CHASE BRISCOE – 2019 NXS New Hampshire Race Advance

Race Name: ROXOR 200 (Race 18 of 33)
Venue: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire
Television: 4:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Point Standings: 
– Cole Custer: 3rd; trails points leader by 75 points
– Chase Briscoe: 8th; trails points leader by 233 points

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.com, Ford Performance on Facebook, Ford Performance on Instagram and @FordPerformance on Twitter.

Spotter Tim Fedewa has raced at NHMS numerous times in the Xfinity Series. Will you be leaning on him at all during the weekend to help you get dialed in?

“Timmy is super helpful each and every week as my set of eyes up in the sky and this week will be no different. He does a really good job at guiding me where I need to be on the racetrack and telling me where I am losing or gaining time. I am looking forward to my first Xfinity Series race at New Hampshire and hopefully we can take our top-five from Kentucky and build on it.”

COLE CUSTER – 2019 NXS New Hampshire Race Advance

Race Name: ROXOR 200 (Race 18 of 33)
Venue: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire
Television: 4:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Point Standings: 
– Cole Custer: 3rd; trails points leader by 75 points
– Chase Briscoe: 8th; trails points leader by 233 points

Haas Automation, Inc., is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Founded by Gene Haas in 1983, Haas Automation manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are built in the company’s 1,100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets that provides the industry’s best sales, service and support while offering unparalleled cost-to-performance value.

You have two ninth-place finishes at NHMS. What do you need to do this weekend to improve upon those finishes?

“New Hampshire is a technical track and I feel like it hasn’t been one of my favorite tracks lately. I was able to win my first Truck Series race there in 2014, but since then it hasn’t been too great. They have been putting the traction compound down recently, so we just need to be able to get our car good through that, which we were able to do in Kentucky, so hopefully it transfers over to this weekend and we can be a contender for the win.”

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Kentucky Race Report

Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 19 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 7th/6th (Running, completed 269 of 269 laps)
Points: (14th with 481 points, 265 out of first)
Note: Race extended 2 laps past its scheduled 267-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

Race Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

● Clint Bowyer started seventh and finished 18th.
● Bowyer reported his car would not turn like he needed as he quickly dropped to 14th.
● Crew pitted Bowyer on lap 41 ahead of the rest of the field hoping to take advantage of new tires and clean air.
● On lap 48 a caution came out trapping Bowyer a lap behind the leaders.
● Bowyer took the wave-around and returned to the lead lap but in 28th.
● The crew called him to pit lane under caution on lap 65 for four tires and fuel.
● Bowyer drove from 28th to 18th before the stage ended.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

● Started second and finished fifth to earn six bonus points.
● Because of his late stop in the first stage Bowyer had enough fuel and fresh tires to stay on the track during the stage break, and he restarted second.
● Bowyer held second in the early going of the stage before fresher tires dropped him to third.
● Bowyer pitted for tires and fuel on lap 134 under green.
● By the end of the stage, Bowyer had climbed back to fifth.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-269):

● Started first and finished sixth.
● Because of the late stop in the second stage, Bowyer had enough fuel and fresh tires to stay on the track during the stage break and start the final stage in first.
● The No. 14 held the lead in a side-by-side battle with Kurt Busch until Bowyer pitted on lap 206.
● The rest of the field pitted 10 to 15 laps later, and Bowyer returned to the eighth position.
● A caution in the final laps forced a green-white-checkered finish that saw Bowyer climb as high as fifth in the final laps but finish sixth.

Notes:

● Bowyer earned his ninth top-10 of the season and his second top-10 in nine career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kentucky.
● Bowyer’s sixth-place result was just three spots shy of his previous best finish at Kentucky – third in June 2013.
● Since joining SHR in 2017, Bowyer has not finished outside the top-13 at Kentucky. He finished 12th in last year’s Kentucky 400.
● Bowyer led twice for 40 laps to score his first laps led at Kentucky.
● Kurt Busch won the Kentucky 400 to score his 31st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Kentucky. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .076 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
● Only 16 of the 36 drivers in the Kentucky 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Joey Logano remains the championship leader after Kentucky with an 11-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.

