Race Preview: Daytona 500

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

Event: Daytona 500
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2018
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Location: Daytona Beach, Fla.

This Week's No. 31 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway ... Newman will make his 585th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series returns to the World Center of Speed. Newman is the proud owner of a Harley J. Earl trophy by winning the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. In total, the South Bend, Ind. native has 32 starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, earning five top-five and eight top-10 finishes. His average start is 20.2 and finish is 19.6. He's led 103 laps in competition.

Welcome Aboard ... Newman, an avid outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman and conservationist will have Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's on board the No. 31 Camaro ZL1 for select races in 2018. Bass Pro Shops is North America's premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela's to create a "best-of-the-best" experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America's Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as "one of America's Best Employers."

Meet Newman ... On Thursday, Newman is scheduled to sign autographs with Austin and Ty Dillon at 2:30 p.m. ET at the Bass Pro Shops in Daytona Beach, Florida. It's located on 1880 W. Checkered Flag Blvd. across from Daytona International Speedway. Newman is also scheduled to participate in a Q & A on the Team Chevy Stage in the Daytona International Speedway fan midway area on Sunday, February 18 at 11:05 a.m. ET and he is scheduled to stop by the Alert Florida stage in the Fan Zone courtesy of Coca-Cola for a fan Q&A at 11:45 a.m. ET.

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Daytona International Speedway ... Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 11 poles and collected five points-paying victories at the most-storied race track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit. RCR owns two Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt - 1998, Kevin Harvick - 2007), three Coke Zero 400 trophies (Earnhardt - 1990, 1993 and Harvick - 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 - 1999). In addition, RCR has earned the Advance Auto Parts Clash a total of eight times, with drivers Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013) and Earnhardt (1986, '88, '91, '93, and '95).

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,846 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,107 wins, 486 top-five finishes and 1,050 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 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. 

Time to Duel ... The Can-Am Duels at Daytona feature two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 will be set. Newman starts 11th in the first Duel after qualifying 21st on Sunday, while Dillon starts seventh in the second Duel after qualifying 14th on Sunday. Watch the Can-Am Duels live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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 60th running o the Daytona 500 will be televised live Sunday, Feb. 18 beginning at 3 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The Can-Am Duels at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races, will take the green flag Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.



What did it feel like to pull into the Daytona 500 victory lane in 2008?

"It's pretty special and each time I watch it back, it's a different kind of special. I think after you go two, three, four, 10 years, it changes your perspective on how special it was on that day. It was amazing because my dad was spotting for me and he and I had been in the grand stands watching the race and sneaking into the garage area for many years. You name it, we did it. To be able to share it with him and my family, Roger Penske and all the people and having Kurt there as my teammate with the 1,2 finish, so many parts of that day were so very special." 

Where were you and what to do you remember about Dale Earnhardt's 1998 Daytona 500 win with Richard Childress Racing?

"I was watching it from the grandstands just at the end of pit road and the biggest thing about that day was nobody left. The race was over and like in years past, everybody runs to their cars to avoid traffic, but this time, nobody left. Every pit crew, every fan, everybody stood there and watched what was happening and that's what made it special."

What is it that you truly love about racing?

I love the competition of the sport. The fact that it takes so many people to be successful on a given day. Because it is so difficult it becomes so sweet that you can't explain it. It's not like any other sport where you have a 50-50 chance of winning. You have a one in 40 chance of winning and those wins do not come that easily.