KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Talladega II Race Report

Event: 1000Bulbs.com 500 (Round of 31 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (55 laps/55 laps/78 laps)
Start/Finish: 15th/17th (Running, completed 188 of 188 laps)
Point Standing: 6th with 3,094 points, 36 points ahead of top-eight cutoff
Note: Race was red-flagged after 57 laps on Sunday due to rain, with remainder of race postponed to Monday.

Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: William Bryon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-55):

Kevin Harvick started 15th and finished 12th.
● The Busch Light Ford Mustang driver was up to second by lap 15.
● Harvick pitted on lap 35 for fuel only.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 55-110):

Harvick started 12th and finished 19th.
● The Busch Light Ford Mustang driver pitted on lap 59 for four tires and fuel.
● On lap 93, Harvick pitted for fuel only while in seventh place.
● A multicar accident occurred on lap 108, and Harvick spun in the grass. He pitted for four tires and fuel, and the crew reported the damage was minimal.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 111-188):

Harvick started 20th and finished 17th.
● On lap 114, Harvick stopped for fuel only.
● Harvick pitted on lap 134 for four tires and fuel. There was an issue with one of the air guns, which caused a bit of a delay. He then stopped for fuel only on lap 136.
● On lap 154, Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel.
● Harvick was involved in a multicar accident on lap 181, and his Busch Light Ford Mustang sustained damage to the right front. He pitted three times and limped the car home to a 17th-place finish.

Notes:

● Ryan Blaney won the 1000Bulbs.com 500to score his third career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Newman was .007 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 43 laps.
● Only 20 of the 40 drivers in the 1000Bulbs.com 500finished on the lead lap.
● Ford took six of the top-10 finishing positions in the 1000Bulbs.com 500.

Playoff Standings (with one race to go before Round of 8):

1.       Kyle Larson (3,069 points) 1 win
2.       Ryan Blaney (3,056 points) 1 win
3.       Denny Hamlin (3,113 points, +56)
4.       Martin Truex Jr. (3,106 points, +48)
5.       Kyle Busch (3,099 points, +41)
6.       Kevin Harvick (3,094 points, +36)
7.       Brad Keselowski (3,078 points, +20)
8.       Joey Logano (3,076 points, +18)
9.       Alex Bowman (3,058 points, -18)
10.     Chase Elliott (3,054 points, -22)
11.     Clint Bowyer (3,052 points, -24)
12.     William Byron (3,049 points, -27)

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

“You always want to do better. I would have loved to have scored stage points and finish better, but we didn’t. You can’t put much merit into this. It’s kind of like bumper cars with your friends that don’t know how to drive at the go-kart track.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, Oct. 20 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Talladega II Race Report

Event: 1000Bulbs.com 500
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format:188 laps, broken into three stages (55 laps/55 laps/78 laps)
Note: Race was red-flagged after 57 laps on Sunday due to rain, with remainder of race postponed to Monday.
Start/Finish: 8th/23rd (Running, completed 186 of 188 laps)
Point Standing: 11th with 3,052 points (24 points below the top-eight cutoff).

Race Winner:      Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner:  William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner:  Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 55):

Bowyer started eighth and finished 13th.
The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford moved from eighth to second in the opening laps.
● Bowyer stayed near the front of the pack, making a scheduled stop for fuel on lap 35.
● Bowyer’s hopes for earning bonus points faded when he was pinned on the bottom lane in the closing laps of the stage and could not draft to the front.
● After taking the checkered flag to complete the stage, rain forced the field to pit road. Additional rain throughout the afternoon forced NASCAR to resume the race on Monday.
● Bowyer pitted with the rest of the field when NASCAR lifted the red flag Monday during the stage break.

Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 110):

Bowyer started 11th and finished first to earn 10 bonus points.
The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford showed it was one of the fastest cars Monday, climbing into the top-five by lap 67.
● Bowyer pitted from fourth on lap 94 as he and fellow Ford drivers worked together in the draft.
● As the field jousted for positions in the final laps, Bowyer took over the lead on lap 107 when Joey Logano and Alex Bowman made contact that triggered a multicar crash.
● Bowyer did not suffer any damage, and the stage ended under caution.
● Bowyer earned his first stage victory since winning the first stage at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sept. 10, 2018.

Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 188):

Bowyer started first and finished 23rd.
The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford continued to lead the field in the early laps of the final stage.
● Bowyer made slight contact with the wall with just 45 laps remaining in the race.
● Bowyer said he could smell the tire rubbing but could not make it to pit lane before the tire caused him to spin.
● Bowyer’s car came to rest where the bottom of the banking and flat part of the track meet. At that angle, he was unable to move the car. Safety officials finally freed the No. 14, and Bowyer returned to the pits two laps behind the leaders.
● Bowyer fell as far back as 33rd but gained 10 spots through attrition and crashes in the final laps.

Notes:

● Bowyer led twice for 13 laps to increase his laps-led total at Talladega to 123.
● Ryan Blaney won the 1000Bulbs.com 500to score his third career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Newman was .007 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 43 laps.
● Only 20 of the 40 drivers in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Ford took six of the top-10 finishing positions in the 1000Bulbs.com 500.

Playoff Standings (with one race to go before Round of 8):

1.       Kyle Larson (3,069 points) 1 win
2.       Ryan Blaney (3,056 points) 1 win
3.       Denny Hamlin (3,113 points, +56)
4.       Martin Truex Jr. (3,106 points, +48)
5.       Kyle Busch (3,099 points, +41)
6.       Kevin Harvick (3,094 points, +36)
7.       Brad Keselowski (3,078 points, +20)
8.       Joey Logano (3,076 points, +18)
9.       Alex Bowman (3,058 points, -18)
10.    Chase Elliott (3,054 points, -22)
11.    Clint Bowyer (3,052 points, -24)
12.    William Byron (3,049 points, -27)

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“I brushed the wall. I was afraid (the tire) was gonna go flat, so I bailed out of there and, sure enough, it went flat. And then I just got stuck down there. I couldn’t get those guys to cooperate. They stared at me for a lap. I was like, ‘Boys, we’ve got to figure this out. We’ve got to push this thing off.’ I don’t know that they knew I was stuck. I shut it off and was trying to scream, but it is what it is.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, Oct. 20 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Talladega II Race Advance

Every driver and team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series knows the term “wild card.” Ever since NASCAR formed what was basically a 10-race playoff in 2004, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway’s October race has always been one of them.

And every October, any car can win at Talladega, which adds a bit of pressure to the 12 drivers still alive in the NASCAR playoff once again this weekend – well, save for Kyle Larson, who advanced to the Round of 8 with his victory last week at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

For the other 11 drivers, this is the race that is circled on the calendar. Win and you are in the Round of 8. But if a playoff driver gets caught up in the seemingly inevitable “Big One” – multicar accidents common at Talladega – he might be forced to win the following week’s race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

Thus, the term, wild card.

For Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), he is aware of the wild-card factor. He’s 42 points ahead of the Round of 8 cutoff but knows that a poor finish at Talladega will make for an interesting final Round of 12 race at Kansas.

Talladega is one that anyone can win and from anywhere. Look back at 2000 when, with four laps to go, the late Dale Earnhardt was in 18th place. By the 188th and final lap, Earnhardt had vaulted to the front and beat Kenny Wallace by .119 of a second for his 76th and final NASCAR victory.

It’ll be an interesting weekend for Harvick as he will make is 677th career NASCAR start, which is one more than Earnhardt, who Harvick replaced in February 2001. Harvick is second among active drivers in career starts as Talladega will be Kurt Busch’s 679th.

Harvick will make his 38th NASCAR Cup Series Talladega start Sunday. He has one win, two poles, seven top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and has led 260 laps. He scored his lone win at the 2.66-mile superspeedway in April 2010, when he started fourth, led two of 200 laps and beat runner-up Jamie McMurray by .011 of a second.

Harvick earned his first Cup Series pole at Talladega in May 2005 with a speed of 189.804 mph. He won his second Cup Series pole there in April 2018, when he recorded a lap of 49.247 seconds at 194.448 mph.Harvick has three career Cup Series runner-up finishes at Talladega, most recently in October 2010, when he started 14th, led 12 laps and finished runner-up to Clint Bowyer.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Harvick has competed in eight races at Talladega with a best finish of second in April 2006. He has led 95 laps and finished in the top-five twice.

Harvick knows that Talladega is the wild card, but he’s hoping to avoid the jokers and find victory lane.

 

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

 

Talladega vs. Daytona – what’s the difference for the spotter?

