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-

In the Know – Charlotte ROVAL

“In the Know”
Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL

The NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 wraps up this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. The elimination round takes place at 2 PM ET this Sunday on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Four driver’s title hopes will come to an end, as the field is cut to eight.

All four of the Stewart-Haas Racing Cup drivers will feature a pink window net on their car this week. The inspiration for “Window of Hope” came from one of Kurt Busch’s young fans to show support for breast cancer survivors and those continuing to battle breast cancer. Following the ROVAL, each driver will sign their window net. The nets will then go up for auction with all proceeds benefiting breast cancer research and treatment.

Charlotte Motor Speedway debuted its’ 2.28-mile, 17-turn ROVAL road course in 2018 in the Bank of America ROVAL™ 400. The unique circuit hosted the first road course race in the history of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Featuring twisting, left-right turns, chicanes on the frontstretch and backstretch and a 45-foot elevation change, the ROVAL™ quickly gained a reputation as one of NASCAR’s most challenging tracks. It remains the only road course in NASCAR in which race fans can see every turn from the main grandstands.
Fun fact from Charlotte Motor Speedway: during a typical race weekend, fans consume more than 34,000 slices of pizza, 9,500 gallons of soda and water, 13,500 feet of hot dogs and 309,000 pounds of ice.

The Details

NASCAR Cup Series Overview
Event: Bank of America Roval 400 (Round 32 of 36)
Time/Date: 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 10
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval
Layout: 2.28-mile, 17-turn road course
Laps/Miles: 109 laps/252.88 miles
Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 25 laps / Stage 2: 25 laps / Final Stage: 59 laps
TV/Radio: NBC / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview
Event: Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (Round 29 of 33)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 9
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval
Layout: 17-turn, 2.28-mile road course
Time/TV/Radio: 3 p.m. EDT on NBC/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

What Our Drivers are Saying:

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

The Roval serves as a playoff cutoff race, with the field of 12 playoff drivers getting whittled down to eight. You’re still in the mix to advance to the Round of 8 – is that a testament to the work you and this Mobil 1 team have put in all season long?
“My team’s done a good job all year. We’ve had a lot of weeks where we’ve walked out of these tracks with a sixth-, seventh-, eighth-place finish. Our team itself has done a great job. We just needed to do a better job getting faster cars and sometimes that’s just not in the cards. You just have to plug away and take what you can get out of it and try to make the least amount of mistakes, and that’s the part our team has done well. We’ve gotten a lot of decent finishes throughout the year, and that just comes from experience. You dot the I’s and cross the T’s and, really, that’s what it all comes down to. We’ve lost a lot of races with fast cars and we’ve won some races with slow cars – you grind away and you just keep yourself in there and see where it all shakes out. Sometimes it’s in the car to win and sometimes it’s not, you just never know so you just grind away every lap.”

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

Since you’re not racing for points in the NASCAR playoffs, how do you approach this race differently?
“It’s one last opportunity for us this year to have some success at a road course. I think we’ll be good. We had a good car at the Daytona road course earlier this year and I thought we made huge gains over the past few years. The Roval is still a playoff cutoff race next year, so you have to treat this weekend just like any other. We’re practicing this week on the Ford simulator and just trying to learn all that we can to have the best performance possible. The Roval is such a tricky course and the guys in the playoffs are going to give it their all and push their cars past the limit, so it may provide us opportunities to capitalize on and be there at the end.”

Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School/HighPoint.com Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

This will be your first Cup Series start at the Roval, but it’s one of your more successful tracks. Are you excited to try it out in this series?
“I’m super excited. The Roval is where I got my first Xfinity win and led a ton of laps there in the Xfinity car in the last two races where it felt like we were the car to beat but threw it away, so I’m excited to get there in the Cup car. The competition is going to be a lot tougher. The other Chase (Elliott) seems to be really good at the Roval, so we’ll see what we can do. I feel like we’ll have a pretty good shot. We’ll have to drive through a lot of cars but, not being in the playoffs, we can do some things strategy-wise to steal some track position. Then I think we’ll be fast enough to stay up there. The road courses have been our strongest all year long, so we’ll continue to build on that and hope to do really well this weekend.”

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

You had a solid top-10 on the Roval in your first-ever Cup Series race there a year ago this weekend. What do you remember about that day, and do you feel it will have any carryover into this weekend?
“What I remember most is that we had a lot of ups and downs in that race, which is typical on road courses, in general, especially on the Roval and especially on restarts. There’s always a lot going on and the potential for mayhem is always there. The crew stuck with it all race long and we ended up with a top-10 that we could feel good about. And I think one of the bigger positives that came out of that day was that we learned some things with regard to road-course racing that definitely carried on over into this year with all the road-course races we had on the schedule. Coming off of a pretty solid race at Talladega, I can’t wait to get to the Roval, and the team feels the same way.”

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

The No. 98 Monster Energy team has had some success on road courses this year and in the past. What would it mean to get your first win on the Roval at Charlotte?
“Your first win is special no matter what track, but to get it at Charlotte and lock in our spot to the Round of 8 would be awesome. The No. 98 Monster Energy team has worked hard this year, so our goal is to win one before season’s end. This team has been strong on the Roval in the past, and I’ve had some success in leading laps and running up front, so hopefully we can put it all together and end up in victory lane on Saturday.”

