DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Richmond II Race Advance

Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 Haas Automation Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will race for a win in Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. Suárez’s No. 41 machine will have the traditional red-and-black Haas paint scheme for the second race of the NASCAR playoffs.

Last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, SHR’s weekend as a whole was off to a solid start with all four entries qualifying in positions one through four for Sunday’s race. Teammate Clint Bowyer took the top spot with Suárez earning the outside-front-row starting spot. SHR’s Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola qualified third and fourth, respectively. Earlier this year at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, the four-car SHR contingent also qualified 1-2-3-4. Last Sunday in Las Vegas, Suárez led 29 laps from his No. 2 starting spot, but his night was troubled after receiving damage to both sides of the No. 41 Ford Mustang. He ultimately finished 20th at the 1.5-mile oval.

This weekend at Richmond marks Suárez’s 100th Cup Series start. The 27-year-old native of Monterrey, Mexico, has made his way from racing go-karts as young kid to living in the United States for the last eight years while advancing his racing career. After being noticed by a Joe Gibbs Racing team representative several years ago, Suárez climbed through the ranks from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, to the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He won the 2016 Xfinity Series championship en route to the pinnacle of racing stock-car racing – the Cup Series. Suárez is in his third full-time Cup Series season and first with SHR.

At Richmond, Suárez has five career Cup Series starts with two top-10 finishes. Overall, Suárez has an average starting position of 24.8 there, an average finishing position of 12.8, and has completed 99.9 percent of all possible laps. While the track has completed a multi-million-dollar facility makeover, including a renovated infield, the .75-mile Richmond oval remains one of the most action-packed venues each season.

In the Xfinity Series at Richmond, Suárez has six starts with one top-five finish and three top-10s. He has an average starting position of 8.3 and an average finishing position of 11.7. Additionally, Suárez has four Richmond starts from 2011 to 2014 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with a best finish of 20th in 2011.

The Haas Automation driver is currently 17th in the point standings with nine races remaining in the season after accumulating three top-five finishes and nine top-10s, along with 134 laps led. He has an average start of 14.6 and an average finish of 15.0. He earned his second career Cup Series pole, first with the No. 41 team, in July at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

Haas Automation, founded in 1983 by SHR co-owner Gene Haas, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are constructed in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.

 

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

 

What goes through your mind when you’re on the track?

“My mind is very clear when I’m on the track. I’m not thinking about anything else other than driving. I’m 100 percent focused. I’m not worried about what I’m going to have for dinner. If I’m worried about something like that, then I’m not doing my job to the best of my ability.”

Not being part of the playoff field, are you racing a little bit differently now that points may not be as important?

“I feel like we had a little different mentality before the playoffs started when we were trying to make them. I don’t think we were as risky, but now we can be. I want to win a race. That’s my goal and that’s my team’s goal. Obviously, we wanted to make the playoffs, but we didn’t, so now we’re focused on winning races. We still have nine opportunities this season to put a race together and end up in victory lane.”

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Richmond II Race Advance

In 2013, ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series profiled the 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack men’s basketball team that won the national championship. The title was simple: “Survive and Advance.”

The same phrase applies to the NASCAR playoffs. With four drivers eliminated after each three-race round before the championship race Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, everyone needs to bring his A-game. Doesn’t matter how he moves on, he just has to “Survive and Advance.”

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has qualified for the Championship 4 at Homestead four times in the last five years. The team won the 2014 championship, finished runner-up in the 2015 title chase to champion Kyle Busch, finished eighth in 2016 and third in 2017 and 2018.

So SHR’s No. 4 team knows how the playoffs work and it got off to a great start at last weekend’s playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where Harvick finished second. That moved him from fourth to second in the playoff standings with 2,079 points, three markers behind leader Martin Truex Jr. Harvick is now 52 points ahead of top-12 cutoff, which will occur after the Sept. 29 race on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway roval.

