“In the Know” Atlanta

“In the Know”
Atlanta Motor Speedway

As we approach the second Atlanta race of the season, this will mark the first time the NASCAR Cup Series has held two races at the facility since 2010. Atlanta is known for its’ abrasive surface that forces the drivers and teams to really focus on tire management. It’s last repave was in 1997, but just this week, Atlanta Motor Speedway announced a complete refiguration to include increasing the current 24-degree banking to 28-degrees, and an overall decrease in width from 55 feet to 40 feet. The new widths will be 52 feet on the front stretch, 42 feet on the back stretch and 40 feet in the turns. Construction will be begin after the July 11 race, with the new track making its’ debut in conjunction with NASCAR’s Next Gen car in 2022.

The Details

● Event: Atlanta 400 (Round 21 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 11
● Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway
● Layout: 1.5-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 260 laps/400 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stages 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps
● TV/Radio: NBCSN / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

What Our Drivers are Saying:

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

We saw improvement in the 1.5-mile program when you won the All-Star Open at Texas. Do you think that will translate to Atlanta?
“We did find some solid speed at Texas and it was great to see improvement there after the year we have had. I hope a few things transfer over to Atlanta, but it’s such a worn-out track that you’re mostly managing tire fall-off. We had a lot of bad luck at the beginning of the season at tracks like Homestead and Vegas, so we didn’t get a chance to build a lot of notes there. I think we’re back on the right track and head to Atlanta with the most confidence we’ve had all year.”

Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Summer Road Trip Ford Mustang

Your track record at Atlanta is incredibly strong. Performing well at Atlanta means managing your tires and taking care of your racecar. How do you do that when you’re still trying to outrun 39 other drivers?
“Atlanta has one of the most unique track surfaces. There are things about Atlanta that you manipulate your car with, and a lot of that has to do with rhythm. There are a lot of bumps, and a lot of things that go with the bumps are the brake pedal and the gas pedal, and all of those things combine to make a good lap at Atlanta. It’s just a fun racetrack to drive and we’ve been fortunate to have success really every year that we’ve gone there since I’ve been at Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s just a good racetrack for us. I feel like we should’ve won every race that we’ve raced at Atlanta, but we haven’t one way or another, but we’ve been fortunate to win a couple.”

Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

For the first time this season, you get to return to a track that you’ve already raced at in the Cup Series. What does that do for your confidence?
“I’m pretty excited. We weren’t exactly our best earlier this year at Atlanta. That was probably one of our worst tracks this year. But it’ll be nice to go and know the feel I need the car to have and to know what to expect when I go into turn one on lap one of the race. Having decent track position to start will also help, so I’m definitely looking forward to having another shot at it. It’s another one of my favorite tracks and I think we’ll be able to have a chance to come out with a good finish.”

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

You had a pretty good track record at Atlanta when you were full-time in the Xfinity Series. What do you like about the track?
“It has definitely been a pretty good track to me in the past. I think all of the worn-out racetracks have been good for me and are so fun to race. Being able to manage tire fall-off, and slipping and sliding around, and being able to do a lot of different things with the car. I’m looking forward to going back again. We’ve continued to learn a lot about the 550 horsepower package since we’ve started, so I think we can definitely capable of going there and having a strong run. Hopefully this is the week we can put it all together and have a strong run, compete for a top-10 and have a good finish. I think we’ve put a lot of work into it. We’ll see what happens this weekend.”

SHR Stats

This will mark Almirola’s 12th NASCAR Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway oval. Almirola has two top-10 finishes, four top-15s in his previous 11 Atlanta starts, and he qualified on the pole and led 36 laps in 2019. He also has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts there with a best finish of eighth, and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts with a best finish of third.

Kevin Harvick has finished among the top-10 in 14 of his last 17 starts at Atlanta, a run that began with a seventh-place drive in March 2008. Harvick has three NASCAR Cup Series wins at Atlanta. His first at the track was the first of his career, and it came a little over 20 years ago on March 11, 2001. He has a series leading nine top-fives, the most top-10s, and has led a series-high 1,348 laps at Atlanta.

Chase Briscoe has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta with a best finish of ninth in 2020. The native of Mitchell, Indiana, also made a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the track in 2017, starting fourth and finishing 25th.

