Date: Oct. 4, 2021
Event: YellaWood 500 (Round 31 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/68 laps)
Note: Race shortened 71 laps before its scheduled 188-lap distance due to rain.
Race Winner: Bubba Wallace of 23XI Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Chris Buescher of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Bubba Wallace of 23XI Racing (Toyota)
SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 9th, Finished 8th / Running, completed 117 of 117 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 28th, Finished 13th / Running, completed 117 of 117 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 17th, Finished 14th / Running, completed 117 of 117 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 20th, Finished 26th / Running, completed 117 of 117 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 3,075 points, nine points below top-eight cutoff)
● Aric Almirola (15th with 2,104 points)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 575 points)
● Cole Custer (28th with 477 points)
Playoff Standings (with one race to go before Round of 8):
1. Denny Hamlin (3,116 points) 1 win
2. Kyle Larson (3,097 points) +22
3. Joey Logano (3,096 points) +21
4. Brad Keselowski (3,095 points) +20
5. Martin Truex Jr. (3,095 points) +20
6. Ryan Blaney (3,090 points) +15
7. Chase Elliott (3,084 points) +9
8. Kyle Busch (3,084 points) +9
9. Kevin Harvick (3,075 points) -9
10. Christopher Bell (3,056 points) -28
11. William Byron (3,040 points) -44
12. Alex Bowman (3,032 points) -52
● Harvick earned his 21st top-10 of the season and his 18th top-10 in 42 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega.
● Harvick’s 18 top-10s at Talladega are the second-most among active drivers.
● This was Harvick’s second straight top-10 at Talladega. He finished fourth in the series’ prior race at the track in April.
● This was Harvick’s fifth straight top-10. He finished fifth Sept. 4 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, eighth Sept. 11 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, second Sept. 18 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and ninth in the series’ prior race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
● This was Harvick’s 11th straight top-15, a streak that began July 11 with an 11th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
● Harvick finished fourth in Stage 1 to earn seven bonus points and eighth in Stage 2 to score three more bonus points.
● Harvick led five times for a race-high 16 laps, increasing his laps led total at Talladega to 292.
● Harvick has now led 11,355 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 15,781 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
● Custer earned his seventh top-15 of the season and his second top-15 in four career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega.
● Custer led once for seven laps – his first laps led at Talladega.
● Briscoe earned his 10th top-15 of the season and his second top-15 in two career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega.
● Bubba Wallace won the YellaWood 500 to score his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 27 laps.
● Thirty-one of the 40 drivers in the YellaWood 500 finished on the lead lap.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a fast Smithfield Ford. It handled really well and had a lot of good speed today. We stayed out of trouble all day. After the last pit stop we had a serious vibration, so I just hung at the back until the caution came out. Unfortunately, the rain hit at the same time and at the wrong time for us.”
Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“The damage early on really put us behind, but once we got back on the lead lap we were able to still draft really well. I wish we had more time to get a better finish out of it, but I’m happy with how it turned out, and I’m ready to move on to the Roval next week.”
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light #Hunt4Busch Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I got shuffled out there too late for the rain storm, but our Ford Mustang was fast and we were able to make up some ground and get back up closer to where we needed to be. I hate that it started raining. Our car was fast.”
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a fast Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com Mustang today. We were able to drive to the front, even after we took a pretty decent hit from behind during that first wreck. The guys did a great job making sure everything was buttoned up, and I think we could have ended up with a really good finish if the race went the distance. Congrats to Bubba (Wallace) on getting his first win.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bank of America Roval 400 on Sunday, Oct. 10 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.