Team Preview: Richard Childress Racing
Motor Racing Network | 3 months ago

Richard Childress Racing will turn its focus to two cars for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

The organization went from a three-car team to two cars in the off-season and will lease its charter that the No. 27 occupied to StarCom Racing. Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman will be back driving for RCR after both made the playoffs last year.

"As RCR as an organization, I see a lot of two-car teams being successful," Dillon said. "I'm really positive about that. It's nice to be able to focus on two cars."

Justin Alexander and Luke Lambert return as Dillon and Newman's crew chiefs, respectively. Alexander won in his first start, leading Dillon last May after making a fuel-mileage call in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"Our crew chiefs are best friends," Dillon said. "They'll be working hard and want to put RCR where it needs to be, and that's winning championships."

Along with the streamlining to two cars, the organization also made the switch from the Chevrolet SS model to the Camaro ZL1.

"I think there's nobody more excited about it than anybody that drives a Chevrolet," Newman said. "It's a car that was built and designed for this aero package, and I believe that all the smart people that we have in the garage that work on Chevrolets wouldn't get it wrong. I look forward to the opportunity that it brings and hope that with a lot of the new things in our sport, the Hawkeye system, the way the tech process is going to go, the pit stop procedures, personnel wise, as well as the pit guns, that it'll help even out some of the playing field for us and give us an opportunity to be more successful."

Newman was the first for RCR to turn laps with the new Camaro during a two-day test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and was second fastest in three of the four sessions.

"I felt like we got a good start with the new Camaro ZL1 and the guys did a good job," Newman said. "It's good to see a couple of Chevrolet's, two or three Chevrolet's up on the top. It wasn't a true test to when 40 cars come back so we will go through our notes and see how well we can do with our homework."

RCR has seen its share of success in the new playoff format, most notably when Newman finished second in the standings in 2014. Dillon, who finished 11th in standings in 2017, is looking to improve on his 18.6 average finish that he posted in the 36 races last season.

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