Preview: FireKeepers Casino 400

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

Event: FireKeepers Casino 400
Date: Sunday, June 18, 2017
Track: Michigan International Speedway
Location: Brooklyn, MI

This Week's VELVEETA® Shells & Cheese Chevrolet SS at Michigan International Speedway ... Newman will make his 563rd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series competes in the Irish Hills of Michigan. In 31 Cup Series events at MIS, Newman scored back-to-back victories in the fall 2003 and spring 2004 events. The "Rocket Man" also owns a pole award. In total, he's recorded five top-five and eight top-10 finishes. He has led 113 laps in competition. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 13.3 and average finish of 16.7. And in four NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at the speedway, he has visited victory lane two times (2001, 2005).

LIQUID GOLD ... VELVEETA® Shells & Cheese and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) 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.

Richard Childress Racing at Michigan International Speedway ... In 160 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway, RCR teams have earned three wins, two with Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990) and the most recent with Kevin Harvick (August 2010). Additionally, RCR has claimed 23 top-five and 55 top-10 finishes with 10 different drivers including Richard Childress, a former driver in NASCAR's top division, who recorded top-10 finishes at MIS in June 1978 and August 1979. 

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,778 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. 

Do you know an EMT or paramedic? ... Sign them up for free admission and $1,500 of travel expenses to EMS World Expo in Las Vegas on October 16-20. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma Scholarship funds continuing medical education to help save the lives of injured kids around the world. Nomination deadline is June 30, 2017. Submit your application at today!

Accelerating the Cure for Cancer ... Each of the RCR entries will run memorial decals this weekend to celebrate the life of a dear friend to the RCR family, Laurie Parkhurst. Read Laurie's story and donate to Laurie's Fund at

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 FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway is scheduled to be televised live on Sunday, June 18 on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.


What is the hardest thing to figure out at Michigan International Speedway?

"The hardest thing for us to figure out at Michigan is having a good balance in Turns 1 and 2 and then having the same good balance in Turns 3 and 4. I think Michigan is more challenging as far as getting both ends to handle well versus getting all three corners right at Pocono Raceway."

It seems as if Michigan has become more about fuel mileage, but will it be any different now that we have stages?

"The bigger the track, the odds are in favor of a race being a fuel-mileage race at some point. We'll see especially with this summer stretch of Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the road courses where fuel mileage is more important now than it is the rest of the season."