Sunday’s 400-mile race will be Cole Custer’s milestone 60th Cup Series start and his third at Atlanta. In his first Cup Series start there in June 2020, Custer posted a 19th-place finish. In three Atlanta starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Custer’s best was his most recent, when he qualified his No. 00 SHR Ford on the pole and finished second by .191 of a second to Christopher Bell in the February 2019 race. Custer finished 10th in his Atlanta Xfinity Series debut in 2017.

Of Special Interest

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

SHR Post-Race Report: Road America

STEWART-HAAS RACING
Jockey Made in America 250
Date: July 4, 2021
Event: Inaugural Jockey Made in America 250 (Round 20 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (4.048-mile, 14-turn road course)
Format: 62 laps, broken into three stages (14 laps/15 laps/33 laps)

Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Chase Briscoe (Started 35th, Finished 6th / Running, completed 62 of 62)
● Aric Almirola (Started 19th, Finished 14th / Running, completed 62 of 62 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 15th, Finished 17th / Running, completed 62 of 62 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 25th, Finished 27th / Running, completed 62 of 62 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 599 points, 199 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 345 points, 453 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (27th with 317 points, 481 out of first)
● Cole Custer (28th with 294 points, 504 out of first)

SHR Notes:
● Briscoe earned his second top-10 of the season and equaled his best NASCAR Cup Series finish. The first time he finished sixth was on May 23 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 16th time this season.
● Almirola led a lap.
● Harvick finished seventh in Stage 2 to earn four bonus points.

Race Notes:
● Chase Elliott won the inaugural Jockey Made in America 250 to score his 13th career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his second of the season. His margin over second-place Christopher Bell was 5.705 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of nine laps.
● Thirty-four of the 40 drivers in the Jockey Made in America 250 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Road America with a three-point advantage over second-place Kyle Larson.

Road America Quotes

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield/Pit Boss Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I’ll take a 14th-place finish at a newer road course. Our Smithfield/Pit Boss Ford just needed more rear grip and speed to race with the top guys. We’re continuing to build on our road course program. All of the fans who came out on Fourth of July weekend was awesome to see. On to Atlanta.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School/HighPoint.com Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I thought we were good enough to run fourth there at the end, but my engine shut off. I was tucked right up to the 11 car and about to make a move on him, and the engine just shut off. I don’t know if it got really hot when I was super close to him and spiked the temps or what. I feel like if it wasn’t for that, we probably would have run fourth. Then I lost a ton of track position and had to deal with the 42. Overall, it was a fun day. This place is a lot of fun when you are slipping and sliding around like that. I wish we could have been top-five, but to leave here with sixth is a good day and it was really cool to be the best Ford today. We definitely faced a lot of adversity with not getting a qualifying lap in, and then the penalty at the beginning. I felt like we had a really good car on the long run. I am proud of that. It was a good day overall and we needed that. We will go on to the next one and see if we can get better.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was a rough day at Road America, but it was awesome to be back for the holiday weekend. We had a solid car. We just struggled with a loose-handling racecar and didn’t have the short run speed we needed. I’m pretty excited to get to Atlanta and slip and slide around.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Atlanta 400 on Sunday, July 11 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-

Riley Herbst Road America NXS Race Report

Herbst Finishes Seventh at Road America
Monster Energy Driver Secures Fifth Top-10 of Season
Date: July 3, 2021
Event: Henry 180 (Round 17 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (4.048-mile, 14-turn road course)
Format: 45 laps, broken into three stages (10 laps/10 laps/25 laps)
Start/Finish: 34th / 7th (Running, completed 45 of 45 laps)
Point Standing: 14th (373 points, 348 out of first)

Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: A.J. Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: A.J. Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)

