KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Homestead Race Report

Event:               Ford EcoBoost 400 (Round 36 of 36)
Series:              Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format:             267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish:      2nd/4th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standing:  3rd with 5,033 points 

Race Winner:    Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

  • Kevin Harvick started second and finished fourth, earning seven bonus points.
  • The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang took the lead at the start and led the first 20 laps, but Harvick faded to fourth as he reported his car was “a little tight.”
  • By lap 30 he said that his car was way too tight.
  • Harvick pitted on lap 36 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
  • On lap 52, Harvick reported that his biggest problem was he could not turn well when entering turn one. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160): 

  • Harvick started fifth and finished second to earn eight bonus points.
  • The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang pitted on lap 83 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
  • While third, Harvick pitted on lap 119 for four tires and fuel.
  • Harvick again pitted on lap 139 for four tires, fuel and tire pressure and chassis adjustments.
  • The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang was in first place late in the second stage but was passed by Kyle Busch with two laps to go.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267): 

  • Harvick started second and finished fourth.
  • The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang was too loose up top and too tight on the bottom as Harvick ran 5.2 seconds behind leader Busch.
  • Harvick took the lead on lap 216 when he stayed out as the leaders pitted. He led until lap 224, then pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
  • The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang led 41 laps total but finished the race fourth.

Notes:

  • Harvick earned his 15th top-five and 26th top-10 of the season, and his 11th top-five and 17th top-10 in 19 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead.
  • Harvick’s 11 top-fives and 17 top-10s at Homestead are the most among all active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Jimmie Johnson is the next-best driver with five top-fives and 11 top-10s.
  • Harvick led three times for 41 laps to increase his laps-led total at Homestead to 414, placing him at second-most among all active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers behind Busch’s 463 laps led at Homestead.
  • Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has never finished outside the top-five at Homestead. He scored his first win at the track in 2014 to earn his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
  • This is Harvick’s sixth straight top-five and 12th straight top-10 at Homestead. He finished third in last year’s season finale.
  • Harvick has never finished outside the top-20 in his career at Homestead. He hasn’t finished outside the top-10 since the 2007 season finale, when he finished 19th.
  • This is Harvick’s fifth straight top-10 and his 15th top-10 in the last 17 races.
  • Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. It was the 56th race win of his career, his fifth of the season and his second at Homestead. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was 4.578 seconds.
  • There were three caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
  • Only 10 of the 40 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 finished on the lead lap. 

Championship 4 Final Points:

  1. Kyle Busch (5,040 points)
  2. Martin Truex Jr. (5,035 points)
  3. Kevin Harvick (5,033 points)
  4. Denny Hamlin (5,027 points)

Note: Harvick competed in the Championship 4 for the fifth time in the last six years. He won the championship in 2014.                       

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

“Yeah, we just needed to do something different. They were so much better than us on the long run. That was our best chance, to have a caution there at the end, and we never got one. We did something different, hoping for a caution. We had to do the opposite, and it just didn’t work out. On the restarts I could do what I wanted to do and hold them off for 15 or 20 laps. This race has come down to that every year. You kind of play toward that, and they were quite a bit better than us on the long run. We had a really good car for those first 15-20 laps on the restarts and had a lot of speed, we just never got to try to race for it there with the caution.”

Next Up: 

The 2020 season kicks off with the traditional Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 62nd Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the year, will go green on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, with live coverage from Fox and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Homestead Race Report

Event:               Ford EcoBoost 400 (Round 36 of 36)
Series:              Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format:             267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish:      10th/6th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standing:  9th with 2,290 points 

Champion:        Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Race Winner:    Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 80):

  • Bowyer started 10th and finished seventh to earn four bonus points.
  • The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford driver reported his car was tight in the opening laps.
  • As the race progressed the No. 14 came to life, and Bowyer began turning lap times as fast as anyone in the field.
  • Bowyer made his first pit stop of the race on lap 36 for tires, fuel and very minor handling adjustments.
  • Bowyer moved by Joey Logano for eighth on lap 60 and passed Jimmie Johnson for seventh on lap 70.
  • The No. 14 finished the stage running seventh. Only 14 cars were on the lead lap.
  • Bowyer pitted during the stage break for tires, fuel and minor changes to help the front end of the car turn better.

Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 160):

  • Bowyer started seventh and finished 10th to earn one bonus point.
  • The No. 14 dropped a few spots racing in traffic on the restart.
  • Bowyer said his car was tight again and wouldn’t turn.
  • Bowyer moved to ninth by lap 109.
  • He pitted on lap 119 as the crew continued to work on the handling.
  • Bowyer returned to pit lane on lap 141 during the caution.
  • As darkness set in and the track cooled, the No. 14’s handling problems worsened, and Bowyer reported his car wouldn’t turn.
  • Bowyer held on to 10th, and the crew made more-dramatic changes to aid the handling.

Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 267):

  • Bowyer started 12th and finished sixth.
  • The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation driver reported his car was better and “we will be fine.”
  • Bowyer drove to eighth by lap 180, and his crew told him that “this is the best you have been.”
  • Bowyer raced in seventh by lap 191 and made a green-flag stop on lap 209.
  • He had climbed as high as fourth before reporting late in the stage that the car wouldn’t turn.
  • Bowyer hung on to finish sixth.

Notes:

  • Bowyer finished in the top-10 in points for the sixth time in his career.
  • Bowyer earned his 18th top-10 of the season and his eighth top-10 in 14 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead.
  • This is Bowyer’s second consecutive top-10 and third consecutive top-15 at Homestead. He finished eighth in the series’ previous visit to the track last November.
  • This is Bowyer’s second straight top-10. He finished eighth in the series’ last race at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.
  • Kyle Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to score his 56th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his third at Homestead. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was 4.578 seconds.
  • There were three caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
  • Only 10 of the 40 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 finished on the lead lap.

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

“I wish we could have hung on to fourth place there at the end, but we got tight and finished sixth. That was a good run for us. It put us ninth in the points at the end of the year, and that’s probably where we deserve to be. My guys have worked hard this year, and they’re ready to work hard in the offseason to get ready for Daytona in February. Everyone at Ford Performance, Stewart-Haas Racing, Rush Truck Centers, Mobil 1 and all our other partners were really supportive this year, and we had a lot of fun. I’m very appreciative of what Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have created here at SHR. We’ll enjoy the next few weeks, and pretty soon we’ll get that itch and be ready to start racing again.”

Next Up:

The 2020 season kicks off with the traditional Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 62nd Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the year, will go green on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, with live coverage from Fox and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

ARIC ALMIROLA – 2019 Homestead Race Report

Event:               Ford EcoBoost 400 (Round 36 of 36)
Series:              Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format:             267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish:      14th/22nd (Running, completed 264 of 267 laps)
Point Standing:  9th with 2,290 points 

Race Winner:    Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

  • Aric Almirola started 14th and finished 16th.
  • The No. 10 Smithfield Ford driver pitted on lap 37 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments to correct tight-handling conditions.
  • He returned to the track in 17th and raced his way to 14th by lap 65.
  • Almirola was passed by leader Martin Truex Jr. on lap 69, putting him a lap down.
  • He battled the No. 8 car for the Lucky Dog position but just fell short.
  • At the conclusion of the stage he pitted for four more fresh tires, fuel and adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

  • Almirola started 15th and finished 22nd.
  • In the opening laps of Stage 2, Almirola was caught behind the No. 6 car as it pitted unexpectedly.
  • He fell outside the top-20 and radioed that his No. 10 Ford was a “9 out of 10 on the tight side.”
  • The caution was called on lap 136 with Almirola scored in 21st. He did not pit during the caution in the hope of being in the Lucky Dog position.
  • At the end of the stage, Almirola said the No. 10 Smithfield Ford started the run with decent balance but would not turn as the run went on.
  • He pitted at the conclusion of the stage for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267): 

