HighPoint Partners with Stewart-Haas Racing

Leading Service and Technology Solutions Company Joins No. 98 NASCAR Xfinity Series Team and Driver Chase Briscoe for 10 Primary Races with Associate Sponsorship at All Other Races

 

HighPoint, a leading customer service and technology solutions company, has partnered with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to become the team’s official IT solutions provider and a primary sponsor of its No. 98 NASCAR Xfinity Series entry with driver Chase Briscoe.

The Sparta, New Jersey-based IT company will make its debut in the season-opening NASCAR Racing Experience 300 Feb. 15 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, with Briscoe driving the No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang. It will be the first of 10 races where HighPoint serves as the team’s primary sponsor. For all other races, HighPoint will be an associate sponsor.

“HighPoint is guided by 33 fundamentals, all of which are based on the principles of honesty, integrity and trust,” said Mike Mendiburu, president and CEO, HighPoint. “We’ve found a like-minded organization in Stewart-Haas Racing and a similarly focused driver in Chase Briscoe. When you combine our service culture with our long-term industry expertise, we’re able to create purpose that aligns in meeting our business objectives.”

Briscoe won the 2019 rookie-of-the-year title in the Xfinity Series and will race for a championship in 2020. The 25-year-old from Mitchell, Indiana, is a two-time winner in the Xfinity Series and the 2016 ARCA Racing Series champion.

“Even though we race stock cars, there’s nothing stock about what we do,” Briscoe said. “The science of our cars is impressive, but the technology that goes into building our Ford Mustangs and then making them perform is even more advanced. Our IT needs are pretty complex, and we demand a lot from our technology every day, whether it’s at the shop or at the track. HighPoint is more than just a sponsor – they’re a partner that helps us perform.”

HighPoint’s partnership with SHR also brings a strong business-to-business component to NASCAR, with the award-winning firm able to service any and all technology needs in a sport where approximately 140 Fortune 500 companies are invested.

“Walk around our race shop during the week and the garage area on a race weekend and you’ll see how our racecars and our entire industry relies on technology,” said Mike Verlander, vice president of sales and marketing, SHR. “From engine diagnostics to fuel-mileage calculations, our business is dependent on service and technology solutions. Every company needs what HighPoint provides, and we’ll work diligently to facilitate those introductions.”

“HighPoint’s objective is to serve our customers as a trusted advisor on how they acquire, consume and adopt technology,” Mendiburu added. “We’re able to highlight this methodology by partnering with Stewart-Haas Racing – a championship-winning race team that has achieved success by working together and leveraging all of its available resources.”

About HighPoint:
HighPoint is a leading customer service and technology solutions company. With its customer-centric, results-driven approach to digital transformation, you get technology that works, delivered by people you want to work with. HighPoint builds lasting relationships with clients, employees and partners based on honesty, integrity, trust and a mutual commitment to growth and success. The company, founded in 1996, is a minority-owned business headquartered in Sparta, New Jersey, serving markets in the tri-state region and southeastern United States, with a presence in Charlotte, North Carolina, and overseas in London. To contact us or learn more about our solutions, please visit www.HighPoint.com.

About Stewart-Haas Racing:

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 70 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. 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.

Stewart-Haas eSports Selects Drivers for 2020 eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series

Stewart-Haas eSports, the simracing extension of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has named its two drivers for the 2020 eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series, promoting one accomplished simracer from within its NASCAR team and selecting another veteran simracer from outside the United States.

Justin Bolton is a 24-year-old engineer on SHR’s NASCAR Xfinity Series team who helped Cole Custer to a career-high seven victories in 2019. Bolton has raced in the iRacing World Championship off and on since 2014, accumulating 46 starts with nine top-five finishes and a career-best points result of ninth in 2015. The Latrobe, Pennsylvania, native also has real-world racing experience, as Bolton has raced Legends cars and Late Model stock cars, winning the 2013 Fall Classic at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway in the Limited Late Model division.

Canadian Dylan Duval is a 24-year-old from Halifax, Nova Scotia. The graphic designer debuted in the iRacing World Championship in 2012 and is the first Canadian iRacing winner in series history, taking the virtual checkered flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016. Duval has made 73 starts in his seven-year career, scoring eight top-fives and earning a best points finish of fifth in 2016.

Bolton will race Stewart-Haas eSports’ No. 10 Ford Mustang and Duval will pilot the team’s No. 41 Ford Mustang.