Overview:
Despite a rough start to the race weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Riley Herbst and the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) persevered for a seventh-place finish in Saturday’s Henry 180. The No. 98 team was forced to start at the rear after switching to a backup car following a spin in Friday’s practice session. In an effort to save tires for the race, the team opted to only make one run during qualifying since it would have to start at the rear, regardless. When the green flag waved for today’s race, Herbst spared no time in his march forward. By lap five, the Las Vegas Native had broken into the top-20. When the caution flag waved with only four laps to go in Stage 1, the No. 98 Monster Energy crew kept its driver out on track to try and earn valuable stage points. The strategy paid off as Herbst finished the stage 10th. Herbst restarted the second stage 19th after making a pit stop for four tires and fuel. The 22-year-old driver once again made his way forward to end up 10th in the second stage. When the final stage got underway on lap 22, Herbst restarted eighth and broke into the top-five just one lap later. He continued to stay near the front until the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang was called to the pits under a lap-27 caution, in keeping with the team’s strategy. With one set of tires and plenty of racing to go, the team made the call on lap 35 to bring Herbst down pit road one final time for four fresh tires and to fill up on fuel. The Monster Energy driver’s seventh-place finish is his fifth top-10 of the season.

Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Yeah, we were definitely better than yesterday. It was cool coming from the back. I definitely feel like we had a top-five car, it just took a little too long getting through traffic there at the end and finishing seventh. We’ll take it, with a couple stage points, finishing in seventh place. All in all, it was a good day.”

Notes:
● Herbst finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn one bonus point, and 10th in Stage 2 to earn an additional one bonus point.
● Kyle Busch won the Henry 180 to earn his 101st career victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Road America. His margin over second-place Daniel Hemric was 3.522 seconds.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 11 laps.
● Twenty-seven of the 36 drivers in the Henry 180 finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Cindric remains the championship leader after Road America with an 89-point advantage over second-place A.J. Allmendinger.

Next Up:
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Credit Karma Money 250 on Saturday, July 10 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-

In the Know – Pocono Raceway Doubleheader

“In the Know”
Double Header at Pocono Raceway

The 2021 NASCAR Doubleheader takes place this weekend, June 25-27, in the Pocono Mountains at Pocono Raceway. Fans can enjoy all three series of NASCAR racing at the Tricky Triangle, with the Camping World Truck Series and the Cup Series competing on Saturday, and the Xfinity Series and Cup Series competing again on Sunday. A few things to note:

-Teams will use the same car both days. If a team has to go to a backup car for Sunday, they will start at the rear for that race.
-Sunday’s pit stalls are based on Saturday’s race finish.
-Sunday’s lineup is based on Saturday’s race finish. The top 20 drivers on Saturday will be inverted for Sunday’s start. Drivers that finish 21-40 on Saturday start in that position for Sunday.

The Details

● Event: Pocono Doubleheader (Rounds 18-19 of 36)
● Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway
● Layout: 2.5-mile triangle
● Race No. 1: Pocono Organics CBD 325
▬ Time/Date: 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 26
▬ Laps/Miles: 130 laps/325 miles
▬ Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 25 laps / Stage 2: 52 laps / Final Stage: 53 laps
● Race No. 2: Explore the Pocono Mountains 350
▬ Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 27
▬ Laps/Miles: 140 laps/350 miles
▬ Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 30 laps / Stage 2: 55 laps / Final Stage: 55 laps
● TV/Radio: NBCSN / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

What Our Drivers are Saying:

Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang

The 2020 season began with just one doubleheader on the schedule – Pocono. But then Pocono became one of three doubleheader race weekends. What was it like running doubleheaders, and did you do anything differently in terms of your preparation?
“We were fortunate to run really well in the first race at Pocono and, from there, we knew what adjustments we needed to make for the second race. There was more rubber on the racetrack and you could see all of the competitors in the garage making their stuff better. But there’s also a flip side to all of that – you can also make yourself worse. So, you have to be careful about how much you adjust on your cars. But we did really well in all the doubleheaders last year, and I think Pocono has always been a really good racetrack for us. And being able to do that two days in a row and finish first and second in those races and have a chance at winning both races was definitely more fun than losing. The hardest part is the guys in the garage turning the car around. For me, it’s really not that big of a deal. But going through tech, getting your car prepared, doing the things that you can do to your racecar, working all night, showing back up and racing the next day, that’s really when it becomes difficult on the crew and the guys in the garage more so than me.”

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

After a solid top-five finish at Nashville, what are your thoughts on bringing this momentum to Pocono? Is it a good track to bring momentum to for you?

