Preview: Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500

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

Event: Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500
Date: Sunday, March 5, 2017
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Location: Hampton, GA

This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet SS at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... Ryan Newman will make his 549th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in the second event of the 2017 season. In 24 MENCS events at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Newman owns seven pole awards, including sweeping six-straight poles encompassing the 2003 to 2005 Cup seasons. He owns two top-five and nine top-10 finishes. His best results of fifth place came in 2013 and at the spring 2004 event. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 7.2 and average finish of 17.2. He's led a total of 175 laps in competition. In the Camping World Trucks Series, he captured the victory in the fall 2008 race.

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. For more information about Caterpillar, visit caterpillar.com. To connect with us on social media, visit caterpillar.com/social-media.

Meet Newman ... On Sunday, on behalf of Coca-Cola, Newman is scheduled to participate in a fan question and answer session at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip stage located in the AMS midway. It starts at 11:45 a.m. EST.

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... In 140 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has earned nine wins and three pole awards, including Kevin Harvick's emotional victory in the Cracker Barrel 500 on March 11, 2001. Dale Earnhardt won eight times at the Hampton, Ga.-based track under the RCR banner. Additionally, RCR boasts 29 top-five and 57 top-10 finishes at AMS and RCR-prepared Chevrolets have led 2,935 laps at the ultra-fast, 1.54-mile oval. Richard Childress, a former driver on NASCAR's senior circuit, recorded his best finish at AMS, ninth, in the Atlanta Journal 500 on Nov. 2, 1980.

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,739 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,105 wins, 475 top-five finishes and 1,031 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.7 and an average finishing position of 16.0. 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. 

Youth Sports Medicine at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma received a grant from Speedway Children's Charities Atlanta to host a Sports Medicine Education Course and Heads Up youth football clinic this summer. Thanks to Children's Hospital of Atlanta, the course will bring together EMS, athletic trainers and coaches to prepare as a team for youth sports injuries. Afterward, the coaches will have a chance to work with the kids on the field to teach Heads Up techniques to prevent injuries. Learn more at 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 Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 will be televised live Sunday, March 5 beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES

What is your opinion on the downforce package with a few modifications going in to Atlanta Motor Speedway?

"Atlanta is still one of my favorite racetracks as a driver especially in qualifying. You need to have courage in qualifying because you really have to hold it on edge. You have to just carry a lot of corner speed and hit your marks. It's kind of going to be the last hoorah for Atlanta before the repave. We can go out there and challenge the track. It seems like the harder you push it, the more rewarding it is when you have a car that is working right. It is a blast to drive. Hopefully, we all have a lot of fun."

How do you feel about your current 1.5-mile program at RCR?

"We got better towards the end of the year, but we still didn't win any races. Our best finish was at a 1.5-mile track at Kentucky. We followed that up with a fourth-place finish at Charlotte towards the end of the year. I think that we've made some gains, but we still didn't lead enough laps so we still have work to do."

With the new stages and repair rules, what do you think will be the key to this race?

"I think it is still about having a fast car. That's the key. It seems like it is one of those tracks where you can have 10 guys on the lead lap at the end of the race, but there is one that is hooked up and really hauling. Being that guy is a lot of fun."

What is the biggest thing you need to figure out in order to have a good run at Atlanta Motor Speedway?

"The biggest problem to figure out at Atlanta is one, getting the raw speed out of the car and number two, is just getting it to hang on. You can have a fast car, but it could fall off quickly if you don't change your tires."