  • Almirola started 22nd and finished 22nd.
  • The No. 10 driver earned the free pass to rejoin the lead lap.
  • He continued to note tight-handling conditions during the final stage.
  • Almirola raced to 18th place before pitting on lap 215 for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis and air pressure adjustments.
  • While on pit road, Almirola’s car slid past his marks and made contact with his tire carrier, sending the tire rolling across pit road. Due to this incident, the No. 10 team was handed an uncontrolled tire penalty, and Almirola was put another lap down.
  • He finished the race three laps down after being passed by leader Kyle Busch in the closing laps.

Notes:

  • Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to secure his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship, the 56th race win of his career, his fifth of the season and his second at Homestead. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was 4.578 seconds.
  • There were three caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
  • Only 10 of the 40 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 finished on the lead lap.

Next Up:

The 2020 season kicks off with the traditional Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 62nd Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the year, will go green on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, with live coverage from Fox and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Homestead Race Report

Event:               Ford EcoBoost 400 (Round 36 of 36)
Series:              Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format:             267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish:      17th/14th  (Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
Points Standing: 17th with 846 points

Race Winner:    Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

  • Daniel Suárez started 17th and finished 15th.
  • The Ford driver made his first scheduled green-flag pit stop from 20th on lap 36 for fuel, four tires and fuel.
  • He ended the stage in 15th and pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with a loose condition during the Stage 1 break.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

  • Suárez started 22nd and ended up 16th.
  • The 27-year-old worked his way forward and was up to the 14th position when he pitted for fuel and four tires on lap 118.
  • On lap 136, the caution was displayed while Suárez remained in the 14th spot.
  • He did not pit and took the wave-around to get back on the lead lap when the race went back to green on lap 141.
  • The Ford driver completed the second stage 16th and pitted during the break for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

  • Suárez started 14th and finished 14th.
  • After going three-wide just after the restart, Suárez was shuffled back to the 17th spot.
  • He remained in the top-20 and pitted from 16th on lap 215 for fuel, four tires and adjustments.
  • The Haas Automation driver was 14th on lap 235.
  • The remainder of the stage ran under green, and Suárez ultimately finished 14th.

Notes:

  • This is Suárez’s third straight top-15. He finished 15th in the series’ last race at ISM Raceway near Phoenix and third three weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
  • Kyle Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to clinch his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship, the 56th race win of his career, his fifth of the season and his second at Homestead. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was 4.578 seconds.
  • There were three caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
  • Only 10 of the 40 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 finished on the lead lap.

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

“The Haas Automation guys worked really hard today. The track conditions change so much from the day to the night, and making adjustments to keep up with the track was key. I was hoping we could get a few more positions there at the end, but my car just wasn’t handling well in the last 15 laps or so. Overall, we had a good season and I really enjoyed working with the crew guys and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing.” 

Next Up:

The 2020 season kicks off with the traditional Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 62nd Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the year, will go green on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, with live coverage from Fox and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Stewart-Haas Racing Promotes Custer to Cup

21-Year-Old Racer Will Pilot No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang in 2020

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will promote Cole Custer from its NASCAR Xfinity Series team to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020, whereupon the nine-time Xfinity Series race winner will drive the team’s No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang.

Custer has a chance to add the 2019 Xfinity Series championship to his resume, as the 21-year-old driver from Ladera Ranch, California, is set to compete for the series title on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway as part of the Championship 4 with fellow Xfinity Series drivers Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Justin Allgaier.

“I was asked last year about this time what Cole needed to do to earn his place in the NASCAR Cup Series, and I said he needed to win,” said Gene Haas, co-owner of SHR with three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. “Well, Cole has done that – a lot. He showed that he’s ready to compete at the next level and we’re giving him that opportunity.”

