KURT BUSCH – 2017 Dover I Race Report

Event:               AAA 400 Drive for Autism (Round 13 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format:             400 laps, broken into three stages (120 laps/120 laps/160 laps)
Start/Finish:      6th/37th (Accident, completed 93 of 406 laps)
Point Standing: 16th (291 points, 254 out of first) 

Race Winner:    Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports in overtime (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120): 

  • Kurt Busch started sixth, finished 37th.
  • Began the race strong, climbing to fourth after a lap-22 restart.
  • After 25 laps, Busch was third, trailing leader Martin Truex Jr. and second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • Busch passed Stenhouse for second on lap 37.
  • Caution on lap 48 sent field to pit road, but three cars took only two tires, jettisoning Busch to fourth.
  • On lap-53 restart, Busch passed Truex for second and set sights on leader Kyle Larson.
  • A caution on lap 62 bunched the field and the leaders stayed out.
  • For the lap-66 restart, Busch was on the inside of Larson for the lead going into turn one and then got loose in turn two, spinning into the No. 2 Ford of Brad Keselowski.
  • Busch made two trips to pit road to fix right-side damage on his No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion, returning to the race one lap down in 36th position.
  • After 88 laps, Busch went another lap down. He remained 36th.
  • Busch cut a left-rear tire on lap 95 that sent him backward into the turn one wall. Damage to his racecar was too extensive to repair.
  • Busch was evaluated and released from the infield care center. He was credited with 93 laps completed in the 406-lap race.

Notes:  

  • The AAA 400 Drive for Autism was Busch’s 34th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover.
  • This was Busch’s first DNF (Did Not Finish) at Dover since June 2012, ending a nine-race streak of running at the finish.
  • The race finished in overtime, going six laps past its scheduled 400-lap distance.
  • There were 15 caution periods for a total of 72 laps, including the final lap.
  • Only 14 drivers in the 39-car field finished on the lead lap.
  • Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 400 Drive for Autism to score his 83rd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, tying NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time series win list. It was also Johnson’s third win of the season and his 11th at Dover.

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“I got loose on a restart. It’s my bad as a driver, my bad. We had good speed in our car and just couldn’t finish. You can’t make mistakes out here and we did.”

Next Up:                                                                       

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Pocono 400 on Sunday, June 11 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.

CLINT BOWYER – 2017 Dover I Race Report

Event:               AAA 400 Drive for Autism (Round 13 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format:             400 laps, broken into three stages (120 laps/120 laps/160 laps)
Start/Finish:      22nd/31st (Running, completed 391 of 406 laps)
Point Standing: 10th (349 points, 196 out of first) 

Race Winner:    Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports in overtime (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):

  • Started 22nd, finished 36th.
  • Bowyer began moving up through the field, but noted that his car was tight on the throttle and loose into the corners.
  • Bowyer ran as high as fourth until lap 97 when his Haas Automation crew noticed a mechanical issue while Bowyer was pitting under caution.
  • Bowyer brought his Ford Fusion to the garage for repairs, putting him18 laps down.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):

  • Started 36th, finished 36th.
  • After a lap-195 caution, Bowyer earned one lap to run only 17 laps down.
  • Bowyer earned back another lap to run only 16 laps down at the conclusion of the stage.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-400):

  • Started 36th, finished 31st.
  • Bowyer ran in and around the middle of the field throughout the final stage.
  • Bowyer earned one more lap back to run only 15 laps down at the conclusion of the race.

Notes:              

  • The race finished in overtime, going six laps past its scheduled 400-lap distance.
  • There were 15 caution periods for a total of 72 laps, including the final lap.
  • Only 14 drivers in the 39-car field finished on the lead lap.
  • Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 400 Drive for Autism to score his 83rd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, tying NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time series win list. It was also Johnson’s third win of the season and his 11th at Dover.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:           

“The guys worked their tails off this week on our Haas Automation Ford. We were a force to be reckoned with. We started 22nd and moved our way up to the top-five. We were doing great and exactly what we needed to do to get stage points. If we keep doing that and working together as a team, we’ll get back up there where we need to be.”

