Preview: Tales of the Turtles 400

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

Event: Tales of the Turtles 400
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2017
Track: Chicagoland Speedway
Location: Joliet, IL

This Week's Caterpillar D10 40th Anniversary Chevrolet SS at Chicagoland Speedway ... Ryan Newman will make his 558th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in the first event in the Playoffs. In 15 MENCS events at Chicagoland Speedway, Newman visited victory lane in 2003. The "Rocket Man" also owns one pole award in 2002. In total, he owns four top-five and nine top-10 finishes. The South Bend, Ind., native has an average start of 10.5 and average finish of 14.1. In the last 10 events at Chicagoland, Newman ranks second in most driver points earned. In the last four Cup races, Ryan ranks sixth in most driver points earned.

#B31ieve ... Newman kicks off his eighth appearance in what is now known as the NASCAR Playoffs. His highest finish in the championship standings is second place while driving in his first season for RCR and crew chief Luke Lambert. Newman currently ranks 11th in the Playoff standings, 48 markers out of first.

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Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Chicagoland Speedway ... Richard Childress Racing has two victories at Chicagoland Speedway with Kevin Harvick's back-to-back wins in 2001 and 2002. In 51 starts at the 1.5-mile suburban Chicago tri-oval, Richard Childress Racing teams have a combined 10 top-five, 19 top-10 finishes and one pole award with Jeff Burton in 2006.

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,816 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,107 wins, 485 top-five finishes and 1,048 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. 

Support the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma ... Sign up for the Childress Vineyards/RCR/ECR 5K presented by Performance Springs, Inc. benefiting the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma on Sept. 16 at 5 pm at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, N.C. The race includes a grape stomp and complimentary glass of wine afterward. You can Race and Stomp for $35 or Stomp and Support while relaxing in the pavilion at the winery for only $20.00. Register now and help Save Injured Kids 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 Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway is scheduled to be televised live on Sunday, September 17 on NBC Sports Network beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.


You are the 11th seed starting the Playoffs. With Chicagoland being the first race, how do you feel about the current state of this No. 31 team?

"We are not where we need to be, but we are in a spot where we have a chance. We continue to work on things ... make the cars better, work on the pit stops, qualify better and even I need to improve. It is going to take everything. Obviously finishing in third and having four top-10s in the last five races is a good streak for us, but we must win. We have to put ourselves in position to win to get that guaranteed bye to the next round."

Does the pressure amp up for you and the team now that the Playoffs are starting?

"It doesn't amp up. I've been having fun. It's been less stressful than the past few years and the last 20-some races. Either way, these next 10 races, it's sure nice to be back in the Playoffs after missing it last year. It's a heck of a rebound for us to be back into the Playoffs and have a chance to win a championship."