“Talladega is a lot bigger. It’s a lot wider. The track itself is bigger. The shape of Talladega is different than Daytona because of the track being wider and the way the tri-oval is shaped. The start-finish line is almost all the way down into turn one, which seems to change some of the outcomes of the finishes, because you have to go all the way down the front straightaway before you get to the finish line. Talladega’s tri-oval is a little bit different than Daytona’s. That bottom groove has a little less banking than the rest of the racetrack, so it’s almost like you’re dipping down into a hole. Sometimes you see guys get loose down into the tri-oval and spin out, so it ends up being where some of the wrecks are caused. It’s really hard to push through that tri-oval, especially as you are heading down into that bottom lane. It’s tough to know exactly where you need to be at the end of the race but, for me, I’ve only won one of them there. In that particular race, we were tandem racing and I was second coming into the tri-oval and was able to get past Jamie McMurray. But I would still rather be leading and in control. If I’ve made it to the white flag, then I’ve made it a lot farther than I’ve made it lately, so it’s a chess match all day. You have to have a little bit of luck on your side, but you can also put yourself in a good position by making the right moves, having a good day on pit road and not making any mistakes.”

Thoughts on Talladega?

“I have no idea. You just show up and see how it develops. All you can do is show up for a weekend at Talladega and see how it develops and go from there.”

DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Talladega II Race Advance

Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 Haas Automation Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) head to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway this weekend for the final superspeedway race of the season. Suárez will pilot the traditional red-and-black Haas Automation paint scheme for Sunday’s 1000bulbs.com 500.

This race last year saw one of the most dominate performances by a racing organization. The four SHR teammates, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer and former SHR driver Kurt Busch, raced nose to tail at the front of the field for almost the entire event. The solid teamwork, along with power from Roush Yates Engines, allowed the four-car contingent to lead a total of 155 laps, along with the most important one – final lap. Almirola was the victor after Busch’s No. 41 machine ran out of fuel while leading as it came to the checkered flag. Almirola’s victory meant all four SHR entries secured a win in the 2018 season, which saw SHR capture a total of 12 wins. SHR also started that 193-lap Talladega race occupying the first four grid positions.

With chamber of commerce weather expected this weekend at the 2.66-mile superspeedway and only six races remaining in the 2019 season, fans will flock to see one of the best races on the circuit. The Alabama track has also undergone a multi-million-dollar infield renovation, making it even more fan friendly.

Suárez heads to Talladega after competing last weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, where he started 15th and ended the day with a 14th-place result.

He looks to improve on his superspeedway record this weekend. He has just one top-10 finish in his last 10 starts at Talladega and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He’s led a total of 23 laps at the sister tracks and has completed 82 percent of all possible laps.

In his young Cup Series career, Suárez has five starts at Talladega with a best finish of 10th earned in April 2018. In total, he’s led 12 laps and has an average starting position of 12.8 and an average finishing position of 14.4. Earlier this year at the famed superspeedway, the 27-year-old earned a 12th-place result.

The Mexico native has three Talladega starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a best result of seventh, along with five laps led. In the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series, Suárez has one start there, which resulted in a 15th-place finish.

The Haas Automation driver is 18th in the driver standings with 730 points and has a total of three top-fives and 10 top-10s this season, along with 135 laps led. He has an average start of 14.6 and an average finish of 15.4. He earned his second career Cup Series pole, first with the No. 41 team, in July at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

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

 

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

 

Now that you’re through a majority of the season, how would you evaluate where you’re at on the performance side?

“I feel like we are in a better position with our cars from the start of the year. We aren’t exactly where we need to be, but I feel like we are definitely a top-10 car and we’re very close to being a top-five and, once you’re in the top-five, you’re able to put yourself in a really good position to win. Racing is like a roller coaster – sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. We’ll keep working hard and communicating.”

How important are teammates at Talladega?

“Obviously my teammates are very important to being successful at Talladega. We all watched what Stewart-Haas Racing did last year with sticking together so well. We have a different rules package this year but, no matter what, when you go to a superspeedway, your teammates will always be important. I feel like all of my teammates are great superspeedway racers, which is helpful, too.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – 2019 Talladega II Race Advance

On the last lap of the fall 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Aric Almirola, driver of the then-Smithfield Bacon for Life Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), held off his teammates Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch to win the most important race of his career. When Almirola crossed the finish line, he secured his spot in the Round of 8 of the NASCAR playoffs and went on to finish fifth in the season-ending standings – the best of his career.

