CHASE BRISCOE – 2019 NXS Charlotte I Race Report

Date: May 25, 2019
Race Name: Alsco 300 (Race 11 of 33)
Venue: Charlotte (NC.) Motor Speedway
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Race Winner: Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Results: Chase Briscoe: 19th | Cole Custer: 24th
Point Standings:
– Cole Custer: 3rd with 417 points; trails points leader by 103 points
– Chase Briscoe: 6th with 369 points; trails points leader by 151 points

Chase Briscoe / Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang Recap:

– Briscoe started eleventh and finished fourth in Stage 1 to earn seven stage points.
– The Nutri Chomps Ford started Stage 2 in fifth and finished second, earning Briscoe an additional nine stage points.
– The No. 98 Ford started first in the final stage after winning the race off pit road. He was shuffled back to fifth on the restart, but was able to advance back up to third.
– A caution on lap 142 allowed the team to pit for tires and fuel. He restarted third and advanced to second before another yellow with 43 laps to go.
– The No. 98 team elected to stay out for the ensuing restart and would drop to third. The caution flew once more with 30 to go and Briscoe pitted for tires and fuel.
– Briscoe restarted 12th and was racing his way towards the front when contact with another car caused him to hit the wall and flatten both right side tires. He would come down pit road for repairs and resume the race in the 19th position where he would ultimately finish.

Next Up: Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway in Pocono, Pennsylvania, on June 1 at 1:00 p.m. EDT broadcast by Fox Sports 1.

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 98 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang:

“We had a really good day going today until we got run into the wall in the final stage. I’m really proud of everybody on this Nutri Chomps Ford team – I feel like this was the best car we have had all year long. Unfortunately, we don’t have the results to show for it, but we are showing that we can contend to win races week in and week out.”

COLE CUSTER – 2019 NXS Charlotte I Race Report

Date: May 25, 2019
Race Name: Alsco 300 (Race 11 of 33)
Venue: Charlotte (NC.) Motor Speedway
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Race Winner: Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Results: Chase Briscoe: 19th | Cole Custer: 24th
Point Standings:
– Cole Custer: 3rd with 417 points; trails points leader by 103 points
– Chase Briscoe: 6th with 369 points; trails points leader by 151 points

Cole Custer / Thompson Pipe Group Ford Mustang Recap:

– Custer started second and led 17 laps before falling to second where he would finish Stage 1.
– The No. 00 Ford started 20th after pitting to fix damage to the nose of the car after hitting debris. Custer would jump to seventh to end Stage 2.
– Custer would the third and final stage from 18th after fixing damage under the caution. He would gain 7 spots before a yellow on lap 100.
– The No. 00 Thompson Pipe Ford Mustang restarted 11th and would gain eight spots to the third position before another caution on lap 142.
– Three more cautions would fly and Custer would gain the lead on lap 173 before the final caution on lap 181.
– The No. 00 did not pit and would restart first. Custer dropped to sixth and would drive to fourth before he would experience a cut tire and dropped to 24th to end the race.

Next Up: Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway in Pocono, Pennsylvania, on June 1 at 1:00 p.m. EDT broadcast by Fox Sports 1.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Thompson Pipe Group Ford Mustang:

“I got such a good restart before this final start because I got a good launch but that didn’t happen this time around and we spun the tires and fell back. I’m pretty frustrated with myself, I think we had a really good Thompson Pipe Group Mustang and I made too many mistakes there at the end. The team did a great job at fixing the car after hitting debris in the first stage, just frustrating that it ended the way it did.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – 2019 Charlotte Race Advance

Aric Almirola and the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will head just a few miles down the road from the race shop for the second consecutive weekend for Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Last weekend’s Monster Energy All-Star Race was a non-points event that paid $1 million to the winner, but it’s back to racing for points with this weekend’s 600-mile marathon.