With race two of this year’s playoffs Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Harvick head to the three-quarter-mile oval where he has been stellar over the years. He has three wins, four poles, 15 top-five finishes, 24 top-10s and has led a total of 1,139 laps in his 37 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond. The last time he finished outside the top-15 there was April 2012, and he’s finished in the top-five nine times in the 14 races since.

As always, Harvick will have the support of Mobil 1 as a technical partner and sponsor this weekend. 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.

Harvick and the rest of the No. 4 team are looking for another good run at Richmond, which certainly help them “Survive and Advance.”

 

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

 

What do you think enabled Stewart-Haas Racing to really take off so quickly with Ford?

“We are finishing our third year, now. For us, we were obviously involved in the new design of the Mustang from a team standpoint, so you got to develop a car with Ford. Ford is very into racing. I think in the beginning, in 2017, there was a very big effort in order to get the company switched over. It all comes down to people, having good people. And we have great owners who let us do the things we need to do to put the cars on the racetrack and be competitive.”

What is the game plan as the playoffs continue?

“We want to just hammer away race by race. I think the backup plan is to survive and advance, but we want to win. We want to be racing for the lead and trying to win stages and be aggressive. I think being aggressive is just going to bite you less than kind of being passive and just trying to mediocre your way into the next round by looking at the points. We want to go out there and try to do the things we have done all year and lean on our experience of being in these types of situations before there is nothing that is going to surprise us. Anything that happens that is off the wall shouldn’t be a surprise to us because we have been a part of some of those situations and seen them as we have gone through the playoffs. You have to adapt and adjust as the weeks go by, but it is definitely an aggressive, one-week-at-a-time approach.”

Is there a track you raced at this year that you can apply toward Homestead, where this thing will get decided?

“I don’t think so. I think Homestead is obviously a very unique racetrack on its own and you have to prepare for that racetrack a little differently because it isn’t your normal 1.5-mile setup you need because of the way you enter and exit the corners with the flat straightaways. As a driver, you have to be prepared to run up against the wall and do the things it takes. It is always a challenging weekend because of the fact things are different and you scramble and it is hot. It will be different, just like everywhere else has been this year.”

Why do your prefer Mobil 1 synthetic?

“I’m a synthetic guy because, in 1993 when we were sitting in the engine shop, we dumped Mobil 1 synthetic in and that’s all we did and gained seven horsepower. From that day on, we would actually save our money and then go to the local auto parts store because, at that time, it was like $5.50 a quart and the conventional and other oils were like $3.50. At the big races, we would put the Mobil 1 in the car and the regular races would put the regular oil in there. You know I’m going to say synthetic.”

CHASE BRISCOE – 2019 NXS Richmond II Race Advance

Race Name: Go Bowling 250 (Race 27 of 33)
Venue: Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia
Television: 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Point Standings: 
– Cole Custer: 2nd; trails points leader by 11 points
– Chase Briscoe: 5th; trails points leader by 43 points
Appearances:
– Cole and Chase will be signing autographs at the SHR Souvenir Hauler on Friday from 1:00pm to 1:20pm.
– Both drivers will also be at the Xfinity Series autograph session from 2:00pm to 2:45pm on Friday.
– Lastly, both drivers will be at the Ford Activation in the midway signing autographs from 2:50pm to 3:10pm on Friday.

  • The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs begin this weekend. In his rookie campaign, Briscoe has clinched his first playoffs berth and sits fifth in the standings with 2012 points.
  • Briscoe’s career-best outing at Richmond Raceway was an eighth-place finish during the Spring 2019 event. He had one previous Xfinity Series start at Richmond prior to this season.
  • Through 26 races in 2019, Briscoe has one win, nine top-fives, 20 top-10’s and an average finish of 8.3.
  • Click here for Briscoe’s career stats.
  • Click here for Briscoe’s stats at Richmond.
  • Click here for photos of Chase.

