News & Media


RCR struggling through sting of subpar performances

September 04, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service, NASCAR.com

With Chase looming, Childress calls competition meeting to address concerns

HAMPTON, Ga. -- How "off" were the Richard Childress Racing cars at Bristol?

Bad enough that team owner Richard Childress called a competition meeting for the Sunday after the Aug. 27 race, typically a day off for the crews.

Childress

It wasn't just Bristol that concerned Childress. In that race and the seven that preceded it, RCR cars had posted only one top-five finish -- Paul Menard's victory in the July 31 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kevin Harvick, already locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup with three wins this season, said the alarm wouldn't have been raised had it just been one or two bad weeks or just one or two of the cars that experienced problems. An eight-race trend involving the entire organization, however, is a major source of concern.

Things came to a head at Bristol, where Jeff Burton (15th) was the highest-finishing RCR driver. Harvick was 22nd, Clint Bowyer 26th and Menard 30th.

"If it was just me, it would not be that big of a deal, but over the past couple of weeks it has kind of been all of us," Harvick said. "We've done things a little bit wrong, and we have had to backtrack to understand why. Even though the tracks aren't the same, I think you see a lot of the same cars that have been competitive over the last six week be competitive over the past two weeks. We've just got to change paths a little bit."

Though Bowyer didn't attend the meeting, he assumed Childress addressed the organization's recent problems forcefully.

"I think Richard took care of that on Sunday," Bowyer said. "If I was a fly on the wall, it probably wasn't the most fun meeting you would want to be in."