Custer finished second in last year’s Xfinity Series championship to Reddick, and 2019 has proven to be a breakout campaign for Custer. He came into the season with two wins – one in 2017 and another in 2018. This year alone, he has claimed seven victories, six poles, 16 top-fives, 23 top-10s and led 907 laps. Custer’s seven wins are the second-most this year, behind only Bell with eight wins. Custer’s six poles ties him with Bell for the most poles this season.

Custer, Bell and Reddick will resume their rivalry in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020, with each earning a promotion from their respective teams to NASCAR’s premier racing series.

“Cole has certainly earned his spot in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020,” Stewart added. “He’s consistently running up front, leading laps and winning races. The level of competition increases dramatically in the NASCAR Cup Series, but it’s where Cole belongs after having proven himself in the Xfinity Series.”

Custer has steadily advanced through NASCAR’s stepping-stone divisions, finding success in the NASCAR K&N Series, followed by the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and the Xfinity Series. Being promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series is a natural evolution of his racing career, especially after such a strong 2019 season.

“This is the moment I’ve worked for ever since I first started racing,” said Custer, who began racing quarter midgets at age five. “I’ve learned a lot in these last three years in the Xfinity Series, and to be able to stay within Stewart-Haas Racing will make a steep learning curve a little less steep. I know the people, the culture and what’s expected of me. I’m ready for this challenge.” 

About Stewart-Haas Racing:

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization fields four entries in the NASCAR Cup Series and two entries in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing, on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram @StewartHaasRacing.

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Phoenix II Race Report

Event:               Bluegreen Vacations 500
Series:              Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          ISM Raceway near Phoenix (1.5-mile oval)
Format:             312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish:      13th/8th (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
Point Standing:  11th with 2,254 points 

Race Winner:    Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 75):

  • Bowyer started 13th and finished 14th.
  • The No. 14 One Cure Ford driver reported his car was loose in the early going as the field ran single file.
  • Bowyer asked the crew for handling changes to help is Mustang arc more in the corner on lap 49.
  • A caution with just five laps remaining in the stage brought Bowyer to pit road for tires, fuel and handling adjustments.
  • Bowyer returned to the track in 14th and held his position over the final laps of the stage.
  • Bowyer stayed on the track during the stage break.

Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 150):

  • Bowyer started 12th and finished 11th.
  • The No. 14 One Cure Ford moved into the top-10 on lap 86.
  • Bowyer climbed as high as ninth during the stage but continued to battle handling issues.
  • Only 18 cars raced on the lead lap during the stage. Passing was more than challenging on the mile oval.
  • Bowyer pitted during the stage break for fuel, tires and more adjustments.

Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 312):

  • Bowyer started 10th and finished eighth.
  • The No. 14 One Cure Ford driver raced in 10th by the lap-200 mark.
  • On lap 215 Bowyer moved to ninth after passing Erik Jones, and he moved into eighth a few laps later when he passed Joey Logano.
  • Bowyer continued to report his car was “loose in and tight in the middle.”
  • With 80 laps to go and only 10 cars on the lead lap, Bowyer was the second highest running non-playoff driver.
  • Bowyer made his first green flag stop of the race with 67 laps remaining.
  • Bowyer raced in sixth with 55 laps remaining with only eight cars on lead lap.
  • A caution forced a restart with three laps to go. Bowyer restarted seventh and fell to eighth in the shootout.