Next Up:          

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Pocono 400 on Sunday, June 11 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.

DANICA PATRICK – 2017 Dover I Race Report

Event:               AAA 400 Drive for Autism (Round 13 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format:             400 laps, broken into three segments (120 laps/120 laps/160 laps)
Start/Finish:      31st/10th (Running, completed 406 of 406 laps)
Point Standings: 30th (154 points, 391 out of first)
 
Race Winner:    Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports in overtime (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended on lap 120):

  • Danica Patrick started 31st and finished 21st.
  • The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion team gained ground in the first stage of the race as Patrick reported a tight-handling condition.
  • The team pitted four times during Stage 1 for tires, fuel and wedge, air pressure and packer adjustments. A number of teams stayed out when the caution flag waved to end the stage, which dropped Patrick back to 29th to start Stage 2.

Stage 2 Recap (Ended on lap 240):         

  • Patrick started 29th and finished 21st.
  • At lap 146, Patrick brought out the caution flag as the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford spun in turns three and four. Crew chief Billy Scott called Patrick to pit road for fresh tires and fuel the following lap.
  • Patrick went a lap down to the leader on the subsequent long, green-flag run. When the caution flag waved again at lap 193, Scott called for Patrick to remain on track and take the wave-around to get back on the lead lap.
  • On the following run, Patrick once again went a lap down to the leader. Two laps later the caution flag waved, and Patrick was the recipient of the Lucky Dog award, putting her back on the lead lap. She reported to the team that the car was “a five out of five loose,” so Scott called for air pressure and wedge adjustments and had the team pull tape off the grille in an effort to improve the car’s handling. She finished the stage in the 21st position. 

Final Stage Recap (Ended on lap 400):   

  • Patrick started 19th and finished 10th.
  • The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford team pitted under caution at lap 265 for fuel and tires. The crew also made repairs to the car’s left-rear quarterpanel that was damaged by contact from another car on the run prior to the stop.
  • Patrick went a lap down to the leader at lap 310, but the team caught a break as the caution flag waved in the midst of green-flag pit stops at lap 329. Patrick had yet to stop, so she was scored in the eighth position on the lead lap when the caution flag waved. The team changed tires, added fuel and made additional repairs to the left-rear quarterpanel during the caution period.
  • Patrick dropped as low as 16th in the final portion of the race. A late caution sent the event into overtime. Patrick lined up in the 15th spot for the restart and, despite sustaining damage on the white-flag lap, was able to take the checkered flag in the 10th position. 

Notes:              

  • Patrick earned 27 points in Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway, which puts her at 154 total points for the season thus far. She is ranked 30th in the driver point standings.
  • Patrick’s result marked her career-best finish at Dover. Her previous top finish at the track was a 13th-place result in May 2016.
  • Sunday’s 10th-place finish marked Patrick’s first top-10 of the 2017 season. It was also her first top-10 result since she finished ninth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in April 2015.
  • Patrick’s finish at Dover extends her record for most top-10 finishes by a female in NASCAR Cup Series competition to seven.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

“It was a good day for us. We got a bit lucky with staying out at the right time and catching the yellow flags. It’s the stuff that hasn’t been happening for us all year, and it’s just nice to catch some breaks today. We weren’t the fastest car today, and I’m not sure we were a top-10 car, but a lot of times we have had a 10th-place car and weren’t able to get the finish we needed. I’ll take the lucky days anytime I can, because there have been plenty of times where it went the other way.” 

Next Up:                                                                        

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Axalta presents the Pocono 400 on Sunday, June 11 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The event starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.

KEVIN HARVICK – 2017 Dover I Race Report

Event:               AAA 400 Drive for Autism (Round 13 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format:             400 laps, broken into three stages (120 laps/120 laps/160 laps)
Start/Finish:      18th/9th (Running, completed 406 of 406 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd (429 points, 116 out of first) 

Race Winner:    Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended on Lap 120):

  • Kevin Harvick started 18th, finished third, earning eight bonus points.
  • Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion entered the top-10 on lap 49.
  • Avoided a wreck between Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski on lap 67.
  • Pitted at the conclusion of the stage for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustment.