Ford’s racing program is part of the Ford Performance organization based in Dearborn, Mich. It is responsible for major racing operations globally, including NASCAR, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship, FIA World Rally Championship, Virgin Australia Supercars, Formula Drift, and NHRA Funny Car and sportsman drag racing. In addition, the organization also oversees the development of Ford’s racing engines, as well as the outreach programs with all Ford Clubs and Ford enthusiasts. For more information regarding Ford racing’s activities, please visit www.fordperformance.comwww.facebook.com/FordPerformance, Ford Performance on Instagram and @FordPerformance on Twitter.

So far this season you have run better at tracks when you return for the second time. Do you think that will be the case with Richmond this weekend?

“I think we have a really good shot to run better at Richmond this weekend than we did back in April for sure. Now that we have some laps together there as a team and have been able to build a notebook, it should help really help us this time around. The last few months we have showed a lot of speed consistently. If it wasn’t for a silly mistake last week, we had a second-place car and would be heading into the playoffs with 10 straight top-10s. We’ll focus hard to be mistake-free this weekend and give this Ford Performance Mustang a good run.”

COLE CUSTER – 2019 NXS Richmond II Race Advance

Race Name: Go Bowling 250 (Race 27 of 33)
Venue: Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia
Television: 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Point Standings: 
– Cole Custer: 2nd; trails points leader by 11 points
– Chase Briscoe: 5th; trails points leader by 43 points
Appearances:
– Cole and Chase will be signing autographs at the SHR Souvenir Hauler on Friday from 1:00pm to 1:20pm.
– Both drivers will also be at the Xfinity Series autograph session from 2:00pm to 2:45pm on Friday.
– Lastly, both drivers will be at the Ford Activation in the midway signing autographs from 2:50pm to 3:10pm on Friday.

GoBowling.com is the destination for bowling fans and enthusiasts seeking news and information about one of America’s favorite pastimes and the nation’s number one participatory sport.  With more than 67 million people taking to the lanes every year, GoBowling.com is a one-stop location where people of all ages can go to satisfy their love of bowling.  Consumers turn to GoBowling.com every day to find bowling fun – discovering new bowling centers, tips and tricks to use on the lanes, event news and great deals at more than 1,700+ family-friendly bowling centers across the country.

You won the Spring race in Richmond this year, does anything from that race translate over to this weekend?

“Both races are starting around the same time of night so we can take most of what we learned and put it towards this weekend. The one big difference is that it rained in the Spring so the track was green when we went out. It gives us a starting point for practice to see if we can get the car as good as it was in April, but I know the guys back in the shop are going to bring just as good of a car this weekend as we did in the first race here. There’s a lot of pressure on the team this weekend since the playoffs begin, but we are ready to get back to victory lane and this weekend would be a great time for that to happen.”

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Richmond II Race Advance

Clint Bowyer has some advice for his 15 fellow racecar drivers and their teams battling to advance beyond the three-race Round of 16 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, which began last weekend in Las Vegas and continues Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) Raceway Saturday, then concludes Sept. 29 on the “roval” at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

“You don’t want your season’s hopes and dreams coming down to that roval in Charlotte,” Bowyer said. “You want to get your work done this weekend in Richmond. Nobody wants to go Charlotte knowing they have to have a great finish to advance to the next round. We did that last year and it made for some sleepless nights. We finished third at Charlotte but that was a tough weekend for everyone. This year, we want to go win Richmond and then go to Charlotte and watch all the other guys sweat.”

The Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) driver arrives at Richmond 15th in points after finishing 25th in Sunday’s playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. To advance to the second round, which begins in two weeks, Bowyer must be in the top-12 among the 16 playoff drivers after the Richmond and the Charlotte roval. A win at either track means an automatic berth into the next playoff round. He heads to Richmond 20 points behind the top-12 cutoff.

“You want a big enough cushion going into the roval at Charlotte because, as we saw last year, that’s going to be one of the biggest wildcards in the playoffs,” Bowyer said. “We really wanted to finish well last weekend in Las Vegas and this weekend in Richmond because nobody knows what’s going to happen in Charlotte.”

Bowyer has a realistic chance of getting that victory at Richmond and enjoying a pressure-free weekend in Charlotte. He has two Cup Series wins and five top-fives in 27 starts at the three-quarter-mile Richmond oval. Bowyer also earned an Xfinity Series victory there in 2007.