There was sheer excitement over the radio when Almirola took the checkered flag. He screamed, “Woohoo! Yes! We finally did it!” But he was hungry for something else when he stepped out of the car.

While Almirola expressed his relief in being able to advance to the next playoff round during his live, postrace interview, he turned to the roaring crowd and said somebody out there watching was going to win bacon for the rest of his or her life – and someone did. Joseph Craig from Little Rock, Arkansas, was surprised at his home by Almirola this past offseason with a lifetime supply of bacon, and he mimicked Almirola after his Round of 12 win at Talladega (watch here).

Smithfield Foods and Almirola are taking it a step further this weekend by giving more fans the opportunity to win if he wins the race again. This weekend, if the No. 10 Ford driver crosses the finish line first, Smithfield will give 10 lucky fans 100,000 slices of bacon each –  a total of 1 million slices. Fans can enter for their chance to bring home the bacon up until the checkered flag flies Sunday at www.racinforbacongiveaway.com.

“There is a definitely extra incentive to win this weekend,” Almirola said with a laugh. “We were pumped last year to win and give one gentleman bacon for the rest of his life. Now, the pressure is on with 10 different fans earning 100,000 slices. Talladega is definitely the most confident track on the circuit for me. Anything can happen there. If we race and have the same luck we have in the past, hopefully we’ll be picking 10 winners come Monday. It would mean so much to our guys who have worked hard all season, as well. We’re not able to battle for a championship, but I know there are still a lot of people rooting for us and I hope to make them proud this weekend.”

In Almirola’s recent start at Talladega last April, he started on the front row and survived the “Big One” to lead 27 laps and finish ninth. It was his seventh top-10 in the first 10 races of the season.

In his last five starts at the 2.66-mile Talladega oval, he’s earned three top-five finishes and six top-10s in addition to last October’s win. In his 19 Cup Series starts there, an accident ended his day prematurely just once. In the typically accident-mired event, he’s led a total of 43 laps. Almirola’s first career Cup Series victory was captured in 2014 at Talladega’s sister track, Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

The Tampa native has also found his way to victory lane at the Alabama track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In 2017, he led 13 laps before going on to capture the victory while piloting the No. 98 Ford for Biagi-DenBeste Racing.

Ford had shown strength at superspeedways with 18 wins in the last 35 Daytona and Talladega events combined. In the Cup Series, Ford has captured 10 wins in the last 14 Talladega races.

Almirola is literally looking to bring home the bacon this weekend in the form of a win and 1 millions slices of delicious Smithfield bacon for 10 lucky fans.

 

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

 

What did it mean to finally win a race in 2018 after nearly winning multiple races but just coming up short?

“The win at Talladega was clutch. Going through the season and really being consistent from summer to the playoffs was great. We didn’t really have any devastating races throughout those months and never were a threat to really win races. Then, all of the sudden when the playoffs started, our performance really ramped up. We went into the first few races with chances to win, leading laps and running up front. Even right before that, you look at races like New Hampshire, where we led a lot of laps and felt like we had the potential to win. We kind of pointed our way into the playoffs.”

You have found the most success in your career at superspeedways. Why is that?

“I always had to go to these races and be aggressive because, back then, they were our only realistic options to win races. It was the only way I could make it into the playoffs and we were able to do that in 2014. They’ve been good to me. I’ve always gone into those races with that mindset.”

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Talladega II Race Advance

Clint Bowyer made his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut at ISM Raceway in Phoenix on April 23, 2005, driving for Bill McAnally and Richard Childress. He started 25th and finished 22nd, one lap behind race-winner Kurt Busch.

Busch and his brother Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick are the only current drivers who were in the field for Bowyer’s Phoenix debut in 2005 who will likely race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway Sunday when Bowyer makes his 500th Cup Series start driving the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR.)

“It’s hard to believe this is the 500th start,” said the 40-year-old Bowyer, who is in his third year driving for SHR. “I have had a lot of help and support over the years, from the people who helped me get started in the early days in Kansas through all the NASCAR teams and sponsors I have worked with over the years. I have been very fortunate and very grateful for the career I’ve been able to enjoy.”

It’s been a successful career.

