Preview: Alabama 500

Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS
Race Notes and Quotes

Event: Alabama 500
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2017
Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Location: Lincoln, AL

This Week’s No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS at Talladega Superspeedway ... Ryan Newman will make his 562nd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when he competes at the final restrictor-plate race of the season at Talladega Superspeedway. In total, he owns five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 31 starts. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 13.9 and average finish of 20.3. His best start of second came in the fall of 2012, while his best finish of third took place in the spring of 2009. When it comes to championship points in the last 10 events at Talladega, Newman ranks seventh in most points earned. 

#B31ieve ... Newman is making his eighth appearance in what is now known as the NASCAR Playoffs. At Dover, the driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet missed making the Round of 12 by just two points. He now sits 15th in the standings. His highest finish in the championship standings is second place while driving in his first season for RCR and crew chief Luke Lambert. 

Featured Caterpillar Dealer ... Thompson Tractor Company is the featured Cat dealer for this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Thompson Tractor Company, Inc. is the full-line Caterpillar dealer for Alabama and northwest Florida and the MCFA lift truck dealer for all of Georgia (less nine northwestern counties). The company specializes in the sales and service of Caterpillar products, including earthmoving, construction, forestry and material handling equipment, as well as diesel engines used for electric power generation, on-highway and marine propulsion applications. Headquartered in Birmingham, AL, Thompson Tractor provides a diverse array of solutions to their customers in its service territory through four divisions: Thompson Tractor Company, Thompson Power Systems, Thompson Lift Truck Company, and The Thompson Cat Rental Store. Thompson has 25 locations and the South's largest fleet of field service vehicles to best serve their customers. For all your equipment and product support needs, please visit or stop by your nearest Thompson location.

Age of Smart Iron ... Caterpillar has spent over 90 years committed to innovation and technology that helps customers succeed. What was important then is even more important now, in an age when advancements come faster and more frequently than ever before. An age where connectivity drives productivity and industry evolves. This is the Age of Smart Iron. Watch this video. For more information about Caterpillar, visit To connect with us on social media, visit

Meet Newman … On Sunday, Newman is scheduled to participate in a fan question and answer session with his crew chief Luke Lambert at the Team Chevy Stage located in the track’s midway starting at 9:10 a.m. local time. 

Chevrolet Corn Maze … Back by popular demand is the nine-acre Chevrolet corn maze at Rescue Ranch in Statesville, North Carolina. It is open Friday and Saturday night’s in October. Families can weave their way through a custom designed corn maze featuring a Chevy Silverado and a Corvette. For more information, visit:

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Talladega Superspeedway ... Richard Childress began his driving career at Talladega Superspeedway in 1969 and is in a tie for the most all-time car owner victories at the storied Alabama-based race track with 12 wins. Dale Earnhardt visited Victory Lane nine times, while Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer swept the 2010 events at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Bowyer added to the Welcome, N.C.-based organization's total by claiming RCR's 100th Cup Series win when NASCAR's senior series visited the facility in October 2011. In 169 starts, RCR also has four pole awards, 41 top-five, 68 top-10 finishes and has led 1,837 laps of competition

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,828 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards, 107 wins, 485 top-five finishes and 1,048 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.7 and an average finishing position of 16.1. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, '87, '90, '91, '93 and '94, six NASCAR XFINITY Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR's three national series.

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Interactive RCR ... For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR's corporate Twitter page — @RCRracing — along with the RCR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Twitter page — @RCRCup, and driver Twitter pages @austindillon3 and @RyanJNewman. Information about the 15-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at and at along with official driver pages —, and

Catch the Action ... The Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is scheduled to be televised live on Sunday, October 15 on NBC beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.


Unlike other sports, your season isn’t over now that you are no longer in the Playoffs. What is your focus now and what are you working on? Are you preparing for next season?

"We are doing a little bit of everything. We really want to go out there and win races. This past weekend at Charlotte, we made the final 12 in qualifying and ran up in the top 10 before getting in a wreck. We remain focused. But with that said, we want to go out and do the best job we can and not make a mistake that might cost someone a championship. I remember my first start back in 2000 in Phoenix. I qualified next to Bobby Labonte and right in front of Dale Earnhardt Sr. when they were racing for a championship with two races to go in the season. The point I am trying to make is you don’t want to go out there and make a mess for someone else, but at the same time, you want to go out there and win for yourself, your sponsors, your team and your fans. This weekend in Talladega should be interesting. We all know what can happen there with one wrong move. We’ll just have to do our best, stay out of trouble and hope the fans see a great race."