Date: July 11, 2021
Event: Atlanta 400 (Round 21 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
Format: 260 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/100 laps)
Race Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 21st, Finished 11th / Running, completed 260 of 260 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 11th, Finished 15th / Running, completed 260 of 260 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 23rd, Finished 17th / Running, completed 260 of 260 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 20th, Finished 23rd / Running, completed 258 of 260 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 626 points, 210 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 367 points, 469 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (27th with 331 points, 505 out of first)
● Cole Custer (28th with 314 points, 522 out of first)
● Harvick has finished 11th or better in his last eight NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta.
● Harvick finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn one bonus point.
● Briscoe earned his fifth top-15 of the season and it came in his second career NASCAR Cup Series start at Atlanta.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 17th time this season.
● Custer’s 17th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Atlanta – 18th, earned in the series’ prior visit to the track in March.
● Almirola led once for eight laps, increasing his laps led total at Atlanta to 44.
● Kurt Busch won the Atlanta 400 to score his 33rd career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his series-leading fourth at Atlanta. His margin over second-place Kyle Busch was 1.237 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Only 18 of the 37 drivers in the Atlanta 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Atlanta with a 10-point advantage over second-place Kyle Larson.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was just a rough day at Atlanta. The balance was off on our Smithfield Ford Mustang for most of the race. We were hoping the rain would work out in our favor there in the second stage, but ultimately, we had to come to pit road in the end. We’ll move on to New Hampshire.”
Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I felt like our One Cure Ford Mustang was a little better than where we finished, but we worked on it all day, and it definitely was better toward the end. It wasn’t one of our best tracks, but we improved and came out better than we were, and I’m proud of the team for sticking with it. We may have some work to do at New Hampshire, but I’ll be ready for the road courses when we come back from the break in a few weeks.”
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Our Code 3 Associates Mustang was pretty solid on the long runs all day long. We just couldn’t fire off well on the restarts, and that loss of track position was just tough to make up, even with our long-run speed. Let’s go to the flat, mile oval at New Hampshire and see if we can get our best finish of the year.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday, July 18 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.