In the Know – Martinsville

“In the Know”
Martinsville Speedway

This Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race is the last chance for the eligible postseason contenders to earn a spot in the 2021 Championship 4 Round. Catch all the action at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Saturday’s Xfinity Series race will also see 8 playoff contenders fighting for a spot in the Championship 4 Round. You can follow the action at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and MRN.

The Details

NASCAR Cup Series Overview

Event: Xfinity 500 (Round 35 of 36)
Time/Date: 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 31
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway
Layout: .526-mile oval
Laps/Miles: 500 laps/263 miles
Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 130 laps / Stage 2: 130 laps / Final Stage: 240 laps
TV/Radio: NBC / MRN Radio / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

What Our Drivers are Saying:

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

How are you approaching this Sunday’s race at Martinsville, where you’re racing the track and those eight drivers still in the playoffs? More specifically, do you approach this race differently than you did when you raced at Martinsville back in April?
“It’s pretty much the same. You have to be on the offensive a lot of the time, but you also have to put yourself in good positions defensively, as well, to make sure you don’t get your car torn up, or get it torn up as little as possible as you go through the day. It’s definitely a little bit different at the end of the year just because of the fact that everybody’s agenda is different. You have eight guys who are left racing for a championship. You’ve got guys that want to win races and you’ve got guys who just want to have a good finish. So, there are a number of different agendas that, really, we’re dealing with all the way through the playoffs.”

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

What does it take to run well at short tracks?
“No matter what the situation is, we as racers always love going to short tracks. It’s what we grew up doing and it puts the outcome in the driver’s hands more than the superspeedway races. You can’t pass much, so it’s extremely important that you stay mentally and physically focused throughout the entire run.”

Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

Martinsville doesn’t really compare to any of the other short tracks you race at throughout the year, so how do you feel about going back there as the season winds down?
“I’m not really sure what to expect. I have a hard time at these short tracks and you could see that at Richmond, too. I just didn’t grow up doing this kind of racing and there isn’t anything I can apply from my background that works at these places. It’s good that I’ve at least had a chance to run Martinsville in the Cup car this time around, but I’m honestly still kind of lost with what to expect. We’re not going to have the best starting spot, which isn’t great because that means it’ll be easier to get caught up in something early on. But, I think it will be an exciting race. Martinsville has always been one of my favorites to watch as a fan and, with the way the points are right now, I would expect it to be entertaining. Everyone is going to be mad by the end of it and fighting for whatever spot they can get.”

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Dixie Vodka Peach Cocktail Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

What would it mean to you to win one of those grandfather clock trophies?
“I’d have to figure out somewhere to put it. (Laughs.) I’d probably put it somewhere in my kitchen, or in the middle of the living room or something, because it would be probably the biggest and best trophy I’d ever gotten. That’s one every single person wants. It’s so unique, it means so much in our community in NASCAR to win that trophy. At the end of that race, everybody wants to get that clock and they’re going to beat and bang for it.”

SHR Stats

Kevin Harvick has made 40 career starts at the .526-mile oval and recorded 20 top-10s, the second-highest tally among all active Cup Series drivers. Only Hamlin has more top-10s (22). Among those 20 top-10s earned by Harvick is a win in April 2011. He defeated Dale Earnhardt Jr., by .727 of a second to win the Goody’s Fast Relief 500. It was Harvick’s 20th NASCAR Cup Series start at the track and his 16th career Cup Series victory. Harvick now has 58 career Cup Series wins and is alone at 10th on the all-time win list. Harvick’s best Martinsville finish since joining SHR in 2014 is a pair of fifth-place results – Oct. 29, 2017 and March 20, 2018. He finished ninth in his most recent visit to the track in April.

In 26 starts, Aric Almirola has earned one top-five finish, five top-10s, and has led 75 laps. Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz visited victory lane at Martinsville in March 2018 with former Stewart-Haas Racing driver and current FOX analyst Clint Bowyer after leading 215 laps. “Buga” is in his sixth fulltime season at SHR and his second with Almirola.

Chase Briscoe’s first trip to the track affectionately known as “The Paperclip” back in April was the first true short-track test for the Cup Series rookie. The No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford team finished 27th after sustaining damage in multiple incidents. When the Xfinity Series made its return to Martinsville in the fall of 2020 after a 13-year hiatus, Briscoe finished seventh.

Sunday’s 500-lap race around the .526-mile, paperclip-shaped Martinsville oval will be Cole Custer’s 74th Cup Series start and his fourth at Martinsville. The 23-year-old had a best Martinsville finish of 13th last October before returning this past April and recording an 18th-place finish. Custer had solid runs among his six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Martinsville from 2014 through 2016. He qualified on the pole and led a race-high 96 of 200 laps before finishing fourth in the October 2015 race, when he drove the No. 00 JR Motorsports entry.