In his 499 Cup starts coming into this weekend, Bowyer has enjoyed 10 Cup Series victories, 80 top-five finishes, 211 top-10s,  three poles, 2,939 laps led and three top-five finishes in the season standings. He also owns eight NASCAR Xfinity Series and three NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victories, as well as the Xfinity Series title in 2008.

“This sport has undergone a lot of changes since I’ve become a part of it and we’ve had a lot of driver turnover in the last 15 years or so,” he said, “but I am still as big of fan of NASCAR as I was the day I first walked into the garage.”

There won’t be much nostalgia in the No. 14 camp this weekend because there’s a tremendous amount of work to do at Talladega. Bowyer arrives at the second of the three-race Round of 12 portion of the NASCAR playoffs 10th in points.

He is just four points behind the eighth and final transfer spot with only Talladega and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City remaining in the round. Last week at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Bowyer raced at the front of the field before finishing 10th and moving from 12th to 10th in the standings.

He knows he is one of the favorites at Talladega this weekend. In the last two superspeedway races, Bowyer has been at the front of the field when an accident ruined his day. In 27 career starts at Talladega, he owns two victories, seven top-fives and 13 top-10s.

Bowyer hopes for a repeat of last year’s race at Talladega, when SHR dominated the weekend. After sweeping the top four spots in qualifying, SHR drivers Bowyer, Harvick, Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola led 155 of the 193 laps during the race, often running all four Fords nose to tail in their own lead pack. Almirola and Bowyer swept the top-two finishing positions, Almirola’s victory ensuring all four SHR cars earned trips to victory lane in 2018.

“That was about as good as it gets in NASCAR,” Bowyer said. “We had the speed. Doug Yates and all of his team at Roush-Yates Engines gave us great power. Our chassis shop and the aero department were amazing because those Fords stuck to the track like glue. As the tires started wearing out, people started falling off. We didn’t. We were able to hold it wide open and stay in a line, and stay in that wake of the car in front of you, and we drove off from the field. It was cool to look in the mirror and see that train of Fords behind you.”

He said that performance meant a lot for SHR.

“That day completed our organization, you know what I mean?,” Bowyer said. “Aric’s victory put all four cars in victory lane for the year and set a precedent for SHR that ‘We’re here.’ That was big for our organization. Heck, that would have been big for any organization. And for us to do that in SHR’s 10th anniversary year made it special.”

Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford Mustang will carry the Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Delvac paint scheme this weekend at Talladega.

Rush Truck Centers has been the primary partner of the No. 14 team since Bowyer arrived at SHR in 2017 and has been with the organization since 2010. The San Antonio, Texas-based company has used Bowyer and the team to appeal to NASCAR fans as one way to recruit the technicians it needs to operate the largest network of commercial truck and bus dealerships in the country, with locations in 22 states. According to Rush Truck Centers, the trucking industry is expected to need 200,000 diesel technicians over the next 10 years to keep up with maintenance demands.

Mobil 1 plays an integral role in SHR’s success. Mobil 1’s lubricant technology helps to reduce frictional loss in its Ford engines to maximize fuel mileage, increase horsepower and turn more rpm, providing an advantage over its competitors. Mobil 1 also helps reduce friction in suspension components, providing maximum tire grip as well as helping to reduce steering compliance to give its teams an edge behind the wheel. Not only does Mobil 1 help improve the on-track efficiency of SHR, but the on-track testing helps lead to new lubricant technology developments such as Mobil 1 Annual Protection, which allows drivers to travel up to 20,000 miles, or one full year, between oil changes. In its 17th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series. Trusted by many of the world’s leading heavy-duty original equipment manufacturers, Mobil Delvac commercial vehicle lubricants are used across a broad range of industries.

Bowyer hopes his 500th start is memorable – one that ideally propels him to the Round of 8.

 

CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

How was your Dover race?

“We started 17th and finished 10th. It was hard to pass – extremely hard to pass, almost impossible. You had to have a really, really good car. It was just kind of a struggle out there all day long for us. I am looking forward to Talladega, though, because you can certainly pass there.”

Is Talladega like a game of high-speed chess?

“Hell no! Chess is sitting there, bored out of your mind, thinking of all the other things that you would rather be doing. There’s a guy across from you, you’re trying to figure out if he’s actually into it or doing the same thing, bored out of his mind, thinking about all the things he would rather be doing. At Talladega, you’re literally freaking out, making knee-jerk-reaction decisions the whole race. You’re reacting to things that you don’t even remember. You’ll get out of the car at the end of the race and somebody’ll be like, ‘Man, that was an awesome move that won you the race!’ And you’re like, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ There were at least 4,000 instances of what won that race or didn’t win that race.

