Race Preview: Phoenix 500

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

Event: Phoenix 500
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2018
Track: Phoenix International Raceway
Location: Avondale, AZ

This Week's Grainger Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at ISM Raceway ... Newman will make his 588th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series competes in the fourth event of the 2018 season and the second of three NASCAR Goes West races. In 31 Cup Series events, Newman owns two victories at ISM Raceway. He won last year's March event as well as the spring race in 2010. Newman owns four pole awards, 10 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. His average start is 13.8 and average finish is 17.2. He's led 219 laps in competition. When it comes to the last 10 events at the raceway, he ranks seventh in most driver points earned. 

Current Standings ... After starting 25th and battling a vibration during the early stages of the event, Newman and crew chief Luke Lambert worked together to keep improving the Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 and contended for a top-10 finish before earning 11th place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The No. 31 team now ranks 14th in the driver championship standings, just 19 markers out of the top 10. 

Defending Race Winner ... 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.  

Grainger wishes the best of luck during this NASCAR season to RCR and the No. 31 Grainger Camaro ZL1 driven by Ryan Newman. Bring home another victory in Phoenix. 

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series History at ISM Raceway ...Team owner Richard Childress has six victories at ISM Raceway, ranking him third on the all-time car owner victories list at the Avondale, Ariz. facility. This includes wins with Ryan Newman in March 2017, along with Kevin Harvick in Nov. 2013, Nov. 2012 and March and Nov. 2006. Prior to that, Dale Earnhardt won the Checker 500 on Nov. 4, 1990. In 115 starts at Phoenix, the Welcome, North Carolina based organization boasts 19 top-five and 42 top-10 finishes.

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,851 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 5969, 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 Ticket Guardian 500 will be televised live Sunday, March 11 beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 


How important was last year's win at ISM Raceway?

"For me it was finally getting the monkey off my back so to speak. It seemed like the last three years at RCR we kept building a bigger monkey to get off our backs. To win at Phoenix in the fourth race of the season with two new engineers and other new people on our 31 team, plus so many other people on our team that had never won a Cup race before, was truly an achievement for all of us. It was a relief to finally get that W and I really wanted to contribute to Luke Lambert's (crew chief) first ever Cup victory. I feel like we can keep the momentum going with the new Camaro ZL1. We have shown speed from the get go and I'm looking forward to being in this new Chevrolet for ISM Raceway. I believe we will be even more competitive."