Of Special Interest

Be sure to check out our merch hauler at Martinsville Speedway this weekend! If you can’t attend in person, you can shop anytime at store.stewarthaasracing.com

GEARWRENCH® Partners with Stewart-Haas Racing

Premier Hand Tool Brand Will Serve as Primary Partner for Kevin Harvick and No. 4 Team in Five NASCAR Cup Series Races;

 

GEARWRENCH Becomes Official Tool Partner of Stewart-Haas Racing and Secures Naming Rights to Main Assembly Area, the ‘GEARWRENCH Garage’

 

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 27, 2021) – GEARWRENCH®, a premier hand tool brand from Apex Tool Group, has joined Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the championship-winning NASCAR team co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart and industrialist Gene Haas.

Headlining the partnership is a five-race primary sponsorship of NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 team of SHR that begins with the 2022 season. GEARWRENCH will be featured as an associate sponsor on the No. 4 Ford Mustang when not serving in a primary role.

Additionally, GEARWRENCH becomes the Official Tool Partner of SHR and gets naming rights to the main assembly area of SHR’s 140,000-square-foot headquarters, which will be known as the GEARWRENCH Garage.

“This partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing provides GEARWRENCH with a 360-degree activation plan that allows us to authentically highlight our tools and all that they’re capable of,” said Janet Bolin, Brand Manager, Sports Partnerships, GEARWRENCH. “Kevin Harvick has proven to be a top performer in the NASCAR Cup Series for more than two decades and SHR is a team built by racers, for racers. It’s a hands-on organization, and that’s why it’s a great fit for the premier hand tool brand.”

Since the launch of its original and patented five-degree ratcheting wrench in 1996, GEARWRENCH has continuously led the industry with breakthroughs in wrenches, ratchets, sockets and specialty tools. Today, the GEARWRENCH product range comprises a complete line of tools for automotive and industrial users while also offering tool storage, lighting and shop assist equipment.

“We’ve prided ourselves in putting the right people in the right positions at SHR, and the people who turn wrenches on our racecars are the best in the business,” said Stewart, who scored 16 of his 49 career NASCAR Cup Series wins as a driver/owner at SHR, along with his third and final championship in 2011. “We have high standards, and GEARWRENCH tools not only meet, but exceed those standards. This is a partner who is as dedicated to winning as we are.”

Harvick has won 58 NASCAR Cup Series races, placing him 10th on the series’ all-time win list. The 45-year-old from Bakersfield, California, won the championship in 2014, and the 2022 season will be his 22nd year competing at NASCAR’s highest level.

“I’m the guy driving the racecar, but NASCAR is definitely a team sport,” Harvick said. “Preparation is one of the most important elements of success. If you’re not prepared when you come to the track, you’ve already lost. Having the right tools for the job is a must, and having a partner in GEARWRENCH makes us a better race team.”

About GEARWRENCH®:
GEARWRENCH is a premier hand tool brand from Apex Tool Group. Since the original five-degree ratcheting wrench launch, the GEARWRENCH brand has led the industry with breakthroughs in pass-thru ratchets, sockets, screw/nut drivers, pliers and specialty tools. For more information, visit www.gearwrench.com.

About Apex Tool Group:
Apex Tool Group, LLC is one of the largest worldwide producers of industrial hand and power tools, tool storage, drill chucks, chain and electronic soldering products. Apex serves a multitude of global markets, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, energy, hardware, industrial and consumer retail. For more information, visit www.ApexToolGroup.com.

About Stewart-Haas Racing:
Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 90 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. For more information, please visit us online at StewartHaasRacing.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

-SHR-

Post-Race Recap: Kansas

STEWART-HAAS RACING
Hollywood Casino 400

Date: Oct. 24, 2021
Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 34 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (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: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 11th, Finished 3rd / Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 22nd, Finished 18th / Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 19th, Finished 19th / Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 20th, Finished 26th / Running, completed 263 of 267 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 2,293 points)
● Aric Almirola (15th with 2,147 points)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 638 points)
● Cole Custer (27th with 533 points)

Playoff Standings (One race to go in Round of 8):
1. Kyle Larson (4,181 points) 2 wins
2. Chase Elliott (4,107 points) +34
3. Denny Hamlin (4,105 points) +32
4. Kyle Busch (4,074 points) +1
5. Ryan Blaney (4,073 points) -1
6. Martin Truex Jr. (4,071 points) -3
7. Brad Keselowski (4,068 points) -6
8. Joey Logano (4,048 points) -26

SHR Notes:
● Harvick earned his 10th top-five and his 23rd top-10 of the season.
● This was Harvick’s 11th top-three in 32 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kansas. It was also his 12th top-five and 19th top-10 at Kansas, each of which are the most among NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● This was Harvick’s third straight top-three at Kansas. He scored runner-up finishes in his prior two visits to the track.
● This was Harvick’s second straight top-five. He finished fifth in the series’ prior race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
● Harvick finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and fifth in Stage 2 to earn six more bonus points.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 29th time this season.
● Briscoe’s 19th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Kansas – 20th, earned in his first start at the track in May.

