Preview: Sonoma 350

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

Event: Sonoma 350
Date: Sunday, June 25, 2017
Track: Sonoma Raceway
Location: Sonoma, CA

This Week's No. 31 Chevrolet Accessories SS at Sonoma Raceway ... Newman will make his 564th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series competes in the first road-course event of the season. In 15 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events at the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course, Newman owns two top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has led 11 laps and completed all 1,657 laps of competition. The South Bend, Ind., native has an average start of 12.7 and average finish of 12.3. In the last 10 races at the road course, the Richard Childress Racing driver ranks sixth in most points earned.

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.

CHEVROLET ... Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

Richard Childress Racing in Wine Country ... In 66 starts at the 10-turn stadium course, Richard Childress Racing owns two wins, with Dale Earnhardt in the 1995 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 and with Robby Gordon in the Save Mart 350 in 2003, one pole award (Earnhardt, 1995), 14 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. The Welcome, N.C.,-based team has led 140 laps at Sonoma, completed 6,894 of the 6,940 laps contested (99.3 percent) and recorded just one DNF (Did Not Finish) over that stretch (1989-2016).

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,781 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!

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 Sonoma 350 at Sonoma Raceway is scheduled to be televised live on Sunday, June 25 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 key to being successful at Sonoma Raceway?

"The key to being successful at Sonoma Raceway is keeping your rear tires alive, not overheating them. You need to be good to your brakes and having a car that turns and rotates. You've got to be multi-talented because Sonoma boasts so many different types of corners. You've got to be able to drive through them all, mistake-free."

Is there a corner for you that's difficult to get right the entire time?

"I think the hardest part for me at Sonoma Raceway is really the easiest corner. It's the esses. The car is most misbalanced are the fastest corners for whatever reason. It's been like that for years for me. Hopefully if we can get those esses tightened up, we'll be good."

What is your favorite part of Sonoma Raceway?

"My favorite part is getting into Turn 11. There's heavy braking. You can dive bomb somebody or just do what you have to do to stay in front of somebody. I don't like blocking and I don't like drivers who do block. I'd rather just race and blocking is for chickens."

How hard is it to keep the aggression in check?

"I think the hardest part of the road course is kind of containing your emotions because you are falling behind in so many corners because you cannot pass. You just kind of struggle mentally to not want to beat the guy up that you have in front of you, turn them around or whatever. You might have a fast car but there really is only two or three good passing zones on the track."