Bowyer feels he should have won this year’s Richmond spring race April 13. He eventually ran down leader Martin Truex Jr., in the closing laps and ran door-to-door but could not make the pass. Slight wall contact hindered Bowyer’s progress, and he lost second place to Joey Logano before finishing third. Passing Truex would likely have allowed him the clean air needed to keep the lead and win the race.

“I should have moved him and won the race for myself and the team,” Bowyer said. “I didn’t grow up racing that way, you know what I mean? I didn’t learn racing that way, but it is that way in today’s day and age. It’s not necessarily your character or anything else as a driver, it is just the way the racing is. You flat can’t pass ’em. I was three-quarters of a second faster than him and got to him and just rode. I had a window of about two laps there to do something and I kept thinking that I was going to wear him down like always and all it did was wear my stuff out and I was done.”

Bowyer said that Richmond race changed the way he and his SHR teammates thought about racing.

“It was also a learning moment for me,” he said. “I think it was a learning moment for all of us. We all came back from the competition meeting as a wakeup call for us. Those short tracks are my good tracks. I was a lot faster than him and you just knew. It never dawned on me in a million years that I would struggle passing him. I was so much faster.

“I thought I would catch him and roll right by him. As soon as I got to him, the air deficiency of being the second car, you are a little tighter. But I was so much better that I thought it would be fine. Within two laps at Richmond I was junk. I wore out the tires and now I am looking in the mirror to see who is catching me. In a matter of five laps, my mindset went from winning to having to block the guy behind me and manage this deal to get the best finish possible. We didn’t even finish second, we finished third. I had to let Logano go because I knew that if I got side-by-side with him, Kevin would pass me, too, and I would end up fourth. It was a learning moment for me for the rest of the season.”

This weekend, Bowyer will drive the One Cure Ford Mustang for SHR. One Cure is a project led by the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. The One Cure program is founded on the principle that cancer affects all creatures and that treatment breakthroughs come through collaboration between scientists and doctors working with people and animals. This approach is known as comparative oncology and it is the guiding concept of One Cure and the Flint Animal Cancer Center at CSU. The center works to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets, and teams with the human medical field to translate research findings that will help people with cancer.

The center, located in Colorado State’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, sees more than 1,500 new animal cancer patients every year, with approximately 130 patients enrolling in carefully monitored clinical trials specific to their cancer type. The canine and feline patients are helping pioneer cancer research, moving cutting-edge treatments out of the laboratory and into clinical practice, ultimately providing hope for the next generation of animal and human cancer patients.

Bowyer hopes race fans will visit www.OneCure.com, where they can learn about the research and offer financial support.

“Racing is a lot of fun and important to all of us, but what the folks at One Cure are doing is as important as anything happening on the planet,” Bowyer said. “I hope like hell they are successful and I think everyone in the racing community agrees.”

 

CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

Do you like the 10-race playoff to end the season and determine a champion?

“Those summer months are long, grueling and they drag on. You needed a wakeup call and shot in the arm. For me, that is the playoffs. New purpose. You are always racing for that win on any given Sunday and that championship all year long in the back of your mind. Now it is real. I like this new format – three-races, three-races, three-races, baby! It isn’t 10, screw the rest of ’em. You have to survive three races. Win one of these three and you are automatically on to the next round. For me, focus factor and everything else, it is a good thing for me.”

What are your thoughts on Richmond Raceway?

“It’s just a perfect racetrack. It’s always been that way. Ever since I started in the Xfinity Series with Richard (Childress), it’s always fit my driving style. It’s that short track and I’ve always said that I wish we had four or five of these all across the country. They certainly hit the mark when they were making Richmond. I have a lot of fun there – prerace and everything else. The fan base there has always been good. It’s a good vibe and a good feel for a racetrack being that it kind of reminds you of pulling into the old fairgrounds at a dirt track. There are houses across the street and this is what short-track racing is all about.”

