NOTE: many of the links in the past news will be old and may not work
decided it was not worth the time to go thru each one on all the Team Past News pages
Mark McArdle works for Furniture Row & RCR: Even before this season, Furniture Row Racing had a close relationship with Richard Childress Racing. Furniture Row gets its engines and chassis from RCR. The partnership was strengthened recently when Mark McArdle, managing director of competition at Furniture Row, took on a dual role as director of racing operations at RCR. With Furniture Row based in Denver, Colo., and RCR in Welcome, N.C.. The new opportunity for McArdle resulted from a standing offer by Furniture Row owner Barney Visser and general manager Joe Garone and hit critical mass when RCR hired Eric Warren as director of competition late in 2012. McArdle and Warren worked together at Evernham Motorsports. "Joe and Barney offered up my services to RCR if they could use me in any way to help that situation that they have there," McArdle told the NASCAR Wire Service. "Eric Warren and I had worked together for eight years at Evernham's. When he heard about that offer, he took us up on it and has asked me to operate as director of racing operations. The Cup teams, the Nationwide teams and the truck teams all report up through me. I report to Eric." With three Cup teams at RCR and one at Furniture Row, McArdle is spending more time in North Carolina as the organizations develop the Gen-6 car. "Right now, because of the intensity of the changeover process at RCR, we're doing kind of a two thirds/one third," McArdle said. "Two thirds of any given calendar month is being spent here in North Carolina, and about one third in Denver at this point. We hope that, as things become more stabilized and settled, that that will become more 50-50. Eventually the hope is to be able to train someone at RCR to step into that role."(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-24-2013)
Red Kap Joins RCR/ECR Engines: Richard Childress Racing has partnered with Red Kap, a division of VF Imagewear, Inc., as the official workwear outfitter for RCR and ECR Engines employees. Red Kap has been creating comfortable, durable workwear since starting out as a family business in 1923. Today they outfit 16 million Americans in a wide variety of industries.(RCR)(1-23-2013)
Richard Childress Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: The media was late getting to Richard Childress Racing in Lexington NC due to an accident on I-85, some notes:
Richard Childress said #29-Kevin Harvick will do well at Stewart Haas Racing in 2014.
Harvick didn't deny reports he will move to SHR in 2014 or offer up plans for 2014. Harvick is only talking about 2013 and making it his best season but said iy has been a good run (at RCR) and sometimes you need a change of pace. Childress said he knew Harvick wasn't returning in 2014 when story broke in Phoenix but it wasn't supposed to be let out before banquet.
Richard Childress said he has no current plans to run the #3 in the Sprint Cup Series, at least for 2013. Childress said fan reaction has left him more open minded to using the #3 in the future.
Richard Childress says he hired his first engineer in 1989 and now has around 30.
Austin Dillon is named the spokesperson for COPD.(compiled from many Twitter feeds)(1-21-2013)
RCR Adds New Staff to Team Communications Programs: Richard Childress Racing has added two members to its communications staff. Andrea Cleveland has been named manager of communications in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the #27 Menards Chevy team and driver Paul Menard. Jeff O'Keefe has assumed a similar position with RCR's NASCAR Nationwide Series program with the #2 Shore Lodge Chevy team and driver Brian Scott. Cleveland begins her new responsibilities immediately while O'Keefe joined RCR's communications staff in December 2012.(RCR)(1-21-2013)
Richard Childress Signs on as Ambassador for TAG Heuer Eyewear: Richard Childress Racing president and CEO Richard Childress has signed a multi-year agreement with TAG Heuer Eyewear, joining grandsons Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon as ambassadors for the France-based eyewear company. The RCR team owner can be seen at race tracks across the country wearing TAG Heuer's L-Type Lightweight Alligator model glasses exclusively, in both clear and sunglasses. The Dillons both became TAG Heuer spokesmen in 2012 as part of a multi-year deal designed to bring exposure to the TAG Heuer brand and aid in retailer development. The Dillon brothers will continue to display the TAG Heuer eyewear logo on the visor of the racing helmet each wears during NASCAR competition, as well as in other forms of motorsport.(RCR), TAG Heuer is scheduled to sponsor Austin Dillon at Las Vegas in the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy.(1-21-2013)
2013 silly season notes for #27-Paul Menard / Richard Childress Racing Supposedly driver Paul Menard and sponsor Menard's are both signed thru 2013. No word if Menard will re-sign with RCR. Crew chief Slugger Labbe returns. RVR hired a new competition director in Eric Warren late last season. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-16-2013)
Dodge and RCR? What's it going to take to get Dodge Motorsports interested in NASCAR again? How about an organization such as Richard Childress Racing? One of the reasons cited for Dodge's departure from NASCAR at the end of the 2012 season was the inability to secure an organization equal to Penske Racing's stature. Although Dodge representatives flirted with Furniture Row Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Andretti Racing, nothing materialized from the meetings. However, what if Dodge could secure an organization that boasts six Cup titles, three Nationwide Series championships and two Truck titles? "I haven't talk to anybody," team owner Richard Childress said on Friday. "No one has approached me yet." Still, the rumor persists.(FoxSports)(1-12-2013)
2012 racing partners along with primary sponsor Menard's
Daytona, Bud Shootout - 2/19, Peak
Daytona - 2/26, Peak
Phoenix - 3/4, Tarkett
Las Vegas - 3/11, Schrock
Bristol - 3/18, Moen
Auto Club - 3/25, Certainteed
Martinsville - 4/1, Libman
Texas - 4/14, Quaker State
Kansas - 4/22, Zecol
Richmond - 4/28, Nibco
Talladega - 5/6, Turtle Wax
Darlington - 5/12, Pittsburgh Paint
All-Star Race, Charlotte - 5/19, CertainTeed(2)
Charlotte - 5/27, Serta
Dover - 6/3, Pittsburgh Paint(2)
Pocono - 6/10, Sylvania
Michigan - 6/17, Duracell
Sonoma - 6/24, Moen(2)
Kentucky - 6/30, Sylvania(2)
Daytona - 7/7, Quaker State(2)
New Hampshire - 7/15, Duracell(2)
Indy - 7/29, Nibco (2)
Pocono - 8/5, Serta(2)
Watkins Glen - 8/12, Richmond Water Heaters
Michigan - 8/19, Pittsburgh Paint(3)
Bristol - 8/25, Schrock
Atlanta - 9/2, Quaker State Oil(3)
Richmond - 9/8. Moen(3)
Chicago - 9/16, Libman (2)
New Hampshire - 9/23, Sylvania(3)
Dover - 9/30, CertainTeed(2)
Talladega - 10/7, CertainTeed(3)
Charlotte - 10/13, Pittsburgh Paint(4)
Kansas - 10/21, CertainTeed(4)
Martinsville - 10/28, Zecol(2)
Texas - 11/4, Quaker State Oil(4)
Phoenix - 11/11, Richmond Water Heaters(2)
Homestead - 11/18. Duracell(3)
RCR makes promotes Rick Penn: Richard Childress Racing has promoted Rick Penn to the newly created position of Vice President, Business Development. Penn joined RCR in 2009 as Director of Business Development and was promoted to Managing Director of Business Development in 2010. He has overseen the growth of the business development department, from one to four people. His responsibilities include developing long-term partnerships for all of RCR's teams and growing new revenue channels. Penn has been instrumental in establishing new partnerships with Budweiser, Growth Energy, AdvoCare, WESCO and Husky Liners. "Rick has done an outstanding job for RCR since he joined us in 2009," said Ben Schlosser, chief marketing officer for Richard Childress Racing. "He has assembled a terrific team for our business development efforts, implemented solid strategies to attract new partners to RCR and has helped drive B2B activities for many of our current partners. Rick has been instrumental in forging new relationships with companies like AdvoCare, Growth Energy, WESCO, Husky Liners and a few others which we have not yet announced."(RCR)(11-8-2012)
RCR hires Warren as Competition Director: Richard Childress Racing has hired Dr. Eric Warren as its new director of competition in hopes of righting the ship. Warren replaces Kent Day, who served in an interim role after Scott Miller left the company last September for Michael Waltrip Racing. Miller's loss has been felt dramatically at RCR, particularly at the Sprint Cup level. Warren, 43, has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. The Mt. Airy, N.C.-native has been involved in the motorsports industry since 1997. Warren worked as the chief aerodynamicist at Penske-Kranefuss Racing. In 2002, he became the technical director at Evernham Motorsports and advanced to vice president of the organization, then accepted a similar role at MWR. After a short-lived attempt with the U.S. Formula 1 effort, Warren joined Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 as technical director, overseeing all engineering.(Fox Sports)(10-16-2012)
Harvick doesn't expect crew chief changes next year at RCR: From #29-Kevin Harvick's media availability Friday at Talladega:
HAVE YOU GUYS ALREADY DISCUSSED WHAT YOU WANT TO DO FOR 2013 AS FAR AS CREW CHIEFS GO? WILL GIL (MARTIN) CONTINUE ON AS YOUR CREW CHIEF NEXT SEASON?
"As far as I know that situation is all settled for next year. I hadn't heard any different. As far as I'm concerned the team is set and going forward. We have a lot bigger issues to work on than crew chiefs. You can throw crew chiefs at it all day long but we need to work on things in house."
CAN YOU GIVE US DETAILS ON WHAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON?
"I don't have enough time."
YOUR COMPETITION DIRECTOR IS THERE GOING TO BE A NEW COMPETITION DIRECTOR IS THAT WHERE THE START YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE SYSTEM IS THAT WHERE IT STARTS UP THERE? IS THAT THE KEY PIECE RIGHT NOW?
"I think that definitely would be the key piece to start at. I think Richard (Childress) would have a lot more answers on these things than I would. I know he has been working hard to fix a lot of things. A lot of it comes with that piece falling into place and structure. When you don't have that guy in there it just didn't pan out the way that we all thought it would pan out and mesh together and really have things run like they needed to. It just kind of became a little bit more disruptive than I think everybody had anticipated. Richard and those guys are working hard on putting back structure and pieces in places and trying to get everything where it needs to be. It's a big machine. When you get just from the small team that we had with the Trucks and the Nationwide when something goes sideways it definitely takes a while to get it back to where it needs to be. Sometimes it's hard to find the problem and when you are looking for people of that magnitude there is not a lot of them in the garage. I think it's just something to where the wheel is really big and sometimes when you get to the top of that wheel to the bottom it's hard to get it back going again. He's definitely working hard to make all of that happen."(Chevy PR)(10-6-2012)
Three pit crews make it to the track after flight delay: Pit crews for Richard Childress Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing were on a tight schedule for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Blame it on problems with a scheduled flight to bring them to the track. The crew members were scheduled to reach the track about 10:00am/et. However, mechanical issues at their Concord, N.C., departure point forced them to change planes, delaying their arrival for the race. They reached the track about 12:50pm/et with a rush job ahead. Team owner Richard Childress said Miami Air, whom he charters with for the race-day flights, was able to get another plane to carry the crews. The plane landed shortly before 12:00pm/et in Manchester, N.H., about 25 miles from the track. Vehicles carrying the crew members were expected to get a police escort to make it through the traffic. Reaching the track would be no easy assignment. Typically traffic would be heavy with a crowd of about 90,000 people expected at a track with only one main entrance on a road that is converted from two lanes to four lanes using the shoulder for the race.(Sporting News)(9-23-2012)
#27 team penalty upheld on appeal: On Sept. 14, 2012, National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook heard and considered the appeal of the six-week suspension penalty of crew member Grant Hutchens, team engineer for the Richard Childress Racing #27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. Upon hearing the testimony of both parties and carefully reviewing the facts, it was the Chief Appellate Officer's decision to uphold the original penalty assessed by NASCAR. Therefore, Hutchens' suspension from NASCAR is effective immediately until Oct. 25 and his NASCAR probation will continue until Dec. 31.(NASCAR), see past news about the penalty and more on my 2012 Penalties page.(9-14-2012)
National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel Statement about #27 penalty: The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of the #27 Richard Childress NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The penalties concern Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; Section 12-4K: If, in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, race equipment that has been previously certified or previously approved by NASCAR for use in an event, pursuant to sub-section 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired or changed in any matter. Intentionally modifying previously certified frame rails for the purpose of deceiving NASCAR's inspection gauges.
