SHR Post-Race Report: Food City Dirt Race at Bristol

Date: March 29, 2021
Event: Food City Dirt Race (Round 7 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile, high-banked, dirt oval)
Format: 250 laps, broken into three stages (100 laps/100 laps/50 laps)
Note: Race extended three laps past its scheduled 250-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

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

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 6th, Finished 15th / Running, completed 253 of 253 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 25th, Finished 20th / Running, completed 252 of 253 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 21st, Finished 24th / Running, completed 252 of 253 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 23rd, Finished 36th / Accident, completed 39 of 253 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (8th with 225 points, 102 out of first)
● Cole Custer (23rd with 118 points, 209 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (27th with 104 points, 223 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (28th with 88 points, 239 out of first)

Race Notes:
● This was the first dirt race in the NASCAR Cup Series since Sept. 30, 1970 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh where NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty took the 117th of his record 200 career NASCAR Cup Series wins.
● Joey Logano won the Food City Dirt Race to score his 27th career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first of the season. His margin over second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr., was .554 of a second.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the sixth straight race.
● This was Ford’s 707th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory and its third win of 2021. It is the manufacturer’s 101st all-time dirt victory, with Logano being the 30th different driver to win a Cup Series dirt race in a Ford. NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett, who is Ford’s all-time leader in Cup wins with 43, also holds the record for most dirt wins for Ford with 26.
● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 37 laps.
● Only 19 of the 39 drivers in the Food City Dirt Race finished on the lead lap.

Bristol Dirt Quotes

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang:
“It was so cool to be a part of something this historic. It was definitely uncharted territory to put our Cup cars on dirt. But everybody did their best to adapt to everything that happened throughout the weekend, and I think the fans got a new kind of show. Looking forward to taking what everybody learned this weekend and making everything better for when we come back next year. I think our HaasTooling.com Ford team did its best to deal with everything that was thrown at us. Our biggest issues turned out to be trying to find forward bite on the straightaways and finding ways to tighten up the car. We now have a notebook to work with for next time.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang:
“The No. 77 slipped off the bottom. I was hunting the bottom, and he slipped off the bottom. I was trying to get in between him and the silly humps there, and he turned back down across my nose and hit me in the right-front and kind of ran me up over the dirt hump, and I spun. You can’t stop. You can’t see. That’s honestly the biggest problem. In dirt racing, you don’t have a windshield in front of you, so you can pull a tear off (of your helmet visor). We can’t reach out there and pull a tear off of our windshield, so you can’t see anything. Everybody just comes piling in, because you can’t see. Right before that, we started to put down solid lap downs.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang:
“That was not the race we wanted for our HighPoint.com Ford Mustang. Obviously, we had high expectations for this weekend. After running the Truck Series race earlier today I knew it was going to be a challenge. A lot of what happened there was out of our control with the accidents. We actually were heading in the right direction there in Stage 2 but, once again, got hit from behind and just never really recovered from it. I’m just looking forward to the week off before we head to Martinsville.”

Next Up:
The NASCAR Cup Series takes a rare weekend off before returning to action April 10 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. The race begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

SHR Post-Race Report: Folds Of Honor 500 at Atlanta

Date: March 21, 2021
Event: Folds of Honor 500 (Round 6 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
Format: 325 laps, broken into three stages (105 laps/105 laps/115 laps)

Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 7th, Finished 10th / Running, completed 325 of 325 laps)
● Cole Custer(Started 27th, Finished 18th / Running, completed 324 of 325 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 16th, Finished 20th / Running, completed 324 of 325 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 24th, Finished 23rd / Running, completed 323 of 325 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (6th with 203 points, 74 out of first)
● Cole Custer (22nd with 105 points, 172 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (26th with 87 points, 190 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (27th with 87 points, 190 out of first)

Race Notes:
● Harvick earned his fifth top-10 of the season and his series-leading 16th top-10 in 31 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta.
● This was Harvick’s seventh straight top-10 at Atlanta. He hasn’t finished outside the top-10 since a lone 19th-place finish in August 2014.
● Harvick has finished among the top-10 in 14 of his last 17 starts at Atlanta, a run that began with a seventh-place drive in March 2008.
● This is Harvick’s second straight top-10. He finished sixth in last week’s race at Phoenix Raceway.
● Custer’s 18th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Atlanta – 19th, earned in his first NASCAR Cup Series start at the track last June.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 25 laps.
● Only 14 of the 39 drivers in the Folds of Honor 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Atlanta with a 43-point advantage over second-place Larson.

