Preview: Coke Zero 400

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

Event: Coke Zero 400
Date: Saturday, July 1, 2017
Track: Daytona Beach, FL
Location: Sonoma, CA

This Week's VELVEETA® Shells & Cheese Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Ryan Newman will make his 565th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series returns to the World Center of Speed. Newman is the proud owner of a Harley J. Earl trophy by winning the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. In total, the South Bend, Ind. native has 31 starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, earning four top-five and seven top-10 finishes. His average start is 20.5 and finish is 20.1. He's led 103 laps in competition.

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.

Meet Newman ... On Friday, Newman is scheduled to sign autographs at 1:00 p.m. EDT at the Winn Dixie located at 1541 N. Nova Road in Daytona Beach. On Sunday at 4:45 p.m. EDT, Newman is scheduled to participate in a fan question and answer session at the Alert Florida stage in the Fan Zone courtesy of Coca-Cola Racing.

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Daytona International Speedway ... Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 11 poles and collected five points-paying victories at the most-storied race track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit. RCR owns two Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt – 1998, Kevin Harvick – 2007), three Coke Zero 400 trophies (Earnhardt – 1990, 1993 and Harvick – 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 – 1999). In addition, RCR has earned the Advance Auto Parts Clash trophy a total of eight times, with drivers Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013) and Earnhardt (1986, '88, '91, '93, and '95).

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,786 Monster Energy Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,107 wins, 479 top-five finishes and 1,039 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, N.C., 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 Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled to be televised live on Saturday, July 1 on NBC beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90..


After two restrictor-plate races in the books this season, how do you think the stages are playing out?

"I think the stage racing definitely changed the strategy of how I raced these races. In the past, I dropped to the back and made a run at the front when there was less than 50 laps to go. I think you will continue to see a few guys drop back for just a little bit but at some point, they will have to run to the front or at least run to their best position to get points. It really is no different than any other track. You still have time to kind of put yourself in position or wait to put yourself in position. If you see something you don't like, you get yourself to a place where you feel comfortable so you will be there in the end."

What makes Daytona International Speedway unique?

"Daytona is a good bit narrower. It seems like it usually gets tight off Turn 2 but it's super-fast and super smooth. You can go wide open, no problem. It's usually hot for the July race so it's super-hot inside the race cars and eventually the cars start sliding around a little bit. Daytona is simply Daytona."