The penalties stemmed from a post-race inspection at the NASCAR Research and Development Center on Aug. 21 following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19.
The original penalties assessed were:
· Car owner (Richard Childress): Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship car owner points;
· Car driver (Paul Menard): Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship driver points;
· Crew chief (Richard Labbe): $100,000 fine; suspended from NASCAR for six weeks; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;
· Car chief (Craig Smokstad): Suspended from NASCAR for six weeks; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;
· Crew member (Grant Hutchens): Suspended from NASCAR for six weeks; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
The Appellant did not appeal the loss of 25 championship car owner and 25 championship driver points or the $100,000 fine and six-week suspension of crew chief Richard Labbe, who began serving his suspension from NASCAR Sept. 4. The Appellant did appeal the six-week suspensions of Craig Smokstad and Grant Hutchens. The Appellant acknowledged that the #27 car failed post-race inspection.
Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. Therefore, both Smokstad and Hutchens' six-week suspensions from NASCAR will be effective immediately. The Appellant has the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer. The panel hearing the appeal were: Dale Pinilis, Robert Yates and Jack Housby. Jason Cohen is the Appellate Administrator and non-voting member.(NASCAR), see past news about the penalty and more on my 2012 Penalties page.(9-10-2012)
RCR considering Kurt Busch: The owner of Richard Childress Racing has discussed putting 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch in a fourth car next season if sponsorship can be found. "I have talked to Kurt about running a full season with a fourth team if we had sponsorship,'' Childress told ESPN.com on Friday at Richmond International Raceway. "He's a very, very talented driver. I like Kurt. Kurt and I would get along. There's just not a sponsor out there today that can fill a complete car.'' Busch through a team public relations representative said he had nothing to add to Childress' comments. Childress said he should know his entire driver lineup by mid-October. He plans to field three Sprint Cup teams with drivers Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and Jeff Burton, as well as three Nationwide teams. Childress' grandson Austin Dillon will drive one of the full-time Nationwide cars with grandson Ty Dillon driving 8-10 Nationwide races while running a full-time Truck Series schedule. "He and I would get along, and he would listen to me,'' Childress said of Busch. "One thing he needs is somebody, when he does do wrong, to discuss how to handle it.'' Busch has spent this season driving for underfunded and primarily unsponsored #51 Phoenix Racing. Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll told ESPN.com recently that owner James Finch would welcome Busch back in 2013 if sponsorship was found.(ESPN)(9-8-2012)
#27 team penalty appeal date/time set: The date and time to hear the Richard Childress Racing appeal of penalties to #27-Paul Menard's NASCAR Sprint Cup team has been set. The appeal will be held on Monday, Sept. 10 at 2:00pm/et. RCR's appeal allows the team members to continue to work at the track until the hearing. If the penalty is upheld, the suspensions will begin at that time (FoxSports). More info about the penalty and other penalties, see my 2012 Penalties page.(9-1-2012)
UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing will appeal the six-week suspension of Craig Smokstad (car chief for Paul Menard's #27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car) and Grant Hutchens (crew member for the #27 car), the team has informed NASCAR. RCR will not appeal the $100,000 fine and six-week suspension of crew chief Slugger Labbe, and it will not appeal the loss of 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, according to NASCAR. Menard's car was taken back to NASCAR's research and development center after last month's race at Michigan. NASCAR said the frame rails had been intentionally modified in an effort to deceive inspectors. The appeal is scheduled for Monday at the NASCAR Research and Development Center.(AP/ESPN/NASCAR)(9-6-2012)
Shane WIlson back at the track; #27 appeal on Wed: Former #27-Kevin Harvick crew chief Shane Wilson is already back in the Sprint Cup garage. Wilson, who was removed from Harvick's Richard Childress Racing team prior to last week's race at Bristol Motor Speedway, began working with the RCR team of #27-Paul Menard on Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. With Menard crew chief Slugger Labbe facing a six-week suspension for an illegal frame on Menard's car at Michigan, Wilson is preparing for the role as interim crew chief if Labbe's suspension is upheld on appeal. The outgoing Wilson didn't dwell much Friday on his split with Harvick, who had been critical of Wilson's changes to the car on the team's in-car radio. "I was glad it ended," Wilson said in an interview with Sporting News on Friday. "You could hear it (on the radio). I don't mean it in a smart-ass way, but I was relieved just to get it over with and move on to the next thing. It's hard to find a good job, and that was a good opportunity. If just a few things would have gone a little different, it would have been a lot better. You're upset a little bit but it's the way it goes in the business and you move on from it," Wilson said. "It is what it is. … (Our communication) wasn't very good. When it gets like that, you're kind of relieved when it finally happens. You move on and do the next thing." Wilson, 43, will spend this weekend learning the routine of Menard's team. He said he'd run that team the way Labbe wants and try to make the transition as smooth as possible. The appeal could come as early as next week [Note: scheduled for Wednesday, September 5], and that could mean Wilson will have a job for six more weeks. He said there could be other opportunities for him as a crew chief at RCR next year. He is ready for another opportunity after the tough 2012. "It probably drives me more—when you fail sometimes or things don't work out as good as you want to, you learn stuff that you did wrong or what you would do different," said Wilson, who has 11 years of experience as a crew chief and worked with RCR's Clint Bowyer before joining Harvick. "It's all part of it. There's a lot of good crew chiefs in the business that had to move to a different driver. It takes a little hit on you for a while, but it will be fine. We were still eighth in points. It wasn't like it was a complete failure." Harvick has not yet addressed the crew chief change and has been unavailable for comment.(in part from the Sporting News)(8-31-2012)
Quaker State colors for Menard: The #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevy of Paul Menard will sport a different look this weekend when the Sprint Cup Series rolls into Atlanta Motor Speedway, carrying a special paint scheme of "Quaker State green" and "Menards yellow."(RCR), see images of the scheme on the #27 Team Schemes page.(8-31-2012)
#27 team and Menard penalized UPDATE 2 - Appeal: NASCAR could come down hard on the #27 Richard Childress Racing team after discovering irregularities with the frame rails on the car driven by Paul Menard last weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Menard's car was taken to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. after finishing ninth in the Pure Michigan 400 Sunday (FOXSports).(8-22-2012)
UPDATE: NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions and fines to the #27 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rules infractions discovered this week during post-race inspection at the NASCAR Research and Development Center following last Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway.
The #27 team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4K (race equipment that has been previously certified or previously approved by NASCAR for use in an event, pursuant to sub-section 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired or changed in any manner. Intentionally modifying frame rails for the purpose of deceiving NASCAR's inspection gauges) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book.
As a result, crew chief Slugger Labbe has been fined $100,000, suspended from NASCAR until Oct. 3 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. Car chief Craig Smokstad has been suspended from NASCAR until Oct. 3 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, while crew member Grant Hutchens has also been suspended from NASCAR until Oct. 3 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. Driver Paul Menard and owner Richard Childress have been penalized with the loss of 25 championship driver and owner points, respectively.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(8-22-2012)
APPEAL: "We're going to appeal it," Childress told FOXSports.com "That's all I'm going to say right now." If RCR appeals, Labbe will be allowed to continue his crew chief duties this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.(8-22-2012)
UPDATE2: Richard Childress Racing is appealing the penalties NASCAR levied against Paul Menard's race team this week. Crew chief Slugger Labbe is at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday working on the #27 Chevy. All sanctions are on hold during the appeal process. Meanwhile, an RCR spokesman also confirmed that Gil Martin is back as crew chief for Kevin Harvick. Martin worked with Harvick for three seasons, but was replaced by Shane Wilson this year.(Associated Press)(8-24-2012)
The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma is airing its first public service announcement to raise awareness about the No. 1 killer of children in America - serious injury. The PSA will run on select cable channels in Charter Communications' service areas throughout the U.S. July 23-August 19. More info at RCRRacing.com.(7-27-2012)
RCR Minority Partner Considering Selling Equity Position: Richard Childress Racing has advised its employees, drivers and key sponsors that Chartwell Investments is considering exiting its minority equity position in RCR. "Since 2003, I have had a minority partner at RCR in Chartwell Investments," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "Like any private equity business, Chartwell has a duty to its investors to return capital and maximize profits in a reasonable timeframe. With my support, they have determined that now is an appropriate time to exit their investment in RCR. Chartwell has been a great partner and I will always be appreciative of our partnership. We will remain good friends. We have informed the key people and sponsors of RCR about Chartwell's decision and assured them this will have no impact on the current affairs at RCR or our continued vision for strong performance on and off the track. We have advised them that if a new investor comes on board as RCR's new partner they will be strategically chosen to help RCR continue to grow. Our family of corporate partners has all been very appreciative of our letting them know and remain committed to moving forward. I love what I do and plan to be involved in NASCAR and in running RCR for many years to come."