Race Notes:
● Kyle Larson won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his 15th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his series-leading ninth of the season and his first at Kansas. His margin over second-place Chase Elliott was 3.619 seconds.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 33 laps.
● Only 15 of the 40 drivers in the Hollywood Casino 400 finished on the lead lap.

Kansas Quotes

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Subway Delivery Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We were just getting tight at the end of the runs and the 5 (Larson), 9 (Elliott) and 1 (Busch) cars could really hold it wide open. I needed to get past the 5 so I was trying to hold it wide open and had a lot of wheel into it and got a little tight as we went to the last half of that run. I’m really proud of everyone on the Subway Delivery Ford Mustang. We closed a huge gap at 1.5-mile racetracks and everyone is doing a great job.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Farmland/Hy-Vee Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was a pretty tough day. We had good speed early on, but our Farmland/Hy-Vee Mustang was just too tight, and I couldn’t get it to turn without it getting really tight on exit. The guys did all they could, it’s just tough to come back from being a few laps down. We’ll regroup and head on to Martinsville.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I felt like we had a good car, better than we’ve had, and our Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Waffles Ford team did a good job of making it better today. It wasn’t perfect, by any means, but we just needed a little better luck getting the Lucky Dog so we could go racing there at the end. But it was a good job by everyone today.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 DEKALB Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was a tough day with the DEKALB Ford. The handling just was never where we needed it to be. The team did a good job of making something out of it, getting one of the laps back that we lost. We will just take it and look to Martinsville.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Xfinity 500 on Sunday, Oct. 31, at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. It is the penultimate race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 8. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-

Riley Herbst Kansas NXS Race Report

Herbst Finishes 13th at Kansas
Monster Energy Ford Driver Rebounds for 17th Top-15 of Season

Date: Oct. 23, 2021
Event: Kansas Lottery 300 (Round 31 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 13th / 13th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 11th (2,091 points)

Race Winner: Ty Gibbs of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: AJ Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)

Overview:
Riley Herbst and the No. 98 Monster Energy team rebounded from an unscheduled pit stop for a flat tire during the final stage and finished 13th. It was their 17th top-15 of the season. The third-generation racer from Las Vegas rolled off 13th for the 200-lap race. He climbed as high as 10th before reporting that he was struggling to turn the right front because of a tight-handling racecar. After staying out during the lap-20 competition caution, Herbst was unable to overcome the balance issues of his No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang and fell back to 15th, where he finished the first stage. Crew chief Richard Boswell called his driver down pit road during the break for four tires, fuel and a double adjustment. Herbst restarted 11th on lap 52. As the second stage went caution-free, the Monster Energy driver continued to struggle with a tight Ford Mustang over the long run. He finished 11th in the stage, and the No. 98 team pitted for four tires, fuel and an adjustment during the break. When the green flag waved for the final stage on lap 96, Herbst restarted ninth and avoided an incident during the opening laps of the final stage and took over the sixth position. He continued to run in the top-10 until a restart on lap 108, when his car fired off too tight and he fell back in the field. On lap 122, Herbst made contact with the wall while running 11th and was forced to pit for four tires and fuel due to a right-rear flat. He rejoined the field 30th, one lap down, but kept the fight alive by racing up to 22nd in just nine laps. The team caught a caution on lap 136 and took the wave-around to regain the lost lap. While he initially struggled on old tires, Herbst caught another break with a caution on lap 155 and was able to pit for his final set of tires and fuel, hoping the race would go green to help with the team’s strategy. The Monster Energy driver raced his way all the way up to 11th before another caution on lap 178 ruined the strategy. Herbst restarted fifth with 16 laps to go in the race. Unable to hold off competitors with fresh tires, he fell back to 14th on the restart, then picked up one position before the checkered flag.

Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Not the day we were hoping for, but I’m proud of the No. 98 Monster Energy team for never giving up. We recovered from that right-rear flat in the final stage and looked like we could finish in the top-10, but the cautions didn’t play out in our favor at the end. We’ll head to Martinsville.”

Notes:
● Ty Gibbs won the Kansas Lottery 300 to score his fourth victory in 18 Xfinity Series career starts. His margin over second-place Austin Cindric was .759 of a second.
● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 46 laps.
● Twenty-two of the 40 drivers in the Kansas Lottery 300 finished on the lead lap.
● Cindric and AJ Allmendinger emerged tied atop the championship standings with third-place Justin Allgaier 38 points back.