“This weekend is always really special,” Almirola said. “Being able to race and pay tribute to the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for me to live in the greatest country in the world is really cool. I grew up in a military family. My dad was in the Air Force, so I know firsthand what the families have sacrificed. There are men and women who wake up every day and fight for our freedom and some of them lay down their lives for us. We get to do really cool things and I get to drive a racecar for a living without the worry of being attacked. We take it for granted that we live in a safe and free country.”

Once again joining the Memorial Day weekend tradition of honoring America’s fallen service members as part of the NASCAR Salutes initiative, the windshield header of each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car will feature the name of a fallen service member. The No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang will feature United States Army Warrant Officer John Patrick Bartone. A native of Hampton, Virginia, Bartone was born on Nov. 21, 1949, and was part of the Battery A, 2nd Battalion (Airmobile), 20th Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division. He paid the ultimate sacrifice in South Vietnam when he laid down his life for his country’s freedom on July 15, 1970.

Bartone was selected to be on Almirola’s car because he is the uncle of No. 10 team engineer Mark Hendrickson’s wife. Ten of Bartone’s family members will be in attendance this weekend to watch Almirola attempt to drive a hero’s name to victory lane in the Coca-Cola 600. Almirola says it’s the least he could do in remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice Bartone made to give his countrymen and women the ability to live free in America today.

“Having Warrant Officer Bartone on the racecar, with his personal connection to someone on our team, means even more,” he said. “Hopefully, we can give him one hell of a ride and make his family proud.”

Smithfield, a brand of Smithfield Foods, which is based approximately five hours northeast of SHR headquarters in Smithfield, Virginia, will adorn Almirola’s Ford Mustang with America’s patriotic red, white and blue. Smithfield is in its eighth season with Almirola and its second with SHR. Founded in 1936, Smithfield is a leading provider of high-quality pork products, with a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, and a wide variety of fresh pork cuts.

Almirola’s ability to excel on 1.5-mile ovals like Charlotte so far this season indicate a strong run anticipated for the No. 10 Smithfield Ford team. The No. 10 driver has earned a top-10 at three of the four 1.5-mile tracks he’s visited.

The 35-year-old has eight NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Charlotte and garnered one top-five finish, three top-10s and has completed 99.4 percent of all possible laps. He also has two starts in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series at Charlotte, which both resulted in top-10 finishes.

Almirola has one pole, a top-five finish, seven top-10s and has led 99 laps this season in his bid for the Cup Series championship.

 

ARIC ALMIROLA, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

What does it take to win at Charlotte? 

“It’s a hundred miles longer than any other race we run, which provides a challenge in and of itself. On top of that, there is an extra stage, which gives us the opportunity to earn more points. The cars have less grip when the sun is out and they tend to slip and slide a lot more. As the sun goes down, the track gets more grip and we start going faster. That’s one of the very unique things about this race. What you have from a driveability and balance standpoint from the racecar at the beginning of the race is not what you have at the end. You’re trying to figure out what it takes to get your car to win at the end and you have to be good at all facets because there are a lot of points to be made.”

COLE CUSTER – 2019 NXS Charlotte I Race Advance

Date: May 25, 2019
Race Name: Alsco 300 (Race 11 of 33)
Venue: Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway
Television: 1:00 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1
Point Standings: 
– Cole Custer: 3rd; trails points leader by 71 points
– Chase Briscoe: 6th; trails points leader by 127 points


Headquartered in Southern California, Thompson Pipe Group is a manufacturer of reinforced concrete pipe and box, FLOWTITE® and other pipe solutions for storm water, water transmission, sewage, and industrial applications. Thompson manufactures pipe nationwide and is one of few American-owned companies with the ability to supply water/wastewater piping in the United States and Canada.

You’ve been strong at 1.5-mile tracks throughout your stint in the Xfinity Series. What would a win at Charlotte mean to the team since it’s a home race for everyone?

“Charlotte is one of the toughest 1.5-mile tracks we go to because it’s so line and temperature sensitive. To be strong in the race we will have to make smart adjustments following practice, which will depend on the track temperature and the high temps that we are predicted to endure.”