Can you win the championship?

“I think we’ve got to go out and live up to our capabilities. If we do that, we’ll have a shot to go to Homestead. Everyone thinks they can win. I do. I really, truly do. It’s not smoke and mirrors. I believe I’ve seen enough out of our race team that I’m confident in our opportunity ahead. If we can go out and get those mistakes behind us, I’ve said over the last month and a half, we’re capable of winning. There is only one thing that makes you confident and that is success, and we’ve had that success to enable me to be confident.”

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Las Vegas II Race Report

Event: South Point 400 (Round 27 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 3rd / 2nd (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd with 2,079 points, 3 points behind first and 52 points ahead of top-12 cutoff)

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

Kevin Harvick started third and finished second, earning nine bonus points.
● No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang was tight early on.
● Harvick pitted on lap 42 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to try and cure the tight condition.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

Harvick started first and finished fourth, earning seven bonus points.
● No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang pitted on lap 83 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Harvick came in second and left first.
● On the restart, Harvick fell to sixth and was 4.5 second behind leader Joey Logano on lap 104.
● While in sixth place, Harvick pitted on lap 122 for four tires and fuel.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

Harvick started fourth and finished second.
● No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang was too tight per Harvick on lap 172.
● Under caution, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. He said the racecar was just too tight.
● Harvick restarted fifth, then took the lead on lap 187 and stayed up front for the next 42 circuits. He raced back to the lead with 20 laps to go but was passed the next lap by race winner Martin Truex Jr. and finished second.

Notes:

● Harvick earned his 10th top-five of the season and his seventh top-five in 21 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas.
● This is Harvick’s second straight top-five at Las Vegas. He finished fourth in the series’ last visit to the track in March.
● This is Harvick’s third consecutive top-five. He won the series’ last race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
● Harvick’s seven top-fives at Las Vegas tie him with Kyle Busch for the most among active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers
● Harvick’s 10 top-10s at Las Vegas are the most among active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● Harvick led three times for 47 laps to increase his laps-led total at Las Vegas to 587.
● Truex won the South Point 400to score his 24th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his second at Las Vegas. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was 4.173 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 22 laps.
● Only 17 of the 39 drivers in the South Point 400 finished on the lead lap.

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

“It was good. We had two solid stages and with the way that practice went for us, that was a miracle. To be in contention with a chance to win the race with 25 laps to go says a lot about the guys working on this 4 car and everybody did a great job of making something out of what wasn’t very bright for us on Friday.”

Playoff Standings (with two races to go before Round of 12):

1.       Martin Truex Jr. (2,082 points) 1 win
2.       Kevin Harvick (2,079 points) +52 points
3.       Joey Logano (2,075 points) +48 points
4.       Kyle Busch (2,063 points) +36 points
5.       Brad Keselowski (2,058 points) +31 points
6.       Chase Elliott (2,057 points) +30 points
7.       Denny Hamlin (2,056 points) +29 points
8.       Kyle Larson (2,044 points) +17 points
9.       William Byron (2,040 points) +13 points
10.     Ryan Blaney (2,039 points) +12 points
11.     Alex Bowman (2,037 points) +10 points
12.     Aric Almirola (2,033 points) +6 points
13.     Ryan Newman (2,027 points) -6 points
14.     Kurt Busch (2,019 points) -14 points
15.     Clint Bowyer (2,012 points) -21 points
16.     Erik Jones (2,007 points) -26 points

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. It is the second race of the 10-race playoffs and it starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Las Vegas II Race Report

Event: South Point 400 (Round 27 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 2nd/20th (Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 17th with 672 points

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

● Daniel Suárez started second and finished fourth to earn seven bonus points.
● Suárez took the lead shortly after the green flag dropped.
● On lap 30 he dropped back into the second position after lacking overall grip.
● The Mexico native made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 40 from the third position for fuel, four tires and adjustments.
● He returned to the racing surface and ultimately ended the stage in fourth.
● Suárez pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help grip and started Stage 2 in seventh.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