Next Up:
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Dead On Tools 250 on Saturday, Oct. 30, at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race starts at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-

In the Know – Kansas

“In the Know”
Kansas Speedway

There have been 31 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway, one event from 2001 – 2010 and two races per year since 2011. Three drivers have started all 31 NASCAR Cup Series races and lead the series in starts at Kansas Speedway – one of those is our own Kevin Harvick.

Kansas Speedway is the final 1.5-mile track on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Check out the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, October 24, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The Details

NASCAR Cup Series Overview

Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 33 of 36)
Time/Date: 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 24
Location: Kansas Speedway
Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Laps/Miles: 267 laps/400.5 miles
Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 107 laps
TV/Radio: NBCSN / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview

● Event: Kansas Lottery 300 (Round 31 of 33)
● Date: Saturday, Oct. 23
● Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City
● Layout: 1.5-mile oval
● Time/TV/Radio: 3 p.m. EDT on NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

What Our Drivers are Saying:

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Farmland/Hy-Vee Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

What goals do you have for the remaining three races of the season?
“We’re sitting 14th in the standings right now, so finishing here or a spot better would be better than last year and the year before. Overall, our goal is to have a few more clean races without any issues or bad luck. Last weekend at Texas, we didn’t really get to see what kind of speed we had after all the damage in the first stage. We were lucky to make it through the way we did, but we’re usually really good at Texas and didn’t get to show that. Kansas will provide some good redemption if we can run a clean race.”

Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 DEKALB Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

You were having a good run at Texas last weekend, one of your best on an intermediate track this year. Can you carry that over to Kansas this weekend?
“We’ve come a long way since the last race at Kansas. Just last weekend, we were able to show we can come into the 550 (horsepower) races with top-10 speed. I think that can for sure transfer over to this weekend and we’ll try to go pick up where we left off. Kansas is a place where you can move around and find your line – the opposite of Texas, really. I’ve always enjoyed racing there, reminds me a lot of dirt racing and having those options to find what you need as the track and car change.”

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Waffles Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

This will be your final race of the season on a mile-and-a-half tri-oval. What can you carry over from this year’s previous races on the intermediate tracks?
“Every single track is different. You can’t bring the same thing to them. We struggled a little bit at some of those races earlier this year, but I think we have a really good idea on what we need to bring to Kansas this weekend. We’ve been working hard to put in all the preparation we can, but it all still comes down to making our best educated guess because we don’t have practice or anything to work our cars in before the race. You just have to hope you hit it right.”

Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Subway Delivery Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

Your history at Kansas is impressive. Three wins, five second-place finishes, 10 top-threes, 11 top-fives, 18 top-10s and 949 laps led across 31 career NASCAR Cup Series starts. What makes you so good there?
“I think Kansas has been a great racetrack and, really from a driver’s standpoint, a fun racetrack because of the fact that it’s worn in so well. You can race at the top of the racetrack, which is the preferred groove as the tires wear out. It’s faster at the bottom of the racetrack on new tires. But as a driver, having options is something that is a lot of fun. As they repave Atlanta and you look at some of the other racetracks, really Kansas is going to be one of the more unique racetracks because of the fact the asphalt and the shape of the racetrack is so driver-friendly as far as where you can drive on the racetrack. You can literally drive from the wall to the apron all the way around the racetrack. So, it’s a fun racetrack. It’s been good to us and, hopefully, we can continue that trend on Sunday in our Subway Delivery Ford Mustang.”

Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang (Xfinity Series)

You’ve had some strong runs at Kansas in the past. Talk about your experience at the 1.5-mile oval.
“Kansas has been good to me in the past. I got my best finish in July 2020. The No. 98 team’s intermediate-track package is really good, and they’re the defending winners at Kansas, too. We’ve had an up-and-down season on the 1.5-mile tracks, but I have high hopes for Kansas. I’m hoping we can be in contention to win at the end.”

SHR Stats

Sunday’s 400-mile race will be Cole Custer’s 73rd Cup Series start and his fourth at Kansas. The 23-year-old from Ladera Ranch, California, had solid runs in both Kansas outings last year, finishing seventh in July and 14th in October. The seventh-place finish in July was his fourth Cup Series top-10 in 19 starts. His bid for a second-consecutive Kansas top-10 last October was thwarted by a late-race speeding penalty on pit road. He finished 24th when the series last visited Kansas the first weekend in May. Custer has four Kansas appearances in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, the most recent three in the No. 00 SHR Ford, with a best finish of 11th in the 2019 event after leading a race-high 85 laps.

