DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Dover II Race Advance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

How do you feel about Dover?

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

COLE CUSTER – 2019 NXS Dover II Race Advance

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


Production Alliance Group is a premium live-event and creative development company. Passion for our craft has allowed us to work with top names and brands in both corporate and entertainment industries. We bring creative excellence and relevant execution to every opportunity, big or small. We engage and collaborate with our customers and industry partners…and together create experiences that move and impressions that last.

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

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

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Dover II Race Advance

Kevin Harvick advanced to the Round of 12 of this year’s NASCAR playoffs and it starts with Sunday’s Dover 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

This weekend at the track known as “The Monster Mile,” most of the talk will be about the driver and his No. 4 Busch Beer / All HARVICK Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

Busch loves sponsoring Harvick – no other driver more perfectly represents its brand. But in the NASCAR world, the name Busch doesn’t just stand for crisp, cold, refreshing beer, and it’s been giving free advertising to Harvick’s rivals for too long. So, to show its appreciation for Harvick and to make sure there is no confusion about who the brand’s guy truly is, Busch is going All–HARVICK in Dover for the NASCAR Cup Series race.

Every Busch branded item at Dover will now say “HARVICK,” instead. This won’t just be the paint scheme on Harvick’s No. 4 Ford Mustang or his firesuit, but everything at the track – even the Busch beer at the concession stands – will have the driver’s name.

A win at Dover in the Busch Beer / All HARVICK scheme would be beneficial in a lot of ways for Harvick and the No. 4 team. If he takes the checkered flag first, he will automatically advance to the Round of 8 because, if you win, you’re in.

Harvick would also then tie his boss, Tony Stewart, for 14th on the NASCAR Cup Series all-time wins list at 49 career victories. And it would put him within one win of 50 victories. Only 13 drivers are members of the 50-win club.

Harvick scored his first Dover win in October 2015, when he started 15th, led 355 of 400 laps and beat runner-up Kyle Busch by 2.639 seconds. He scored his second win at the concrete mile oval in May 2018, when he started second, led 201 of 400 laps and finished 7.450 seconds ahead of SHR teammate Clint Bowyer.

Sunday will mark Harvick’s 38th Cup Series start Sunday at Dover. In addition to his two wins, he has one pole, seven top-five finishes, 18 top-10s and has led 1,443 laps.

In 17 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Dover, Harvick has five top-five finishes, as well as a June 2000 pole. Harvick has competed in two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races at Dover with two top-five finishes. In May 2011, he started second, led 18 laps and finished fifth. In June 2012, he won the pole, led 96 laps and finished third in a rain-shortened race.

Last weekend at the Charlotte roval, Harvick scored his 20th top-10 finish of the season to give him 20 top-10s every year since 2013.

As the Round of 12 kicks off this weekend at Dover, Harvick would love nothing more than to deliver a win for himself, his team and his longtime sponsor Busch Beer in the All HARVICK car.

 

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

 

Put simply, what do you think of the Busch Beer / All Harvick weekend?

“Harvick beer. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

What do you think about heading into Dover?

“When I go to Dover, I think about one thing, and that is, ‘How can I win this race – what do we need to do as a team to focus on what we need to do?”

Describe what it’s like to take a lap around Dover.

“Dover is the racetrack where you feel the sensation of speed more than anything. It’s a place where you drop off into the corner and slam into a lot of banking and then, as you come out of the corner, it’s kind of like jumping out of a hole and up onto the straightaway. It’s a really fun place to race. You feel that sensation of speed and you can be really aggressive.”

Why is Dover one of the more challenging racetracks on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule?

“I think as you look at Dover, if you look at our history, when I was at RCR (Richard Childress Racing), it was probably one of our worst racetracks. It’s been one of our best since I came to SHR in 2014. For me, the thing I love about Dover is just the fact that it’s hammer down and you’re up on top of the wheel for 400 laps there. It’s violent. Everything about Dover is violent. It’s fast. You can just be aggressive with the car and you have to get in there and wrestle that thing all day because it’s bumpy, slings you up out of the corners, dumps you down in the corners, and there’s just a lot going on. The car is bouncing around a lot and, with as rough as the cars have been just as the ride goes, we are in for a rough ride when we get to Dover this weekend. It’s one of my favorite racetracks to go and race on.”