● The No. 41 driver started seventh and finished 15th.
● The 27-year-old made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 123 for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with his racecar’s tight condition.
● The remainder of the stage ran under green, and the Haas Automation driver ended it 15th.
● During the Stage 2 break Suárez pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

Final Recap (Laps 161-267):

● Suárez started 12th and finished 20th.
● During the caution on lap 182, he pitted from 12th for two right-side tires, fuel and adjustments and restarted fourth.
● The field became jumbled up on the restart, damaging the cars of several competitors, including Suárez.
● The next caution was displayed on lap 189, and Suárez brought his Ford Mustang down pit road from 15th multiple times for repairs to both sides of the car and to top off with fuel.
● He restarted 26th on lap 195.
● The rest of the stage ran under the green flag, and Suárez’s crew made the decision to stretch the fuel mileage to prevent him from having to make an additional stop.
● The Haas Automation driver was able to adjust his time on throttle for the remainder of the race to have enough fuel and ultimately finished 20th.

Notes:

● Suárez earned his 22nd top-20 of the season and his fourth top-20 in five career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas.
● Suárez led once for 29 laps to increase his laps-led total at Las Vegas to 41.
● Martin Truex Jr., won the South Point 400to score his 24th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his second at Las Vegas. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was 4.173 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 22 laps.
● Only 17 of the 39 drivers in the South Point 400finished on the lead lap.

Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We had a tough day with Haas Automation Mustang, especially when we got damage to both sides of the car after that one restart. The good news is we led laps, but the car was difficult to handle after all of the damage. We did the best we could with what we had until the end, and we’ll move on to next week at Richmond.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. It is the second race of the 10-race playoffs and it starts at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

ARIC ALMIROLA – 2019 Las Vegas II Race Report

Event:  South Point 400 (Round 27 of 36)
Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:  Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format:  267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish:  4th/13th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standing:  12th with 2,033 points (6 points ahead of top-12 cutoff)

Race Winner:  Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:  Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

Aric Almirola started fourth and finished third, earning eight bonus points.
● Despite saying his No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang was loose, Almirola took the lead from teammate Daniel Suárez on lap 31.
● Almirola led laps 31-33 before fellow Ford driver Joey Logano took the lead, dropping Almirola to second.
● Brought Smithfield Ford to pit road for scheduled, green-flag pit stop on lap 42. Only change was to tire pressures.
● By lap 60, pit stops had cycled through and Almirola was back in second place.
● Made a great save on lap 66 as car jumped loose in turn one, allowing teammate Kevin Harvick to take second.
● After finishing third at the end of the stage, Almirola said, “Really, really loose – don’t have much to lean on.”
● Pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage, with the only adjustment being right-side tire pressures.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

Almirola started third and finished 11th.
● On lap 95, Almirola said his Smithfield Ford didn’t have very much sidebite and that it wasn’t turning. He dropped to fifth.
● While running seventh, made scheduled, green-flag pit stop on lap 122 for four tires, fuel and adjustments to track bar and tire pressures.
● “I’ve got my hands full,” said Almirola on lap 134 while running 10th.
● Dropped to 11th on lap 149 and keyed mic: “I don’t have any grip!”
● Pitted for four tires and fuel at conclusion of stage, with the only adjustment being to right-side tire pressures.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

Almirola started 11th and finished 13th.
Shortly after the restart, Almirola began falling down the leaderboard. On lap 170, he was 18th, with the front splitter slamming onto the track.
● Almirola took advantage of a caution on lap 180. He brought the Smithfield Ford to pit road, whereupon crew chief Johnny Klausmeier ordered a host of changes that included adding packers to both front shocks, a wedge adjustment and raising the track bar.
● Stayed out during another caution period that began on lap 189, which allowed Almirola to climb back to 10th for the lap-196 restart.
● Advanced to seventh by lap 200 as front end of racecar began handling better, but car was now tight on exit.
● By lap 227, Almirola radioed that his Smithfield Ford was getting really tight, and it showed as he dropped to 10th.
● Made scheduled, green-flag pit stop on lap 231 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
● Was 16th on lap 249 but climbed to 13th in the final 18 laps.

