody figuring it out."

What makes Atlanta Motor Speedway different from other 1.5-mile tracks?
"Without a doubt, the grip level sets Atlanta Motor Speedway apart. Atlanta Motor Speedway has worn-out pavement with swells and bumps. The race track has always had character in how wide it gets. Even with the new package, I expect it to get just as wide as it ever did. Because of that, most drivers like going there. I love racing at a place where you have to be elbows up from lap one to the end of the weekend."

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... In 48 Series starts at the 1.5-mile paved oval, RCR has captured three victories with drivers Jeff Burton (2006 and 2007) and Kevin Harvick (2013). The Welcome, North Carolina, organization has completed 8,841 laps of the 8,976 (98.5 percent) that they have competed. RCR has accumulated one pole award, 12 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes, led 465 laps with an average starting position of 12.1 and finishing position of 10.9.

Daytona Review ... Tyler Reddick captured the fifth-consecutive season opening pole award for RCR at Daytona International Speedway last weekend. Reddick went on to finish ninth in the first Xfinity Series race of the year.

The Points ... Tyler Reddick is currently 10th in the Xfinity Series driver point standings.

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 Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, February 23, beginning at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. It will also be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.

This Week's Pinnacle Financial Partners Chevrolet Camaro at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... Tyler Reddick has one previous NASCAR Xfinity Series start and two previous NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His highest finish of fifth came in the 2015 Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile speedway.

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.

Meet Reddick ... Fans can meet Reddick when he stops by the Xfinity Zone on Saturday, February 23 beginning at 12:35 p.m. local time. The Xfinity Series' defending champion is scheduled to take part in a Q&A and sign a couple of autographs before the race later that afternoon.

After the hectic schedule of Daytona Speedweeks, are you looking forward to getting to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend?
"Yes, I'm really looking forward to Atlanta Motor Speedway this week. Last year, I was running about fifth or sixth with 50 laps remaining when I had a tire come apart and send me back through the field to 19th, so I'm ready for a re-do. Atlanta is a track that I like a lot. The bottom is really fun to run there, but I do wish there was a way to get a little more rubber to lay down on the top, especially in Turns 3 and 4. I feel like with just a little more rubber, we could move around the track more like we do at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Every time we go to Atlanta though, I have a blast. I wish it would be a little bit warmer out there, but we still have plenty of tire fall-off to make it interesting."

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