BRISTOL, Tenn. – Richard Childress Racing made some team history Sunday as Chevrolet got its first Sprint Cup victory of the 2008 season in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Jeff Burton won with teammates Kevin Harvick second and Clint Bowyer third. Never before had RCR had a 1-2-3 in a Sprint Cup race.
“It was a great weekend,” said team owner Richard Childress, who also got a victory out of Bowyer in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at this .533-mile track. “This is a tough place to even finish a race, so to have a 1-2-3 finish is great. I am really proud of all three teams.”
All three of the RCR teams made the Chase for the Cup last year, and they’re off to another solid start this year.
The trio of teams has nine top-10 finishes in 15 collective starts. Harvick is third in the current standings with Burton fourth and Bowyer ninth.
“I am happy for Burton,” Bowyer said. “Harvick has won here before and Burton never has. I want my chance, then (Kevin) can have it back.”
Harvick was steamed after an incident on Lap 499 between him and Tony Stewart, but not so much at Stewart.
Harvick, who took the blame for the Turn 2 bump that took Stewart out, was unhappy with comments relayed to him from Stewart’s spotter after the incident.
But Harvick also said he was happy for the winner.
“Jeff has been a big part of everything we've done at RCR,” Harvick said. “He's kind of the calm reason between myself and Clint. I'm one extreme; he's another extreme. Clint's in the middle of the road. He kind of bounces off of both of us. I'm just glad that Jeff's a part of our team so we can all stay sane (smiling). It keeps us all straight.”
Bowyer said that it’s not hard to figure out what has made things go well for RCR so far this year.
“Just hard work and dedication,” he said. “We knew what cars we had to beat, to win, to compete for a championship. We worked hard over the winter, all of us as a whole.”
But Burton said nobody at RCR is ready to declare that it’s his team carrying the Chevrolet banner highest this year – and not Hendrick Motorsports. Right now, Hendrick is still without a victory and has only Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the top 12 in the standings.
“We’ll talk about that in December,” Burton said.
“I’m sure nobody at RCR is going to rest on this,” Childress said. “We know everybody else is working hard to come after whoever won this race. We have to concentrate on the next race.”
Childress is confident he has plenty of people to handle that too. But he’s leaving Wednesday on a hunting trip.