"RCR is one of the elite NASCAR organizations and we are honored to be a part of the RCR family and partners with racing icon Richard Childress for close to ten years," said Michael Shein, Managing Partner of Chartwell Investments. "During this period, RCR has continued to prosper, more than doubling the size of its business. We are equally optimistic about RCR's future performance both on and off the track, remaining confident in NASCAR's long-term potential. We have engaged The Raine Group to explore the potential sale of our interest in RCR in order to monetize our investment." The Raine Group is a global merchant bank focused exclusively on the digital, media & entertainment and sports & lifestyle sectors.(RCR)(7-16-2012)
Menard tests at Nashville: Paul Menard and the #27 Richard Childress Racing team tested at Nashville Superspeedway July 10-11. They utilized chassis No. 328 from the RCR stable, which was used in competition at Kentucky Speedway in June.(RCR)(7-13-2012)
Childress to hold second pit crew training combine: Following a successful first event in April, Richard Childress Racing announced the date for the second installment of the RCR Pit Crew Training Combine powered by AdvoCare. The session will be held on Thursday, July 12 from 1-5 p.m. Eastern Time at the organization's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series facility in Welcome, N.C. The event is open to: individuals with an experienced mechanical background, athletes with a serious passion for developing into full-time pit crew team members at the premier level, as well as individuals who participated in the inaugural combine. In addition a variety of rigorous agility and physically demanding workouts, participants' mechanical skills and knowledge will be assessed. This most recent announcement comes on the heels of a successful inaugural event where more than 100 participants put their physical and mental abilities to the test in a rigorous two-day training camp. Qualified competitors who are interested should arrive at the RCR Sprint Cup Series facility dressed and ready to work out, and check in at the front desk for instruction. There are no fees associated with the event and it is open to the public. Registration begins at 1 p.m. ET. For additional information see rcrracing.com.(RCR)(6-29-2012)
Childress may buy Bowman Gray Stadium: Winston-Salem State University's effort to buy Bowman Gray Stadium from the city was snuffed out Thursday when state lawmakers killed the university's request for permission to borrow $7.5 million to buy the stadium. The legislative move – sponsored by Sen. Don East, R-Surry, and pushed by Winston-Salem entrepreneur Harold Day – opens the door wider to another potential bidder: Richard Childress, the NASCAR icon from Winston-Salem who sold peanuts as a child at Bowman Gray and started his racing career there in the 1950s. Bill Patterson, an executive vice president at Richard Childress Racing, met with Martha Wheelock, an assistant city manager, recently to talk about costs related to the stadium, he said. Bowman Gray has sentimental value for Childress. It's a landmark stock-car racing stadium and more could be done with it, Patterson said, though he declined to provide further information about what else could be done. "We do have an interest in it," he said.(full story at the Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2012)
Sad News - Tommy Earnhardt: RCR to run decals: Tommy Lee "Sy" Earnhardt, 63, of Concord, passed away on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at home. The family will receive friends at Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord on Tuesday, June 5, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The funeral service, officiated by the Rev. Richard Payne, will follow in the Hartsell Funeral Home chapel at 7 p.m. Burial will be Oakwood Cemetery on Wednesday, June 6, at 10 a.m. Tommy Lee "Sy" Earnhardt was born on Oct. 22, 1948, in Cabarrus County, to the late Martin Luther Earnhardt and Vernice Blackwelder Earnhardt. He was employed as an engine assembler for (ECR) Earnhardt Childress Racing and owner of Firehouse Racing Engines. His love was engines and he sometimes assembled them in motel rooms for well known drivers. "Sy" was also employed with Benfield Racing, Mike Curb Racing, Stavola Bros/Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Panther Racing/Derrick Close and Vasenook, among others before being employed at ECR. He is survived by a sister, Marsha E. Johnson; nephew, R. Martin Moss; step-son, Ryan Earnhardt; and his companion and high school sweetheart, Linda B. Preston. Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord is serving the Earnhardt family.(6-5-2012)
DECALS: All six Richard Childress Racing entries in this weekend's NASCAR races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway will carry decals honoring the memory of long-time RCR/ECR Engines employee Tommy Lee "Sy" Earnhardt. Earnhardt, 63, passed away June 2, 2012 at his home in North Carolina after a long illness. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord, c/o Tommy L. Earnhardt, P.O. Box 367, Concord, NC 28026; Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28081; or the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, P.O. Box 571021, Winston-Salem, NC 27199.(RCR)(6-6-2012)
Childress & Rudd inducted into NMPA Hall of Fame: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd were inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame Tuesday night at a gala event in Concord, NC. "It's is a great honor for me to carry the banner for all of the talented people who have made RCR what it's become over the past 40-plus years," said Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "To go into the National Motorsports Press Association with Ricky Rudd is very special for me personally because of his important contributions to both RCR and the sport of NASCAR racing as a whole. I had a dream as a kid of winning races and championships but I never thought it would take me to the places it has in my life." The National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway. The inaugural class was inducted in 1965 which has become a Who's Who in the world of NASCAR. Childress and Rudd were the 79th and 80th inductees.(RCR)(5-17-2012)
2012 Richard Childress Racing FAN DAY - May 25, 2012: Richard Childress Racing and Childress Vineyards will co-host a full day of activities for fans May 25 during the '12 FAN DAY celebration at the award-winning winery and the RCR Museum.
Activities at each venue will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time with autograph sessions, show car and sponsor partner displays, guided museum and winery tours scheduled throughout the day. The RCR Museum will have a giant tent sale, with specific racing memorabilia sales to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can participate in drawings, hide-and-tweet contests and Facebook trivia throughout the day for a chance to win prizes.
There will be two free autograph sessions, with the first beginning at 11 a.m. at the RCR Museum, followed by one at 1 p.m. at Childress Vineyards, with Richard Childress, RCR drivers, and key RCR personnel. Tickets will be required for each session and will be distributed at the specific location beginning at 9 a.m. In addition to Richard Childress and Chocolate Myers, drivers currently scheduled to sign autographs include Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Austin Dillon, Elliott Sadler, Brendan Gaughan, Ty Dillon, and Joey Coulter.
The full-day event will conclude at Childress Vineyards with a concert on the lawn by Curb Records recording artist Tim Dugger. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $20 per person and are available by calling 336-236-9463 or online at childressvineyards.ticketleap.com.
Visit www.childressvineyards.com or www.rcrracing.com for more information on how to be a part of '12 FAN DAY.(RCR)(5-12-2012)
Childress to serve as grand marshal of Talladega ARCA race: Richard Childress will serve as the grand marshal of the May 4 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. The 14-time championship-winning team owner will be inducted the night before into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.(RCR)(5-3-2012)
Different look for Menard at Texas: The #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevy of Paul Menard will sport a different look this weekend when the Sprint Cup Series rolls into Texas Motor Speedway, carrying a special paint scheme of "Quaker State green" and "Menards yellow." This #27 Chevy is a brand new addition to the Richard Childress Racing fleet and will log its first laps on the track during Thursday's practice session.(RCR)(4-12-2012)
RCR to hold Pit Crew Training Combine: Richard Childress Racing announced it will hold the first Pit Crew Training Combine in its 43-year history on Tuesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 11 from 2:30-4:30 pm/et at the organization's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series facility located in Welcome, N.C.
The one-of-a-kind event, open to experienced pit crew members as well as athletes with a serious passion for developing into full-time pit crew team member, gives participants the opportunity to showcase their athletic talents and learn the necessary skills to help them develop into a well-rounded teammate. Activities will consist of a variety of rigorous agility workouts and physically demanding tests which include mock training programs and real-time simulated pits stops in high-pressure scenarios normally experienced on a weekly basis both on and off the track throughout the course of a full season. Entrants will have the ability to learn from some of the most experienced and respected leaders in the industry on what it takes to prepare your body and develop the necessary mindset for the highest level of motorsports competition.
"This event is an exciting opportunity for anyone with a passion to become a full-time pit crew member with an elite racing organization," said Eric Wilson, Director of Human Performance at RCR. "With the right attitude and preparation, this combine could be a vital step towards an athlete's goal of taking that next step in their career."
The session on Tuesday, April 10 is scheduled for the positions of jackman and gasman, while the session on Wednesday, April 11 is scheduled for tire carriers and tire changers. Qualified competitors who are interested should arrive at the RCR campus dressed and ready to work out, and check in at the front desk for instruction. There are no fees associated with the event and it is open to the public. For additional information at rcrracing.com.(RCR)(4-7-2012)
RCR to Honor Team Member Frankie Allen: Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams will carry a special decal this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway in honor of Frankie Allen, a valued employee and three-year veteran of the RCR team, who passed away earlier this week. Allen worked as the shock specialist on the #2 Camping World Truck Series entry with drivers Kevin Harvick, Brendan Gaughan and Tim George Jr. The Rock Hill, S.C., native served as the car chief for George Jr's #31 ARCA Racing Series team for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. In addition to running memorial decals on RCR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series cars this weekend, the three RCR Truck Series teams will carry the decal honoring Allen for the Kroger 250 race at Martinsville Speedway on March 31. "Frankie put in a lot of hard work and effort at RCR and truly became a friend to me and others at the shop," said Mike Dillon, Vice President of Competition for RCR. "One of his favorite sayings was 'hurry up' so it seemed appropriate to have that phrase on the decals the cars will carry. He will definitely be missed at the shop and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this tough time." Allen is survived by his wife Renee. Funeral arrangements are pending.(RCR)(3-15-2012)
Childress joins Growth Energy Board of Directors: On the opening day of its 2012 Executive Leadership Conference, Growth Energy announced that Richard Childress, President and Chief Executive Officer of Richard Childress Racing, has agreed to join the organization as a member of its Board of Directors. Growth Energy represents 75 U.S. ethanol producers and 63 associated companies. Through grassroots support, media relations and advocacy efforts, Growth Energy promotes reducing harmful emissions, creating American jobs and strengthening national security through increased use of ethanol. In 2011, Growth Energy, partnering with the National Corn Growers Association and others, agreed to a marketing partnership with NASCAR under the American Ethanol brand. In the 2011 racing season, NASCAR used Sunoco Green E15 racing fuel in all of its vehicles, proving in more than 1.5 million miles of racing, qualifying and practice laps that E15 (15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline) is a safe and effective fuel blend for today's automobiles. American Ethanol has an agreement with RCR Racing to use Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevy, as a spokesman for the industry.(RCR)(3-10-2012)