Notes:

  • Bowyer earned his 17th top-10 of the season and his eighth top-10 in 29 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Phoenix.
  • This is Bowyer’s second consecutive top-15 at Phoenix. He finished 11th in the series’ previous visit to the track in March.
  • Denny Hamlin won the Bluegreen Vacations 500k to score his 37th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his third at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .377 of a second.
  • There were five caution periods for a total of 32 laps.
  • Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Bluegreen Vacations 500k finished on the lead lap.
  • Ford took five of the top-10 finishing positions in the Bluegreen Vacations 500.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“That was a tough race today. We worked hard to get our car better and everyone did a really good job. We were just in the wrong lane there at the last restart. It was tough to pass today. Track position was everything. We’ll go to Homestead and finish this season out right next weekend.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, Nov. 17 at at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The final race of the 10-race playoff starts at 3 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Phoenix II Race Report

Event:               Bluegreen Vacations 500k (Round 35 of 36)
Series:              Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          ISM Raceway near Phoenix (1-mile oval)
Format:             312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish:      7th/5th (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
Point Standing:  1st with 5,000 points

Race Winner:    Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75): 

  • Kevin Harvick started seventh and finished ninth, earning two bonus points.
  • The No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang pitted on lap 69 for four tires and fuel.
  • Harvick told the team that his racecar was loose in turn three. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 75-150): 

  • Harvick started seventh and finished seventh, earning four bonus points.
  • The No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang was brought to pit road on lap 155 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
  • Harvick said the car was still loose.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-312): 

  • Harvick started eighth and finished fifth.
  • The No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang hit pit road while in fifth place for four tires and fuel.
  • Harvick said the car was a bit loose entering the turns.
  • After a late caution, Harvick pitted on lap 306 for four tires and fuel.
  • He worked his way from sixth to fifth, where he finished the race.

Notes: 

  • Harvick earned his 14th top-five and 25th top-10 of the season, and his 17th top-five and 23rd top-10 in 34 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Phoenix.
  • Harvick has finished in the top-five 14 times in the last 18 races at Phoenix.
  • This is Harvick’s 13th straight top-10 at Phoenix. He finished ninth in the series’ last visit to the track in March.
  • Harvick’s nine wins, 16 top-fives, 22 top-10s and 1,595 laps led at Phoenix are the most among active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers. (NOTE: The only driver close to him in any of the numbers is Jimmie Johnson with 15 top-fives and 21 top-10s.)
  • This is Harvick’s fourth straight top-10 and his 14th top-10 in the last 16 races. He won the series’ previous race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
  • Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has never finished outside the top-10 at Phoenix. He has finished in the top-two six times, five of which were wins.
  • Denny Hamlin won the Bluegreen Vacations 500k to score his 37th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his third at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .377 of a second.
  • There were five caution periods for a total of 32 laps.
  • Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Bluegreen Vacations 500k finished on the lead lap.
  • Ford took five of the top-10 finishing positions in the Bluegreen Vacations 500.

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

“I’d say (the race went) about like I thought it was gonna go. The Gibbs cars were strong, and we were probably about where we finished, about a fifth-place car. I’m just really proud of everybody on our Mobil 1 Ford for battling through the day, and we’ll see what happens next week in Homestead.” 

Championship 4 Drivers:

  1. Kevin Harvick (5,000 points)
  2. Martin Truex Jr. (5,000 points)
  3. Denny Hamlin (5,000 points)
  4. Kyle Busch (5,000 points)
  • Harvick will compete in the Championship 4 for the fifth time in the last six years. He won the championship in 2014. 

Failed to Advance to Championship 4:

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Ryan Blaney
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. Chase Elliott 

Next Up:  

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The final race of the 10-race playoffs starts at 3 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Phoenix II Race Report

Event:               Bluegreen Vacations 500k
Series:              Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          ISM Raceway near Phoenix (1-mile oval)
Format:             312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish:      15th/15th  (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
Points Standing: 17th with 823 points

Race Winner:    Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):

  • Daniel Suárez started 15th and finished 23rd.
  • The Ford driver remained in the top-20 and was 14th when he pitted during the first caution on lap 68.
  • Suárez received a penalty for speeding on pit road after receiving four tires, fuel and adjustments to loosen the car.
  • The Haas Automation restarted at the rear of the field and finished Stage 1 in 23rd.
  • Suárez did not pit during the Stage break.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):

