Monday, October 8, 2012

In The Hunt with RCR: Talladega


The Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 kept spectators on their feet, and in many cases screaming, whether they were in front of their TVs or in the stands.
All three RCR cars involved in the Big One.
Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR
The RCR Cup teams ran well until all three got caught in the chaos of the green-white-checkered finish. Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton both lead laps. Not many, but they still led. Paul Menard ran in and out of the top 10, but went into fuel conservation mode.

With 30 laps to go, Menard sat in 10th position with his ability to make the end of the race in question. Harvick sat in fourth, trying to get into position to take the lead. With 20 laps to go, Burton was in fifth, hoping to get a break and bring home a much-anticipated win.

Still, Burton finished in 10th and Harvick came home 11th despite running out of gas at the end of the race. Paul Menard's luck wasn't quite as good - he wound up with Tony Stewart's car over the front end of the No. 27, flipping right over the cockpit where Menard sat. If you look up at the photo, see the bright yellow car with the upside down car on top of it? That's Menard with the rear of the No. 14 crushing the driver's area. Fortunately, he was evaluated and released from the infield care center and ended up in 16th.

Harvick, the only Chase contender in the group, fell a spot in the standings. More importantly, he's 48 points back with six races to go. The chances of the nine drivers in front of him having enough bad finishes while he finishes well are pretty slim. In his media availability on Friday, Harvick seemed ready for 2013. In response to a question about his crew chief for next season, Harvick said “As far as I know that situation is all settled for next year. I hadn’t heard any different. As far as I’m concerned the team is set and going forward. We have a lot bigger issues to work on than crew chiefs. You can throw crew chiefs at it all day long but we need to work on things in house.” When pressed for details, he said curtly, "I don’t have enough time.”


Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevy: Start- 26 Finish- 10  Laps Led- 3 Points- 19th

@RCR31JeffBurton Crazy finish. Glad everyone is all good. Top 10 for us. On to Charlotte.


Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevy: Start - 21 Finish - 11  Laps Led - 12  Points - 10th

“We ran out (of fuel) on the backstretch. We were out. We were going to throw these cars away anyhow. I've seen a lot of crazy things here. This was one.”


Paul Menard, No. 27 CertainTeed Insulation/Menards Chevy: Start – 16 Finish –  28 Laps Led –  0  Points – 16th

@RCR27PMenard  Collect in the big one. PM says he's ok, but took a hard hit (from his PR). 


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