Race Preview: Las Vegas 400

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

Event: Las Vegas 400
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Location: Las Vegas, NV

This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1at Las Vegas Motor Speedway ... Newman will make his 587th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series competes in the third event of the 2018 season and the start of NASCAR Goes West. In 17 Cup Series events, Newman owns one pole award (2005) along with four top-five and eight top-10 finishes. His best result of third came in 2015 with Richard Childress Racing in the Caterpillar Chevrolet. The South Bend, Indiana native has an average start of 12.9 and average finish of 16.2. He's led a total of 112 laps in competition. In the last 10 races at LVMS, Newman ranks eighth in most Cup points earned.

Current Standings ... After starting on the front row and leading the opening 17 laps, Newman battled back from a tire issue to rebound from 33rd place to finish 22nd at Atlanta Motor Speedway last week. Newman and the No. 31 team rank 16th in the driver championship standings, just 17 markers out of the top 10. 

Season 26 in NASCAR ... Richard Childress Racing embarks on its 10th season with Caterpillar on board the No. 31 Camaro ZL1 and Cat Racing's 26th in NASCAR.  This weekend at LVMS is Caterpillar's first primary race of 2018. For more than 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. With 2017 sales and revenues of $45.462 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three primary segments - Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation - and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment. For more information, visit caterpillar.com. To connect with us on social media, visit caterpillar.com/social-media.

Meet Newman ... Newman, along with his Richard Childress Racing teammates, is scheduled to participate in the annual RCR autograph session at South Point Hotel & Casino. It happens Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. Pacific Time.

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series History at Las Vegas Motor Speedway ... In 60 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets have earned 10 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes with eight different drivers - Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Austin Dillon, Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Mike Skinner. 

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,849 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,108 wins, 487 top-five finishes and 1,052 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. 

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 Las Vegas 400 will be televised live Sunday, March 4 beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.. 


How important was the Las Vegas test to the No. 31 Caterpillar Team?

"The Las Vegas test was kind of an ice breaker for us and the entire RCR organization. We got to debut the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and had an opportunity to test to not only learn about it but see how we stacked up against the teams there. It was a good test for us. I felt like we had some good speed and good reaction to some of the changes we made. We felt like we have a good grip on the track and what it needs. It still has a lot of character and a lot of bumps. It seems like it always changes when we go back." 

Now that Las Vegas Motor Speedway has two races this season, will your notes from the upcoming weekend mean more now that a second race is happening during the Playoffs?

"The Vegas race holds a lot more influence on the season now more than ever. Obviously, the start of the season is important but also to have a good run and have the confidence when you go back to the Playoffs, it makes a huge difference to get the "W" out of the way."

What is the key to Las Vegas Motor Speedway? What do you need to get right there?

"To be successful at Las Vegas, you just need to be good over the bumps. Obviously, you also must have good horsepower, but if your car does not ride well, all that other stuff doesn't seem to matter."