Clint Bowyer, Driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers / Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“It was a positive night for us. We finally got some stage points the last two races. It didn’t start out good but we did a good job of working together, staying in it and not giving up. We got some track position and right there at the end, I don’t know. Our SHR cars are extremely fast, we show that in qualifying, but they aren’t the best in race trim and traffic yet. We have work to do there and we know that. Given the month of June that we had, we had to get that monkey shook off our back. Right there at the end, you hate to give up fifth right there at the line but we could have just as easily wrecked in turn one on the restart and had another finish like we had in June. We needed a good solid finish and we got that and got some good positive mojo back with our team and we will build on it.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday, July 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Kentucky Race Report

Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 19 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/22nd (Running, completed 268 of 269 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd (645 points, 101 out of first)
Note: Race extended two laps past its scheduled 267-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

Race Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

● Kevin Harvick started fifth and finished sixth, earning five stage points.
● The No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang quickly moved to third by just the second lap.
● The first caution flag flew on lap 47 and Harvick, running third, reported the car was “tighter in (turns) three and four, better than the cars in front, but hard to pass them.”
● On the ensuing pit stop, the No. 4 crew put on right side tires, filled it with fuel and made a tire pressure adjustment.
● After three cautions in 16 laps, the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang was running fifth, and instead of pitting on lap 64 like many other teams, crew chief Rodney Childers opted to stay out and maintain track position.
● Harvick finished sixth but reported his car was “plowing”. The No. 4 crew fitted the Hunt Brothers Pizza machine with four tires, fuel and made wedge and tire pressure adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

● Harvick started 16th and finished 16th.
● Harvick drove his No. 4 Hunt Brother Pizza Ford Mustang into the top-10 by lap 119.
● Harvick had climbed to sixth on lap 139 before coming in for a green-flag pit stop on lap 149.
● The No. 4 crew put on four fresh tires, added fuel and made a tire pressure adjustment before returning to the track in 16th.
● On lap 158 while running 16th, Harvick reported the car was “vibrating like crazy, worse in the corners.”
● Pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment at the conclusion of the stage.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-269):

● Harvick started 13th and finished 22nd.
● Running 12th when the caution came out on lap 180, Harvick made a scheduled, four-tire pit stop. But an uncontrolled tire penalty dropped him back to 23rd for the lap-184 restart.
● On lap 207, the No. 4 machine began experiencing a power issue which prevented Harvick from regaining any more positions.

Notes:

● Kurt Busch won the Kentucky 400 to score his 31st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Kentucky. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .076 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
● Only 16 of the 36 drivers in the Kentucky 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Joey Logano remains the championship leader after Kentucky with an 11-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Foxwoods Casino 301 on Sunday, July 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

With more than 7,800 locations in 28 states, Hunt Brothers® Pizza is the nation’s largest brand of made-to-order pizza in the convenience store industry. Hunt Brothers Pizza offers original and thin crust pizzas available as a grab-and-go Hunk perfect for today’s on-the-go lifestyle or as a customizable whole pizza that is an exceptional value with All Toppings No Extra Charge®. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Hunt Brothers Pizza is family owned and operated with more than 25 years of experience serving great pizza to convenience store shoppers through its store partners.

ARIC ALMIROLA – 2019 Kentucky Race Report

Event:  Kentucky 400 (Round 19 of 36)
Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
Format:  267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish:  2nd/14th (Running, completed 269 of 269 laps)
Point standing:  10th (542 points, 204 out of first)
Note:  Race extended two laps past its scheduled 267-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

Race Winner:  Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner:  Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner:  Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

Aric Almirola started second, finished fifth and earned six bonus points.
● Under the first caution of the race on lap 48, Almirola reported the Valley Tech Ford was “just a little snug.” He pitted for right-side tires, fuel and adjustments on lap 49.
● Following the stop, Almirola said the adjustments made his No. 10 Mustang even tighter, but the team stayed on track during two additional cautions to finish the first stage in the fifth position.
● Crew chief Johnny Klausmeier brought the Valley Tech driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments at the stage break.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

Started 17th, finished 10th and earned one bonus point.
● The Tampa, Fla., native told the Valley Tech team on lap 93 that the adjustments were helping but he was now loose in traffic.
● Almirola worked his way back into the top-10 and eventually the top-five before making a scheduled green-flag stop on lap 147 for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
● The Valley Tech driver returned to the track in the 12th position and re-entered the top-10 before the end of Stage 2.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 161-269):

Started third, finished 14th.
● After electing to stay on track at the stage break, Almirola lined up third for the lap-165 restart.
● During the sixth caution of the race on lap 180, Almirola radioed that his Valley Tech Ford was loose on entry. The team stayed on track to maintain the third position.
● Almirola fell back to fifth after contact with the No. 24 on the lap-185 restart.
● On lap 217, Almirola made his final scheduled pit stop under green and received four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and adjustments for the Valley Tech Mustang.
● After green-flag stops were complete, Almirola found himself in the seventh position before a late-race caution on lap 261.
● Almirola stayed on track to maintain track position and restarted seventh on lap 267, but he was unable to find an opening in the top line and fell back outside of the top-10.
● The No. 10 Valley Tech Mustang ultimately crossed the finish line in the 14th position.

