Race Preview: Sonoma 350

Race Preview: Sonoma 350

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

Event: Sonoma 350
Date: Sunday, June 24, 2018
Track: Sonoma Raceway
Location: Sonoma, CA

This Week's Grainger/American Red Cross Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Sonoma Raceway... Ryan Newman will make his 600th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start when the Series competes in the first road-course event of the season. In 16 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events at the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course, Newman owns two top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has led 11 laps and completed all 1,657 laps of competition. The South Bend, Ind., native has an average start of 13.1 and average finish of 12.5. In the last 10 races at the road course, the Richard Childress Racing driver ranks fourth in most points earned.

$18 Million and Counting ... Grainger has been a long-time partner of the American Red Cross (ARC) and has donated more than $18 million in cash and products to their efforts since 2001. In 2017, the U.S. saw unprecedented levels of disaster. And the need to support Red Cross disaster relief efforts continues. This is why Grainger has asked its partners, Ryan Newman and Richard Childress Racing, to help raise awareness by creating a special Red Cross paint scheme for the No. 31 Chevrolet to run at Sonoma Raceway on June 24. Race fans are welcome to donate to support disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and countless other crises by visiting grainger.com/racing or text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999.  

MEDIA ALERT ... This weekend, RCR, Grainger and the American Red Cross are proud to support the track's Sonoma Rising campaign by paying tribute to those affected by the devastating Sonoma/Napa fires, honoring first responders and lending support to the ongoing rebuilding efforts. On Friday, June 22 at 6:30 p.m. PT, RCR's No. 31 Grainger team is inviting members of the media to participate in the assembling of American Red Cross kits for families that still need the essentials and for those locally who may need assistance during a tragic time like a home fire. The event is taking place in the Driver's Lounge located in the back of the MENCS garage area. NASCAR Cup driver Ryan Newman, crew chief Luke Lambert, the entire 31 road crew, our friends at Grainger, the American Red Cross and the Ghigliazza family will be on hand to help and participate in interviews.

The Ghigliazza family will be guests of Grainger and RCR during the entire race weekend. John Ghigliazza is on the board of the local ARC chapter and never thought he would actually need to use the services provided by ARC. John and his family lost their home in the Sonoma/Napa fires. For their story: READ HERE.

OPEN HOUSE ... The Caterpillar Visitors Center will welcome the No. 31 Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 driver Ryan Newman and team owner Richard Childress on Monday, July 2, 2018, from 10 a.m. CST until 12 p.m. CST. Tickets are needed for admission to the Newman and Childress autograph session and includes the launch of the newest exhibit, SPEED. Tickets are limited to the first 150 people and are $7 per person. Discounts do not apply to this event. For tickets and details, visit caterpillar.com/en/company/visitors-center/exhibits/speed.html.

Richard Childress Racing in Wine Country ... In 69 starts at the 10-turn stadium course, Richard Childress Racing owns two wins, with Dale Earnhardt in the 1995 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 and with Robby Gordon in the Save Mart 350 in 2003, one pole award (Earnhardt, 1995), 14 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. The Welcome, North Carolina,-based team has led 140 laps at Sonoma, completed 7,224 of the 7,270 laps contested (99.4 percent) and recorded just one DNF (Did Not Finish) over that stretch (1989-2017).

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,876 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,108 wins, 487 top-five finishes and 1,055 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. 

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 Sonoma 350 at Sonoma Raceway will be televised live Sunday, June 24 beginning at 3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES

What is the key to being successful at Sonoma Raceway?

"The key to being successful at Sonoma Raceway is keeping your rear tires alive, not overheating them. You need to be good to your brakes and have a car that turns and rotates. You've got to be multi-talented because Sonoma boasts so many different types of corners. You've got to be able to drive through them all, mistake-free.

Is there a corner for you that's difficult to get right the entire time?

"I think the hardest part for me at Sonoma Raceway is really the easiest corner. It's the esses. The corners where the car is most misbalanced are the fastest corners for whatever reason. It's been like that for years for me. Hopefully if we can get those esses tightened up, we'll be good."