Childress looking for first Vegas win: Richard Childress Racing has earned a Sprint Cup Series victory at 19 of the 23 tracks on the 2012 schedule. The only tracks on the current schedule where RCR hasn't earned Sprint Cup Series wins are Homestead-Miami Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. Additionally, RCR has Sprint Cup Series wins at 22 tracks overall, including North Wilkesboro (N.C.), Riverside (Calif.) and Rockingham (N.C.), which are no longer on the schedule.(RCR)(3-10-2012)
Smith, Menard escape injuries in Colorado road accident: UPDATE: NASCAR drivers #78-Regan Smith and #27-Paul Menard, along with Smith's wife Megan and a friend of the Smiths, escaped injuries in a Colorado road accident today (Wednesday, approximately 8:45 a.m. MT). The foursome was on the way to a nearby ski slope. Smith lost control of his Silverado truck after hitting a patch of ice near his mountain home in Evergreen, outside of Denver. The truck slid off the road and crashed into a collection of trees. Smith and Menard will compete in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
(Funiture Row Racing/RCR)(3-7-2012)
UPDATE: Reagan Smith tweeted Wednesday evening, "Thank you to everybody for the well wishes, everybody is doing fine, shaken up but healthy. Had somebody looking out for us this morning".(3-8-2012)
Richard Childress, Ricky Rudd elected to NMPA Hall of Fame: Team owner Richard Childress and Ricky Rudd, the driver who gave Childress his first NASCAR win, have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame. Each received more than the required 65 percent of the votes cast by the NMPA's members. Childress made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup start in 1969. He drove for five full seasons, 1976-80, with two top-five finishes. Twenty races into the 1981 season, Childress turned the wheel over to Dale Earnhardt, and in June 1983 at Riverside, Calif., Rudd gave Childress his first victory as a team owner. In 1984, Earnhardt rejoined Childress, and they would go on to win 66 races and six championships. Overall, Childress has 100 Cup wins, as well as 56 victories and five team-owner titles in the Nationwide ranks, and 24 wins and two Camping World Truck Series crowns. Rudd competed in Cup racing for 32 years, with stints for team owners such as Childress, Rick Hendrick, Bud Moore Roberts and others. Rudd earned 23 Cup wins, including the Brickyard 400 in 1997 as an owner-driver, and he holds the NASCAR Cup record for consecutive starts with 788. Rudd was also the 1992 titlist in the International Race of Champions series. Others receiving votes for the NMPA Hall of Fame were: drivers Donnie Allison, Bill Elliott, Tiny Lund and Sara Christian; former crew chief and team owner Ray Evernham; team owner Joe Gibbs; promoter Richard Howard; and photographer Ladon George.(Fayetteville Observer)(2-17-2012)
RCR Partners with K&N Engineering for ECR Engines Program: Richard Childress Racing and K&N Engineering, Inc., the inventor and leading innovator of reusable cotton gauze filter technology for automotive applications, have reached agreement on a multi-year partnership for ECR Engines' NASCAR program. The technical partnership provides ECR Engines with K&N Engineering air and oil filters as well as research and development support. K&N Engineering will receive marketing rights to Richard Childress Racing's drivers, cars and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. All RCR race cars will be adorned with the K&N decal through the NASCAR Contingency Sponsor program as well as having the K&N logo under the hood of every car.(RCR)(2-17-2012)
Special scheme for Menard at Daytona: Entering their ninth season with Richard Childress Racing driver Paul Menard, Peak Performance announced the #27 Chevy will sport an exciting and electric look during 2012 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Expanding on their hood sponsorship of the Menards Chevrolet, PEAK has redesigned the #27 Impala to be completely adorned with the signature "PEAK blue" and "Menards yellow" as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series kicks off the season with the 54th running of the "Great American Race" on February 26. The special paint scheme will also be showcased in the Budweiser Shootout on February 18 and the Duel 150 qualifying race on February 23. PEAK first partnered with the 2011 Brickyard 400 champion in 2004, but their relationship with Menards dates back to the home improvement chain's IndyCar days. To celebrate the occasion and generate excitement with fans, Peak will feature exclusive online Menard content in the days leading into the Daytona 500.(RCR) see images oif the scheme on the #27 Team Schemes page.(2-6-2012)
American Ethanol to sponsor Austin Dillon in Cup race: In a nod to its commitment to the sport, American Ethanol announced at the NASCAR Preview fan event in Charlotte, N.C., that it will continue relationships with Richard Childress Racing and RAB Racing for the 2012 season. Austin Dillon, 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, will drive the iconic #3 Chevy during the 2012 Nationwide Series season with American Ethanol serving as the primary sponsor for six races as well as one race in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012. Dillon's #3 American Ethanol Chevy paint scheme was unveiled at the event. In addition to American Ethanol's partnership with Dillon, the organization will serve as an associate sponsor with the entire RCR family of drivers. Team owner Richard Childress as well as RCR's Sprint Cup Series veterans Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard will also serve as spokesmen for the cause. Kenny Wallace, who notched 11 top-ten finishes last year, will drive the #09 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for RAB Racing. American Ethanol will partner with Wallace for the Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500, as well as five races in the Nationwide Series.(Richard Childress Racing)(1-22-2012)
RCR Racing Operation to Conduct Surplus Auction: Iron Horse Auction Company, Inc. of Rockingham, N.C. will conduct an auction of surplus racing equipment for the Richard Childress Racing Organization on December 6, 2011 at 10:00 am. The auction will include racing cars, racing engines, parts, accessories, equipment and much more. The auction will be held on site at RCR Racing Complex. Iron Horse Auction Company, Inc. and its principals are recognized on an international level for their knowledge and experience in the sale of NASCAR racing equipment. For further information, go to ironhorseauction.com(Iron Horse Auction Company)(11-30-2011)
Different colors for Menard at Texas: The #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevy will sport a slightly different look this weekend, carrying a special paint scheme. "Quaker State green" and "Menards yellow" will don the Chevy as the Sprint Cup Series rolls into Texas.(RCR)(11-3-2011)
Richard Childress Racing Reaches 100th Win: With its sixth victory of the 2011 season, by #33-Clint Bowyer at Talladega Superspeedway, Richard Childress Racing reached historic NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win No. 100, a major milestone in the storied history of one of NASCAR's most prolific teams. It was the team's 12th win at Talladega, which puts it atop the all-time wins list at the historic track. Richard Childress Racing started its trek to the top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1969, as a single-car team with its driver also its owner. Richard Childress paired his business acumen with driving skills that produced results. Childress finished his driving career with six top fives and 76 top 10s. But it was when Childress took the back seat that Richard Childress Racing exploded. It earned its first win in 1983 at Riverside International Raceway with driver Ricky Rudd. A year later, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt joined the organization fulltime, and the rest – as they say – is history. Earnhardt won six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and 67 races while flying the Richard Childress flag. Now, the team has reached another milestone, and another accolade – 100 victories. RCR has won with seven different drivers, at 22 different tracks.
RCR Wins By Driver: Dale Earnhardt 67; Kevin Harvick 18; Clint Bowyer 5; Jeff Burton 4; Robby Gordon 3; Ricky Rudd 2; Paul Menard 1.(NASCAR)(10-24-2011)
RCR Teams With Extra F.U.E.L.: All Richard Childress Racing vehicles competing in this weekend's events at Talladega Superspeedway will carry a decal for Bryson's F.U.E.L.(Families United to Eliminate Leukemia ), an organization dedicated to assisting families who are currently battling childhood cancer. Bryson Smith, the four-year-old son of Jim (& Heather) Smith, who builds the RCR Street Performance Camaro, has been courageously fighting a battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) since June. The Smiths started the Bryson's F.U.E.L Foundation in hopes of relieving the financial and emotional burden of families who are undergoing treatment at Levine's (Charlotte, N.C.) & Brenner's (Winston-Salem, N.C.) Children's Hospitals (RCR)(10-21-2011)
RCR Leasing Car and Hauler To Winston-Salem State's Motorsports Program: Richard Childress recently joined students, faculty and staff from Winston-Salem State University's motorsports management program to receive a special thank you from the school for the race car and hauler RCR is providing to the university. "We were pleased to be able to say 'thank you' and to recognize Richard Childress and the staff at RCR for all of their support," said Dr. Travis Teague, coordinator of the Motorsports Management Program. "This donation is a major step in our vision of having a race car for our educational purposes as well as being able to utilize it as a great marketing piece for the entire university." RCR donated the car to the university and is leasing the hauler to them for $1 a year. The celebration and thank you was held October 5 at the RCR Museum parking lot. WSSU is the only four-year university in the country and the only HBCU (Historically Black College and University) to offer a Bachelor of Science degree program in Motorsport Management. The program prepares students for entry-level positions in motorsports operations, marketing and event planning.(WSSU/RCR)(10-21-2011)
Childress says three teams likely next year: Richard Childress was asked about his teams during a press conference at Charlotte on Thursday:
DO YOU ENVISION THE #33 CUP CAR ON THE TRACK NEXT YEAR, OR DO YOU SEE YOUR PROGRAM NOW AS THREE CUP CARS?
"Right now we're looking at three Cup cars with an occasional Cup race. Who knows what may come up between now and then? I've had offers to race people and race drivers and had another full sponsorship with a driver; I just want to make sure it's the right move when we make it. So we're still as of right now, we're three Cup teams."
JUST TO CLAIRFY, YOU MIGHT RUN A FOURTH CAR PART TIME NEXT YEAR IN CUP OR NOT?
"I'm sure if we don't have a team we may stick Austin in another car one or two times. We've got a couple of other people that said hey we want to run. If we see it's the right opportunity for a change that we can test something or look at a driver or something we may do that."
YOU TALK ABOUT THE BUSINESS MODEL, IF PEOPLE COULD BRING YOU A ONE OR TWO-RACE DEAL YOU COULD INSERT PEOPLE INTO THAT CAR AND HAVE A NUMBER OF SPONSORS AND HAVE A DIFFERENT BUSINESS MODEL.
"Yeah, but that's not really what we want to do. You can't be competitive like that. I'd rather have three teams that you can be competitive with and occasionally pick up a race or two along the way and if you've got something you want to try you do it."(Chevy PR)(10-13-2011)
Chevy Teams Add Pink Numbers and Bowties for Dover Race: Several Chevy teams will showcase pink numbers and Chevy Bowties in their paint schemes during this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway in support of Chevrolet's ongoing efforts to help the American Cancer Society in raising awareness during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The participating teams will have pink car numbers on the roof and doors, pink Chevrolet Bowtie on the hood and rear bumper, and pink Impala nameplate on the front bumper.
"October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Chevrolet is extremely proud to help support the American Cancer Society's efforts to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays," said Jeff Chew, Chevy Racing Marketing Manager. "Several Team Chevy Impalas are carrying the pink awareness message, which will be seen by countless race fans, and hopefully will help to serve as a reminder that we can all do our part in helping in the fight against cancer." Chevrolet dealers across the country will be working in their communities to support the fight against breast cancer through the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program.