“Basing off of last year’s performance, you almost can’t think of a better track to come to than Pocono after finding speed the last few weekends. Last year, we had such an incredible run at Pocono on back-to-back days. Pocono is historically a track I wasn’t super confident in and now I’m heading there with a completely different mindset. We don’t have practice or qualifying, so we’ll have to unload fast again but, after finishing well at Nashville, we’ll have a better starting spot than in recent weeks, which will give us an opportunity to massage the car in cleaner air and see what we’ve got. I’d say Pocono is a great place for us to bring this momentum.”

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

What is the key to being successful at Pocono?
“Pocono is such a challenging track. Speed is important anywhere we go, but this is a place where you have to be able to adapt. Your car may be really good in one corner and maybe not so great in the other two, but you’ve got to be able to figure it out if you want to run up front. I’m excited for the doubleheader. I really enjoyed running them last year in the Xfinity Series and we were usually able to find something in that first race that we could carry over to the second day, so it’ll be nice to have two shots at showing the work the guys have been putting in.”

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

What were your first impressions of Pocono, being one of the most unique layouts on the schedule?
“It was tough. It was tricky. The straightaways are so long, it gives you a lot of time to think about how you’re going to mess up the next corner (laughs). It’s a tough place to get around because all the corners are different. I think everybody loves it because it’s a challenge. With three different, really difficult corners, it’s one of those styles of tracks you haven’t seen a bunch before. It’s a triangle and you don’t ever race at other tracks shaped like that. There’s nothing like it.”

SHR Stats

NASCAR returns to Pocono for a Doubleheader after a successful weekend at the track in 2020. Last year, Kevin Harvick came home with a win in race 1 and a second place finish in race 2. Chase Briscoe also brought home a win in the Xfinity series in June of 2020. And that wasn’t Briscoe’s first time visiting Pocono’s victory lane. On July 29, 2016, Briscoe won the ARCA Racing Series event to cap a string of four consecutive victories. Cole Custer has scored a victory and two pole positions at Pocono in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and another victory in the ARCA Menards Series. In last year’s inaugural Pocono doubleheader weekend, Custer brought home finishes of 16th on Saturday and 17th on Sunday, in what were his second and third career Pocono outings in the Cup Series. Aric Almirola is looking for his third consecutive top-five finish at Pocono. In the 2020 doubleheaders, he earned third and fifth place finishes, respectively.

Of Special Interest

If you’re heading to the Poconos this weekend, be sure to check out our merch hauler! If you can’t attend in person, you can always browse online at store.stewarthaasracing.com.

Unibet Partners with Stewart-Haas Racing

Top Online Gambling Operator To Serve as Primary Sponsor for Two NASCAR Cup Series Races and One NASCAR Xfinity Series Race with Driver Kevin Harvick

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 23, 2021) – Unibet, a part of the Kindred Group, has partnered with championship-winning NASCAR team Stewart-Haas Racing and driver Kevin Harvick to further grow its presence in the United States and, specifically, with motorsports.

Unibet will be the primary sponsor for Harvick and the No. 4 NASCAR Cup Series team at two races – Aug. 15 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Oct. 31 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Unibet will also serve as the primary sponsor for Harvick during the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Aug. 14 at Indianapolis. Unibet debuts with Harvick and the No. 4 team this weekend during the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway with placement on the front fender of the No. 4 Ford Mustang.

Kindred is one of the top online gambling operators with business across Europe, the U.S. and Australia. The Unibet brand is building on its years of European experience in the responsible gambling and player sustainability field and extending that mindset to its U.S. operations, with motorsports being a key platform.

“Sponsorship is an important part of our marketing initiatives in the states where sports betting is legal,” said Manuel Stan, Senior Vice President USA, Kindred. “Race fans are extremely passionate about their sport and their driver, in particular. Unibet exists to enhance fans’ passion for their sport. Our platform is straightforward, easy to understand, and filled with insights that allows our players to make informed bets. Integrating Unibet into the sport fans watch and cheer for is the best way to tell our story. We are By Players, For Players.”

Sports betting is legal in more than a dozen states. In line with sports betting’s growth, Unibet wants to expand it user base, with the platform already available to residents in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Jersey and Virginia.

“We’re proud to represent and work with Unibet to grow its platform, now and in the future,” said Brett Frood, President, Stewart-Haas Racing. “Fans are the lifeblood of our sport and Unibet offers a new and insightful way for fans to engage with our sport in a meaningful way. We’re looking forward to kicking off our partnership with Unibet this weekend at Pocono where Pennsylvania residents can experience Unibet’s offerings firsthand.”

The NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono begins at 3 p.m. EDT on Saturday with the second race starting at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Both races will be broadcast live on NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Last year, Harvick won the first race of Pocono’s doubleheader on Saturday and finished second in the race on Sunday.

About Kindred Group:
Kindred Group is one of the world’s leading online gambling operators with business across Europe, the United States and Australia, offering 30 million customers across nine brands a great form of entertainment in a safe, fair and sustainable environment. The company, which employs about 1,600 people, is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm Large Cap and is a member of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and founding member of IBIA (sports betting integrity). Kindred Group is audited and certified by eCOGRA for compliance with the 2014 EU Recommendation on Consumer Protection and Responsible Gambling (2014/478/EU). Read more on www.kindredgroup.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 90 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. For more information, please visit us online at StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on YouTube.

-SHR-

SHR Post-Race Report: Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

Date: May 30, 2021
Event: Coca-Cola 600 (Round 15 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into four stages (100 laps/100 laps/100 laps/100 laps)

Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 3 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 5th, Finished 10th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 23rd, Finished 21st / Running, completed 397 of 400 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 21st, Finished 23rd / Running, completed 397 of 400 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 31st, Finished 22nd / Running, completed 397 of 400 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 468 points, 165 out of first)
● Cole Custer (27th with 236 points, 397 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (25th with 251 points, 382 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (28th with 195 points, 438 out of first)

Harvick Notes:
● Harvick earned his 11th top-10 of the season and his 20th top-10 in 39 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte.
● This was Harvick’s fourth straight top-10 at Charlotte.

Briscoe Notes:
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 12th time this season.

Race Notes:
● Kyle Larson won the Coca-Cola 600 to score his eighth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Charlotte. His margin over second-place Chase Elliott was 10.051 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 26 laps.
● Only 14 of the 38 drivers in the Coca-Cola 600 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Charlotte with a 76-point advantage over second-place Larson.

Charlotte Quotes
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Wow Wow! Waffles Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“This race is such a long one, and I wish we could’ve gotten a better finish for Feeding America® and Wow Wow Classic Waffles in their first outing with us. We struggled with the balance of the car all day, but it started getting better throughout the race. Once the leaders start passing you, it’s hard to make up for the lost time. We’ll look ahead to Sonoma.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang:
“We had a really tight-handling HighPoint.com Mustang tonight. It seemed like no matter what we did, we couldn’t make any gains with the adjustments. These races are tough, but I’m definitely looking forward to getting to Sonoma and doing some more road-course racing.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We battled all day to improve the handling and speed of our Smithfield Ford Mustang. We got caught a lap down early and just couldn’t recover. When we had clean air we were one of the fastest cars, but I just couldn’t find any grip in traffic. We raced our tails off to try to find something, and our pit crew had a great day. Moving on to Sonoma.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 6 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race begins at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

CLINT BOWYER – 2020 All-Star Race Report

Event:  NASCAR All-Star Race and All-Star Open (non-points events)
Series:  NASCAR Cup Series
Location:  Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
All-Star Race Start/Finish: 20th/15th (Running, completed 140 of 140 laps)
All Star Open Start/Finish: 9th/2nd (Running, completed 85 of 85 laps)

NASCAR All-Star Race (140 laps, broken into four stages (55 laps/35 laps/35 laps/15 laps) :

●  Race Winner:  Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
●  Stage 1 Winner:  Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
●  Stage 2 Winner:  Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
●  Stage 3 Winner:  Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Note: The NASCAR All-Star Race was comprised of drivers who won a points-paying race in 2019 or 2020, fulltime drivers who have previously won the All-Star Race, fulltime drivers who have won a NASCAR Cup Series championship, and drivers who advanced from the All-Star Open.

All-Star Open (85 laps, broken into three stages (35 laps/35 laps/15 laps):

●  Race Winner:  Matt DiBenedetto of Wood Brothers Racing (Ford)
●  Stage 1 Winner:  Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
●  Stage 2 Winner:  William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
●  Fan Vote Winner:  Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Note:The All-Star Open was the undercard event to the NASCAR All-Star Race, where non-qualified drivers attempted to race their way into the All-Star Race by winning any one of the race’s three stages or by winning the fan vote.