Notes:

● Almirola earned his 13th top-15 of the season and his fourth top-15 in seven career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kentucky.
● This is Almirola’s second straight top-15. He finished seventh in the series’ last race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
● This is Almirola’s second straight top-15 at Kentucky. He finished eighth in last year’s Kentucky 400.
● Kurt Busch won the Kentucky 400 to score his 31st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Kentucky. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .076 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
● Only 16 of the 36 drivers in the Kentucky 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Joey Logano remains the championship leader after Kentucky with an 11-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.

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

“We had a really fast Valley Tech Ford. Johnny (Klausmeier, crew chief) and the team did a great job adjusting on it all night after we started off tight and eventually got our Mustang freed up. We were in a great position to come out of Kentucky with a good finish, but we ended up going the wrong direction on the final restart. It wasn’t the ending we wanted, but we had a strong weekend, and we’ve got a chance to do it all again in New Hampshire.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Foxwoods Resorts Casino 301 on Sunday, July 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Kentucky Race Report

Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 19 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/8th (Running, completed 269 of 269 laps)
Point Standing: 18th with 469 points, 277 out of first
Note: Race extended two laps past its scheduled 267-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

Race Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

● Daniel Suárez started Stage 1 from the pole position and ended it 14th.
● Suárez maintained the lead position for the first 49 laps, then came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help with the front end of his Mustang.
● After varying pit strategies the 27-year-old restarted 14th on lap 53.
● Suárez remained in the top-15 and stayed on the track throughout the next two caution periods.
● During the Stage 1 break Suárez pitted for fuel, two right-side tires and adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

● The No. 41 driver began Stage 2 in 10th and ended it in 29th.
● Early in the run, the Haas driver relayed to the crew that he thought he had a loose wheel. As he continued in the run, he maintained something felt wrong with a tire.
● On lap 106, Suárez came down pit road for four fresh tires in hopes of relieving the vibration he felt. After review, the team determined he had a tire going down. Unfortunately, Suárez sped on pit road and received a penalty that forced him to make a pass down pit road under the green flag.
● The penalty put the Ford driver two laps down in the 33rd position. After pit stops cycled through late in the stage, Suárez was back to only being one lap down.
● He ended the stage in the 29th position, one lap down, and pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments during the stage break.

Final Recap (Laps 161-269):

● Suárez earned his seventh top-10 of the season and his first top-10 in three career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kentucky.
● Suárez’s eighth-place result bettered his previous best finish at Kentucky – 15th in last year’s Kentucky 400.
● Suárez led twice for 52 laps, including the first 49 laps from the pole. These were his first laps led at Kentucky.
● Kurt Busch won the Kentucky 400 to score his 31st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Kentucky. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .076 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
● Only 16 of the 36 drivers in the Kentucky 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Joey Logano remains the championship leader after Kentucky with an 11-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.

Notes:

● Suárez earned his seventh top-10 of the season and his first top-10 in three career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kentucky.
● Suárez’s eighth-place result bettered his previous best finish at Kentucky – 15th in last year’s Kentucky 400.
● Suárez led twice for 52 laps, including the first 49 laps from the pole. These were his first laps led at Kentucky.
● Kurt Busch won the Kentucky 400 to score his 31st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Kentucky. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .076 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
● Only 16 of the 36 drivers in the Kentucky 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Joey Logano remains the championship leader after Kentucky with an 11-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.

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

“It was an eventful night, for sure. We just had a fast racecar, but we got a bit tight. I feel like we made the car better, but we never got the track position back. We had a tire going down and then I was speeding coming to pit road because I was wheel hopping because of the tire. It was one problem after another. We were fast enough to overcome that but not enough to get a better finish. I feel like the good thing is that we have the speed. We just have to keep working to have a cleaner day and keep working to try to keep that speed the whole race.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday, July 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

CHASE BRISCOE – 2019 NXS Kentucky Race Report

Race Name: Alsco 300 (Race 17 of 33)
Venue: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Race Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Results: Cole Custer: 1st | Chase Briscoe: 5th
Point Standings:
– Cole Custer: 3rd with 689 points; trails points leader by 75 points
– Chase Briscoe: 8th with 531 points; trails points leader by 233 points

Chase Briscoe / Ford Performance Ford Mustang Recap:

– Briscoe qualified ninth and finished stage one in 10th to earn one stage point.
– The No. 98 Ford Mustang came down pit road for tires, fuel and track bar adjustments and started stage two in 13th.
– Briscoe advanced to seventh in the opening laps of the stage before scraping the wall on lap 62 and falling to 10th.
– Yellow flag waved on lap 68 and the team pitted to check for damage and restarted in 17th. Chase drove up to 11th and finished stage two there.
– A two-tire stop allowed Briscoe to win the race off of pit road and lead the field to green for the final stage. He lead the opening laps and maintained in the top-five throughout much of the stage.
– A green flag pit stop on lap 153 slotted the No. 98 into the fifth position where Briscoe would ultimately finish to earn his seventh top-five of the season.