In September, Chevrolet donated $29,800 to the American Cancer Society as a result of a combined 149 caution laps during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. Chevrolet had pledged to donate $200 for each caution lap that a specially-themed "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" pink 2011 Camaro SS pace car led the field during those two races.(Team Chevy), see some of the cars are posted: #14, #27, #29, #31, #42 & #78.(9-30-2011)
Scott Miller leaving RCR: UPDATES: Scott Miller and Richard Childress Racing have parted ways. Miller had served as director of competition since 2003 for RCR, whose drivers are Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard. After a short sabbatical, sources said Tuesday, Miller will fill a similar role at Michael Waltrip Racing. Kent Day will serve as interim director of competiton for RCR until a permanent replacement can be found. Miller was in his second stint with RCR, having initially worked with the team from 1997 to 2001.(Fox Sports)(9-20-2011)
UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing has promoted Kent Day to interim director of competition from his previous position as technical director with the 12-time NASCAR championship winning organization. Former RCR director of competition Scott Miller has taken a position with another motorsports organization."Kent brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new position as interim director of competition at Richard Childress Racing," said Mike Dillon, RCR's vice president of competition. "As technical director, he played an integral role in the overhaul and turnaround of RCR's competition department beginning in mid-2008. He already understands our competition philosophy and will now play an even more important role in RCR's on-track success.(RCR)(9-20-2011)
UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip Racing named industry veteran Scott Miller as executive vice president of competition effective at the conclusion of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Miller has served in several roles throughout his 16-year stint in NASCAR, most recently as director of competition at Richard Childress Racing. Miller has been a winning crew chief and has repeatedly guided teams into the Chase for the Sprint Cup from his management role. Miller will manage all competition aspects, including design, manufacturing and engineering, as well as the technical relationship between Toyota Racing Development's resource facilities in Salisbury, N.C., and Costa Mesa, Calif.(MWR)(9-21-2011)
Lightning McQueen on the #27: Paul Menard will have a passenger riding with him on the rear quarter-panels of the #27 Chevy - Lightning McQueen. McQueen is the main character featured in the Pixar-produced Cars and Cars 2 movies. SYLVANIA is a Strategic Alliance Partner of Disney and is collaborating with Disney Home entertainment Division in the promotion of the DVD and Blu-ray release of Cars 2 on November 1, 2011.(RCR)(9-21-2011)
Childress elected to International Motorsports Hall of Fame: Richard Childress, a former independent driver who built a NASCAR team that won six Sprint Cup championships with Dale Earnhardt Sr. behind the wheel, has been voted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Childress and two other new hall members (to be announced later) will be inducted into the Talladega, Ala. hall May 3 next year. Childress and the other new hall members were chosen from a list of 20 finalists in recent voting by news media members and other hall panelists. Among other candidates on the nominee list are Kenny Bernstein, John Force, Joie Chitwood, David Hobbs, Marvin Panch and Lee Shepherd.(SPEED)(9-18-2011)
Gordon questions Menard's spin at Richmond: UPDATES: #24-Jeff Gordon says there is something "fishy'' about Saturday night's final caution at Richmond International Raceway that opened the door for #29-Kevin Harvick to win. Gordon implied after the race that #27-Paul Menard, Harvick's teammate at Richard Childress Racing, spun out intentionally with 16 laps to go to bring out the caution. Harvick then beat Gordon off pit road and maintained the lead after the final restart with 12 laps remaining. Gordon said from what he's been told of the radio communications between Menard, crew chief Slugger Labbe and RCR executive Mike Dillon there is reason to believe the spinout was orchestrated on a second channel. NASCAR released a statement Thursday saying officials did not see any wrongdoing during the race. "We haven't seen or heard anything that would indicate the #27 did anything inappropriate in Richmond," NASCAR said. "We watch closely the activity in each event all season long to maintain a fair and even event for all competitors. We naturally will do the same for the balance of the season." Harvick said he asked officials within the organization about the incident after accusations began flying and was told the right rear tire on Menard's car was "down to the cords.'' Menard said on the radio the tire was going down with 17 laps to go.(ESPN)
AND: Statement from Richard Childress: "There were no team orders despite all the speculation in the media. I know Paul Menard well enough that he wouldn't have spun out on purpose even if he had been asked. We are at Chicagoland Speedway to win the race and get a great start toward the championship."(RCR)(9-16-2011)
UPDATE: NASCAR President Mike Helton said Friday morning at Chicagoland Speedway that series officials are investigating Paul Menard's spin late in the Richmond race that played a role in helping teammate Kevin Harvick win that race. Helton said he has yet to hear the audio from Menard's radio chatter. "We're going to look into it and see if there's anything,'' Helton said. "A lot of it is going to be interpretation. Certainly, it's on us to understand exactly what all we can find as far as facts are concerned. It's on all of our shoulders to get the facts right and if there's something there, we should find out about it and be sure that we've got it right.'' Helton said that series officials will look at video of the caution itself to determine "if it appears that there … it was done on purpose.'' He also said series officials will get access to the audio.(Virginian-Pilot)(9-16-2011)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials said on Saturday there is no evidence to support allegations that Paul Menard spun out intentionally to bring out a caution and affect the finish of last weekend's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Spokesman Kerry Tharp said officials listened to audio of Menard's radio transmission before he spun out with 16 laps remaining and found nothing to indicate he did anything deliberately.(ESPN)(9-17-2011)
RCR teams running 9/11 decals at Richmond: Richard Childress Racing's four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars [#27-Menard, #29-Harvick, #31-Burton & #33-Bowyer] will be adorned with decals commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this weekend to honor the fallen heroes of the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of the City of New York and the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey. The decals, which the RCR cars first carried in 2002, were provided by Police Officer Victor Dipierro of the NYPD's 49th Precinct in The Bronx, N.Y. The Dirt Late Models that RCR's Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon will drive Sept. 10 in the World 100 at Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio will also be adorned with the 10th anniversary decals (RCR)(9-9-2011)
Menard goes green for Atlanta: The #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevy of Paul Menard will sport a slightly different look this weekend, carrying a special paint scheme. "Quaker State green" and "Menards yellow" will don Menard's Chevy Impala as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races under the lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night. Menard will run the same car he won with at Indy in July.(RCR), see images of the car on the #27 Team Schemes page.(9-1-2011)
RCR Releases pit crew coach UPDATE: Less than one day after #29-Kevin Harvick had trouble on pit road at Michigan International Speedway, Richard Childress Racing released pit-crew coach Matt Clark, SPEED sources confirmed Monday. Clark, who had the title of Director of Human Performance and Leadership Development at RCR, had been with the team since January 2008. In that position, he was charged with assembling and coaching RCR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series over-the-wall pit crews. The 40-year-old Clark previously had worked with Hendrick Motorsports in a variety of capacities from 2001 to 2007. Prior to that, he was with Team Rensi and had worked in the athletic departments of both Albertus Magnus College and South Central College, both institutions in New Haven, Conn. Calls to RCR seeking comment were not immediately returned. (SPEED)(8-22-2011)
UPDATE: RCR has replaced Clark with Eric Wilson. Wilson is currently the jackman for Harvick's #29 pit crew and was a jackman and coach for Richard Petty Motorsports last season.(NASCAR Insiders)(8-25-2011)
Menard Qualifies for Sprint Summer Showdown: With his win in Sunday's Brickyard 400, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Paul Menard is qualified to be a finalist for a chance to earn a $3 million payout in the Sprint Summer Showdown. If Menard can also win the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend, he will claim the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D title and win $1 million for himself, $1 million for his designated charity, Habitat for Humanity, and $1 million dollars for a lucky race fan. Later this week, a fan will be randomly selected from the pool of entrants who correctly picked Menard to win the Brickyard 400 at sprint.com/speed. That lucky fan will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway and be there in person to see whether Menard can win at Atlanta. If he claims the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D, the fan will win $1 million. A different fan will be randomly selected after each race and will be in Atlanta for the final event of the six-consecutive-race series to cheer on their driver as he vies for the $3 million payout. Fans can change their picks until the scheduled start time for each event (Sprint), for more info see Jayski's Contest page.(8-1-2011)
Menard wins Brickyard 400: #27-Paul Menard won the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Speedway for his 1st career win, becoming the 4th first time Sprint Cup race winner in 2011. Menard is the first driver to get his first career win in the Brickyard 400. The win was the 52nd for a car running the #27 and first since Jimmy Spencer won at Taladega in July 1994.
#24-Gordon, going for his 5th Brickyard 400 win, finished 2nd, followed by #78-Smith (his 2nd career top five), #1-McMurray (last years Brickyard 400 winner), #17-Kenseth, #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #5-Martin, #2-Keselowski and #18-Busch.
Pole sitter, #6-Ragan finished 23rd and points leader going in to the race, #99-Edwards, finished 14th and maintains a 12 point lead over #29-Harvick.
There were 22 lead changes among 13 drivers; 5 cautions for 22 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 138,000, down a tad from 140,000 last year.
Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, August 3 at 12:00pm/et
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Indianapolis Race Results/Awards page.
See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.
For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-31-2011)
Richard Childress Racing Taps Torrey Galida as New COO: Richard Childress Racing has named Torrey Galida to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer for the 12-time NASCAR championship-winning organization. In other RCR key management moves, long-time RCR executive Ben Schlosser has been named Chief Marketing Officer and Scott Frye has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Galida joins RCR following many years of experience in various motorsports industry capacities. He will be responsible for overseeing RCR's day-to-day business operations and will report to Richard Childress, RCR President & CEO. Schlosser has been with RCR since April 2002 and most recently served as Senior Vice President, Business Operations. He will continue to report to Childress. Scott Frye joined RCR as controller in April 2007 and replaces Art McCarter, who will retire later in the year. He will report to Galida, as will Executive Vice President Bill Patterson. Mike Dillon and Richie Gilmore will continue to report to Childress as heads of RCR competition and ECR Engines.
"I am excited about Torrey becoming a part of the RCR team," said Childress. "He has significant experience and is well respected in the industry. He will be a great asset as we position RCR for the long-term. Ben has played a key role in our success since becoming part of our team and has helped RCR move forward in the overall marketing and business development areas. With the planned retirement of Art McCarter, Scott has demonstrated his ability to move into the CFO position. People are the key to any successful business and we are fortunate to have such a strong management team at RCR."
Galida comes to RCR from TRG Motorsports, where he served as the Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager for the NASCAR and Rolex Sports Car Series organization. He was a top executive for more than a decade with the Ford Motor Company before assuming key executive positions with Roush Fenway Racing and Millsport Motorsports, a sports marketing and sponsorship agency. "I have an immense amount of respect for Richard Childress and the organization he has built," said Galida. "RCR is one of the premier sports teams in the country. I am delighted to have the opportunity to play a role in the team's continued success."(RCR)(7-3-2011)
Roush supportive of Childress: Jack Roush drew a few laughs after his team's NASCAR Nationwide victory, when he was asked his view of the fine handed down to fellow owner Richard Childress. Childress was fined $150,000 earlier this month for an altercation with Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway. Childress was upset that Busch bumped into Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap after a race. "It was pretty high," Roush said about the fine. "I guess that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin of, 'Have at it, guys.' Maybe that was a boy and a man. I am not sure. Maybe that is different than the boys having at it. Kyle has been pretty rough on my cars over a period of time and for Richard to stand up for himself was OK," Roush said.(Associated Press)(6-19-2011)
Childress discusses penalty, incident with Busch: Richard Childress, Owner of Richard Childress Racing, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway. The transcript:
RICHARD CHILDRESS: "Here is the deal. I am going to make one statement on this deal. I appreciate everyone's patience during the last week when I couldn't talk to everyone. The main thing is I take all the responsibility for my actions last week. I am very passionate about this sport. I am passionate about my race teams, our fans and I let my emotions get…come in front of my passion. But that is behind us. I guess the next thing is the fine that was levied against me, I'm going to pay it personal. I agree that NASCAR should have done something with me. I don't agree that they didn't handle the situation that happened on the cool-down lap. With that said, we had a lot of fans to send in donations last week toward our fine, I am going to pay it personally. All that money that has been sent in, that is still coming in, we're going to take and donate to the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. At least in every bad situation, something good will come out of it. Hopefully Kyle (Busch) and myself will both end up learning something from this. Thank you all very much. Talk to you later. That's it.(Team Chevy)(6-10-2011)
Fans select white scheme for Harvick at Daytona: Budweiser and Kevin Harvick will celebrate Fourth of July this year with a special patriotic paint scheme selected by adult NASCAR fans. The paint scheme -- white with red and blue stars and stripes -- will be featured on the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet during the July 2 race at Daytona International Speedway. From April 30 to June 3, fans 21 years of age or older cast their vote on the Budweiser Facebook page for one of three patriotic paint schemes. After five weeks of voting, the white paint scheme edged out the red-and-white striped paint scheme by fewer than 700 votes. In addition to the special paint scheme, Budweiser is featuring a limited-edition red, white and blue Patriotic Can from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July. Budweiser will donate a portion of all sales May 26-July 10 to Folds of Honor -- an organization that provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country. In total, Budweiser is raising up to $2 million to support Folds of Honor this summer.(NASCAR), see image of the winning scheme car on the #29 Team Schemes page.(6-9-2011)
Kyle Busch says Childress' fine is 'end of it': #18-Kyle Busch says that the $150,000 fine NASCAR levied against Richard Childress is the end of the matter for him. Childress was fined on Monday for assaulting Busch after a NASCAR Trucks race at Kansas Speedway, the latest incident between the driver and Childress' race teams. Busch was in Ohio on Wednesday to participate in Tony Stewart's annual charity race. "NASCAR decided to make the decisions that they felt were necessary," Busch said before the race at Eldora Speedway. "It's pretty much the end of it. It's not my fight."(Associated Press)(6-9-2011)
Jimmy Spencer says Childress was wrong: from a Jimmy Spencer article on SPEED - But take it from someone who has been there – Childress crossed the line in punching Busch. No one should ever hit or physically confront another individual. Arguing, hurling insults or yelling at someone is okay, but you shouldn't touch them. I picked the wrong way to handle my problem with another Busch brother, Kurt, years ago, and I still regret it. I think Kurt learned something from me punching him but I learned more, and if I had the chance to do it over again, I wouldn't have hit him. I've been in several brawls in my time and nobody ever wins.