Notes:

● Almirola earned his 16th top-15 of the season and his fifth top-15 in 13 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas.
● This is Almirola’s fifth straight top-15 at Las Vegas. He finished seventh in the series’ last visit to the track in March.
● This is Almirola’s second consecutive top-15. He finished 14th in the series’ last race at Indianapolis.
● Almirola led once for three laps – his first at Las Vegas.
● Martin Truex Jr., won the South Point 400 to score his 24th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his second at Las Vegas. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was 4.173 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 22 laps.
● Only 17 of the 39 drivers in the South Point 400 finished on the lead lap.

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

“I am leaving content. We dug deep and I feel like we maximized our day. We had a few miscues and weren’t 100 percent perfect on our execution. The car wasn’t 100 percent perfect, and we still managed to go up there and lead the race and score stage points. We finished third in Stage 1 and scored a fair amount of stage points. After Stage 1, we kind of lost the handle on the car and lost some track position and it became even more of a handful. We dug deep and fought hard and got out of here with a decent finish. We are plus-six to the good on 12th, so I feel good about that. It is better than leaving minus-six or minus-16 or minus-60. I am happy with that. We will keep our heads up and keep digging. Our Smithfield Ford Mustang showed strength tonight and we just lost a little bit of the handle on it.”

Playoff Standings (with two races to go before Round of 12):

1.    Martin Truex Jr. (2,082 points) 1 win
2.    Kevin Harvick (2,079 points) +52 points
3.    Joey Logano (2,075  points) +48 points
4.    Kyle Busch (2,063  points) +36 points
5.    Brad Keselowski (2,058  points) +31 points
6.    Chase Elliott (2,057  points) +30 points
7.    Denny Hamlin (2,056  points) +29 points
8.    Kyle Larson (2,044  points) +17 points
9.    William Byron (2,040  points) +13 points
10.   Ryan Blaney (2,039  points) +12 points
11.   Alex Bowman (2,037  points) +10 points
12.   Aric Almirola (2,033  points) +6 points
13.   Ryan Newman (2,027  points) -6 points
14.   Kurt Busch (2,019  points) -14 points
15.  Clint Bowyer (2,012  points) -21 points
16.  Erik Jones (2,007  points) -26 points

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. It is the second race of the 10-race playoffs and it starts at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Las Vegas II Race Report

Event: South Point 400 (Round 27 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/25th (Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 15th with 2012 points (21 points below top-12 cutoff)

Race Winner:      Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 80):

Bowyer started first and finished 14th.
The No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford tucked in behind teammate Daniel Suarez and ran in second after leading the opening lap.
As the stage moved on Bowyer reported his car was very loose.He fell to seventh by lap 32.
Bowyer pitted from seventh on lap 41 for tires, fuel and adjustments.
The last 20 laps of the stage saw Bowyer drop from seventh to 14th as he struggled with handling.
The crew made several more changes on the No. 14 during the stage break to improve the handling.

Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 160):

● Bowyer started 13th and finished 20th.
● The No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford continued to struggle during the stage.
● During a green-flag pit stop on lap 122 the crew reversed some of the changes made during the break.
● Bowyer lost a lap to the leader in the final laps of the stage.

Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 267):

Bowyer started 22nd and finished 25th.
The No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford didn’t complete a lap before Bowyer announced: “This is way better!”
On lap 182 Bowyer took the wave-around and returned to the lead lap in 22nd place.
A caution on lap 187 enabled Bowyer to pit with the leaders and the crew to make more adjustments.
Bowyer returned to the track in 16th and looked ready to charge back to the front with fresh tires.
On the restart Bowyer and another car made heavy contact, causing a tire rub for Bowyer that brought him to pit lane for repairs.
The stop dropped Bowyer to 30th and a lap behind the leaders.
Bowyer used the remaining laps to climb to 25th before the checkered flag fell.

