Preview: Brickyard 400

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

Event: Brickyard 400
Date: Sunday, July 23, 2017
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Location: Indianapolis, IN

This Week's VELVEETA® Shells & Cheese Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ... Newman will make his 569th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series competes at the 2.5-mile speedway this weekend. He scored the victory in 2013 at this prestigious event after starting from the pole and leading 45 of the 160 laps scheduled. In total, the "Rocket Man" owns two top-five and three top-10 finishes in 16 starts. The South Bend, Indiana native has led 59 laps in competition and has an average start of 9.3 and average finish of 17.7.

Winner, Winner ... Newman punched his ticket to the MENCS playoffs with a victory at Phoenix Raceway on March 19th in the No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet. The win equates to the driver's 18th-career Cup Series victory and RCR's 106th.

LIQUID GOLD ... VELVEETA® Shells & Cheese and Richard Childress Racing have teamed up to give NASCAR fans a taste of the one and only LIQUID GOLD. VELVEETA® Shells & Cheese is the primary sponsor for select races, beginning June 18 at Michigan International Speedway, and associate sponsorship for the remainder of the 2017 season.

The partnership is highlighted by a comprehensive marketing and content program, including a national sweepstakes that will grant one lucky grand prize winner the LIQUID GOLD championship experience: an all-expenses paid VIP weekend at the NASCAR Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Entrants will also have the chance to win more than 100 autographed swag items, including mini replicas of Ryan Newman's race helmet and race-worn fire suits from the No. 31 Chevrolet pit crew. Details and call-to-action for the sweepstakes, which launches this month and will continue through the summer, are being distributed on more than three million boxes of VELVEETA Shells & Cheese.

See Newman + Media Availability ... On Friday, Newman is scheduled to participate in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hauler Parade and Fan Fest. He'll lead the parade starting at 6 p.m. and then he'll join IMS President Doug Boles on the stage for a fan question and answer session starting at 6:10 p.m. Upon completion, he'll stop by the media bullpen for media availability.

Richard Childress Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ... In 64 previous Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has posted two pole awards (Kevin Harvick in 2003 and Jeff Burton in 2006), three wins (Dale Earnhardt in 1995, Harvick in 2003 and Paul Menard in 2011), 11 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. RCR Chevrolets have also been atop the leaderboard for a total of 268 laps and with the exception of one, each entry has been running at the finish of every event at the Brickyard, dating back to the inaugural race in 1994.

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,795 Monster Energy Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,107 wins, 481 top-five finishes and 1,041 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. 

3 on 3 Basketball ... Austin and Ty Dillon are hosting the 3rd Annual 3-on-3 Celebrity Basketball Tournament presented by The Dow Chemical Company to benefit the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, on Wednesday, July 26. The 16-team, double-elimination tournament will start at 3 p.m. and the final game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. For more information visit

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 Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled to be televised live on Sunday, July 23 on NBC beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Indianapolis Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.


What makes Indianapolis Motor Speedway so unique?

"It's the Brickyard. It's the history of motorsports in America. It's that yard of bricks. It's a special place when you think about everyone who's been there associated with F1, IndyCars, motorcycles and NASCAR. It's unique because of the four corners, the long straightaways and the flatness. To me, it's just unique in so many ways. It's a fun place to drive and yet, it's quite a challenge at the same time."

What is your current mindset going into the remaining races before the Playoffs?

"We're trying to get our train back on its tracks, so to speak, from where we were in Phoenix. Our 1.5-mile program has really struggled. Our short track program is not what we need it to be, even in Phoenix we didn't lead the amount of laps we should have. We led the right one, but we haven't dominated. We see the No. 78 and the No. 42 and at times the No. 48 and the No. 18 have been dominating; maybe not all leading the last lap, but in general, we're not leading enough laps to be as competitive as we need to be for those last 10 races. Our focus is like it always is, to make the cars drive better and faster and to put ourselves in better contention for making our way easier, or a chance to be easily progressing through the Playoffs."


How will stage racing influence the running of the Brickyard 400?

"I feel like stages are going to add an element of strategy that we will have to consider before the race. Knowing the stage breaks are laps 50, 100 and 160 relative to our fuel window is going to give us an opportunity to play the race backwards and we'll potentially sacrifice stage points at times to get in position to optimize our finish at the end of the race."