CHASE BRISCOE – 2019 NXS Dover II Race Advance

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

Ford’s racing program is part of the Ford Performance organization based in Dearborn, Mich. It is responsible for major racing operations globally, including NASCAR, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship, FIA World Rally Championship, Virgin Australia Supercars, Formula Drift, and NHRA Funny Car and sportsman drag racing. In addition, the organization also oversees the development of Ford’s racing engines, as well as the outreach programs with all Ford Clubs and Ford enthusiasts. For more information regarding Ford racing’s activities, please visit www.fordperformance.comwww.facebook.com/FordPerformance, Ford Performance on Instagram and @FordPerformance on Twitter.

You had your best Xfinity Series finish at Dover earlier this season with a fifth-place run in May. What is your goal for this weekend as you return to this track for a second time this year?

“Obviously, the main goal is to avoid any mistakes and keep ourselves locked into the top-8 to advance to the next round of the playoffs. My personal goal is to just improve upon our last outing at Dover and keep the No.98 in the top-five. If we can stay up there throughout the race then we’ll have a shot to win. After last weekend, I’m super excited to get back on track and see what we can do, but I also know we have to keep playoff points in mind and be smart.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – 2019 Dover II Race Advance

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) looks onward to Dover (Del.) International Speedway with his head held high despite being knocked out of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs last weekend at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway “roval” road course.

Heading into last weekend’s final race of the playoffs’ opening Round of 16, Almirola was three points ahead of the cutoff line to advance to the next round. He piloted the Smithfield Ford Mustang to seventh place in the first stage of last Sunday’s race, earning four bonus points. During the second stage, he started 25th amidst an array of pit strategies but raced to 11th before the stage concluded. In the final stage, traction issues after staying out on track while numerous other competitors pitted late in the race made it nearly impossible to gain the 12 spots he needed before the checkered flag to advance to the next playoff round. He passed multiple cars, including fellow playoff competitor Ryan Newman, but finished the race five points below the cutoff to the Round of 12. Almirola left Charlotte 13th in the playoff standings with 2,081 points.

“It was a tough race, but I can’t help but think about the 22 car (Joey Logano) in 2017,” Almirola said. “He was knocked out of the playoffs and came back the following year to win a championship. We are far from done and still have seven races this year to build our momentum back up and race for wins. I’m proud of this team for all of the adversity we have faced this year. I’m excited to head to Dover next. Dover is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit and I know we have brought speed there before. We’ll keep pushing to show ourselves and our supporters that we are championship material.”

Almirola and the No. 10 Smithfield Mustang team started the 2018 fall Dover race 11th and gradually made their way to the lead by the final stage. Almirola led a total of 64 laps in the race, but made contact with the wall racing aggressively in the closing laps, ultimately finishing 13th. It was the first time the 35-year-old led a lap at the concrete mile oval and, although the finish wasn’t what he wanted, he completed one of his best races at a track 1 mile in length or shorter, leaving him with confidence heading into this Sunday’s race.

Almirola has four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Dover and finished inside the top-15 each time. He has two starts there in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and captured his second NASCAR national series win by driving into victory lane in May 2010. His only other Dover start in the Truck Series resulted in a 12th-place finish.

Fans still have the chance to enter the “Racin’ for Bacon” 1 million slice giveaway program. If Almirola pilots the No. 10 Ford to victory lane Oct. 13 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, 10 lucky fans will earn 100,000 slices of bacon. To sign up, visit www.racinforbacongiveaway.com.

Almirola helped make history when he teamed with the world’s No. 1 bowler Jason Belmonte to create the GoBowling.com World’s Fastest Strike. With Almirola behind the wheel, Belmonte launched a bowling ball from the passenger seat of the No. 10 Ford Mustang at 140 mph down the Charlotte Motor Speedway frontstretch. To see what a bowling ball hitting 10 pins at 140 mph looks like, visit www.WorldsFastestStrike.com.

As the playoffs continue this weekend, fans can get VIP, behind-the-scenes access in following “Aric ‘Beyond the 10’” by subscribing to his YouTube channel. Episodes showcase never-before-seen footage of Almirola at the racetrack, on family trips, and “A Day in the Life” during the week, as well as all that goes into a NASCAR Cup Series driver’s season. Tune in this weekend for full access to Almirola’s playoff media day, NASCAR Burnout Boulevard and the Vegas race weekend. Click here to subscribe on YouTube and watch the latest episode.

Sunday’s 400-mile race at Dover marks the 26th points-paying event during which the Smithfield livery has adorned Almirola’s No. 10 Ford Mustang this year. Smithfield, a brand of Smithfield Foods, based in Smithfield, Virginia, is in its eighth season with Almirola and its second with SHR. Founded in 1936, Smithfield is a leading provider of high-quality pork products, with a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, and a wide variety of fresh pork cuts.