Stage 2 Recap (Ended on Lap 240):

  • Started 15th, finished sixth, earning five bonus points.
  • Came to pit road under caution on lap 146 for four tires and fuel and came off pit road in the 11th position.
  • Came to pit road under caution on lap 194 for four tires, fuel and air pressure and a wedge adjustment to help turn the front end.
  • Stayed out under caution on lap 217.
  • Pitted at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four tires, fuel and wedge and air pressure adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Ended on Lap 406):

  • Started sixth, finished ninth.
  • Came to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 329 for four tires and fuel.
  • Fell a lap down as the caution flag flew during the pit cycle.
  • Took the wave-around on lap 337 to return to the lead lap and restarted 15th.
  • Came to pit road for four tires and fuel under caution on lap 396 prior to the overtime session and restarted 11th.
  • Missed a multicar wreck in overtime to advance to the ninth position by the checkered flag.

Notes:                          

  • Harvick scored his 15th top-10 finish in 33 Cup Series starts at Dover and his eighth of the 2017 Cup Series season.
  • Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 400 Drive for Autism, earning his 83rd victory in 556 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
  • Johnson’s 83rd career Cup Series victory ties him for sixth all-time with Cale Yarborough.
  • Johnson scored his third victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2017 and his 11th victory in 31 races at Dover.
  • There were 17 lead changes among nine drivers and 15 caution periods for a total of 72 laps.
  • The race finished in overtime, going six laps past its scheduled 400-lap distance. 

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

“We had a good day with our Jimmy John’s Ford. We just got caught under caution and could never make it back up. We had an okay car and just tried to stay out of trouble all day. It was a long day. A lot going on out there today.”

Next Up:                                                                        

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Axalta presents the Pocono 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Race on Sunday, June 11 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.

COLE CUSTER – 2017 DOVER I NXS Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes Fourth at Dover

Haas Automation Driver Ties Career-Best NASCAR XFINITY Series Finish

 

Date: June 3, 2017
Event: OneMain Financial 200 (Round 11 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish: 14th/4th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 10th (242 points, 133 out of first)
 

Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Darrell Wallace Jr. of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):

  •  Started 14th, finished 16th.
  • Custer battled tight-handling conditions on exit throughout Stage 1.
  • Toward the end of the stage, Custer raced his Haas Automation Ford Mustang just outside of the top-10 until he was caught in traffic that pushed him back to the middle of the field.
  • At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):     

  •  Started 15th, finished 16th.
  • Custer’s tight-handling conditions persisted, but improved slightly as the stage went on.
  • During a lap-113 caution, Custer opted to pit for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):          

  •  Started third, finished fourth.
  • Custer did not pit at the conclusion of Stage 2, placing him in the top-five for the first time in the race.
  • After a lap-145 caution, Custer battled his way into second place.
  • Custer ran consistently inside the top-four for the remainder of the race.

Notes:              

  • Custer was the highest-finishing rookie and NASCAR XFINITY Series regular driver.
  • This was Custer’s second consecutive race as the highest-finishing rookie and XFINITY Series regular driver.
  • His fourth-place finish was his best finish this season and it equaled his career-best result, first earned at Charlotte (N.C) Motor Speedway in May 2016.
  • This is Custer’s third top-five finish in 16 career XFINITY Series starts, his second top-five of the 2017 season and his second top-five at Dover.
  • There were a total of 10 caution periods for 45 laps.
  • Kyle Larson won the OneMain Financial 200 to score his eighth career XFINITY Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was 1.173 seconds.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We played the strategy game today and it worked out perfect for us. Once we got our Haas Automation Ford Mustang into clean air, we were able to run really well. It’s awesome to be able to finally build some consistency. It’s great to get some consistent runs even when things aren’t going our way.”