Childress got off too easy. NASCAR should have come down on him harder than a $150,000 fine. They should have suspended him for three races – that would get his attention. He took responsibility for what he did but never apologized because he's really not sorry. I speak from experience when I say that situations like last weekend's affect the younger generation a lot, especially the kids watching our sport. My biggest problem with what Childress did stems from the fact that he is representing major corporations with thousands of employees. Yet he let his temper get the best of him and he assaulted someone. That gave the sport the biggest black eye it has had in years. Fans and folks inside the sport may think it's funny, but these companies probably aren't happy about having a car owner representing them who assaulted someone.
And believe it or not, I think that Busch's sponsors can be proud of the way he handled himself. We're usually criticizing Busch's behavior, but I admire him for not fighting back and also for staying in the car at Darlington when Kevin Harvick came up to his car on pit road. Busch is the most exciting driver in our sport right now. Yes, he ruffles feathers, but so did the late, great Dale Earnhardt. But Earnhardt didn't outright attack other drivers. I admire Kyle for respecting Childress enough, although he got punched, to not punch back. It takes a strong person not to retaliate.
I still don't really see what Childress was so upset about. Busch wasn't out of line in bumping Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap. Rewind a few laps to when they were putting on a hell of a race for fifth place and Coulter slid up in front of Busch. If Busch hadn't lifted and let him go, both of them would have wrecked. Coulter was the one at fault there, so Busch bumped him after the race to teach him a lesson. That's just part of racing and how you teach younger drivers who are coming along. Sure, Busch did a little damage to Coulter's quarter panel, but he also did the same to his own truck.(in part from SPEED)(6-9-2011)
Altercation between Childress and Kyle Busch after CWTS Race: UPDATE: fine and probation for Childress: From the SPEED Center Facebook page, "multiple witnesses tell SPEED there was a physical confrontation between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after today's NASCAR Truck Series race..RCR driver Joey Coulter and Kyle battled for position..Kyle hit Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap..multiple sources say Childress took matters into his own hands".(6-4-2011)
UPDATE: Richard Childress had an altercation with Kyle Busch in the Camping World Truck Series garage area after the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250, sources confirmed Saturday night. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp confirmed that NASCAR was looking into the rumors of an altercation following the Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. The altercation happened in the garage area about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the race, according to the sources, who indicated that Childress initiated the altercation. Childress likely was upset that late in the race, Richard Childress Racing driver Joey Coulter and Busch had a tight battle for fifth with contact on the final lap. Busch tapped Coulter on the cool-down lap following the race.(Scene Daily)(6-4-2011)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials are investigating a physical altercation involving team owner Richard Childress and driver Kyle Busch in the garage area following Saturday's Truck series race at Kansas Speedway. According to a member of a Truck team who asked not to be identified, Childress took off his jewelry before approaching Busch in the garage area and struck him with his fist. The two were separated; traded insults and then Childress grabbed Busch in a headlock and struck him again before the incident was broken up. The crew member said Childress initiated the incident. Officials with Busch's team and Richard Childress Racing declined to comment on the incident.(Charlotte Observer)(6-5-2011
UPDATE 3: NASCAR officials met with Richard Childress and Kyle Busch Sunday morning at Kansas Speedway. Later NASCAR president Mike Helton met with the media and said that, in NASCAR's view, Kyle Busch did not do anything during or after race to violate his probation. NASCAR considered ejecting Childress from the track but decided to allow him to stay because his teams needed a race-day leader. However, Childress will have restrcitions on where he can go during the race and it not likely to be allowed on pit road. In addition, further penalties to Childress will be announced by Tuesday. Following is NASCAR's complete statement: "NASCAR has reviewed the incident involving Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. We have met with all parties involved and have determined what happened yesterday is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NASCAR. Richard Childress's actions were not appropriate and fell far short of the standard we expect of owners in this sport. We have met with Childress this morning and made our position very clear to him. Further, we expect he will make it clear to all in his organization to ensure this situation does not escalate any further. We will announce our actions regarding this incident Monday. Kyle Busch remains on probation with NASCAR and we continue to watch his actions carefully. However, we have determined that Kyle's involvement in this incident does not violate his probation and no further action is required."(6-5-2011)
UPDATE 4: NASCAR has fined owner Richard Childress $150,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – involved in an altercation in the garage area) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The violation occurred following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race June 4 at Kansas Speedway. The probation includes all NASCAR-sanctioned events.
STATEMENT FROM NASCAR: "The penalty we have announced today for Richard Childress reflects NASCAR's response to the incident at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately."(NASCAR)
Statement from Childress: "First of all, I'm responsible for my actions, plain and simple. As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing. I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me. I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today and, as a company, we will now focus on this week's races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway."(RCR)(6-6-2011)
Menard hurts foot, plans to drive: from a Team Chevy driver press conference transcript, #27-Paul Menard discussed his injured foot at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
ON HURTING HIS RIGHT FOOT THIS PAST WEEK
"I stepped on a piece of metal on my boat ramp (right foot) and sliced it open."
DO YOU HAVE STITCHES?
"Yeah, there are 20 stitches."
WILL YOU HAVE TO USE ANY SPECIAL PADDING OR ANYTHING FOR SUNDAY'S RACE?
"Yeah, there's a carbon insert in my foot that we kind of cut around. The wound is on the outside of the foot. It's on the bottom but toward the outside behind my pinky toe. They cut out a piece of carbon for the other side to make it stiffer. And it's fine. There's no pain or anything, it's just that the doctors are worried about it ripping open and then if it rips the stitches, then it's a big deal with infection and stuff. Right now, what's throwing me off the most right now is that my shoes are too big. I had to get bigger shoes for my right foot. Well, they both are. It's hitting the gas pedal wrong. So I'm going to have to find some different shoes and I'll be okay."
IT'S THE RIGHT FOOT?
YOU CAN STILL WEAR THE REGULAR LEFT FOOT SHOE
"Yeah, and I look goofy."
DO YOU HAVE TO WATCH HOW MUCH PAIN KILLER MEDICATION YOU'RE TAKING TOO?
"There is no pain. I'm not even taking pain killers. I've just got my antibiotics. They're just worried about infection."
HOW DID YOU DO IT AGAIN?
"I stepped on a piece of metal on my dock."
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
"The dock slopes and there's a walkway so it's on rollers so as it goes up and down it moves with the dock, and I stepped on a steel roller."
DID YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY OR DID YOU THINK IT WASN'T THAT BAD?
"Well, I walked up to the house and got in the shower and it (blood) was gushing out pretty good so we had to go to ER."(Team Chevy)(5-27-2011)
Richard and Judy Childress Receive Awards for Charity Work: Richard Childress received two awards for his charitable work in early April - one for his support of our troops from the Armed Forces Foundation and one for his family's work with the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. While in Washington, D.C. for the seventh annual Armed Forces Foundation Congressional Gala, Mr. Childress took the opportunity to visit several injured soldiers at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md. Most of the soldiers suffered from traumatic blast injuries and recently received the Purple Heart. At the gala later that evening, Mr. Childress received the Bill and Beverly Young Humanitarian of the Year Award. He has visited U.S. military troops across the nation, as well as in other countries, including Iraq, Bosnia, and Spain.