 

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

 

What do you like about Dover? 

“I love going to Dover because it’s one of those places you go 170 mph but you feel like you’re going 300 mph. We found speed there last year and we’ve raced there with the new package once and built some notes. I’m really looking forward to getting back there knowing we can compete for a win.”

How do you stay motivated after being knocked out of the playoffs?

“Easy. It’s my job to perform at the highest level of motorsports in the world. I’m a professional racecar driver in the most elite level of racing and I plan to be at the top of that someday. There are a lot of people supporting me – all of the guys and girls back at the shop who make it all happen, Gene Haas, Tony Stewart, Smithfield, Ford Performance, Go Bowling, Roush Yates, 3D Systems, Mobil 1. I still plan to go out and win the next seven races whether we’re in the hunt for the championship or not.”

CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Dover II Race Advance

After breathing a deep sigh of relief Sunday night knowing he survived the roval carnage at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, No. 14 ITsavvy/Haas Automation Mustang driver Clint Bowyer is ready to kick off the Round of 12 of this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs this weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

“I’m excited to reset and not be playing catch-up,” Bowyer said moments after Sunday’s race. “We put ourselves in a hole in the first round after a 25th-place finish at Las Vegas. I won’t put us in a hole again. Dover is a good track for me. Dover is a good track for our organization. I feel like we can get reset and go for that next Round of 8.”

Bowyer and his No. 14 Ford Mustang team entered Sunday’s final race in the Round of 16 on the Charlotte roval four points out of the final transfer position. But he qualified fifth Friday, then racked up 16 bonus points in the first two stages of Sunday’s race while surviving three- and four-wide racing throughout. He avoided numerous near wrecks in the closing laps en route to a fourth-place finish that boosted him to ninth in the final Round of 16 points and advanced him to the next playoff round with 11 other drivers.

Bowyer arrives at Dover 12th in points after the Round of 12 points reset. He is just six points outside the top eight and would love nothing more than to start the round with a good run Sunday. He said racing on the roval at Charlotte last weekend was tension-filled and expects this weekend’s more traditional race on the mile oval at Dover to be much more fun.

“This is a fun racetrack,” said Bowyer, who owns three top-five finishes and 15 top-10s while leading 83 laps in 27 Cup Series races at Dover. “This is a challenging racetrack, a very competitive racetrack, one of the most competitive and challenging tracks I think we go to. The balance of your car is just so important, balancing those front tires to the rear. You’ve got to enjoy places like this. If you don’t, it’s a long day.”

Bowyer isn’t a stranger to victory lane at the Monster Mile. He owns two NASCAR Xfinity Series victories at Dover. He led 70 laps and beat Matt Kenseth by .547 of a second on Sept. 23, 2006 to win his third of eight Xfinity Series victories in his career. His most recent Xfinity Series victory also came at Dover, in Sept. 26, 2009, when he led 83 laps and beat Mike Bliss to the checkered flag by 1.319 seconds.

Bowyer will drive the No. 14 ITsavvy/Haas Automation Ford Mustang for SHR at Dover.

ITsavvy (pronounced I-T-savvy) is a second-year primary sponsor in the Cup Series. The Addison, Illinois-based company is one of the fastest-growing resources for integrated IT products and technology solutions in the United States. ITsavvy has catapulted rapidly from a Midwest startup to a national leader in IT products and solutions.

Founded in 2004 by Mike Theriault and Chris Kurpeikis, ITsavvy has been consistently recognized as one of the fastest-growing businesses of its type. ITsavvy is a single-source, end-to-end IT partner. The company combines a comprehensive, value-added reseller business of more than 1 million computer, hardware and software products with an industry-leading advanced solutions group. ITsavvy has access to $8 billion in daily inventory in 46 distribution centers around the country with the ability to ship in-stock items the same day they are ordered.

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

 

CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 ITsavvy/Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

What do you expect will be different at Dover this weekend?

“Nothing. You’re gonna fight the same thing, the same struggles. Everybody will be a little bit better. You’ll learn from the first race and make adjustments as we progress. The teams learn a little bit better setup. The aero boys get a little bit better there, but it’s not like you just get better. Everybody gets better, so it’s kind of more of the same.”

How do the Round of 12 tracks stack up for you?

“Yeah, I mean you’ve got to always have confidence, no different than this. This is an opportunity. When you have a track that you say is a wild-card race, that’s an opportunity. And in the situation we’re in, you’ve got to be able to look forward to those opportunities at hand because we need one.”