SHR Stats

In three career NASCAR Cup Series starts at the Roval, Kevin Harvick has never finished lower than 11th. His best result came in 2019 when he led twice for 34 laps on his way to a third-place finish. Harvick has made a total of 48 NASCAR Cup Series starts on road courses. He has 20 starts at Sonoma, 20 at Watkins Glen, three at the Roval, two on the Daytona road course and one apiece at COTA, Road America and the Indianapolis road course. He has scored two wins – Watkins Glen in 2006 and Sonoma in 2017 – along with 10 top-fives and 24 top-10s with 195 laps led. When Harvick scored his first road-course victory at Watkins Glen in 2006, he had to beat his current team owner to do it. Tony Stewart – the “Stewart” in Stewart-Haas Racing – had won the past two NASCAR Cup Series races at the seven-turn, 2.45-mile road course and was poised to capture a third straight win as he was leading Harvick with four laps to go in the 90-lap race. But Harvick, who had already led once for 24 laps, passed Stewart on lap 87 as the two drag-raced down the frontstretch and into turn one. Harvick held onto the lead despite Stewart in his rearview mirror, earning a margin of victory of .892 of a second.

Sunday’s 109-lap race will be Cole Custer’s 71st Cup Series start and his second on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn Roval. He finished ninth in his Cup Series debut at the track a year ago this weekend for his seventh top-10 of the season en route to capturing Rookie of the Year honors. The finish came in just his second career road-course race in the Cup Series. Custer had 11 road-course outings in the Xfinity Series from 2017 through 2019 that included a pair of outings on the Roval. He finished seventh in 2018 and eighth in 2019.

The first time the Cup Series raced on the Charlotte Roval was in 2018. Aric Almirola started 20th that day and finished 19th, which was good enough to advance him to the next round of the playoffs after a nail-biting final stretch. Last year, he was in a similar position on the Roval but needed to gain 12 positions at the end of that race to move on. The Smithfield Ford driver turned on the jets in the closing laps and came up just five spots and a few seconds short of the next playoff round. Almirola has 28 road-course starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. He has two top-10 finishes with a best of eighth at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, five top-20s at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International with a best finish of 12th, three top-20s on the Charlotte Roval with a best finish of 14th, and a top-12 finish in the non-points Busch Clash Feb. 9 on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course – his best road-course finish of the year.

The Drive for the Cure 250 on Saturday will mark Riley Herbst’s 72nd career Xfinity Series start and his second on the Roval. After starting 13th in a wet race there last year, Herbst led seven laps before finishing 12th.

Of Special Interest

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

SHR Post-Race Recap: Talladega

STEWART-HAAS RACING
YellaWood 500

Date: Oct. 4, 2021
Event: YellaWood 500 (Round 31 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/68 laps)
Note: Race shortened 71 laps before its scheduled 188-lap distance due to rain.

Race Winner: Bubba Wallace of 23XI Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Chris Buescher of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Bubba Wallace of 23XI Racing (Toyota)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 9th, Finished 8th / Running, completed 117 of 117 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 28th, Finished 13th / Running, completed 117 of 117 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 17th, Finished 14th / Running, completed 117 of 117 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 20th, Finished 26th / Running, completed 117 of 117 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 3,075 points, nine points below top-eight cutoff)
● Aric Almirola (15th with 2,104 points)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 575 points)
● Cole Custer (28th with 477 points)

Playoff Standings (with one race to go before Round of 8):
1. Denny Hamlin (3,116 points) 1 win
2. Kyle Larson (3,097 points) +22
3. Joey Logano (3,096 points) +21
4. Brad Keselowski (3,095 points) +20
5. Martin Truex Jr. (3,095 points) +20
6. Ryan Blaney (3,090 points) +15
7. Chase Elliott (3,084 points) +9
8. Kyle Busch (3,084 points) +9
9. Kevin Harvick (3,075 points) -9
10. Christopher Bell (3,056 points) -28
11. William Byron (3,040 points) -44
12. Alex Bowman (3,032 points) -52

SHR Notes:
● Harvick earned his 21st top-10 of the season and his 18th top-10 in 42 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega.
● Harvick’s 18 top-10s at Talladega are the second-most among active drivers.
● This was Harvick’s second straight top-10 at Talladega. He finished fourth in the series’ prior race at the track in April.
● This was Harvick’s fifth straight top-10. He finished fifth Sept. 4 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, eighth Sept. 11 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, second Sept. 18 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and ninth in the series’ prior race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
● This was Harvick’s 11th straight top-15, a streak that began July 11 with an 11th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
● Harvick finished fourth in Stage 1 to earn seven bonus points and eighth in Stage 2 to score three more bonus points.
● Harvick led five times for a race-high 16 laps, increasing his laps led total at Talladega to 292.
● Harvick has now led 11,355 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 15,781 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
● Custer earned his seventh top-15 of the season and his second top-15 in four career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega.
● Custer led once for seven laps – his first laps led at Talladega.
● Briscoe earned his 10th top-15 of the season and his second top-15 in two career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega.

Race Notes:
● Bubba Wallace won the YellaWood 500 to score his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 27 laps.
● Thirty-one of the 40 drivers in the YellaWood 500 finished on the lead lap.

Talladega Quotes

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a fast Smithfield Ford. It handled really well and had a lot of good speed today. We stayed out of trouble all day. After the last pit stop we had a serious vibration, so I just hung at the back until the caution came out. Unfortunately, the rain hit at the same time and at the wrong time for us.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“The damage early on really put us behind, but once we got back on the lead lap we were able to still draft really well. I wish we had more time to get a better finish out of it, but I’m happy with how it turned out, and I’m ready to move on to the Roval next week.”

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light #Hunt4Busch Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I got shuffled out there too late for the rain storm, but our Ford Mustang was fast and we were able to make up some ground and get back up closer to where we needed to be. I hate that it started raining. Our car was fast.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a fast Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com Mustang today. We were able to drive to the front, even after we took a pretty decent hit from behind during that first wreck. The guys did a great job making sure everything was buttoned up, and I think we could have ended up with a really good finish if the race went the distance. Congrats to Bubba (Wallace) on getting his first win.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bank of America Roval 400 on Sunday, Oct. 10 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-