Atlanta Quotes

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang:
“Well, that was definitely not the result we wanted, but I would call it a solid day in a lot of respects. We made improvements on our HaasTooling.com Mustang all day but just couldn’t get going on the restarts for the life of me. Still, proud of all the hard work by Mike (Shiplett, crew chief) and everyone on this HaasTooling team. This is a tough track to get your car right. We’ll go get ’em on the dirt at Bristol next week.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Pit Boss Grills Ford Mustang:
“We battled handing issues all day. Our Pit Boss Ford Mustang just didn’t have the handling on the restarts and couldn’t hold up on the long run. If we helped the restarts, we hurt the long run. We tried a few different adjustments, and nothing really helped us. It was another character building race that we’ll learn and grow from. We’re not running to our potential yet, and we have a long season ahead with a lot of hard-working people. On to Bristol on dirt.

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com/CO-OP Financial Services Ford Mustang:
“Our balance was kind of off all day, but our HighPoint.com/CO-OP Financial Services Ford Mustang was pretty good that last run. We were just too far behind to do much with it by then. Other than that, we had a nice clean race and we’ve learned a lot that we’ll be able to bring back in July. I’m pretty excited to get to Bristol and do some dirt racing next week. Maybe that’s what we need to turn things around.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Food City Dirt Race on Sunday, March 28 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

SHR Post-Race Report: Instacart 500K at Phoenix

 

Date: March 14, 2021
Event: Instacart 500k (Round 5 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Phoenix Raceway (1-mile oval)
Format: 312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/115 laps/122 laps)

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

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 18th, Finished 6th / Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 32nd, Finished 11th / Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 26th, Finished 22nd / Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 24th, Finished 31st / Running, completed 308 of 312 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (7th with 176 points, 60 out of first)
● Cole Custer (20th with 86 points, 150 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (25th with 73 points, 163 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (26th with 70 points, 166 out of first)

Race Notes:
● Harvick earned his fourth top-10 of the season and his series-leading 26th top-10 in 37 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Phoenix.
● This was Harvick’s 16th straight top-10 at Phoenix. He hasn’t finished outside the top-10 since a lone 13th-place finish in March 2013.
● Harvick finished seventh in Stage 1 to earn four bonus points and sixth in Stage 2 to earn five more bonus points.
● Almirola’s 11th-place finish was his best so far this season.
● This was Almirola’s third straight top-15 at Phoenix.
● Almirola finished eighth in Stage 2 to earn three bonus points.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 45 laps.
● Twenty-four of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

Phoenix Quotes

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang:
“We struggled on the restarts and we just could never get the track position. After seven or eight laps, it felt like our Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang was good enough to run in the top-three, but we could never get going on the restarts to be able to get that track position.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Pit Boss Grills Ford Mustang:
“Finally, a solid day. Proud of my team. We ran in the top-10 most of the day and had a really good Pit Boss Grills Ford on the longer runs. And then there at the end it turned out to be two short runs. All in all, a great day, turned all the bad races around and almost got a top-10. Thanks so much to Pit Boss Grills and representing the Pro Series on the car. That was fun to run up front, be competitive and get out of here with a solid finish. We made some hay and a little ground on the points situation, and we’re going to have a lot better starting spot and pit selection going to Atlanta. We’ll keep this momentum going next week, where we’re running another Pit Boss Grills Ford.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang:
“We didn’t unload how we wanted and it’s a shame to have something like that happen after we worked so hard to get our HaasTooling.com Mustang running to where we were in the mix and could compete for top-10. I hate it for the guys. It wasn’t the finish we deserved, that’s for sure, but we’ve got some ideas for how to get things turned around.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang:
“The results don’t show how strong our HighPoint.com Ford Mustang was today. We have a lot we need to work on, but to run up front for a while in the final stage was really encouraging. We drove from the back to the top-10 twice, but problems with the pit guns and jack on our stops really held us back from the finish we deserved. We’ve just got to stay patient and focused, and we’ll have a race where it all comes together soon enough.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, March 21 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

SHR Post-Race Report: Las Vegas 400

Date: March 7, 2021
Event: Las Vegas 400 (Round 4 of 36)
Series: 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)

Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 1st, Finished 20th / Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 24th, Finished 21st / Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 20th, Finished 25th / Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 28th, Finished 38th / Accident, completed 178 of 267 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (7th with 136 points, 51 out of first)
● Cole Custer (19th with 80 points, 107 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (26th with 58 points, 129 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (28th with 41 points, 146 out of first)

Race Notes:
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie.
● The Las Vegas 400 marked Briscoe’s fourth career NASCAR Cup Series start and his first at Las Vegas.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 30 laps.
● Only 14 of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

Las Vegas Quotes

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang:
“That was not the day we were looking for. It was a struggle all day to find rear grip, and we couldn’t attack the corners the way we wanted to on entry and exit. We’ll do everything we can to improve our performance for the next one. We have a lot of season left.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang:
“It felt like every race so far I’ve learned a ton just throughout the race. Obviously I wish I could start the race kind of where I end, knowing what I need from a speed standpoint. I feel like I learned a lot today, and hopefully when we come back here it’ll help. It’s just hard with no practice to show up and go, but I feel like we made gains on it, and right now I feel that’s the most important thing.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Instacart 500k on Sunday, March 14 at Phoenix Raceway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.