NASCAR All-Star Open

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-35):

Clint Bowyer started ninth, finished sixth.
Bowyer jumped from ninth to fifth in the opening two laps.
● Bowyer reported his car was loose and finished sixth.
● Bowyer pitted to make handling adjustments during the segment break.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 36-70):

Started 12th, finished fourth.
Bowyer narrowly avoided two spinning cars on the second lap of the segment to move to ninth.
The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang moved to fifth with 20 to go and finished fourth.
He stayed on the track during the break.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 71-85):

Started third, finished second.
Bowyer moved to second in opening lap but couldn’t make the pass for the lead.
Bowyer earned the most votes in a fan vote to advance to the All-Star Race

NASCAR All-Star Race

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-55):

Clint Bowyer started 20th and finished 12th.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang jumped to 15th in the early laps of the race.
● Bowyer reported his car was on top of the track.
● Bowyer still turned some of the fastest laps of any car during the stage.
● During the stage break, Bowyer pitted for four tires, fuel and tire air pressure adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 56-90):

Bowyer started seventh and finished sixth.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang avoided a spinning Ryan Newman on the first lap.
● Bowyer reported his car was loose with 20 laps to go in the stage.
● During the stage break, Bowyer pitted for four tires and adjustments..

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 91-125):

Bowyer started fifth and finished 10th.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang was loose on the restart and dropped to ninth.
● Bowyer finished the stage in tenth and stayed on the track during the break.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 126-140):

Bowyer started eighth and finished 15th.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang climbed as high as sixth before the cars with fresher tires drove by him.
● Bowyer faded to 15th in the closing laps.

Notes:

●  This was Bowyer’s 11th appearance in the All-Star Race.
●  Chase Elliott won the All-Star Race with a .418 of a second margin of victory over runner-up Kyle Busch.
●  The All-Star Race featured six lead changes among four different drivers. Twenty drivers comprised the field.

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

“I hate to lean on them (fans) to get into the All-Star Race, but I thank them for putting us in. It sure was fun to have them back at the track tonight. We were pretty good at times during the All-Star Race. On the final segment we gambled and stayed out, but we struggled to take off and those guys with fresher tires got by us. We’ll be ready for Texas on Sunday.”

Next Up:

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, July 19 with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race gets underway at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

CHASE BRISCOE – 2020 NXS Fontana Race Report

Event:  Production Alliance Group 300 (Round 3 of 33)
Series:  NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location:  Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (2-mile oval)
Format:  150 laps, broken into three stages (35 laps/35 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish:  3rd/19th (Running, completed 148 of 150 laps)
Point Standing:  2nd (126 points, 10 behind leader)

Race Winner:  Harrison Burton of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner:  Brandon Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:  Brandon Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Key Moment:

Chase Briscoe led three times for 16 laps in the Production Alliance Group 300 Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, but a late-race spin relegated the 25-year-old racer from Mitchell, Indiana, to a 19th-place finish. Briscoe started third in the 150-lap race around the 2-mile oval and proved to be a top-five mainstay, but he and crew chief Richard Boswell continued to improve their No. 98 Production Alliance Group Ford Mustang, and their collective work took hold on lap 97 when Briscoe took the lead for the first time. A spirited battle with rookie Harrison Burton where the duo swapped the lead twice made for some nail-biting moments, but Burton ultimately pulled away on lap 118 after Briscoe got loose off turn two. Briscoe’s No. 98 Production Alliance Group Ford Mustang continued to get looser as the race wore on, and on lap 126 the rear end of his racecar came around off turn four, sending Briscoe spinning into the infield grass. The time it took to get the car refired and fitted with four new tires put Briscoe a lap down, and then a flat tire with three laps to go sent Briscoe further down the leaderboard, with the 19th-place result unrepresentative of his overall performance.

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 98 Production Alliance Group Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

“We had a pretty good Production Alliance Group Ford Mustang and just couldn’t ever get track position early in the race. When we finally got the track position, we had a voltage issue where the motor kept shutting off. I kept overdriving it trying to make up for it and then I just spun out off of four and that buried us, obviously. That one is on me. We definitely had a car capable of winning, or for sure running second at the absolute worst. I don’t even know where we ended up. We will have to just go to Phoenix and try to not do that again.”

