Event: STP 500
Date: Sunday, April 2, 2017
Track: Martinsville Speedway
Location: Ridgeway, VA
This Week's No. 31 Chevrolet SS at Martinsville Speedway ... Ryan Newman will make his 553rd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in the first short-track event of the 2017 season. In 30 Cup Series events at Martinsville Speedway, Newman visited Victory Lane at this event in 2012. The Rocket Man also owns three pole awards, all happening in the fall of 2002, '04 and '09. In total, he owns eight top-five and 14 top-10 finishes, along with 196 laps led in competition. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 9.3 and average finish of 15.0.
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 chevrolet.com.
Meet Ryan ... Ryan Newman is scheduled to participate in a fan question and answer session on Sunday at approximately 12:20 p.m. EDT at the Team Chevy stage. The stage is located in the Martinsville Speedway midway.
Breaking News ... Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Kalahari Resorts & Conventions have renewed their partnership for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Now home to America's Largest Indoor Waterpark, Kalahari Resorts will once again serve as the primary sponsor on Ryan Newman's No. 31 Chevrolet SS at Pocono Raceway on June 11, 2017, as well as host RCR during its two stops on the Series schedule in Pennsylvania.
Rescue Ranch Playground Project ... Ryan and Krissie Newman are in the midst of a $400,000 fundraising project for Rescue Ranch. It is a community wide effort that will benefit countless children annually. The fully-inclusive playground will be 10,000 sq./ft. and encompasses a barrier-free option for children of all abilities to play together. For more information, please watch: https://youtu.be/Iwg63IVTOHs.
Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Martinsville Speedway ... In 159 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has earned four pole awards and posted seven victories with drivers Dale Earnhardt (five times), Ricky Rudd (1983) and Kevin Harvick (2011). RCR Chevrolet teams have earned 29 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes at Martinsville dating back to the team's first start there on April 10, 1972. Richard Childress, a former driver in NASCAR's top division, contributed four of those top-10 finishes from 1976-1978.
RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,751 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,106 wins, 476 top-five finishes and 1,032 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.
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 STP 500 will be televised live Sunday, April 2 beginning at 2 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1 and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
What is the key to being successful at Martinsville Speedway?
"Martinsville to me is one of the best short tracks, if not the best short track we go to. One of the keys is really keeping your tires underneath you. You do that by keeping your brakes underneath you. You have to have good cooling, but how you apply the brake can really change your day for the good or bad."
What is the hardest thing for you to figure out there?
"I think one of the challenges to Martinsville is the 500 cycles, so you have a lot of chances to make up ground and a lot of chances to catch up like the free pass and implement strategies to be there at the end of the race. If you start off having a bad race, like a tire cutting down, you just have to give it time. It usually comes back to you. It might not be until 10 to go, but it usually comes back to you."
The next three of the four Cup races are short tracks. Do you like the short-track swing?
"I like short tracks. My stats prove it. Going to them is nice, but we'll go to them regardless so it doesn't really matter to me."
How do you feel about the lights being added?
"I think just having lights is cool. The technology is impressive. It will be nice to see and it gives us that out where we can make the right calls and finish the race in the best situation and conditions possible."