A few days later, the Winston-Salem branch of the Exchange/SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) organization awarded Richard and his wife, Judy Childress, with the 2011 Founders Award for their exceptional commitment to the health and well being of children. Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neill presented the award to Mrs. Childress and cited the Childresses' work helping children since launching the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in July 2008. The Institute is working to save the lives of children who experience serious injuries and help them recover quickly through research, education and prevention. April is Child Abuse Prevention month.(RCR)(4-28-2011)
Mike Dillon returns to track: This weekend has been the best medicine possible for Richard Childress Racing vice president of competition Mike Dillon, who's officially back at a NASCAR race track for the first time since early March. Dillon was sidelined, and briefly hospitalized, when a blood clot was discovered in one of his lungs, between the NASCAR weekends at Las Vegas and Bristol. He was released from the hospital March 19 and since then, life as he had known it hasn't existed. Dillon was hospitalized and had to go on blood thinners. In conjunction with that, doctors forbade him from traveling by air, due to sitting at length and the danger of clots forming at altitude. Talladega was Dillon's first full-fledged race trip since Las Vegas, March 4-6. The interesting fact was he and Tina traveled by motorhome -- something Dillon said he'll do "to everything that's within about eight hours" until he's once again cleared to fly.(NASCAR.com)(4-17-2011)
Quaker State sponsoring Menard for 4 races: Long-time Paul Menard sponsor Quaker State will continue its relationship with the driver during the 2011 season. Quaker State will come aboard as primary sponsor of the #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevy for four races during the 2011 season. "I've had a long-standing relationship with Quaker State and they've been a great sponsor to work with over the years," commented, driver Paul Menard on the sponsorship. "This year they are on-board the #27 for four races - both events at Texas Motor Speedway, at Daytona in July and at Atlanta Motor Speedway. We are running a slightly different paint scheme on the Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet this weekend, which is going to look really sharp under the lights. Quaker State and Menard have a relationship on and off the track that dates back 15 years. Their on track partnership began back in 1995 when Menard ran in the IRL Series. As Menard changed gears and made his way into NASCAR, Quaker State followed beginning with a two-year stint in the Nationwide Series and then into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(RCR)(4-7-2011)
Different look for Menard at Texas: Slightly Different Colors on the Quaker State/Menards Chevy in the Lone Star State ... The #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevy of Paul Menard will sport a slightly different look this weekend, carrying a special paint scheme. "Quaker State green" and "Menards yellow" will don the Impala as the Sprint Cup Series races under the lights of Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night (RCR), see the car on the #27 Team Schemes page.(4-6-2011)
Austin Dillion to make Cup debut: UPDATE: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's Centennial Celebration and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will be the primary sponsors when Austin Dillon makes his Sprint Cup Series debut later this season in the #98 Curb-Agajanian Performance Group Chevy. The Ronald Reagan Centennial is a historic, year-long celebration to commemorate the 100th birthday of the 40th President of the United States of America. A series of substantive and celebratory events, partnerships, and initiatives sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation are planned throughout 2011. The specific race will be announced at a later date.(RCR)(3-27-2011)
UPDATE: Austin Dillon will make his Sprint Cup debut later this year at either Kansas in October or Phoenix in November in a car built by his grandfather's Richard Childress Racing. Team co-owner Mike Curb, owner of Curb Records, was a lieutenant governor under Reagan as well as co-chairman of Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign. The team for Dillon will get its car from RCR, an engine from Earnhardt Childress Racing and will use Dillon's RCR crew that fields his car in the Camping World Truck Series.(Scene Daily)(3-28-2011)
RCR's statement regarding Mike Dillon: The following is a statement from Richard Childress Racing, in response to numerous media inquiries on the health of vice president of competition Mike Dillon - 'Richard Childress Racing vice president of competition Mike Dillon was admitted to the hospital late last week after doctors discovered a blood clot in his lung. Dillon, 46, underwent a series of tests and is awaiting results but was released from the hospital earlier this afternoon.'(RCR)(3-19-2011)
Should drivers communicate with each other during races? UPDATE: Drivers were able to communicate with non-teammates for the first time during the Daytona 500, which added an intriguing element to NASCAR's biggest race. Because there was a need for two-car tandems to work together while the race was going on, many drivers set their radios up so they could speak with their competitors. But some drivers believe the practice should be banned. "I think NASCAR should step in on drivers getting on other teams' radios," #22-Kurt Busch said. "... We shouldn't be able to communicate with radios." #5-Mark Martin had only four drivers among his options for chatting: His three teammates and #43-AJ Allmendinger. But the veteran agreed with Busch, saying he hopes his competitors "clean the radios up." #27-Paul Menard said he had 12 different drivers on his radio during the Daytona 500 - and was just fine with continuing the practice for future restrictor-plate races if NASCAR doesn't pass a rule against it. #99-Carl Edwards backed the open radio communication between drivers based on safety reasons, calling it "necessary."(SB Nation)(2-26-2011)
UPDATE: According to Mike Mulhern, "NASCAR's Robin Pemberton says no changes planned for radio rules for Talladega April 17th.(3-6-2011)
RCR and ECR Honor Dale Earnhardt at Daytona: Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines will pay tribute to the life and legacy of the legendary Dale Earnhardt throughout 2011 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Commemorative #3 decals will adorn all eight of RCR's race cars, transporters and pit boxes. ECR employees will wear special ECR/#3 hats at the track throughout Speedweeks while RCR employees will wear special RCR/#3 hats February 18.
"All of us at RCR and ECR are honored to pay tribute to Dale on this 10th anniversary," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines. "His legacy is still felt every day at RCR, ECR and throughout the world. We hope all of Dale's fans appreciate this salute to their hero and ours."
The #29 Budweiser Chevy has been adorned with a small #3 decal since Kevin Harvick assumed the driving duties of RCR's former No. 3 Chevrolet in the second race of the 2001 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season after Earnhardt's passing at Daytona on February 18, 2001.(RCR)(2-11-2011)
#27 team gets #71 owners points: #27-Paul Menard will be a guaranteed starter in the 2011 Daytona 500 for Richard Childress Racing. A spokesman for Richard Childress Racing confirmed an "equity partnership" had been formed between Childress, who will once again field four Cup Series teams this season, and Thomas Pumpelly. Pumpelly, who in 2010 was part of the partnership group involved with TRG Motorsports, "divested himself from his partnership with TRG and took with him the #71 car points," the spokesman said. TRG Motorsports used eight drivers to finish 35th in the Cup Series owners' standings in 2010 and had been planning to come to Daytona's Speedweeks with a program in place to contest the full Cup schedule, owner Kevin Buckler said in early January. As a new team, Menard's car was going to be forced to qualify on speed until at least the sixth race of 2011, but with the new deal, will be guaranteed a starting position for the first five races of the season, until 2011 owners' points are used. The RCR spokesman said Pumpelly will be the listed owner of the #27 Chevrolet to start the season (NASCAR.com)(2-5-2011)
Childress wins Sporting News award: Richard Childress, who oversaw a resurgence of Richard Childress Motorsports, is the Sporting News owner of the year, the magazine announced Wednesday.
RCR made a remarkable turnaround in 2010. After all four of Childress' drivers missed the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2009, the organization consolidated to three teams this year with drivers Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer. All three qualified for the Chase, and Harvick was in contention for the Cup championship until the final lap at Homestead. Bowyer won two of the 10 Chase races, at New Hampshire and California.(Sporting News)(12-2-2010)
Roland DGA Partnership with RCR: A whole new look is in store for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) thanks to wide-format inkjet printing technology from Roland DGA Corp. A partnership between the two companies, announced, establishes Roland DGA as the exclusive printer manufacturer for RCR, home to three of the top 2010 Sprint Cup Series Chase finishers, including #29-Kevin Harvick, #31-Jeff Burton and #33-Clint Bowyer. The partnership equips RCR's new state-of-the-art Graphics Center with Roland's most advanced wide-format inkjet printers and printer/cutters. Through the partnership, RCR will open its campus-like facility located in Welcome, NC, to Roland for training classes, dealer meetings, product demonstrations and other events, and will offer additional support to Roland advertising and marketing campaigns. Since opening the RCR graphics studio, Roland printers have been working around the clock to wrap RCR's extensive inventory of racing cars and trucks, show cars and delivery vehicles.(Roland DGA PR)(12-2-2010)
RCR Shop Takes Green to next level: In the first program of its kind, designed to prevent the unnecessary disposal of aerosol spray cans still containing chemical solutions that can eventually leak into the environment, Safety-Kleen and Richard Childress Racing are teaming up to make sure those cans are empty and recycled. "We've been helping keep NASCAR events and teams 'green' for years by properly managing a wide range of recyclable fluids used in their shops and cars," said Eric Zimmer, executive vice president of branch sales and service for Safety-Kleen. "Now we're taking that to the next level by focusing in on some of the less obvious potential sources of environmental contamination – such as spray cans – and we're proud to be undertaking this industry-leading effort with Richard Childress Racing." Many businesses simply throw used aerosol cans in the trash, which is perfectly legal, without even thinking about the fact that those cans are not completely empty and that the contents will eventually find their way into the environment. The better option is to make sure the cans are completely empty and then have them recycled, but that has not been easy to do. Now, using a new drain system developed by Safety-Kleen partner Justrite Manufacturing, businesses can easily get all of the material out of an aerosol can, simultaneously preparing the can for recycling and collecting the liquids for recycling or proper disposal. The Childress Racing teams will now be pioneering the use of these machines in their shops.(PRNewswire)(12-1-2010)
RPM purchased by Richard Petty and others MORE: Richard Petty Motorsports signed and closed a sale of its racing assets to an investment group comprised of Richard Petty, Medallion Financial Corp. and DGB Investments. Richard Petty will serve as Chairman and will be actively involved in overseeing day-to-day operations of the company. As previously announced, the team will operate the legendary #43 car driven by AJ Allmendinger and the #9 car driven by Marcos Ambrose. "Today is a great day for me, my family, our fans and our wonderful sponsors. Ford, Stanley, Best Buy, Valvoline, Reynolds, Air Force, Super 8, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), WIX Filters and Menards have supported me through thick and thin and I thank them from the bottom of my heart," said Petty.
Andrew Murstein, President of Medallion Financial, commented: "We could not be happier to be able to acquire these assets together. Richard is one of the greatest names, not only in NASCAR, but in all sports. His name and image are a world recognized brand with unlimited potential to grow and expand in racing. Ample working capital has been invested in the company to insure this great team and legend will not only continue to perform, but will thrive and be back in the winner's circle."
"George and Foster Gillett deserve a great deal of credit for running a successful race team," commented Petty. "They made a significant investment into the business and helped get back into Victory Lane. Going forward, we have put together an all-star ownership team consisting of myself, Medallion, and VeriFone CEO Doug Bergeron."
Medallion Financial, a publicly traded investment company, has invested over $3 billion in companies since its IPO in 1996 and its board members include such notables as former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, former Connecticut Governor and Senator Lowell Weicker, and another "King" of his sport, Hank Aaron. The Murstein family is the largest shareholder in Medallion, owning approximately 20 percent.
DGB Investments is an investment vehicle of Canadian-born investor Douglas G. Bergeron, CEO of VeriFone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY), San Jose, Calif. In 2001, Bergeron and DGB participated in the acquisition of VeriFone Systems from Hewlett-Packard in a transaction valued at $50 million. Today, VeriFone's market value exceeds $3 billion dollars and Bergeron remains CEO and one of the largest individual shareholders.
Douglas Bergeron commented, "With Richard Petty's unmatched name and reputation in the motorsports industry, I know this investment is well-timed to succeed. We are going to help put Richard Petty Motorsports back in Victory Lane." Richard Petty concluded, "Our partnership with Andy Murstein and Doug Bergeron will help take us to a whole new level and I could not be more excited about our future."(RPM PR)(11-29-2010)
MORE: RPM will operate as a two-car organization with AJ Allmendinger in the famed #43 that Petty drove to 198 [of 200] wins and seven championships and Marcos Ambrose in the #9. Sources said rights to the owner's points for the #98 driven by Paul Menard are moving to Menard at Richard Childress Racing [#27 Chevy] and the points from the #19 driven by Elliott Sadler are expected to go to the #21 owned by the Wood Brothers. Andrew Murstein, the president of Medallion Financial, said he agreed to get involved only if Petty made a substantial commitment along with his company and DGB. While he couldn't divulge details due to a confidentiality agreement, Murstein said all three parties invested millions of dollars. Murstein said the more than $100 million of debt on RPM operations has been paid off. "A fresh start for Petty coming in with no debt,'' he said. The sale of RPM's racing assets to Medallion Financial and DGB Investments not only takes Gillett out of ownership but also Ray Evernham, who remained a minority owner after selling what was Evernham Motorsports to Gillett in 2007.(ESPN)
Ford Statement: Statement from Jamie Allison, Director, Ford North America Motorsports, on Richard Petty Motorsports: "We're elated that Richard Petty has been able to complete this very complex task of restructuring Richard Petty Motorsports. Everyone knows that The King is a motorsports icon and to have him part of the Ford Racing family is something we cherish. We're also excited about moving forward with Andy Murstein and Doug Bergeron, two men whose knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be successful will serve RPM well in the future. I am extending a personal welcome to Andy and Doug from all of us at Ford. Now, we can concentrate on the task at hand, which is getting AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose the resources they need to win races and make the Chase in 2011."(Ford Racing)(11-29-2010)
Gillett at Homestead, refuses to talk: Foster Gillett appeared at a NASCAR track for the first time since financial problems began consuming his team. As he climbed from the top of the #19 Richard Petty Motorsports hauler, Gillett, the managing partner of the company his father, George Gillett, purchased in August 2007, refused to answer questions that have been on the minds of many — from suppliers to whom RPM owes money to drivers who want to know what their situations are for next year.
