Tag Archives: Richard Childress Racing

Paul Menard is Sneaking Up on Two Mile Speedways

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing has been doing quite well on the two mile speedways of Michigan International Speedway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California. The big question is will he be able to improve on that and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway this Sunday, June 14th 2015.

The statistics for Paul Menard at Michigan are not that great. He is 22nd in driver ratings of 71.9 in the past ten years. His average finish of 18.4 is only worthy of a yawn as is his average running position of 19.2.

What is eye catching is the fact he has finished 4th in each of the last three Sprint Cup races at Michigan. He also finished in the top ten the last three years at Auto Club including 4th this year.

Will Menard be able to continue his run on two mile speedways and improve?

Menard said, “Hard to say, there will probably be a little advantage when drafting, similar to the XFINITY Series cars, with the increased throttle time. Because of the horsepower loss, it’ll be hard to complete a pass. We’ll find out what’s in store for us this weekend.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series is also racing a Michigan this weekend. Paul Menard will be driving the No. 33 Richmond/Menards car for Richard Childress Racing. He is defending champion of that race. This will give him the extra track time he needs.

Menard is currently 11th in the standings and in a position to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup. A win here at Michigan International Speedway would guarantee that spot.

If you cannot get to Michigan International Speedway for the Quicken Loans 400 it will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 starting at 1:00 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 305028 Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images

 

NASCAR Tiregate – So What?

Unless you are a NASCAR fan who has been living under a rock, NASCAR has been on a witch hunt to find out who may have been messing with the tires in order to get an advantage over the competition. This week NASCAR fined and penalized the Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar team of Richard Childress Racing (RCR).

Evidently there has been talk about some teams manipulating tires for some time in the garage. It hit the media early this season then NASCAR started taking random tires from teams after the Phoenix International Raceway race. Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick‘s tires were looked at and no indication of tampering was found. NASCAR also took tires from Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman after the race at Auto Club Speedway in California.

NASCAR must have seen something suspicious about the tires from California and sent it to an outside consultant for further review. This process took more than a week and Tuesday NASCAR dropped the hammer and issued a P5 penalty to the No. 31 team. A P5 penalty consists of a $125,000.00 fine to Luke Lambert the Crew Chief plus a six “Point Paying” race suspension from competitions including any nonpoint races in-between (All-Star Race) for Lambert, James Bender, team tire technician and Philip Surgen, team engineer.

Potentially more important is Ryan Newman and car owner Richard Childress have been penalized 75 points. This drops the No. 31 team from sixth in points to 26th in points. We can presume that the other RCR car of Paul Menard did not have any tire irregularities.

At no point in time has NASCAR or RCR indicated what was done to the tires. The commonly held rumor is that small pin holes were made in the tire to “Bleed” off air when the tire was hot in the middle of tire run to keep the tire more near the optimal range. This would in effect make the tire good through the whole tire run not just in the middle or at the end of a tire run.

In the eyes of NASCAR and many others this is cheating pure and simple. In addition it is manipulating one of the big three of NASCAR, the tires, fuel or engine: hence the P5 penalty.

Well in my mind there is cheating and there is cheating. Having an engine with more displacement, that’s a no brainer, cheating. I could do that. Having better fuel, that’s the same. Manipulating the tire via engineering something new, well that is pretty cool.

If they were able to figure out what size hole and/or how many of the same and get them to release air to maintain the near optimal pressure in a full tire run they deserve a medal. They deserve an A for effort!  Unfortunately for them I’m not NASCAR and they still deserve a P5 penalty.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 307294 Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images