Preview: Auto Club 400

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

Event: Auto Club 400
Date: Sunday, March 26, 2017
Track: Auto Club Speedway
Location: Fontana, CA

This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet SS at Auto Club Speedway ... Ryan Newman will make his 552nd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in the fifth event of the 2017 season. In 22 MENCS events at Auto Club Speedway, Newman owns one pole and has earned five top-five and nine top-10 finishes. His best result of third place was in the May 2004 race. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 13.6 and average finish of 16.6. When calculating points earned over the last six races at Auto Club Speedway, Newman ranks fifth in most points earned.

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 caterpillar.com. To connect with us on social media, visit caterpillar.com/social-media.

Featured Caterpillar Dealer ... Johnson Machinery is the featured Cat dealer for the Auto Club 400. A proud supporter of Cat Racing, Johnson Machinery has serviced Riverside and San Bernardino counties since 1940. As one of Caterpillar’s top performing dealerships Johnson Machinery offers a complete line of Caterpillar construction equipment products, new and used parts, service and rentals. For more information visit us at http://www.johnsoncat.com.

National Wild Turkey Federation Month ... Bass Pro Shops is showing its support in a new way this month for the National Wild Turkey Federation and its members which includes Newman. During NWTF month, shoppers at participating Bass Pro Shops stores are invited to donate their change to the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation by rounding up their purchase total to the nearest dollar. For more information: BPS NWTF month.

Media Availability ... Ryan Newman is scheduled to meet with reporters to discuss his MENCS win at Phoenix Raceway. He'll be available on Friday at 1:15 p.m. PT in the Auto Club Speedway media center.

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series History at Auto Club Speedway ... In 83 overall Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Auto Club Speedway, RCR Chevrolet teams have earned one win (Kevin Harvick - 2011), one pole award (Mike Skinner - April 2000), 12 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes. RCR has a 19.9 average starting position and a 16.4 average finishing position at the moderately-banked D-shaped race track.

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,748 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,106 wins, 476 top-five finishes and 1,032 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. 

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month... Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma Executive Director Bob Gfeller is attending Brain Injury Awareness Day in Washington, DC. The Gfellers lost their 15-year-old son, Matthew, to a traumatic brain injury in 2008. To learn more about the Childress Institute's work to prevent and treat pediatric brain injuries visit saveinjuredkids.org/.

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 www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRracing.com along with official driver pages - http://www.facebook.com/austindillon3, www.facebook.com/PaulMenard27 and www.facebook.com/RyanNewmanNASCAR.

Catch the Action ... The Auto Club 400 will be televised live Sunday, March 26 beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio..

RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES

What does a win mean to you and the RCR organization?

"It was an awesome day for RCR, Grainger, Caterpillar, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola ... all the partners that support our race teams, all the guys at the shop, RCR and ECR. This win means so much to me. I didn't forget how to win, but after a while or for so long, you get thinking to yourself, 'Man, is it really this hard or are you just losing it?' We didn't lose it on Sunday. It's been an amazing two days for me. It's been so long for me to get to victory lane that I cannot thank everyone enough for supporting me. It's been a total collective effort to get to victory lane and it feels so good. We were at the right place at the right time and did what we needed to do."

How has Auto Club Speedway changed over the years?

"It has just gotten better and better. It is that kind of asphalt that just gets better with age. The seams are a little bit tricky, but the combination of the tires and the track and the fall off it's just such a fun race track to race at."

Do you find that you migrate towards the top groove?

"You go where you need to go. Sometimes you can putt around the bottom when everybody goes to the top. They rubber it up and it's the short way around. Sometimes the bottom cools back off and you can dig down there."

Auto Club Speedway and Michigan International Speedway are the only two-mile tracks on the schedule. What are the differences between the two facilities?

"Michigan has new pavement, a little bit more banking and it seems like we just have a different tire combination there that is more like what Auto Club Speedway was like a few years ago. The old Michigan (before the repave) is more similar to what Auto Club Speedway is like now. The new Michigan is more similar to Kentucky Speedway where it is just a harder tire and it's a different kind of race."