CHASE BRISCOE – 2019 NXS Charlotte I Race Advance

Date: May 25, 2019
Race Name: Alsco 300 (Race 11 of 33)
Venue: Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway
Television: 1:00 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1
Point Standings: 
– Cole Custer: 3rd; trails points leader by 71 points
– Chase Briscoe: 6th; trails points leader by 127 points

Nutri Chomps has taken the lead delivering 100 percent rawhide-free dog chews that are the healthiest choice for dogs. Our rawhide alternative dog chews are fully digestible and veterinarian recommended. Nutri Chomps are vitamin and mineral enriched, high in protein and fiber, and low in carbs. Dog-Approved Nutri Chomps can be found at a retailer near you: www.NutriChomps.com.

The last time you were at Charlotte Motor Speedway you were in Victory Lane. What does the team need to do to get the win on the 1.5-mile oval?

“Winning at the ROVAL will always be special to me and it would be pretty neat to not only win at the ROVAL but the oval as well. I feel like our team has been making great gains lately and that we will have a fast Nutri Chomps Ford when we show up this weekend.”

DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Charlotte Race Advance

Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 Coca-Cola Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season’s longest race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Sunday night. And Suárez will stray from his usual Haas Automation and ARRIS liveries to pilot the red-and-white Coca-Cola Mustang. This weekend marks the second time this season he’ll pilot the No. 41 Mustang with Coca-Cola branding. He finished 12th at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in the Orange Vanilla Coca-Cola scheme.

“This season has been very good so far but I’m looking to turn it into a great season,” Suárez said. “We are moving in the right direction and I’m looking forward to doing even better. We’ve had strong cars over the last month and a half and hopefully I can do my part as the driver and make it a great race this weekend. The one thing I’ve been dreaming about from this race is the amazing vintage Coca-Cola vending machine you get if you win. I really want to bring that thing to my house.”

The traditional Memorial Day weekend event is not only the longest race on the Cup Series tour, it presents an important opportunity to remember fallen service members. The traditional Cup Series windshield headers have been replaced with names of fallen soldiers who paid the ultimate price while serving their country.

Riding along with Suárez this weekend is United States Army SFC Randy Michael Shugart, who received the Medal of Honor Citation. Shughart distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on Oct. 3, 1993, while serving as a Sniper Team Member, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. Shughart provided precision sniper fire from the lead helicopter during an assault on a building and at two helicopter crash sites while subjected to intense automatic weapons- and rocket-propelled-grenade fire. While providing critical suppressive fire at the second crash site, Shughart and his team leader learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the site.

Shughart and his team leader did not hesitate to volunteer to protect four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After their third request to be inserted, Shughart and his team leader received permission to perform this volunteer mission. When debris and enemy ground fire at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Shughart and his team leader were inserted 100 meters south of the crash site.

Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Shughart and his team leader, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Shughart pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter that placed him and his fellow sniper in a most vulnerable position.

Shughart used his long-range rifle and sidearm to kill an undetermined number of attackers while traveling the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. Shughart continued his protective fire until he depleted his ammunition and was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot’s life. Shughart’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and the United States Army. The heroism of Shughart and Army MSG Gary Gordon, whose name is on Suarez’s SHR teammate Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford for Sunday’s race, were chronicled in the 2001 movie Black Hawk Down.

On the racetrack this weekend, Suárez hits the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval where he has three Cup Series starts with one top-10 starting position and one top-10 finish. He has an average starting position of 14.7 in his three starts and an average finishing position of 10.7 with 99.9 percent of all possible laps completed.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the Mexican native has made five Charlotte starts with two top-fives and four top-10s, along with one pole position in October 2017. He’s earned a 6.6 Xfinity average starting and finishing position at Charlotte, along with 115 laps led. He also made one NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series start in May 2016.