“I’m really proud to be a part of Stewart-Haas eSports and extend my overall role within Stewart-Haas Racing,” Bolton said. “It’s tough to get started in racing and even harder to stay there as a driver. iRacing has allowed me the opportunity to pursue my driving career while trialing some of my ideas from an engineering standpoint. Competing for Stewart-Haas eSports is an excellent way for me to pair my engineering role at SHR with my actual racing experience.”

“I’ve been competing as an independent in iRacing ever since I started in 2012,” Duval said. “To be able to continue my simracing career with such a prestigious organization in Stewart-Haas Racing and be a part of their growing esports involvement makes me genuinely excited. Stewart-Haas eSports has infrastructure and support I’ve never had before. To say I’m looking forward to the 2020 eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series is a massive understatement.”

The 2020 season will mark the 11th year of the eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series and it is the only officially sanctioned esports series of NASCAR. It features the top-40 paved oval simracers in the world who compete in racecar replicas engineered from the ground up in cooperation with real-world race teams, applying accurate mechanical and dynamic models on exact copies of the world’s greatest racing circuits.

The 2020 eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series consists of 20 races and begins Feb. 11 at the virtual Daytona International Speedway. The series competes through October with the champion receiving their trophy, ring and check during pre-race ceremonies on Nov. 8 prior to the season-ending NASCAR Cup Series race Phoenix Raceway.

 

About Stewart-Haas eSports:

NASCAR is the ultimate test of driver acumen and mechanical know-how, where teams scrutinize every detail in a never-ending quest for speed. Stewart-Haas Racing has thrived in this environment, winning races and championships to firmly establish its presence in NASCAR. Stewart-Haas eSports emulates these efforts in the virtual world, where sim technology provides a visceral experience that amplifies the grit and determination of NASCAR drivers in the real world. Stewart-Haas eSports is a natural extension of Stewart-Haas Racing, where competition and simulation are one. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.com and follow on Twitter @SHR_eSports. 

About Stewart-Haas Racing:

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 70 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. 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.

-SHR-

Briscoe Back with Stewart-Haas Racing for Second NASCAR Xfinity Series Season

2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year Ready for Championship Run in 2020

After winning the 2019 rookie-of-the-year title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Chase Briscoe will race for an Xfinity Series championship in 2020 as he returns to Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

Briscoe is a two-time winner in the Xfinity Series, with both of his victories coming in SHR-prepared Ford Mustangs. The 25-year-old from Mitchell, Indiana, finished fifth in the championship standings in 2019, earning a berth in the NASCAR Playoffs with a win, two poles and 13 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes in his first full season of Xfinity Series competition.

“This is the first time I’ll be able to run back-to-back, full seasons with the same team, and I couldn’t be happier to do it with Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Briscoe, a development driver with Ford Performance. “Their faith in me means a lot, and I want to reward them and Ford with more wins and a run for the championship.”

“We are thrilled to continue Chase’s development program with a second full season running the Xfinity Series for Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Chase has proven himself well so far and we’re looking forward to continuing his progression as he competes for an Xfinity Series championship for SHR and Ford.”

Briscoe is a third-generation racer whose career began on dirt tracks in and around Indiana. Since he was 13, Briscoe has followed in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, racing sprint cars on the rough and tumble bullrings of the Midwest. It’s a lineage that makes Briscoe a natural fit for SHR, as the Xfinity Series team is co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, an Indiana native who also began his career on dirt.

“We’re very proud to have Chase back with Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “Chase is an Indiana kid with a dirt-track background who has shown he can race on asphalt as well as he can on dirt. We think very highly of him and look forward to a strong season in 2020.”

Briscoe has thrived in his transition to NASCAR, which began after a six-win campaign in the 2016 ARCA Racing Series earned him the championship by a whopping 535 points. He advanced to the NASCAR Truck Series in 2017, earning four poles and winning the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Briscoe’s 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes allowed him to make the playoffs, finish sixth in points and score the series’ rookie-of-the-year and most popular driver awards.

Briscoe parlayed a limited Xfinity Series schedule in 2018 where he drove for both SHR and Roush-Fenway Racing into a full-time drive in 2019 for SHR. He earned his first career Xfinity Series victory on Sept. 29, 2018 in just his 14th career start when he won the inaugural race at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval. Briscoe scored his second Xfinity Series win in his 36th career start July 27, 2019 at Iowa Speedway in Newton.

About Stewart-Haas Racing:

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 70 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. 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.

Introducing Stewart-Haas eSports

Rebranded eSports Team Will Compete in eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has rebranded and bolstered its online sports presence with newly named Stewart-Haas eSports set to compete in the eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series beginning with the 2020 season.

Stewart-Haas eSports will field two teams in the eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series with drivers, numbers and car designs being announced at a later date. The 2020 season will mark the 11th year of the eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series and it is the only officially sanctioned Esports series of NASCAR.