Do you have confidence going to Dover?

“Dover is a good track for me. It’s a place that I really enjoy racing at and, usually when you’re enjoying something, it’s because you run well there. It’s just a good track for me.”

What are your thoughts on Dover?

“Dover is always a cool track that I think every driver looks forward to because it’s a driver’s track. You’ve got to man up, get on top of that wheel and make things happen. There are just so many things going on there on that concrete surface and high banks. It’s a lot of fun. If you win there, you’ve earned it.”

How important is experience at Dover?

“I’m telling you, this is one of the toughest tracks I went to the first time I came, but it’s a demanding racetrack. Here’s the thing about this track – it’s hard enough to get around here by yourself, then you get to racing somebody and now you get frustrated and it’s so easy to get yourself in trouble on that racetrack. That being said, I think younger drivers get themselves in trouble in racing conditions on this demanding racetrack.”

Is there more pressure at tracks where you’ve had success?

“I think so – there’s a little bit more pressure. There’s a reason there’s some pressure – it’s because we have performed there and we need to do it again. I feel like we can back that up and I’m fairly confident in that. You don’t take anything for granted, but this is one of those tracks where you kind of just go in and usually things work out.”

COLE CUSTER – 2019 NXS Charlotte Roval Race Advance

Race Name: Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (Race 28 of 33)
Venue: The ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina
Television: 3:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Point Standings: 
– Cole Custer: 2nd; trails points leader by 22 points
– Chase Briscoe: 7th; trails points leader by 65 points

Fusion 360 solves the bottlenecks that traditional CAD, CAM, Data Management, and Simulation solutions have created, by eliminating the timely, error-prone, disconnected development process that you encounter everyday.
About Autodesk: Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you’ve ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you’ve experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software.

You’re coming up to the Roval, which has a slight configuration change on the backstretch. What will be most difficult coming into the weekend?

“The Roval is one of the most difficult places we race at because there is no place similar to this on our schedule. We came in last year and saw a bunch of wrecks during practice and only a few during the race, but with the new backstretch layout and how much we have to slow down now, I think you’ll see a lot of guys either trying to be conservative or going for it with very little in between. It’s going to be a place where we will try to have another great points day, but if there’s a chance for us to grab a win towards the end, then you might see us go for it.”

CHASE BRISCOE – 2019 NXS Charlotte Roval Race Advance

Race Name: Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (Race 28 of 33)
Venue: The ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina
Television: 3:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Point Standings: 
– Cole Custer: 2nd; trails points leader by 22 points
– Chase Briscoe: 7th; trails points leader by 65 points

Ford’s racing program is part of the Ford Performance organization based in Dearborn, Mich. It is responsible for major racing operations globally, including NASCAR, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship, FIA World Rally Championship, Virgin Australia Supercars, Formula Drift, and NHRA Funny Car and sportsman drag racing. In addition, the organization also oversees the development of Ford’s racing engines, as well as the outreach programs with all Ford Clubs and Ford enthusiasts. For more information regarding Ford racing’s activities, please visit www.fordperformance.comwww.facebook.com/FordPerformance, Ford Performance on Instagram and @FordPerformance on Twitter.

Your first Xfinity Series win came at the ROVAL in 2018. What will it take to repeat in 2019?

“We weren’t running for points in 2018, so we were able to use a different strategy than everyone else by short-pitting. That lined us up perfectly for the middle portion of the race and ultimately the end. (Crew Chief) Richard Boswell had a great strategy and we were able to stick to it. The new configuration of the backstretch is going to throw people off at the beginning of the weekend, because we are used to the fast portion where we would throw the car around but now you have to really slow the car down, which can cause wheel-hopping if you aren’t careful. I think if we can get through that and have a clean race, we will be contending for the win and a repeat performance from last year.”

DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Charlotte Roval Race Advance

Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 Haas Automation Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) make the shortest commute of the season over to Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway this weekend. The home track for SHR is located approximately 10 miles from its shop in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Suárez will pilot the traditional red-and-black Haas paint scheme for Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400.

With eight races remaining in the 2019 Cup Series season, the “roval” is the third and final road-course event on the schedule. This weekend marks only the second time the road-course layout has been run at Charlotte for the Cup Series. Last year’s inaugural event provided exciting racing to the final lap. Not only is the layout relatively new to the Cup Series drivers, it’s also a playoff cutoff race, making every position even more valuable to the 16 playoff-contending drivers.