Fans watching the race on television Sunday will have the opportunity to enjoy a unique view from inside Suárez’s cockpit with an in-car camera provided by Coca-Cola.

 

DANIEL SUÁREZ, Driver of the No. 41 Coca-Cola Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

The Coca-Cola 600 is such a long race. How do you prepare for it?

“As a human being you try and perform at 100 percent the entire time, but when you’re running a marathon you’re not going to be as strong in the last 30 minutes. That’s normal. Fatigue is setting in, your muscles are tired, you’re running out of fluid, and you’re hungry. Racing is the same way, especially in the Coca-Cola 600. We start running out of energy and you’re mind gets tired after four hours of racing. But I look to this race as a marathon and you have to be on top of your game for the last part of this race. So I always try to keep that in my mind when I’m in the car. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

What hurts the most after the Coke 600?

“It’s a combination of things. Your neck is tired, your lower back is tired, legs are tired and you’re just fatigued. You definitely feel it the next morning after a 600-mile race. You feel like you worked out a lot the day before, and you did inside the car. Two-and-a-half of these 600-mile races and I could be home in Monterrey, Mexico. It’s crazy to think of it that way.”

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Charlotte I Race Advance

Clint Bowyer plans to rest, drink lots of water and prepare for a long, hot race late Sunday afternoon at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series holds its longest event of the season – the Coca-Cola 600.

With temperatures expected to touch the 97-degree mark Sunday in North Carolina, it’s appropriate Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will carry the decals of PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze in the 600-mile race. He thinks seeing his car on the track will be a good reminder for race fans to prepare for the hot weather, just like the drivers and race teams.

“What a weekend for PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze to make its debut on our Mustang,” Bowyer said. “I’m willing to bet, among the thousands of cars this weekend in the heat and humidity at Charlotte and with the hot weather all over the country, someone is going to wish they had put PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze in their car. If you’re going home and you see someone with their hood up on the side of the road, you’ll know they didn’t.”

Bowyer hopes the weather won’t lead to any mechanical issues on the racetrack as he tries to win one of the sport’s crown jewels. Sunday marks the greatest day of the year in motorsports with the running of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500, and the 600. Bowyer will join PEAK customers and fans at SHR’s race shop to watch some of the Monaco race, where PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF brands adorn the rear wing endplates of the Haas F1 Team cars driven by Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen and owned by SHR co-owner Gene Haas.

After the Monaco race, he’ll drive to the Charlotte track to fulfill more sponsor obligations, watch the Indianapolis race and prepare for 600 miles of racing.

“This is like Christmas Day for a race fan,” Bowyer said. “You could start watching Monaco early in the morning and keep watching racing until we are done late at night on Sunday.”

Bowyer should be one of the favorites this weekend. He won the pole and finished 12th in the Monster Energy All-Star Race last weekend at Charlotte. He owns a fall 2012 victory, two top-five finishes and five top-10s in 25 career starts on the Charlotte oval.

Amid the racing, the weekend is about honoring those in the military who gave their lives to their country. The Bowyer family is well aware of the sacrifices made by the military throughout history. Bowyer’s paternal grandfather Dale E. Bowyer was a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. He won the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism while fighting the armed enemy in Germany during World War II.

The Distinguished Service Cross, awarded for extraordinary heroism, is the second-highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the Army. While leading his platoon under heavy fire in an attack near Sinz, Germany, on Jan. 25, 1945, Lt. Bowyer was severely wounded by an enemy mine. He refused evacuation even though both his feet were shattered. He shouted instructions and encouragement where he lay. Inspired by his bravery, the men re-formed, moved clear of the minefield and continued the advance. Only then did Lt. Bowyer allow himself to be evacuated, crawling clear of the minefield to avoid injury to people.

“His devotion to duty and to his men, and his courage and fearless determination, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service,” read the commendation he received. Lt. Bowyer eventually lost a leg due to his injuries. After his career in the Army, he lived in Iola, Kansas, and worked in the dairy business. He passed away in June 1974. Bowyer never met his grandfather.

