Event: Dover 311 (Round 25 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 311 laps, broken into three stages (70 laps/115 laps/126 laps)
Start/Finish: 10th/10th (Running, completed 311 of 311 laps)
Point Standing: 19th with 469 points, 572 out of first
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-70):
● Cole Custer started 10th and finished 12th.
● With the first caution of the day on lap six, Custer reported his Ford Mustang was better than yesterday’s, but that he needed to turn a little better while running ninth. He didn’t pit.
● On the lap-32 caution, the California native reported the HaasTooling.com/Jacob Construction Ford was starting to get loose and lose rear grip. He pitted from seventh and restarted 11th.
● Custer ended the stage 12th and pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help him turn better in the center and off.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 71-185):
● Custer started in 15th and finished eighth to earn three bonus points.
● After a brief red flag for track repairs, Custer started the stage from 15th and by lap 92 he was 12th.
● The lap 100 caution came out with Custer in 12th and he pitted for more adjustments to help his Mustang turn better in the center and off. He restarted 12th on lap 107.
● On lap 152, the rookie driver took over the 10th position and with 10 laps to go in the stage he was eighth, where he ended the stage.
● Custer pitted during the break for fuel, four tires and adjustments to continue to help his turn.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 186-311):
● Custer started eighth, finished 10th.
● Another caution on lap 216, and Custer was eighth and looking for his Mustang to be freed up. He pitted and restarted seventh.
● On lap 250 Custer was 10th. He pitted during the caution on lap 291 for fuel, four tires and adjustments and restarted 12th.
● In a sprint to the finish Custer took over the 10th position, where he finished.
● Custer earned his sixth top-10 of the season and it came in his second career NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover.
● Custer’s 10th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Dover – 11th, earned Saturday.
● Custer was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie.
● Kevin Harvick’s victory in the Dover 311 marked the 85th overall win for SHR. It was the organization’s 63rd points-paying NASCAR Cup Series victory, its eighth of the season and its fourth at Dover.
● SHR won its first race at Dover in June 2013 with Tony Stewart. It scored two more wins care of Harvick in October 2015 and May 2018.
● This was SHR’s 27th NASCAR Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when former driver Kurt Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.
● This was Ford’s series-leading 14th NASCAR Cup Series win of the season. This is the best start for Ford since 1997 when it won 14 times in 22 races. Ford went on to win 19 races that season, a mark that was equaled in 2018 when Joey Logano won the series championship and Ford captured the manufacturers’ title. The most wins Ford has ever amassed in a season during the modern era (1972-present) is 20, which happened in 1994. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace led Ford with eight victories that season while Ernie Irvan and Geoffrey Bodine were next best with three wins apiece.
● This was Ford’s milestone 700th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory. Ford’s first victory came on June 25, 1950 when Shirtless Jimmy Florian upset the field at Dayton (Ohio) Speedway, beating the likes of NASCAR Hall of Famers Lee Petty and Curtis Turner. Overall, there have been 85 drivers who have won at least one Cup Series race in a Ford. NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett, who won Ford’s first series championship in 1965, is the manufacturer’s all-time leader with 43 victories.
● This was Ford’s 27th NASCAR Cup Series victory at Dover. Ford’s last win at Dover came with Harvick in May 2018. Its first win came in the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover when NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty won on July 6, 1969 in a Ford Torino.
● Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr., was 3.525 seconds.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 40 laps.
● Twenty-one of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com/Jacob Construction Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a solid day today at Dover. We made improvements on the car from yesterday. I think we have some good notes for whenever we come back here.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. It is the final race of the regular season and it starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The 10-race, 16-driver NASCAR Playoffs begins the following week with the Sept. 6 Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.