  • Suárez started 23rd and ended up 16th.
  • The 27-year-old worked his way forward after battling an ill-handling Mustang to open the stage.
  • On lap 127, the Haas Automation Mustang team confimed debris on the grille as Suárez ran 17th.
  • As the long run continued, Suárez worked his way to the 16th position, where he completed the stage.
  • During the Stage 2 break he pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help his Mustang.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-312):

  • Suárez started 14th and finished 15th.
  • The caution was displayed on lap 165, but Suárez did not visit pit road and restarted 13th.
  • On lap 191 he was in the 16th spot.
  • The Haas Automation driver made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 245 from the top-15 for fuel, four tires and adjustments.
  • After pit stops cycled through, Suárez was in the 11th position on lap 262.
  • With nine laps to go the final caution came out, and Suárez stayed out to take the wave-around and restart 11th.
  • In the sprint to the finish he made contact with competitors and was relegated to a 15th-place finish.

Notes:

  • Suárez earned his 19th top-15 of the season and his third top-15 in six career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Phoenix.
  • Denny Hamlin won the Bluegreen Vacations 500k to score his 37th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his third at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .377 of a second.
  • There were five caution periods for a total of 32 laps.
  • Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Bluegreen Vacations 500k finished on the lead lap.
  • Ford took five of the top-10 finishing positions in the Bluegreen Vacations 500. 

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

“We had a good speed in the car on the long run, but we were lacking a little bit on the short run. I got a pit road speeding penalty early on, but we were fortunate enough to recover from that. At the end of the race we were 11th, and then the last caution came out. We all restarted with a few laps to go, and everyone had their own agendas. We lost a few spots and had some damage to the car, which is disappointing.” 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The final race of the 10-race playoffs starts at 3 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

ARIC ALMIROLA – 2019 Phoenix II Race Report

Event:  Bluegreen Vacations 500k (Round 35 of 36)
Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:  ISM Raceway near Phoenix (1-mile oval)
Format:  312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish:  11th/22nd (Running, completed 310 of 312 laps)
Point Standing:  14th with 2,219 points

Race Winner:  Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner:  Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):

Aric Almirola started 11th and finished 12th.
● Running in 12th after 20 laps, Almirola described his No. 10 Eckrich Ford Mustang as having no rear grip.
● Fell to 14th by lap 52. Almirola keyed his mic to say, “Zero roll speed. Just driving through front tires on throttle.”
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a right-rear wedge adjustment while under caution on lap 69.
● Was 14th for lap-72 restart and picked up two positions to finish the stage in 12th.
● Stayed out at the conclusion of the stage to maintain track position.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):

Almirola started ninth and finished 14th.
● Settled into 11th by lap 90 and radioed on lap 106 that he was loose under braking into turn three, but was tight everywhere else.
● “The harder I try, the worse it gets,” said a 12th-place Almirola on lap 126 about the handling of his Eckrich Ford Mustang.
● On lap 136, Almirola added: “Chattering the tires. It gets really bad late in a run.” Dropped to 14th.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage, and also inserted a spring rubber into the right-rear to aid in the car’s handling.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-312):

Almirola started 20th and finished 22nd.
● Despite having pitted before the stage, Almirola still experienced a tight racecar that was chattering its tires.
● Took advantage of caution period and pitted on lap 168 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.
● Remained 20th for lap-173 restart.
● Climbed to 18th by lap 196, but Almirola reported that his Eckrich Ford Mustang was back to being too tight and not turning.
● Even with a racecar that was too tight, Almirola found ways to gain positions. He was 16th with 100 laps to go.
● Lost a lap to leader Denny Hamlin on lap 225 while running 17th.
● Made scheduled, green flag pit stop on lap 236 for four tires and fuel.
● As pit stops cycled through, Almirola rose to 11th by lap 256 and was in position to score a top-10.
● But on lap 286, Almirola keyed his mic and yelled, “Flat tire!” He had a flat right front and was forced to pit under green for four tires and fuel.
● The unscheduled, green flat pit stop dropped Almirola to 22nd and put him two laps down, and with less than 25 laps remaining, it was a position from which he could not recover.

