Richard Childress Racing is on the verge of its longest Sprint Cup winless drought in a decade.
RCR enters Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway winless in the last 49 Cup races – tied with a drought it had from 2008-10. If a Richard Childress Racing car does not win at Dover, it will mark the organization’s longest winless drought since going 54 races between victories from 2003-05.
RCR’s longest winless drought since it scored its first series win in 1983 came when it went 59 races without a win – the final 27 races in 1996 and all 32 races in 1997. Dale Earnhardt broke the streak with his victory in the 1998 Daytona 500.
Richard Childress Racing’s most recent Cup victory – its 105th – came with Kevin Harvick at Phoenix in the penultimate race of 2013. The team did not win at Homestead in the season finale that year, failed to win in 36 Cup races in 2014 and has not won in the first 12 races of this season.
Even as his team’s winless drought continues with Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Austin Dillon, Childress remains confident in his organization.
“We just need to settle down and run what we got, get it better and I think that will put us closer to the winner’s circle,’’ Childress said. “We’ve had some fast cars. We’re there, we’ve just got to get over the hump. The competition at Stewart-Haas with Kevin and (Kurt Busch), the Hendrick cars, Penske and now Gibbs, everybody is running good. It’s tough, but we’re going to keep working.’’
In some ways, RCR has shown better progress in the first 12 races of this season compared to the first 12 races of last year.
- The six top-five finishes for RCR this year (four by Newman and two by Menard) are more than than team had combined through 12 races last year (one by Menard). Dillon was in position to add to that when he gave up third place to pit for fuel during the final caution at Bristol and finished 10th.
- The number of top-10 finishes by the team’s three drivers is 11 this season – equaling what they had at this point last season.
- Dillon is 23rd in points (he was 28th at this time last year) with Menard 13th (16th last year) and Newman 11th (10th last year).
- Dillon’s average finish this season is 22.9 (it was 16.3 at this time last year) with Menard’s average finish 16.1 (16.3 last year) and Newman’s 11.4 (14.2 last year).
- RCR has not led as many laps this year as last season. RCR has led 17 laps (16 by Newman, one by Menard and none by Dillon) this season compared to 56 laps at this time last year (45 by Menard, 10 by Newman and one by Dillon).