Next Up: ROXOR 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire on July 20th at 4:00 p.m. ET broadcast by NBCSN.

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

“It felt really good to get back in the top-five this weekend after a string of bad luck struck us the last couple of weeks. Our No. 98 Ford Performance team worked really hard to get us back up front and Boswell made some great calls to gain us track position to line us up for the run we had there at the end. I wish we had a little more, but we will go on to Loudon and hopefully have another good run.”

COLE CUSTER – 2019 NXS Kentucky Race Report

Race Name: Alsco 300 (Race 17 of 33)
Venue: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Race Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Results: Cole Custer: 1st | Chase Briscoe: 5th
Point Standings:
– Cole Custer: 3rd with 689 points; trails points leader by 75 points
– Chase Briscoe: 8th with 531 points; trails points leader by 233 points

Cole Custer / Haas Automation Ford Mustang Recap:

– Custer qualified in the fifth position and would run there for the majority of Stage 1 before finishing in the sixth position. He would earn five stage points.
– The team would pit at the stage end for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Custer would restart fourth.
– The No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang would endure through two cautions through Stage 2 before finishing in the third position, earning him eight more stage points.
– Custer started the final stage third as the leader would only take two tires on his stop.
– The No.00 would take over the lead on lap 111 and would lead until pitting on lap 150 for four tires and fuel. He would regain the lead on lap 155.
– Custer would go on to win his fifth race of the year after leading 88 laps in the final stage.

Next Up: ROXOR 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire on July 20th at 4:00 p.m. ET broadcast by NBCSN.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang:

“Our car didn’t fire off very good to start the race while the sun was still up, but Mike Shiplett had the car set up perfectly for when the sun would go down. The last stage went green and had to make our final pit stop under the green flag so we really needed a good stop from our guys and that is what they gave us. They delivered on pit road and got us back out in front of the 20 car which was huge because it gave us the clean air that was needed to push ahead. It feels great to grab our fifth win as a team in 2019, but we have a lot more races to go in the schedule so we just need to really keep pushing forward like we have been.”

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Kentucky Race Advance

Kevin Harvick has won just about everywhere he’s raced.

He’s scored 106 total NASCAR victories (45 in the Cup Series, 47 in the Xfinity Series and 14 in the Truck Series) and only three other drivers in NASCAR history have passed 100 wins in its top three series: Richard Petty, David Pearson and Kyle Busch.

Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2014, as well as the 2001 and 2006 NASCAR Xfinity titles. He’s one of only four drivers to win the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500.

However he has not won at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, nor at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, site of Saturday night’s Kentucky 400. But he’s come close at Kentucky, having finished in the top-10 in six consecutive races races there, including his first top-five when he came home fifth in 2018.

Harvick has scored two Xfinity Series wins at the 1.5 mile oval, the first coming in 2001 and followed up 13 years later in 2014.

While he’s looking for his first Cup Series win at Kentucky, so is sponsor, Hunt Brothers Pizza.

Hunt Brothers Pizza has sponsored Harvick in NASCAR for 10 years and, last year, he took the company to victory lane by winning the Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

He has also won two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races with Hunt Brothers as a sponsor at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth in 2011 and at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway earlier that season.

Hunt Brothers Pizza is sponsoring Harvick in three NASCAR Cup Series races in 2019 and Kentucky is the second. The company also sponsored him in the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race in 2014 and 2015, which were conducted at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Harvick finished second in both races.

With more than 7,800 locations in 28 states, Hunt Brothers Pizza is the nation’s largest brand of made-to-order pizza in the convenience store industry. Hunt Brothers Pizza offers original and thin crust pizzas available as a grab-and-go Hunk, perfect for today’s on-the-go lifestyle, or as a customizable whole pizza that is an exceptional value with “All Toppings No Extra Charge.” Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Hunt Brothers Pizza is family owned and operated with more than 25 years of experience serving great pizza to convenience store shoppers through its store partners.