Notes:

● Denny Hamlin won the Bluegreen Vacations 500k to score his 37th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his third at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .377 of a second.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 32 laps.
● Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Bluegreen Vacations 500k finished on the lead lap.
● Ford took five of the top-10 finishing positions in the Bluegreen Vacations 500k.

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Eckrich Ford Mustang:

“We fought hard all day, and even though we weren’t where we needed to be from a handling standpoint, we managed to get up to 11th to where a top-10 was possible. But then we got a flat tire and that was it.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The final race of the 10-race playoffs starts at 3 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Texas II Race Report – HARVICK WINS!

Event: AAA Texas 500 (Round 34 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedwayin Fort Worth(1.5-mile oval)
Format: 334 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/164 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/1st (Running, completed 334 of 334 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd (4,113 points, 1 win – ADVANCES TO CHAMPIONSHIP 4)

Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):

Kevin Harvick started from the pole and finished first, collecting 10 bonus points and a playoff point.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer Ducks Unlimited Ford Mustang took the lead on the start and led 43 laps during the stage.
● On lap 38, while leading, Harvick said the car was a bit too tight in the center at the exit of turn two.
● Harvick pitted on lap 45 for fuel only.
● The race restarted on lap 85 and Harvick was able to pass his teammate Clint Bowyer for the lead and won the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):

Kevin Harvick started 19th and finished sixth and earned five bonus points.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer Ducks Unlimited Ford Mustang pitted on lap 88 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
● By laps 125, Harvick had moved from 18th to 10th.
● Harvick said on lap 132 that his car was too loose in turns three and four.
● On lap 150, Harvick moved into second place.
● Harvick pitted for fuel only while leading on lap 153.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 171-334):

Kevin Harvick started 14th and finished first.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer Ducks Unlimited Ford Mustang pitted on lap 174 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
● On lap 188, Harvick came down pit road for a fuel-only stop but was penalized for a tire positioned over the wall too early, sending him to be tail end of the lead-lap cars on the ensuing restart.
● He worked his way toward the front during the run and was up to third by lap 245, when he pitted for four tires, fuel and a pressure adjustment.
● Ten laps later, Harvick took the lead for the fifth time in the race and held the point for 52 laps, when he made his final schedule fuel-and-tire stop on lap 307.
● Harvick took the lead for good on lap 314 when the leaders completed their final scheduled stops, leading a 1-2-3 SHR finish at the checkered flag.

Notes:

● Harvick’s victory was his fourth win, 13th top-five and 24th top-10 of the season, and his third victory, 11th top-five and 22nd top-10 in 34 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas.
● This is Harvick’s 49th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win. He is now tied with SHR co-owner and 2020 NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart for 14th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list.
● The victory qualified Harvick and the No. 4 team for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
● This was Harvick’s 26th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory since joining SHR in 2014. Harvick has scored more than half of his career NASCAR Cup Series victories in his six years with SHR. The rest came in his 13 previous Cup Series seasons (2001-2013).
● This is Harvick’s 11th straight top-10 at Texas. He finished eighth in the series’ last visit to the track in March.
● Harvick’s 11 consecutive top-10s at Texas are the most among the active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● This is Harvick’s third straight top-10 and his ninth top-10 in the last 10 races. He finished seventh in the series’ last race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only one finish outside the top-10 at Texas. All three of his victories at the track have come in consecutive seasons and with the No. 4 team.
● Harvick led six times for 119 laps to increase his laps-led total at Texas to 614.
● In his last three Texas playoff-race wins, Harvick led one-third of all possible laps – 334 of 1,002.
● SHR teammate Aric Almirola finished second and Daniel Suarez came home third to secure the second 1-2-3 finish in SHR history. Bowyer, Harvick and then-teammate Kurt Busch earned the trifecta in June 2018 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
● Harvick’s margin of victory over Almirola was 1.594 seconds.
● Ford took the top-four finishing positions and five in the top-10 in the AAA Texas 500.
● Harvick’s victory in the AAA Texas 500 marked the 71st overall win for SHR. It was the organization’s 55th points-paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win, its fourth of the season and its fourth at Texas.
● This was SHR’s 19th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.
● This was Ford’s 15th all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory at Texas. Ford has the most wins of any manufacturer at Texas, and it has won the last three AAA Texas 500s – all with Harvick.
● All four SHR cars led multiple green-flag laps in the AAA Texas 500 for a total of 242 of 334 possible race laps.
● There were 11 caution periods for a total of 56 laps.
● Only 14 of the 40 drivers in the AAA Texas 500finished on the lead lap.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ducks Unlimited Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