“We’ve put a lot of time and energy into our eSports efforts and we’re confident of the team we can put forth in the eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series,” said Mike Verlander, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Stewart-Haas Racing. “The authenticity of iRacing and its global reach is unparalleled. Ideally, our eSports presence facilitates even greater interest in our on-track product in both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series, while simultaneously providing our partners with another strong engagement platform.”

The eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series features the top-40 paved oval sim racers in the world. They compete in racecar replicas engineered from the ground up in cooperation with real-world race teams, applying accurate mechanical and dynamic models on exact copies of the world’s greatest racing circuits.

The 2020 eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series begins in February at the virtual Daytona International Speedway and runs through October with the series champion receiving their trophy, ring and check during pre-race ceremonies on Nov. 8 prior to the season-ending NASCAR Cup Series race at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

The 2020 season will mark Stewart-Haas eSports’ first year in the eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series, but it won’t be the organization’s first stint in eSports. Stewart-Haas eSports won the inaugural eNASCAR Heat Pro League championship in October under its previous moniker, Stewart-Haas Gaming. The name change to Stewart-Haas eSports better aligns the outfit with the burgeoning eSports industry. Stewart-Haas eSports will defend its eNASCAR Heat Pro League title in 2020 where it will again field two drivers in the console-based series – one for Xbox One and the other for PlayStation 4. 

About Stewart-Haas Esports:

NASCAR is the ultimate test of driver acumen and mechanical know-how, where teams scrutinize every detail in a never-ending quest for speed. Stewart-Haas Racing has thrived in this environment, winning races and championships to firmly establish its presence in NASCAR. Stewart-Haas eSports emulates these efforts in the virtual world, where sim technology provides a visceral experience that amplifies the grit and determination of NASCAR drivers in the real world. Stewart-Haas eSports is a natural extension of Stewart-Haas Racing, where competition and simulation are one. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.com and follow on Twitter @SHR_eSports.

About Stewart-Haas Racing:

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 70 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. 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.

Stewart-Haas Racing Announces 2020 Crew Chief Lineup for NASCAR Cup Series Teams

Mike Shiplett Promoted to No. 41 Team Crew Chief; Mike Bugarewicz Moves to No. 10 Team and John Klausmeier Moves to No. 14 Team; Rodney Childers Remains with No. 4 Team for Seventh Straight Season

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has announced the 2020 crew chief lineup for its four NASCAR Cup Series teams.

The most notable change is the promotion of crew chief Mike Shiplett to the No. 41 team. SHR brings Shiplett up from its NASCAR Xfinity Series program where he spent the 2019 season guiding Cole Custer to a career-high seven wins and six poles with a runner-up finish in the championship standings. Shiplett will be paired with Custer again in 2020, as the 21-year-old Custer runs for rookie-of-the year honors

Crew chiefs John Klausmeier and Mike “Buga” Bugarewicz will swap teams, with Klausmeier going to the No. 14 team of Clint Bowyer and Bugarewicz going to the No. 10 team of Aric Almirola.

Klausmeier has been the No. 10 crew chief since 2018, where he and Almirola combined for 29 top-10 finishes, highlighted by a victory on Oct. 14, 2018 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The duo made the NASCAR Playoffs in each of their two seasons together, with Almirola finishing a career-best fifth in the 2018 championship.

Bugarewicz has led the No. 14 team since 2016, where he was Tony Stewart’s crew chief for his last NASCAR season before being paired with Bowyer in 2017. Bugarewicz helped Stewart secure his 49th and final NASCAR Cup Series victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and continued winning with Bowyer, securing two victories in 2018 – March 26 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and June 10 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn – as part of a three-year stint that garnered 47 top-10s and two appearances in the NASCAR Playoffs.

Rodney Childers returns as Kevin Harvick’s crew chief with the No. 4 team for the seventh straight year. Since joining forces in 2014, Childers and Harvick have combined to produce 26 victories, 25 poles, 106 top-five finishes and 153 top-10s. They have led 9,608 laps and made the Championship 4 five times in the last six years. They won the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series title and have finished runner-up twice, to 2015 champion Kyle Busch and to 2018 champion Joey Logano.

“Our biggest asset at Stewart-Haas Racing is our people, and we strive to put each person in the best position to succeed,” said Greg Zipadelli, Vice President of Competition, SHR. “Our driver/crew chief pairings for next season reflect this ideology, and we believe this lineup provides the best opportunity to win every time we unload our Ford Mustangs at the racetrack.”

About Stewart-Haas Racing:

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 70 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. 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.

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.