Last year on the roval, Suárez started 17th and finished 21st and on the lead lap. His 87 green-flag passes were the most among all drivers. This weekend marks his first time tackling the road course behind the wheel of an SHR entry. The Mexico native is still looking for his first Cup Series win.

The Haas Automation driver goes into the Charlotte event after a 10th-place finish last weekend at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. He qualified 14th and the No. 41 team continually worked on the handling of the Ford Mustang to improve its performance.

In his young Cup Series career, Suárez has seven road-course starts with two top-five finishes, and he’s completed 100 percent of all 689 possible laps. He’s led 14 laps and has an average starting and finishing position of 13.3.

Overall at Charlotte, Suárez has four starts on the traditional oval course in addition to last fall’s start on the roval. His best result at Charlotte is sixth, which he earned on the oval in October 2017.

Ford swept last year’s roval weekend with wins in both the Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. So far this season, Ford has visited victory lane eight times.

The Haas Automation driver is currently 17th in the point standings through 28 races with three top-fives and 10 top-10s this season, along with 134 laps led. He has an average start of 14.6 and an average finish of 14.8. He earned his second career Cup Series pole, first with the No. 41 team, in July at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

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

 

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

 

You have a lot of experience go-kart racing. How does that translate to the road-course racing you do now?

“Well, I grew up racing go karts all of the time. I know I’m really good in road-course go karts, but stock car road-course racing is so different because the cars are so heavy. The basics are the same, but the way you have to take care of the brakes, take care of the tires and things like that is a totally different game. It’s very hard to make these cars change directions so quickly because they are so heavy. Most of the time, road-course racing is pretty good to me, so we’ll see how it goes this weekend.”

How do you feel about racing in the rain?

“In go karts, I love racing in the rain, but again, in go karts, rain is totally different from trying to race these heavy cars. I don’t have a problem with the rain, but with these cars, it’s just so different. We’ll see a lot of cars in the grass if it rains.”

KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Charlotte Roval Race Advance

This week, four drivers will be eliminated from the NASCAR playoffs as the first round is coming to an end and only 12 drivers will be moving onto the next round. So, pressure is high.

Except for Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Busch, who have already clinched their spots in the Round of 12. So this week’s race on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway “roval” should be fairly easy.

But, let’s be honest, nothing is easy in the NASCAR playoffs. While there is little to gain, the bottom line is Harvick likes to win. That’s the whole point of being in NASCAR racing.

While there is little to gain at Charlotte, a win would put Harvick in elite company. He is looking for his 49th win in NASCAR’s top series, which would put him past 2013 Hall of Famer Herb Thomas and into a tie with his boss Tony Stewart for 14th on the all-time list.

A win at Charlotte would also give him a victory at every “road course” in NASCAR as he’s already scored victories at both true road courses on the schedule – Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. Busch and Truex are the only other active drivers who have won at The Glen and Sonoma.

The Charlotte roval is a “road course” built within the oval portion for Charlotte Motor Speedway. Think Daytona International Speedway for the IMSA sportscars or Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy cars. Charlotte has only had one race on the roval, but Harvick also has failed to win on the ovals at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

So he could check off another racetrack from his list this weekend.

Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has three wins, 10 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s in 2019. And he’s had two consecutive top-10 finishes to the starts the playoffs.

He’s been freaky fast again in 2019.

And he hopes to be in victory lane Sunday afternoon at Charlotte

 

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

 

Are you worry-free going into the roval weekend?

“It’ll be a nice week at home. I think it allows everybody to really go, and the biggest thing is you want to go try and learn what you need to do to run fast there, so this week we’ll go to the simulator and try to transfer that to the racetrack and see how practice goes and then we’ll see how the weekend goes. You definitely still want to go there and get a race win or something that will go forward with you and also learn something for the future.”

Do you use the Ford simulator much for the road courses?

“We do. For me, it is just because I’m a big kind of visual person. So that repetition for me is good, just to get a visual and have that memory of curbs and direction of the track and all the things you remember from last time spurred in your memory bank as you use those simulators. So we’ve actually started to use it more this year than we have in the past.”

Does it give you a good base setup or more just feel and sightlines?

“For me, it’s more feel and sightlines. I don’t know that it’s 100 percent setup stuff, unless you’re doing postrace stuff and then it’s more making sure that grip levels and lap times and those types of things are right and things that you wanted to work on that you saw from other cars and other ideas that you had from that particular weekend at the racetrack. I’d never done any of the simulator stuff until I got to Ford, but we’ve got two of them now. We can race each other, too.”