In his last two NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas, Kevin Harvick has finished second. In his most recent visit to the 1.5-mile oval back in May, Harvick finished .336 of a second behind race winner Kyle Busch. In last year’s Hollywood Casino 400, Harvick finished .312 of a second behind Joey Logano. Harvick scored his first NASCAR Cup Series win at Kansas in the 2013 Hollywood Casino 400 with a massive 1.140-second margin over runner-up Kurt Busch. Harvick scored his next Kansas win in the 2016 Hollywood Casino 400 with another impressive performance, crossing the stripe 1.183 seconds ahead of next best Carl Edwards. Harvick’s most recent Kansas victory came in May 2018 when he beat Martin Truex, Jr., by .390 of a second. Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon lead the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Kansas with three victories apiece. Only Harvick, Hamlin and Logano are still active, and only eight of the 15 Cup Series winners at Kansas are active. Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 marks the 32nd Cup Series race at Kansas. Harvick’s 11 top-fives at Kansas are the most among active drivers, as are his 18 top-10s, and he leads nearly every Loop Data category: Average Finish of 7.9 (series-best); Average Running Position of 8.644 (series-best): Driver Rating of 109.7 (series-best); 642 Fastest Laps Run (series-best); 5,863 Laps in the Top-15 (81.7 percent, series-most) and 1,055 Quality Passes (series-most).

In May, Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) earned a 20th-place finish at Kansas but have since finished inside the top-15 five times at intermediate tracks with a best of 11th earned twice – in May at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in and in August at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

In 19 starts, Aric Almirola has seven top-10 finishes and has led 69 laps at Kansas Speedway.

The Kansas Lottery 300 will mark Riley Herbst’s third career Xfinity Series start at Kansas. His best finish at the 1.5-mile oval is ninth, earned in his first Xfinity Series start at the track in July 2020. In addition to his Xfinity Series starts at Kansas, the third-generation racer from Las Vegas also has one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start and four ARCA Menards Series starts. His best Kansas finish is fourth in the 2018 ARCA race.

Of Special Interest

Be sure to check out our merch hauler at Kansas Speedway this weekend! If you can’t attend in person, you can shop anytime at store.stewarthaasracing.com

SHR Post-Race Recap: Texas

STEWART-HAAS RACING
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Date: Oct. 17, 2021
Event: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (Round 33 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 334 laps, broken into three stages (105 laps/105 laps/124 laps)

Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 24th, Finished 5th / Running, completed 334 of 334 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 26th, Finished 15th / Running, completed 334 of 334 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 22nd, Finished 18th / Running, completed 331 of 334 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 20th, Finished 19th / Running, completed 330 of 334 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 2,248 points)
● Aric Almirola (14th with 2,136 points)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 620 points)
● Cole Custer (28th with 514 points)

Playoff Standings (Two races to go in Round of 8):
1. Kyle Larson (4,123 points) 1 win
2. Ryan Blaney (4,072 points) +17
3. Denny Hamlin (4,064 points) +9
4. Kyle Busch (4,063 points) +8
5. Chase Elliott (4,055 points) -8
6. Brad Keselowski (4,048 points) -15
7. Martin Truex Jr. (4,041 points) -22
8. Joey Logano (4,020 points) -43

SHR Notes:
● Harvick earned his ninth top-five and 22nd top-10 of the season. This was his 13th top-five and 24th top-10 in 37 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only two finishes outside the top-10 at Texas. During this time, he has scored 10 top-fives – three of which were wins while three others were second-place finishes.
● Harvick finished fourth in Stage 2 to earn seven bonus points.
● Briscoe earned his 11th top-15 of the season and it came in his first career NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 28th time this season.
● Briscoe finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and eighth in Stage 2 to earn three more bonus points.

Race Notes:
● Kyle Larson won the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 to score his 14th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his series-leading eighth of the season and his first at Texas. His margin over second-place William Byron was .459 of a second.
● There were 11 caution periods for a total of 55 laps.
● Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 finished on the lead lap.

Texas Quotes

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We were really loose to start the race and the team made some good adjustments on the car. When they all crashed on the backstretch we were able to start around 16th and just work our way up from there. Overall, it was a good day. The team worked hard to put everything together and get us there at the end.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield/Walk-On’s Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We just couldn’t recover from the damage we got early in the race. Our No. 10 Smithfield/Walk-On’s Ford was just too tight, and I couldn’t get it to turn with the damage. Man, that was a long day. The guys on pit road worked hard to keep us going. We’ve run so well at Texas in the past, so it’s a bummer we didn’t get to truly see what speed we brought. But it is what it is, and we’ll move on to Kansas.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Not the day we wanted at Texas. That wreck in the first stage really hurt a strong run for the No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Waffles Ford Mustang. I’m proud of our team for never giving up, though. They fixed up our car, and then we used those cautions at the end to get back into the top-20. We’ll move onto Kansas.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“The finish didn’t show it, but the guys did a great job making our Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford better all day long. I really appreciate the effort, especially after last week. It got a little crazy at the end, there, which makes you wonder what might have been if we could’ve avoided at least some of that. But it is what it is.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, Oct. 24 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It is the eighth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 8. It starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-