How do you feel about making it to the Final Four again?  Is it old hat for you, or is it a new experience every time and something to be really enjoyed?

“You know, I think every year is different. For me, I would tell you that I just — I don’t think we’ve run as well as we’ve probably wanted to run week in and week out compared to the things that we expect. But this particular year has been neat for me to sit back and watch the evolution of how we progressed with the race cars, how the conversations have progressed, how my theories and things that I think are right and wrong have changed.  It’s such a process of going to all these different racetracks. You know, there’s just a lot of choices of what you can do to the car and the things that you do, and not being the dominant car on the racetrack has made us work harder. The thing that I can tell you is it’s evolved into not making mistakes, and yes, Dustin (Long, reporter), we made it through the whole night without having a speeding penalty, so I don’t have to find you this next week to — we didn’t have a speeding penalty, so you’re off the hook. But that’s the type of scenario that — it’s like tonight where you have the pit road penalty, you put it behind you, and you’re like, okay, well, now what do we do.  We went right out and had a bad restart and went further backwards, then you had the penalty and you go all the way to the back and then you change the tires, and you’re like, okay, well, that’s over.  And you have to start thinking about how you’re going to get back to the front, and we stayed out longer and the caution came out and next thing you know you’re on the right side of the cycle. So those are the types of things that we’ve been reminded of this year, that you have to think about things outside of the box because the box changes a lot.  Obviously the rules changed a tremendous amount this year, and the thought processes and the things that you’ve done in the past are irrelevant.  Any time you hear about — any time you hear about we did this last year, it’s like, I just stop him and say, there’s no reason to talk about last year because it is absolutely irrelevant to the things that we’ve done. The day that you stop thinking about how you’re going to evolve and get stuck in today and what you did yesterday is the day that this sport will leave you behind.  You have to be very open-minded, and this is a progressive sport and you have to keep up with that progression on a weekly basis because it changes rapidly.  And those are the types of things that I have really enjoyed this year, even though we haven’t been the dominant car.  We’ve figured out how to win.  We’ve figured out how to run fast and put ourselves in position to have chances to win races, and we’ve capitalized on the few chances that we’ve been in position to win, and that’s really — it’s been a good character-building year to have to battle in order to get yourself in position.”

Again, today (your son) Keelan set up the air pressure before the race and again you won.

“Yeah, I think he’s three for three or four for four.  I think all four races he’s set the air pressure this year, so if anything we’re helping him with math.  It’s fun to have him at the racetrack. Had a fun weekend. They have a great zoo here, in case you were wondering.  We didn’t do much yesterday. But just really proud of everybody on this team. Just got to thank everybody from Busch Beer, from Hunt Brothers Pizza, Mobil 1, Jimmy John’s, everybody from Haas Automation and Stewart‑Haas Racing, Roush Yates engines for the last‑minute engine change and the things that they worked on to give us all the speed we had here, and it was definitely fun to drive.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bluegreen Vacations 500k on Sunday, Nov. 10 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. It is the penultimate race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 8. The event starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.