This Sunday, his grandson Clint Bowyer will carry the name of Medal of Honor Citation recipient Master Sergeant Gary Gordon of the Army. Gordon died Oct. 3, 1993, while serving as Sniper Team Leader, United States Army Special Operations Command, with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. The heroism of Gordon and Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart, whose name is on SHR teammate Daniel Suarez’s No. 41 Ford in Sunday’s 600-mile race, were chronicled in the 2001 movie Black Hawk Down.

Gordon’s sniper team provided precision fires from the lead helicopter during an assault and at two helicopter crash sites while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. When Gordon learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the second crash site, he and another sniper unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After his third request to be inserted, Gordon received permission to perform his volunteer mission.

When debris and enemy ground fire at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Gordon was inserted 100 meters south of the crash site. Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Gordon and his fellow sniper, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Gordon immediately pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter that placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position. Gordon used his long-range rifle and sidearm to kill an undetermined number of attackers until he depleted his ammunition. Gordon then went back to the wreckage to recover some of the crew’s weapons and ammunition.

Despite the fact he was critically low on ammunition, he provided some of it to the dazed pilot and then radioed for help. Gordon continued to travel the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. After his team member was fatally wounded and his own rifle ammunition exhausted, Gordon returned to the wreckage, recovering a rifle with the last five rounds of ammunition and gave it to the pilot with the words, “Good luck.” Then, armed only with his pistol, Gordon continued to fight until he was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot’s life.

“These are the real heroes in life and I’m honored we will carry Gary Gordon’s name on our car,” Bowyer said.

 

CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

What is the appeal of the 600-mile race?

“I guess the anticipation and the unknown is what’s always been appealing to me. You don’t know what that 600 miles is going to give you. You could go out there and sit on the pole of that thing and, the next thing you know, make a mistake by getting caught speeding on pit road and that could be the very difference between winning and losing and putting yourself a lap down and never being able to get that lap back. That’s the crazy thing, when all the different challenges come because of the length of that race, a lot of different things – attrition with your equipment, attrition with your team, communication, any kind of weak link in the chain and you’re out, and that’s why I feel it’s important to have at least one of those long races.”

Do you notice the extra 100 miles in the Coca-Cola 600?

“It just depends on how your ole’ hot rod is, how your night’s going. The Coca-Cola 600 can be one of those deals where you feel like you could’ve gone another three or four hours, or it’s one of those where it’s like, ‘My God, is this thing ever going to end?’ You hope it’s the way I was describing before. You hope it’s, ‘This is easy,’ and wish it’d lasted a couple more hours.”

What is Sunday like for a race fan?

“Sunday is just a hell of a day of racing. You have one of the coolest races in Formula One in Monte Carlo, and then it’s the Indianapolis 500 – it’s one of their coolest races. Actually, no, it is their coolest race. And then the 600’s one of ours. I mean, it’s just a – it’s a hell of a day of racing. I’ve always been a fan of F1 and admired what they do, but now that the boss (Gene Haas) has cars in it and is competing in it, you follow and pull for those guys even that much more. Having the Indy 500 leading up to our 600 is awesome for a race fan and, hey, I’m a race fan. Who’s not, right? I want to watch that race, and do. The last few years have been phenomenal.”

What are your thoughts on the service of your grandfather and others in the military?

“I never got to meet him but I’ve seen a lot of letters from the President, medals and all these awards that he got. I have the highest respect for him and every soldier who has served this country. I love getting to meet them when they come to the track and I like getting to meet their families and just tell them thank you. We owe so much to everyone who’s served and we will always remember the ones who have given their lives. I love that we’ll honor them this weekend at Charlotte.”

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Charlotte Race Advance

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer season. It’s also known as the greatest motorsports weekend of the year as Sunday kicks off with the Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco, followed by the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

After those two iconic events, a third completes the day’s impressive schedule in the form of the longest NASCAR event of the year – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the four “crown jewels” of the NASCAR season. And Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is one of only four drivers to win all four crown jewels.

Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Harvick are the only drivers to see the checkered flag first at the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500.

Harvick is hoping he can score his third Coca-Cola 600 victory after posting wins in 2011 and 2013.

And he’ll do so with Mobil 1 technology on board as a sponsor and technical partner.

Mobil 1 isn’t just the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, it also provides the entire SHR organization with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all SHR Mustangs have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. In its 17th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.

And no place will better expose this than Sunday’s 600-mile marathon at Charlotte. Harvick and his SHR teammates will have an advantage via Mobil 1 during a race that’s 100 miles longer than the next-longest events on the tour, making durability key to success.

Memorial Day weekend is also a somber time to remember those who have been lost fighting for freedom.

All cars will feature a fallen solider and the No. 4 Ford will represent Sergeant First Class Bryan Allen Hoover, 28th Military Police Company, who was killed in action on June 11, 2010.

SFC Hoover was a 10-year veteran who served four years in the Marines Corps prior to his service with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He received a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management at California University of Pennsylvania in 2009 and was an avid runner and cross country coach. He also loved playing hockey. SFC Hoover was killed by a suicide bomber in the Zabul Province, Shajoy, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He left behind his beloved dog Newton, fiancé Ashley (Tack) Sherman, his father Melvin, brothers Rick (Sarah) and Ben, and his sister Samantha.

SFC Hoover is remembered by his comrades as an irreplaceable leader and friend.

 

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

Is the Coca-Cola 600 more physically or mentally challenging?

“It just depends on how hot it is, honestly. If it’s a good weekend and the weather is nice, then it’s more mentally challenging than physically challenging. Either way, it’s still challenging both mentally and physically in some way, shape or form. The hardest part mentally is just getting yourself to overcome those last hundred miles because you are used to the 400- or 500-mile races.”

You have an added advantage with Mobil 1 as a sponsor. It’s more than a sponsor, with its technology directly benefiting how you perform on the racetrack. How advantageous has this relationship with Mobil 1 been since you joined SHR in 2014?

“It was really mind-blowing when I first came to Stewart-Haas Racing. Every time we went to qualify, we really didn’t do anything different from the driver’s seat, but we’d always pick up a tenth-and-a-half or two-tenths of a second, and it literally came down to the oils in the engine, the oil in the transmission, the oil in the rear gear and the things they did from a lubricant standpoint. Those were the biggest changes we made to the car before we would go and qualify. So, when you see that level of technology and commitment to the things that go in your car, every piece of it adds up to a pretty big chunk of speed. It’s pretty remarkable.”

What does it mean to honor and remember a military member on your No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford this Memorial Day weekend?

“There isn’t any sport that honors the military any better than NASCAR. I know a lot of sports do a lot of things for our military but, when you roll into this particular weekend with the Coke 600 and you are a part of the celebration and remembrance for all the things that have happened with our military, to see the support that NASCAR and everybody in our garage gives the military, especially on this particular weekend, is something that gives you goosebumps. We are honored to carry the names (of fallen soldiers) on our cars.”

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 All-Star Race Report

Event: Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race (non-points event)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 85 laps, broken into four stages (30 laps/20 laps/20 laps/15 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/12th (Running, completed 88 of 88 laps)
Note: Race extended three laps past its scheduled 85-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish in Stage 1.

Race Winner:      Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner:  Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:  Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 3 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

Clint Bowyer started first and finished third.
Bowyer dropped to fourth on the start and told the team his No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford Mustang was loose.
Bowyer held his position through the first caution on lap 27.
● A quick pit stop by the No. 14 crew returned him to the track in third.
● On the restart he battled for the lead on the final lap before finishing third.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-50):

Bowyer started third and finished 14th.
● Bowyer and Ryan Blaney made contact on the opening lap and Bowyer dropped through the field.
● Bowyer pitted twice to make repairs and cure the handling ills that kept him in the back.
● He told the crew his car was very loose in the closing laps of the stage.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 51-70):

Bowyer started first and finished 16th.
Took only two scuffed tires before the start of the stage, saving his four new tires for the final stage.
Bowyer led two laps before the cars with newer tires shuffled him to the back of the pack.