Notes:

●  Bowyer led one lap to increase his laps-led total at Las Vegas to 18.
●  Martin Truex Jr., won the South Point 400to score his 24th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his second at Las Vegas. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was 4.173 seconds.
●  There were four caution periods for a total of 22 laps.
●  Only 17 of the 39 drivers in the South Point 400 finished on the lead lap.

Playoff Standings (with two races to go before Round of 12):

1.       Martin Truex Jr. (2,082 points) 1 win
2.       Kevin Harvick (2,079 points) +52 points
3.       Joey Logano (2,075  points) +48 points
4.       Kyle Busch (2,063  points) +36 points
5.       Brad Keselowski (2,058  points) +31 points
6.       Chase Elliott (2,057  points) +30 points
7.       Denny Hamlin (2,056  points) +29 points
8.       Kyle Larson (2,044  points) +17 points
9.       William Byron (2,040  points) +13 points
10.     Ryan Blaney (2,039  points) +12 points
11.     Alex Bowman (2,037  points) +10 points
12.     Aric Almirola (2,033  points) +6 points
13.     Ryan Newman (2,027  points) -6 points
14.     Kurt Busch (2,019  points) -14 points
15.     Clint Bowyer (2,012  points) -21 points
16.     Erik Jones (2,007  points) -26 points

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

“We just weren’t very good tonight. We were just off. Off in all areas.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. It starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

CHASE BRISCOE – 2019 NXS Las Vegas II Race Report

Race Name: Rhino Pro Truck Outfitters 300 (Race 26 of 33)
Venue: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Stages: 45 laps / 45 laps / 110 laps (200 Total Laps)
Race Winner: Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Results: Cole Custer: 4th | Chase Briscoe: 11th
Point Standings: (After Playoff Reset)
– Cole Custer: 2nd with 2,044 points; trails points leader by 11 points
– Chase Briscoe: 5th with 2,012 points; trails points leader by 43 points

Chase Briscoe / Ford Performance Ford Mustang Recap:

– Briscoe started seventh and finished eighth in Stage 1 to pick up three points.
– The No. 98 Ford Performance Mustang came to pit road for four tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustment at the end of Stage 1.
– Briscoe started Stage 2 in the sixth and finished fourth to score seven additional points.
– The No. 98 Ford came to pit road for four tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustment at the end of Stage 2.
– The No. 98 team started the final stage in fifth and raced his way up to fourth by the lap-112 caution.

– Briscoe brought the No. 98 Ford to pit road for four tires and fuel on lap-113 and restarted fourth on lap 116.
– The No. 98 was racing in the fourth position when the caution came out on lap 128. The team opted to stay out.
– The Ford Performance team came to pit road from the second position under green-flag conditions on lap 170 for four tires and fuel. The team received a speeding penalty and was forced to return to pit road for a pass-through penalty causing the team to drop one lap down to the 18th position.
– Briscoe battled back in the remaining laps to cross the finish line in 11th. 

– The No. 98 team finished the regular season with one win, nine top-five finishes and 20 top-10s.

Playoff Notes:

Las Vegas marked the end of the 26-race Xfinity Series regular season. Both Custer and Briscoe advance to the Xfinity Series Playoffs based on scoring a win in the regular season. Custer will start the playoffs ranked second with 2,044 points, while Briscoe is fifth with 2,012 points heading to the playoff opener at Richmond (Va.) Raceway next week.
– Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing claimed the regular-season championship to pick up an additional 15 playoff points.

Next Up: GoBowling 250 at Richmond Raceway on September 20th at 7:30 p.m. ET broadcast by NBCSN.

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

“Our Ford Performance Mustang was a second or third-place car tonight for sure and I made a mistake there on the last pit stop by speeding on pit road. That cost us where we should have finished. My team gave me a really good Ford Mustang and I’m bummed that I let my team down. One mistake like that in the playoffs can be the difference, so I have to clean up the mistakes. We’ll head to Richmond and try to kick off the playoffs with a good run.”