Harvick, Hunt Brothers Pizza and the rest of the No. 4 team are hoping they can “cook up” a victory this week.

 

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Racing Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

 

You’ve scored six straight top-10s at Kentucky but are still looking for that first win. What makes Kentucky so challenging?

“We’ve actually run really well there the last couple of years and led a lot of laps. I’m not sure it is any one thing that makes Kentucky challenging, to be honest, just for the fact that they’ve recently repaved it and it really is a unique track where it is hard to get everything just right.”

What challenges does the heat in Kentucky present this time of year?

“Kentucky is always a hot race and we’ve had some weather there over the last few years but, to be honest, it’s the same for everyone. It really just comes down to preparation for the driver and the team. As a driver, I have to take care of myself to make sure I’m ready. The team has to focus on the doing the best it can to make it as bearable in the car as possible. It also makes it tough on the handling of the car, especially on a new racing surface. It’s going to be very slick and hard to get the setup just right, but I’m confident in my team and the preparation they put into this race.”

DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Kentucky Race Advance

Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) venture to the Bluegrass State for Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Kentucky 400 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. It’s the seventh 1.5-mile facility the Cup Series will have raced on this season.

The pressure is on after a wild race last weekend at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. That event, originally scheduled for Saturday night, was postponed until Sunday due to weather. After a multi-vehicle accident on lap 83, Suárez’s day ended prematurely with irreversible damage caused to his Haas Automation Mustang. The last-place result set Suárez back in his hunt for the championship.

The Mexico native has two Cup Series starts at Kentucky with a best finish of 15th. He’s earned a best starting spot of ninth there in NASCAR’s premier series, an average starting position of 10.0, an average finishing position of 16.5, and he’s completed 99.8 percent of all possible laps.

The 27-year-old has four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval. Suárez excelled at Kentucky in that series, in which he won the 2016 championship. He accumulated three Xfinity Series top-five finishes and three top-10s at Kentucky, which includes a runner-up result in September 2016. He also earned one pole award in September 2015 with a speed of 179.856 mph. The pole award was Suárez’s third during his first full-time Xfinity Series season. In the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series at Kentucky, Suárez has two starts and he earned a pole award in July 2016 and has led 77 laps.

In Suárez’s last 10 Cup Series starts at tracks 1.5-miles in length, he’s recorded one top-five, three top-10s and led 22 laps. The Ford driver has an average start of 16.3 and an average finish of 17.6 at intermediate tracks.

This weekend at Kentucky, Suárez will wear special skeleton printed gloves as part of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s “Driven to Give Gloves” initiative benefitting Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. After this weekend’s race, the gloves will be auctioned off vianascarfoundation.org/dalejr.

The Haas driver is currently 17th in the Cup Series standings, two spots behind teammate Clint Bowyer, to round out the four-driver SHR contingent. The top 16 drivers after the 26 regular-season races will earn a spot in the Cup Series playoffs. If Suárez captures a playoff position, it will be the first of his Cup Series career. Last year, all four SHR entries secured at least one regular-season win and a playoff spot.

SHR is looking for its first win in the organization’s history at Kentucky, the only venue on the Cup Series circuit where it remains winless since its inception in 2009. Ford has two all-time series wins at Kentucky.

 

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

 

How did you get your start in racing?

“It’s a long story, but I started racing when I was 11, and it was kind of by mistake. I would work with my dad in his restoration shop and one of his customers had a son who was into racing. One weekend, they invited me to go with them to the go-kart track. And then they started inviting me more and eventually offered to let me drive the go-kart. I remember being so excited to get the chance to drive the go-kart and not just watch anymore. The guy thought I was really good, so he went and talked to my dad about it, and of course my dad wasn’t sure because it’s expensive. At the beginning, I was just racing for fun. I had no idea that you could actually race professionally and for a living. I remember my dad telling me when I was a little bit older that I didn’t have any responsibilities and should try doing it professionally. Eventually, that led to my move to the United States.”

You’re the only Hispanic in the Cup Series right now. How has your experience been with making new NASCAR fans?

“Things have changed so much in the last 10 to 15 years in NASCAR. I’ve been living here in the United States for almost eight years now and things have changed so much just while I’ve lived here. I have had so many experiences where Hispanic people, Mexicans here in the United States, Latinos, they come to me and tell me that they didn’t know anything about NASCAR but they saw me in an interview one day and now they’re a huge fan. That’s very cool to me. I’m very proud to be the guy who represents Hispanics and I try to do my best every single weekend. I’m glad I can give them someone to root for and bring their attention to NASCAR.”