Riley Herbst Texas NXS Race Report

Herbst Finishes 12th at Texas
Monster Energy Ford Driver Earns 16th Top-15 of Season

Date: Oct. 16, 2021
Event: Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 (Round 30 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 20th / 12th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 11th (2,067 points)

Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: John Hunter Nemechek of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Overview:
After a 200-lap battle in the Lone Star State, Riley Herbst and the No. 98 Monster Energy team brought home their 16th top-15 finish of the 2021 season. The Las Vegas native finished 12th in Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. After starting 20th, Herbst wasted no time in his drive forward, moving up to 16th by lap eight. When the competition caution came out on lap 20, the 22-year-old driver reported that his No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang fired off fine but became tight. Crew chief Richard Boswell kept Herbst out on the track to stick to the team’s pit strategy. After the lap-26 restart, Herbst ran as high as 13th for the remainder of the stage. A late-stage caution on lap 40 presented an opportunity for the No. 98 team. Herbst pitted for four tires, fuel, and a double adjustment to combat his tight-handling racecar. A majority of the leaders stayed out at that time, so while Herbst finished the stage in 20th, he was able to restart the second stage in sixth. When the race went back green on lap 52, the Las Vegas native was consistent. He ran as high as fifth and reported that his Ford Mustang was the best it had been all day. Herbst finished sixth to earn five bonus points and restarted the final stage seventh on lap 98 after a scheduled pit stop. He was battling for eighth when an accident brought out the caution flag on lap 100. The team kept its driver on the track to restart eighth. Herbst struggled in the dirty air on the restart and fell back to 14th. When the caution came out on lap 142, Herbst was running 13th. He reported that the car was good, but he continued to struggle with passing, similar to many other competitors. The No. 98 Monster Energy team brought its driver down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. Herbst continued to run in the top-12 after the restart. He was 11th when another caution flag flew on lap 172. Boswell made the call to bring Herbst down pit road for the final stop of the race to put on four tires and fill up on fuel. In the final 21 laps, Herbst battled in the top-12, where he ultimately finished.

Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Man, Texas is a tough track. We struggled with a tight Monster Energy Ford Mustang initially. During the second stage, we really showed some speed while running in the top-10. Unfortunately, it was hard to pass all day, so when we got shuffled back to 12th on the final restart, it was hard to get back up to the front. We’ll take what we learned and head to Kansas.”

Notes:
● Herbst finished sixth in Stage 2 to earn five bonus points.
● Herbst’s 12th-place result equaled his previous best finish at Texas – 12th, earned in June.
● John Hunter Nemechek won the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 to score his second career Xfinity Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Texas. His margin over second-place Daniel Hemric was 1.316 seconds.
● There were ten caution periods for a total of 54 laps.
● Nineteen of the 40 drivers in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 finished on the lead lap.
● A.J. Allmendinger remains the championship leader after Texas with an four-point advantage over second-place Cindric.

Next Up:
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-

In the Know – Texas

“In the Know”
Texas Motor Speedway

With the NASCAR All-Star Race moving to the Spring Texas date, this week’s race will be the first championship points-paying race of the 2021 season. The Playoff points have reset and the eight drivers advancing to the Round of 8 have their sights on a win at Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500.

Texas Motor Speedway was repaved in early 2017 and is still considered a low tire wear track.

“Texas has begun to age a little bit, but it is still grouped in with some of the more ‘low wear’ tracks that NASCAR goes to,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “We were able to make a compound change to the right-side tire here last fall to give the cars more grip. We have seen some good results from this tire set-up since then, having run it at Texas, Michigan and Las Vegas already this season. We want tires to wear at Texas because of the speeds these cars are running. Speed generates heat, and as this tire wears, it runs a little cooler and performs well over a long run.”

The Details

NASCAR Cup Series Overview

Event: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (Round 33 of 36)
Time/Date: 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 17
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Laps/Miles: 334 laps, 501 miles
Format: Stage 1: 105 laps / Stage 2: 105 laps / Final Stage: 124 laps
TV/Radio: NBC/ PRN/ SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview

● Event: Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 (Round 30 of 33)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 16
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Time/TV/Radio: 3 p.m. EDT on NBC/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

What Our Drivers are Saying:

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

You ran well at the All-Star Race this year at Texas. Should we expect similar results this weekend?
“Texas this year was one of the first races that we brought really good speed and had an overall good day. We won the All-Star Open and advanced to the All-Star Race and still had a good run at it. Texas has always been good to us. We found something earlier this year there and our team has continued to work hard and make improvements. We led some laps in 2019 when we weren’t in the playoffs at Texas and just came up short behind Kevin (Harvick), so we know this team can find the speed to compete even in the midst of being outside of the playoffs.”

Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

Typically we race at Texas twice a year, but that changed for this season with the addition of a race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin and the All-Star Weekend moving to Fort Worth. How prepared do you feel for your first full race at Texas?
“I’ve always run pretty good at Texas, so I don’t feel lost going into this weekend. I haven’t won there, but I’ve finished second a couple of times in Truck and Xfinity, so I’ve had good results, but it’ll be a bit different. I’m a little curious about how different it will be with resin on the track instead of the traction compound we’ve used in the past. In the All-Star Open, I felt like our car was really, really good, so maybe we can take something from that. But it’s hard to know if anything from that race will apply because we were running with less horsepower, and you could do some other things with the car that I don’t know if we’ll be able to do now. We’re not going to have the most ideal starting position and Texas is a place where track position is important. We’re going to have to do some things to gain that position because I feel like at Texas you run the speed of the guys you’re around, so if we can get up front with the faster cars, I think we could stay there.”

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Waffles Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

Texas seems to be one of the tracks on the schedule drivers seem to get just a little bit more excited about. Do you feel that’s the case?
“Yes it is. If you want to see some cars going really fast, then Texas is the place to go. I mean, it’s just a big track, a lot of grip, a lot of speed. We’re just going as hard as we can pretty much the whole lap and the whole race. And honestly, you usually see more incidents there than a lot of the other intermediate tracks because there’s not a whole lot of room to race. You’re constantly going to try and kind of fight over a line.”

Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang (Xfinity Series)

There are still four races to go in the 2021 season. What are your goals for the remainder of the year?
“The goal is to win one. That’s been my goal all season long, and we still have four more chances to get the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang to victory lane. We’ve grown all year, and despite the bad luck we’ve experienced, we’ve gotten better with each race. I know we can win.”

SHR Stats

Sunday’s 500-mile race will be Cole Custer’s 72nd Cup Series start and his third points-paying outing at Texas. An accident ended his day early in his Texas Cup Series debut in July 2020 before he returned in November to finish 14th. He also finished 14th at Texas this past June in his second career appearance in the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race. Custer was victorious at Texas in the November 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series race, one of his six outings at the track in that series. He has three other top-five finishes to go with an eighth-place result in his most recent Xfinity Series visit in November 2019.

In 20 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Aric Almirola has five top-10 finishes, one top-five, one pole, and has led 101 laps at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval in Fort Worth. Almirola finished runner-up there Nov. 3, 2019, behind teammate Kevin Harvick, who was vying for a championship. Earlier this year, Texas hosted the NASCAR All-Star Race, where Almirola pointed his way in by winning the All-Star Open. He finished eighth.

Chase Briscoe finished fourth in the non-points-paying All-Star Open in June. In five NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Texas, Briscoe finished in the top-five twice with a best finish of second in the first of two races at the Fort Worth track in 2020. He also finished in the top-five in both of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series outings in 2017.

The Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 will mark Riley Herbst’s 73rd career Xfinity Series start and his fourth at Texas. Herbst’s best finish at Texas is 12th, earned in the series’ prior visit to the track in June.

Of Special Interest

Be sure to check out our merch hauler at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend! If you can’t attend in person, you can shop anytime at store.stewarthaasracing.com

SHR Post-Race Recap: Charlotte ROVAL

STEWART-HAAS RACING
Bank of America Roval 400

Date: Oct. 10, 2021
Event: Bank of America Roval 400 (Round 32 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval (2.28-mile, 17-turn road course)
Format: 109 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/25 laps/59 laps)

Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

SHR Race Finish:
● Cole Custer (Started 23rd, Finished 18th / Running, completed 109 of 109 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 22nd, Finished 22nd / Running, completed 109 of 109 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 21st, Finished 24th / Running, completed 109 of 109 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 7th, Finished 33rd / Accident, completed 98 of 109 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 3,088 points, 25 points below top-eight cutoff)
● Aric Almirola (15th with 2,117 points)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 590 points)
● Cole Custer (28th with 496 points)

Playoff Standings to Begin Round of 8:
1. Kyle Larson (4,065 points)
2. Denny Hamlin (4,030 points) -35
3. Martin Truex Jr. (4,029 points) -36
4. Ryan Blaney (4,024 points) -41
5. Kyle Busch (4,023 points) -42
6. Chase Elliott (4,022 points) -43
7. Joey Logano (4,013 points) -52
8. Brad Keselowski (4,008 points) -57

Failed to Advance to Round of 8:
9. Kevin Harvick (3,088 points) -25
10. Christopher Bell (3,085 points) -28
11. William Byron (3,070 points) -43
12. Alex Bowman (3,061 points) -52

SHR Notes:
● Harvick did not advance beyond the Round of 12 for the first time since the inception of the elimination-style NASCAR Playoff format in 2014. He was vying for his eighth appearance in the Round of 8.
● The Bank of America Roval 400 marked Harvick’s milestone 750th career NASCAR Cup Series start. He is one of just 13 drivers in series history to make 750 or more starts.
● Harvick finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn one bonus point and third in Stage 2 to earn eight more bonus points.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 27th time this season.