When asked where have you been, Gillett refused to answer. When asked if his family still had majority interest of Richard Petty Motorsports, Gillett refused to answer.
The latest scenario in the garage has RPM closing the doors on Monday and reopening under a newly founded company with two teams — the #43 and #9 — and the ability to rehire select employees from the existing rosters and some fresh faces. A.J. Allmendinger is signed to drive the #43, and Marcos Ambrose will take over the #9. Stanley, which is currently the sponsor on the #19 of Elliott Sadler, has signed on to return next year. Best Buy, the primary sponsor of the #43, has not yet.
RPM has three teams in the top 25 in the points standings, but sources say that #98-Paul Menard, who is joining Richard Childress Racing in 2011 [running the #27 at RCR], has commandeered his points for next year. That means his Childress team will be exempt from having to qualify for the first six events next year.(in part from FoxSports)(11-19-2010)
Menard to run #27 in 2011: Paul Menard, who will leave Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the 2010 season for Richard Childress Racing. Will run the car #27 in 2011, after running #98 from 2009-2010 and #15 from 2006-2008. See an image of Menard's 2011 scheme on my #27 Team Schemes page.(10-27-2010)
Labbe moving to RCR with Menard: Despite reports that Richard Petty Motorsports could shut down after Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway, one of the team's crew chiefs says his car is good to go. Richard "Slugger" Labbe, crew chief of the #98 Menards Ford driven by Paul Menard, said his team's cars have not been directly impacted by RPMs woes. Roush Fenway Racing, which builds RPMs cars, briefly repossessed three of RPMs four cars for next week's race at Talladega Superspeedway. But Labbe said the #98 wasn't one of them. "Our cars weren't affected by that," Labbe said Friday morning at Martinsville. "We've got our Talladega car, the engine's going in it this morning. We've got our Texas cars. We've got all our cars for the rest of the races." Labbe, who next year will move with Menard to Richard Childress Racing, said he didn't think RPM will fold before the end of the year. There have been reports that team members were told the team wouldn't race beyond Martinsville or perhaps Talladega and that some crew members had paychecks bounce. But Labbe said his paycheck cleared yesterday and he's been assured by team officials that the funds are in place to make payroll.(SPEED)(10-22-2010)
Drivers visiting Walter Reed: NASCAR's annual visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center is set for Thursday, with a total of 10 drivers scheduled to attend along with NASCAR President Mike Helton. Drivers expected to visit include #43-AJ Allmendinger, #16-Greg Biffle, #2-Kurt Busch, #38-David Gilliland,#17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Brad Keselowski, #98-Paul Menard, #87-Joe Nemechek, #39-Ryan Newman and #82-Scott Speed. Show cars on display are expected to be #39 U.S. ARMY Chevy, #88 National Guard Chevy, #99 Scotts Ford, #2 Miller Lite Dodge, #11 FedEx Toyota, #24 National Guard Chevy, #10 Sprint show car and a NASCAR/Walter Reed Army Medical Center car.(NASCAR)(9-22-2010)
New Labonte team, to be RCR 4th team in 2011? The fourth [Richard Childress Racing] team is preparing for [Paul] Menard's arrival already as RCR will field the equipment and personnel for Terry Labonte in the three races he is doing this year for [#10 Gander Mountain Chevy] Stavola Labonte Racing to get that future Menard team up to speed. It's certainly a possibility that crew chief Doug Randolph, who is working as crew chief for Labonte in those races, could take the [crew chief] role with Menard next season.(FoxSports)(8-17-2010)
Menard moving to Richard Childress Racing: UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing and Menards, the third-largest home improvement company in the United States, have signed a multi-year partnership agreement for the Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based company to become the primary sponsor of RCR's fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team beginning in 2011 with driver Paul Menard. "Paul has developed into a very good race car driver, and we see his move to RCR next year as an opportunity for him to continue that progress," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "At the same time, we feel Paul will contribute to the continued progress and success of RCR. Paul will fit in perfectly with our team of drivers at RCR, and they are all looking forward to working with him. We're also very proud to be aligned with Menards, one of the great family business success stories in American history." Further announcements about the program will be forthcoming.(RCR)(8-11-2010)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports issued the following statement in regards to the announcement that Paul Menard, driver of the #98 Menards Ford, will depart the team in 2011. "We have enjoyed having Paul Menard and the Menard family as a part of the Richard Petty Motorsports team this season," said NASCAR Hall of Famer and team owner Richard Petty. "Paul is in the middle of his best season of competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we feel like our strong commitment to him and that team in addition to the great support from Ford Racing has been a major part of that," added Foster Gillett, managing partner and team owner. "With 14 races to go, we expect the #98 team to finish just as strong as it started this year."(RPM)(8-11-2010)
4th team for RCR? Menard? UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing is looking at possible expansion to four teams in the Sprint Cup Series in 2011 and is in the process of finalizing a deal to run next year's Nationwide Series program through Kevin Harvick Inc. Team owner Richard Childress said an announcement on the deal with KHI should be made soon. The plan is for RCR to supply engines to KHI for the Nationwide program and for RCR to field two teams in the Truck Series where Childress' grandson, Austin Dillon, drives the #3. RCR Cup drivers Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick would run KHI cars when in the Nationwide Series.
Childress would not comment on speculation that Paul Menard, who drives for Richard Petty Motorsports, would be his fourth driver. But he did say that a fourth team is a possibility. "We're looking at it," Childress said Sunday at Pocono Raceway. RCR had four teams in 2009, but returned to three this season after sponsorship for the fourth team and Casey Mears could not be found. Menard would bring the family business, Menard's, with him as a sponsor if he made the move. RPM does not have a deal with Menard for 2011, but has been in talks with Marcos Ambrose to drive either the #9 being vacated by Kasey Kahne or #19 currently driven by Elliott Sadler. Team officials are optimistic that AJ Allmendinger will be back in the #43 next season even though Allmendinger has talked to other teams.(ESPN)(8-1-2010)
UPDATE: Frontstretch is reporting #98-Paul Menard has agreed in principle to move to Richard Childress Racing for 2011. Sponsorship would continue to come from his father's company, Menards, with a car number and crew chief to be announced. No word on an official announcement yet from either side, but the team would expand to four cars while retaining their current driver lineup of #31-Jeff Burton, #29-Kevin Harvick, and #33-Clint Bowyer.(Frontstretch)(8-5-2010)
UPDATE 2: Paul Menard appears to be closing in on a deal that will lock him into the fourth Sprint Cup car at Richard Childress Racing. Multiple sources have told FOXSports.com that Menard would drive the full Cup season at RCR, potentially in the #32 car, and pilot the #33 Chevy part-time in the Nationwide Series under the Kevin Harvick Inc. banner. When asked about his future Sunday at Pocono Raceway, Menard didn't deny he was considering his options. "We have to cover our bases," Menard said. "But we haven't done anything yet."(Fox Sports)(8-6-2010)
TRG and Labbe part ways UPDATE 3 to the #98: Official Statement from TRG Motorsports Regarding Former Crew Chief Slugger Labbe: TRG Motorsports today released Slugger Labbe as crew chief of the #71 Cup car. TRG appreciates Slugger's dedication in its first year as a Cup organization where he helped guide the team to 35 consecutive starts and TRG's first top-10 finish in the Sprint Cup Series. TRG Motorsports will, as planned, compete full time in 2010 with Bobby Labonte behind the wheel of the #71 with TaxSlayer.com on-board for a good portion of the season and is currently in negotiations with several top-level crew chiefs.(TRG Motorsports)(12-3-2009)
UPDATE: Labbe has several offers on the table and is expected to make an announcement concerning his future on Monday. GM Mike Brown has left TRG as well. Brown was a longtime fixture at Bill Davis Racing prior to joining TRG in March. Brown says he has no formal plans but "several irons in the fire".(FoxSports)(12-4-2009)
UPDATE 2: Labbe will be the crew chief for Paul Menard and the #98 Menard's Ford in 2010. A formal announcement is expected from Yates Racing on Monday. Labbe parted ways with TRG Motorsports on Thursday to accept the new role. Labbe was touring the Yates shops on Friday and was introduced as "Menard's new crew chief," several sources confirmed. Menard's previous crew chief Larry Carter parted ways with the organization at season's end.(FoxSports)(12-4-2009)
UPDATE 3: Richard "Slugger" Labbe will serve as the new crew chief for #98-Paul Menard. Labbe left his position at TRG Motorsports to join what will be Richard Petty Motorsports when the merger with Yates Racing is completed. He began work at RPM last Friday in the Concord, N.C., shop and already is preparing Fords for the 2010 season. It is a homecoming of sorts for Labbe, who worked out of then Robert Yates Racing's Concord shop from 1998-2001, helping the late Kenny Irwin Jr. win Rookie of the Year honors in 1998.(ESPN.com)(12-11-2009)
Ask.com? Menards to #07 team?
Sources say Ask.com could come aboard the fourth [Richard Childress Racing #07 Chevy] car for a partial schedule, but [Casey] Mears could just as easily lose the ride to Paul Menard, who can bring a full sponsorship. Doug Randolph [the new #07 crew chief], coincidentally, was Menard's crew chief at Dale Earnhardt Inc. And hearing John Menard is pushing for his son to drive for RCR in 2010, but Paul [#98 Menards Ford] wants to remain in his current situation.(FoxSports)(10-24-2009)
Menard's 2010 plans not firm: John Menard said on Sunday that plans are not firm as to where his son Paul [#98 Menards Ford] and the lucrative Menards sponsorship will be next season. "We'll just see how it works out," Menard said. According to Menard, Paul is in the first year of a two-year contract which is non-transferable. Should Yates Racing merge with Richard Petty Motorsports [as was announced a couple weeks ago], the contract would be null and void.(FoxSports)(10-5-2009)
Menard says he will not be going to #07 car: #98-Paul Menard denied speculation that he is a candidate to replace #07-Casey Mears in the fourth car [Chevy] at Richard Childress Racing next season. Reports this past weekend from Dover International Speedway had Menard, sponsored by his father's company, touring the RCR facility in Welcome, N.C. He supposedly is unhappy with the merger between Yates and Richard Petty Motorsports and is looking for a new home.(see more at ESPN Insider)(9-28-2009)