Stage 4 Recap (Laps 71-88):

Bowyer started 16th and finished 12th.
Bowyer took four tires, but returned to pit lane before the start of the final stage to secure a lug nut.
Bowyer could only climb to 12th before the end of the race.
After the checkered flag, Ryan Newman hit Bowyer’s car, sending it nose-first into the outside wall.
Bowyer exited his car on pit lane and immediately went to Newman’s car to show his displeasure.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“I don’t know what the hell his beef was. I thought he was a lap down. Our day was over. We lost track position there, got sideways, crossed up and basically buying time there to see if something was gonna happen at the end. They got four-wide off of four. Hell, I thought he was a lap down. I checked up and he ran into my left-rear and that’s the last I saw of him. Then after the race he comes and runs into my back and turns me all around and I pull up next to him and he dumps me into four. Where I come from you get poked in the nose for that, and that’s what he got.”

Notes:

● Bowyer started on the pole for the All-Star Race for the first time in his career. Saturday night’s race marked his 10th All-Star Race.
● Bowyer led twice for two laps to increase his laps-led total in the All-Star Race to 13.
● Kyle Larson won the All-Star Race with a .322-of-a-second margin of victory over runner-up Kevin Harvick.
● The All-Star Race featured 10 lead changes among seven different drivers. Nineteen drivers comprised the field.

Next Up:

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, May 26 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Cup Series schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 All-Star Race Report

Event:  Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race (non-points event)
Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:  Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format:  85 laps, broken into four stages (30 laps/20 laps/20 laps/15 laps)
Start/Finish:  3rd/2nd (Running, completed 88 of 88 laps)

Note:  Race extended three laps past its scheduled 85-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish in Stage 1.

Race Winner:  Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner:  Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:  Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 3 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

Kevin Harvick started third and finished second.
● Harvick drove his No. 4 Busch Beer #MillennialCar into the lead at the start and led the first 19 laps.
● Kyle Busch took the lead on lap 20, and Harvick held steady in second through the end of the stage.
● Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-50):

Started second and finished first.
● After a restart on lap 39, Harvick retook the lead and held the position through the end of the stage.
● Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage, but the stop was slow and it dropped Harvick to seventh.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 51-70):

Started seventh and finished sixth.
● Harvick keyed the mic on lap 56 to say, “I’ve got a loose wheel!”
● Under caution on lap 58, Harvick came to pit road to have all of his wheels tightened. This dropped him to 15th for the lap-63 restart.
● Harvick drove his way to sixth by the end of the stage.
● Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage while a handful of others took only two tires.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 71-88):

Started 10th and finished second.
● Harvick wheeled the Busch Beer #MillennialCar up to eighth by the lap-76 caution.
● Once the race went back to green, Harvick picked up another four spots.
● In fourth place prior to the green-white-checkered finish, Harvick rallied to second before the checkered flag waved.

Notes:

● Harvick has made an appearance in every single Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race in his 19-year career, the most of any driver eligible for this year’s All-Star Race.
● Harvick led twice for a race-high 33 laps to increase his laps-led total in the All-Star Race to 157.
● Kyle Larson won the All-Star Race with a .322-of-a-second margin of victory over Harvick.
● The All-Star Race featured 10 lead changes among seven different drivers. Nineteen drivers comprised the field.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer #MillennialCar Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Once they get single-file, as soon as they drive in your lane they pushed up the groove, so you’ve got to go where they aren’t and he (Kyle Larson) was fast enough to run the bottom, and that’s where I needed to run to really make time. Everybody was wide-open, so once the restart thinned out, everybody just kind of goes where they go.”

Next Up:

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, May 26 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Cup Series schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.