• Richard Childress Racing teammates finished ninth (Kevin Harvick), 10th (Paul Menard) and 26th (Jeff Burton).
• RCR drivers made a total of 181 Green Flag Passes during Sunday’s event. Harvick led the team with 63, Menard made 60 and Burton completed 58.
• Harvick and Menard posted 12 of the Fastest Laps Run in the 267-lap race, with eight and four laps respectively.
• Harvick was one of five drivers who ran 100 percent of the contested Laps in the Top 15.
• After improving four positions during the final 10 percent of the race (27 laps), Harvick ranked fourth in the Closers category.
• With a speed of 177.095 mph, Menard earned a position in the top 10 of Fastest Drivers Early in a Run.
• Matt Kenseth earned his first victory of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards.
• The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 17. The fourth race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on FOX beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Satellite Radio.
Menard Brings Home a Top-10 Finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Paul Menard started the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from the 17th position on Sunday after Friday afternoon’s qualifying was rained out and the field was set by 2012 owner points. Running lap times as fast as the leader, the No. 27 Schrock/Menards Chevrolet quickly made its way toward the front of the field moving into 11th-place at lap 50. Continuing to run in the top15, Menard faced handling issues which led the Menards team to make a variety of chassis adjustments during the ensuing pit stops in an attempt to remedy the cars loose-handling condition on entry and exit of the corners. The adjustments paid off as Menard relayed to crew chief “Slugger” Labbe that his car was handling better. Lightning fast pit stops by the pit crew throughout the race also provided Menard the opportunity to gain multiple spots on pit road. With just 25 laps remaining in the 267-lap event, Menard made his way into the top 10, settling into the ninth position. As the laps wore on, Menard’s No. 27 machine became tight in the corners, and he slipped back to 10th on lap 261. The Wisconsin native was able to maintain his position for the remainder of the event, bringing home his first top-10 finish of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The 10th-place finish allowed Menard to gain five spots in the driver championship point standings, he sits 12th heading into Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend.
Start – 17 Finish – 10 Laps Led – 0 Points – 12th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE: “We had a great car today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) and the team did a phenomenal job giving me a fast Schrock/Menards Chevrolet. It was a lot of fun to drive out there today. We were able to run the top line in turns one and two at the end, but we were tight at the bottom in turns three and four, which cost us a little bit of time. The No. 27 pit crew did an awesome job in the pits and got me several spots on pit road. All-in-all it was a good day, and we’ve got some momentum heading into Bristol (Motor Speedway) next weekend.”
Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Team Earn Hard Fought Ninth-Place Result at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet SS team earned a hard fought top-10 result in the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Inclement weather canceled qualifying forcing NASCAR to set the field by the rulebook, lining cars up by 2012 owner championship points and positioning Harvick eighth for the start of the 267-lap event. Early in the race, the Bakersfield, Calif., native reported he was battling a loose-handling condition, but remained a fixture in the top 10 until lap 152. The Gil Martin-led pit crew made multiple two and four-tires pit stops, along with several chassis adjustments throughout the course of the event to help correct the handling issues on the red and black machine. The improved, but persistent condition plagued the veteran driver for the remainder of the event. Harvick fell as far back as 14th in the running order, prior to crossing the finish line ninth. This marks Harvick’s first top-10 finish of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, and moves him up 11 positions in the driver championship point standings, to 19th.
Start – 8 Finish – 9 Laps Led – 0 Points – 19th
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE: “The Rheem guys battled hard today, and we were able to pick up our first top-10 finish of the season. Our car was fast, but we had a few issues with the handling during the race. The No. 29 team kept at it all day making changes that allowed us to leave here (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) with a good finish.”
Jeff Burton Finishes 26th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS team finished 26th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. Starting the 267-lap event from the 20th position after persistent rain forced NASCAR officials to cancel Sprint Cup Series qualifying, the South Boston, Va., native maintained a top-25 running position while fighting a tight-handling No. 31 Chevrolet for the first part of the race. Shortly after Burton pitted for fresh Goodyear tires, Sunoco Green E15 fuel and adjustments under green-flag conditions on lap 148, the caution flag was displayed trapping the Richard Childress Racing driver two laps down to the leader. The Caterpillar team caught a break on lap 195 when the caution flag was displayed once again. Crew chief Luke Lambert advised Burton stay out and take the “wave around” pass to gain one lap back. Burton restarted 26th on lap 200 and battled a loose-handling condition on his Chevrolet SS through the remainder of the 400-mile event eventually crossing the finish line in the 26th position.
Start-20 Finish-26 Laps Led-0 Points-20th
JEFF BURTON QUOTE: “This wasn’t the result the Caterpillar Chevrolet team was expecting this weekend. We had a successful test session on Thursday and made strong gains in practice on Saturday. I felt good about our chances this morning, but the handling got away from us. We’ll take the car back to North Carolina this weekend, see what went wrong and get ready for a strong run in at Bristol Motor Speedway.”