“There’s so much going on inside the car, whether you’re listening to the spotter, or you’re looking at – as you’re listening to him, you’re following along to – that story in the mirror, right? You’re living it through the windshield. I mean, there are so many things that are going on, you just – you flat out – don’t take it all in. I mean, your brain is registering so many things that, at the end of the race, you don’t even remember half of it.”

Is it difficult to hold back at Talladega?

“You get a little bit excited and antsy to get up into the pack and, even with 50, 60 laps to go, you’re like, ‘How am I going to get up there?’ They get three-wide and there’s just literally no place to go. At Talladega, you can go four-wide, and I’ve seen when it goes five-wide you get into a wreck. We see that quite a bit there – somebody attempting it – and that’s when it gets that place exciting. Looking forward to hopefully getting to the end and, more importantly, getting a win.”

What is the key to success?

“Attitude is a big part of this, but it goes toward being a student while you’re out there, learning as much as you can. That’s the tricky thing about these situations at these racetracks.”

COLE CUSTER – 2019 NXS Dover II Race Report

Race Name: Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200 (Race 29 of 33)
Venue: Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Stages: 45 laps / 45 laps / 110 laps (200 Total Laps)
Race Winner:  Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi (Ford)
Results: Cole Custer: 1st | Chase Briscoe: 5th
Point Standings:
– Cole Custer: 2nd with 3,050 points; 36 points above the cut line. 
– Chase Briscoe: 6th with 3,013; 4 points below the cut line  

Cole Custer / Production Alliance Group Ford Mustang Recap:

– Custer started third but would move up to second as Chase Briscoe had to start from the rear.
– The No. 00 Production Alliance Group Mustang would run third the majority of Stage 1 but would jump to second, where he would finish. He would earn nine stage points.
– Custer brought the No. 00 Ford to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, but would have a mishap during the stop, forcing him to restart 11th.
– The No. 00 Production Alliance Group Ford would gain spots during a long green flag run and would ultimately finish Stage 2 in the fifth position. He would earn six more stage points.
– Custer would pit for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment at the stage break. He would restart in the fourth position. 

– Green flag pit stops would shuffle Custer to the lead and with 23 laps remaining a caution would come out. He would be one of three cars on the lead lap.
– Custer would restart from the lead and would run there until another caution would fly with 12 laps remaining.
– The green flag would fly with seven laps remaining in the race and Custer would run away from second and would win the race.
– This was Custer’s 100th race in the Xfinity Series and marks seven wins throughout the 2019 season.

Next Up: Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 19th at 3:00 p.m. ET broadcast by NBC.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Production Alliance Group Ford Mustang:                                   

“I have always wanted to win here since I started racing and had always been close in the Truck Series and recently in the Xfinity Series. To be able to come out of here with this Golden Monster trophy is just an amazing feeling. I can’t thank the guys for everything throughout this weekend and the entire season. This win also means we are 3 for 3 on winning when Production Alliance Group is on the car and when they sponsored the race back in Fontana.”

CHASE BRISCOE – 2019 NXS Dover II Race Report

Race Name: Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200 (Race 29 of 33)
Venue: Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Stages: 45 laps / 45 laps / 110 laps (200 Total Laps)
Race Winner:  Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi (Ford)
Results: Cole Custer: 1st | Chase Briscoe: 5th
Point Standings:
– Cole Custer: 2nd with 3,050 points; 36 points above the cut line. 
– Chase Briscoe: 6th with 3,013; 4 points below the cut line  

Chase Briscoe / Ford Performance Ford Mustang Recap:

– Briscoe earned his second career Xfinity Series pole, but was forced to start at the rear of the field due to electrical issues.
– The No. 98 Ford Mustang charged from the tail to seventh in the first stage to earn four stage points.
– Briscoe started Stage 2 in sixth and finished third to earn eight more stage points.
– The team pitted for tires and fuel and started the final stage in second position.
– Briscoe took the lead on the restart and would pace the field for next 71 laps.
– He pitted from the lead under green with 32 laps remaining and rejoined the race in fifth, but caution flag waved on lap 177 pinning the No. 98 one lap down. 

