Race Preview: Big Machine Vodka 400

Race Preview: Big Machine Vodka 400

Ryan Newman, No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Race Notes and Quotes

Event: Big Machine Vodka 400
Date: Sunday, September 9, 2018
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Location: Indianapolis, IN

This Week's No. 31 Grainger Camaro ZL1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ... Ryan Newman will make his 610th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series competes at the 2.5-mile speedway this weekend. He scored the victory in 2013 at this prestigious event after starting from the pole and leading 45 of the 160 laps scheduled. In 17 total starts, the "Rocket Man" owns three top-five and four top-10 finishes. The South Bend, Indiana native has led 59 laps in competition and has an average start of 9.2 and average finish of 16.8

For the Ones Who Get It Done ... Grainger has a relentless focus on helping its customers keep their operations running and their people safe. Customers of Grainger benefit from a reliable partner who understands what they do and who comes with real solutions to their business problems. Grainger strives to offer the absolute best MRO solutions, sales and services team, and transaction process. In doing so, the company can anticipate customer requests, and provide meaningful and value-driven solutions. To learn more, visit www.grainger.com.  

Richard Childress Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ... In 67 previous Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has posted two pole awards (Kevin Harvick in 2003 and Jeff Burton in 2006), three wins (Dale Earnhardt in 1995, Harvick in 2003 and Paul Menard in 2011), 12 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes. RCR Chevrolets have also been atop the leaderboard for a total of 268 laps and with the exception of one, each entry has been running at the finish of every event at the Brickyard, dating back to the inaugural race in 1994.

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,896 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,108 wins, 488 top-five finishes and 1,060 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 and an average finishing position of 16.2. 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. 

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 ... Chevrolet, the winningest brand in motorsports, debuts the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition this season. The Camaro ZL1 is the most advanced Chevrolet Cup Car ever developed and is also the most authentic, featuring rear-wheel drive, a fuel injected V8 engine and a manual gear box.

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 and www.facebook.com/RyanNewmanNASCAR.

Catch the Action ... The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard will be televised live Sunday, September 9 beginning at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and will be broadcast live on the Indy Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 


What do you remember most about your 2013 win at the Brickyard?

"Early in the race Jimmie Johnson got by me and I came off Turn 3 and it really hit me for some reason that I can't screw this up because we had a really good car and a really good shot to the win and we really did. We kept ourselves in the hunt the entire day. I don't think we fell back any farther than fourth or fifth. My crew chief Matt Borland did the right thing at the end and made the call to take two tires. We assumed the lead and used the track position to our favor. The victory was a dream come true."

What was the last lap like?

"Once I got the white flag and knew I could bring it home, I knew I had it. I just made sure I kept the nose clean. It was a special moment for me because I got to talk to my dad coming out of Turn 3 on the way to the checkered flag. He was my spotter at the Daytona 500 when I won and for him to be up there spotting for me in Turn 3, it was really special. Believe it or not, that's the only race my wife and kids have been with me in victory lane. I don't think they were really old enough to appreciate it. Both kids didn't really want to kiss the bricks and I think now, they would definitely lay their lips all over the bricks."

Why is it so hard to win at Indy?

"Indy is about so much horsepower and so much downforce because it is flat that you have to have the complete package there. The cars are so rigid now and stiff that it's really all about downforce and horsepower. Everybody has to do their job. Pit lane is really tight, narrow with long pit stalls. It's really easy to get in trouble there. Lots of little things can go wrong there. Regardless, it's a special track with all its history.""

You finished third last year, how do you approach Indy this year since you've got to win it in order to qualify for the Playoffs?

"I think we got a little lucky last year by finishing third. We had a whole bunch of damage. We just want to go out there and do our best. It sounds simple to say but everybody has to do their job. It is the last race of the regular season. We need a win to make the Playoffs and we need to win to have a chance at the championship."

Why would winning a second Indy be special for you this season?

"I guess to be able to go back and defend something is special. I have an opportunity to go back and add my name again to a trophy that's hard to win once, let alone, twice. Plus, we'd be in the Playoffs."