Race Notes:
● Kyle Larson won the Bank of America Roval 400 to score his 13th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his series-leading seventh of the season and his first on the Roval. His margin over second-place Tyler Reddick was .782 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 18 laps.
● Thirty-one of the 39 drivers in the Bank of America Roval 400 finished on the lead lap.

Charlotte ROVAL Quotes

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.comFord Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“That was a rough one for us. We got caught up in two incidents on the track, but I’m proud of the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com team for never giving up and continuing to work to get our car better. The lap times we were putting down were fast, but we were just stuck in the back of the pack, where it’s harder to pass. We’ll take what we learned and head to Texas.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Ford Warriors in Pink Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We just didn’t have the handling in the braking zones today. It’s tough because our turn in the corners were better, but the back was so loose when trying to out-brake someone. We’ll learn from it and move on. Looking forward to Texas next weekend. We almost won and had a good run this year in the All-Star race.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School/HighPoint.com Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Our handling was so off today, and the team continued to make adjustments on it but it just wasn’t stable enough to outbrake guys and make up any ground. We finally got to a place where it was much better in the last 20 laps or so, but we’ll have to go back and look at what we can do to start off in a better place in the future.”

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I just pushed it in there too hard and I got the tire locked up and I couldn’t stop it once I felt like I needed to go to get a couple spots back that I had lost, and I got the left-front locked up and I couldn’t get it to turn.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Sunday, Oct. 17 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It is the seventh race of the 10-race playoffs and the first race in the Round of 8. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-

Riley Herbst Charlotte ROVAL NXS Race Report

Herbst Finishes 34th at the Roval
Late Mechanical Issue Thwarts Top-10 Run for Monster Energy Ford Driver

Date: Oct. 9, 2021
Event: Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (Round 29 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval (17-turn, 2.28-mile road course)
Format: 67 laps, broken into three stages (20 laps/20 laps/27 laps)
Start/Finish: 9th / 34th (Suspension, completed 61 of 68 laps)
Point Standing: 12th (2,037 points – did not advance to Round of 8)
Note: Race extended one lap past its scheduled 67-lap distance due a green-white-checkered finish.

Race Winner: A.J. Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Daniel Hemric of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Daniel Hemric of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Overview:
Bad luck found Riley Herbst and the No. 98 Monster Energy team again as a mechanical issue took them out the race seven laps shy of the checkered flag in Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval. Herbst’s day started strong after rolling off ninth for the scheduled 67-lap race. Despite reporting that he needed more rear and lateral grip in his Ford Mustang during the first stage, he stayed in the top-10 to finish seventh and earn four valuable stage points. He restarted the second stage 13th after pitting for four tires, fuel, and a major air-pressure adjustment. Herbst ran in the top-15 until the lap-29 caution. After a red flag for repairs to the track on lap 30, crew chief Richard Boswell brought his driver down pit road for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to combat a still-loose racecar. He restarted 28th and was told to play it safe so he could make a run in the final stage. He finished 15th in the second stage but was able to stay on track when a majority of the leaders pitted. He restarted the final stage fifth on lap 43. Herbst stayed in the top-10 for the opening laps of the stage, but trouble found him on lap 55 when the 22-year-old driver reported that something broke in the rear of his Ford Mustang. He attempted to stay on track and finish the race but was forced to pit on lap 61 to have the team look at the issue. The team’s playoffs hopes were dashed as Herbst was forced to head back to the garage on lap 61. He was scored 34th.

Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I think a truck arm broke – or something broke – when we were running seventh or eighth in the final stage. We didn’t have the pace to win, but it just stinks because maybe if Las Vegas didn’t happen, we would’ve been OK with a seventh-place finish. It is what it is. We can still race for a win this year. My primary goal this year was to win a race, so we still have races left to achieve my goal and we’ll try to do that.”

Notes:
● Herbst finished seventh in Stage 1 to earn four bonus points.
● Allmendinger won the Drive for the Cure 250 to score his 10th career Xfinity Series victory, his fifth of the season and his third straight on the Roval. His margin over second-place Austin Cindric was 3.192 seconds.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 13 laps.
● Twenty-seven of the 40 drivers in the Drive for the Cure 250 finished on the lead lap.
● Allmendinger is the championship leader after the Roval with a six-point advantage over second-place Cindric.

Next Up:
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-