– Briscoe took the wavearound and restarted in sixth. He would advance one position to ultimately finish the race in fifth.
– Briscoe’s 71 laps led today marks a new career-high. 

Next Up: Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 19th at 3:00 p.m. ET broadcast by NBC.

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

“It is encouraging how fast of a car we had but that is two weeks in a row I feel like we had the best race car and didn’t get the win. There are so many circumstances that go into winning these races and one little thing that you don’t catch at the right time just kills you. It is really good that we are moving on to the next round of the playoffs but at the same time if we hadn’t had to go to the back we probably would have had seven points going into the next round and that would have been big. It is frustrating to have a winning race car and not win with it but it is nice that we have had really fast Mustangs and that is encouraging going into the next round. Hopefully we can have just as fast race cars but seal the deal.”

DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Dover II Race Advance

Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 ARRIS Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) head north to Dover (Del.) International Speedway this weekend. Suárez will drive the orange-and-black No. 41 Ford Mustang adorned with the ARRIS logo in Sunday’s 400-mile race at the track known as “The Monster Mile.” Suárez most recently piloted his Mustang with the ARRIS paint scheme in August at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where he captured a fifth-place finish. ARRIS will also be on the No. 41 machine later this month at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

ARRIS has been involved with NASCAR since 2014 and is responsible for the most comprehensive Wi-Fi deployment in NASCAR history at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The company announced the first CBRS Private LTE network deployment at the newly renovated ISM Raceway near Phoenix. ARRIS also powers the communication between NASCAR drivers and their teams through its SURFboard SB6183® modem and E600® Converged Edge Router with integration and support from its global services team.

Last weekend’s race on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway roval proved to be as action packed as expected for the Cup Series field. Suárez qualified 13th and earned four bonus points during the 109-lap event. Late-race contact with a competitor resulted in a less-than-ideal finish of 34th for the Mexico native.

The 27-year-old has five Cup Series starts at Dover, all resulting in top-11 finishes, including a best of third earned in May 2018. In total, he has one top-five and four top-10s at the concrete mile oval. The ARRIS driver has accumulated an average starting position there of 9.6 and an average finishing position of 7.6, along with 21 laps led. All 21 of those laps were led by Suárez in May.

In this year’s May race, Suárez started 14th and worked all race to gain track position in the No. 41 Mustang. He finished 11th in the rain-delayed race that was concluded Monday.

In addition to his Cup Series starts at Dover, Suárez has six NASCAR Xfinity Series starts with one win in October 2016, two top-fives and five top-10s, and 144 laps led. He also has two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts there, both resulting in second-place finishes. Finally, he has two starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, one in 2013 when he finished sixth, and one in 2014, when he finished 22nd after an accident ended his day prematurely.

At tracks 1 mile or less in length, Suárez has six top-10 finishes in his last 10 starts. He has an average start of 18.9 and an average finish of 14.2, with 21 laps led.

Ford, which has five competitors in the top-10 in points, has 26 all-time Cup Series victories at Dover. SHR has three wins as an organization at the Delaware track with Kevin Harvick earning two and co-owner Tony Stewart one.

 

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

 

How do you feel about Dover?

“Actually, Dover is one of my favorite tracks that we go to. It’s so much fun and the feeling you get inside the car is pretty incredible. It’s also been one of my best tracks, statistically. My expectations are really high for this weekend because I have run so well in the past there. Earlier this year, I just couldn’t get the car to turn for whatever reason and we ended up 11th. I obviously want to do better than that this weekend and I know we can do better. We’re not in the playoffs, but we are still going for wins this season.”

COLE CUSTER – 2019 NXS Dover II Race Advance

Race Name: Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200 (Race 29 of 33)
Venue: Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware
Television: 3:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Point Standings: 
– Cole Custer: 2nd; trails points leader by 10 points; 71 points above cutoff line; Clinched a spot in the Round of 8.
– Chase Briscoe: 6th; trails points leader by 46 points; 35 points above cutoff line


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You qualified on the pole and led the most laps at this track in May. What confidence does that give you leading into this weekend and will you be trying anything new since you’re already locked into the round of 8?

“We had a great race going at Dover last time but track position and what groove you restart in matters a lot more here than other places. We got shuffled to second on the last restart and that hurt any chances we had at winning the race. We will go to the track the same way we did in May because if we win here, then that gives us five more playoff points that we can use the rest of the season, which never hurts.”