Notes:                   

● Briscoe’s 16 laps led were his first laps led at Fontana.
● Briscoe finished second in Stage 1 to earn nine bonus points and fourth in Stage 2 to earn seven more bonus points.
● This was Briscoe’s second Xfinity Series start at Fontana and his 53rd career Xfinity Series start.
● Harrison Burton won the Production Alliance Group 300 to score his first career Xfinity Series win. His margin of victory over second-place Riley Herbst was .455 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 36 laps.
● Only 15 of the 36 drivers finished on the lead lap.
● Burton leaves Fontana as the championship leader with a 10-point advantage over second-place Briscoe.

Next Up:               

The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the LS Tractor 200 on Saturday, March 7 at Phoenix Raceway. The race starts at 4 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Stewart-Haas Racing Adds Aric Almirola to Driver Lineup

Almirola Will Pilot No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion Beginning in 2018

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 8, 2017) – Stewart-Haas Racing has signed Aric Almirola to join its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2018. The 33-year-old from Tampa, Florida, will drive the team’s No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion.

Almirola has won races in each of NASCAR’s top-three national touring series and is currently in his sixth full season in the premier NASCAR Cup Series. Almirola has one NASCAR Cup Series victory, three NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series triumphs.

“I’ve known Aric since 2004 and have always been impressed with him on the racetrack,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “I’ve raced with him and seen him mature into a really good racecar driver. He can compete for wins here at Stewart-Haas Racing and help our other drivers compete for wins. He’s an excellent fit for this team and for Smithfield.”

“This is the opportunity every racer wants,” Almirola said. “Stewart-Haas Racing is an experienced organization with a lot of depth, great technical support from Ford, and staffed with racers from top to bottom. They lean on each other, challenge each other and make each other better. I’m really looking forward to being a part of that.

“I’ve known Tony Stewart since our time together at Joe Gibbs Racing. I know what he expects and he knows my commitment. I can’t thank him and Smithfield enough for believing in me and providing this opportunity.”

“This is a great moment for Aric, and Smithfield is very happy to be a part of it because it’s a great opportunity for our company,” said John Pauley, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Smithfield. “Obviously, we strongly believe in Aric’s ability and that of Stewart-Haas Racing, and those abilities transcend the racetrack. They want to consistently run up front and contend for wins, but they’re also very interested in helping us win in the marketplace. This is a strong partnership with outgoing personalities who are driven to succeed.”

Almirola’s path to NASCAR started in his home state of Florida, beginning in karting in 1992 before advancing to open-wheel modifieds in 2000 and then late-model stock cars in 2002. In late 2003 at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Almirola participated in a driver combine for Joe Gibbs Racing and was ultimately selected as one of the first two drivers for Gibbs’ diversity program, which launched in 2004. Almirola became a teammate of Stewart’s, who was in his sixth year as a NASCAR Cup Series driver and only two years removed from the first of his three NASCAR Cup Series championships.

Nine wins and 11 poles during the 2004-2005 seasons of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series allowed Almirola to advance from local short tracks in the southeast to a fulltime, national schedule in the Camping World Truck Series in 2006. A handful of Xfinity Series starts also came in 2006, and Almirola’s NASCAR Cup Series debut took place on March 11, 2007 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, three days shy of his 23rd birthday.

About Smithfield Foods:

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Kretschmar®, Gwaltney®, Curly’s®, Margherita®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Krakus®, Morliny® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

About Stewart-Haas Racing:

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The organization fields four entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – the No. 4 Ford Fusion for Kevin Harvick, the No. 10 Ford Fusion for Danica Patrick, the No. 14 Ford Fusion for Clint Bowyer and the No. 41 Ford Fusion for Kurt Busch. The team also competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series by fielding a full time entry – the No. 00 Ford Mustang for Cole Custer – and one part-time entry – the No. 41 Ford Mustang. Based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 200,000-square-foot facility with nearly 370 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at  www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing, on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram @StewartHaasRacing.

-SHR-

Contact Mike Arning with True Speed Communication on behalf of Stewart-Haas Racing

(704) 875-3388, ext. 802 or [email protected]