SHR Post-Race Recap: Las Vegas

South Point 400

Date: Sept. 26, 2021
Event: South Point 400 (Round 30 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)

Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 5th, Finished 9th / Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 19th, Finished 14th / Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 17th, Finished 19th / Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 28th, Finished 29th / Running, completed 265 of 267 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (10th with 3,036 points, seven points below top-eight cutoff)
● Aric Almirola (15th with 2,093 points)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 552 points)
● Cole Custer (28th with 453 points)

Playoff Standings (With two races to go before Round of 8):
1. Denny Hamlin (3,082 points) 1 win
2. Kyle Larson (3,096 points) +57
3. Kyle Busch (3,074 points) +35
4. Martin Truex Jr. (3,070 points) +31
5. Ryan Blaney (3,063 points) +24
6. Chase Elliott (3,061 points) +22
7. Joey Logano (3,045 points) +6
8. Brad Keselowski (3,043 points) +4
9. William Byron (3,039 points) -4
10. Kevin Harvick (3,036 points) -7
11. Alex Bowman (3,030 points) -13
12. Christopher Bell (3,018 points) -25

SHR Notes:
● Harvick earned his 20th top-10 of the season and his 13th top-10 in 25 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas.
● Harvick’s 13 top-10s at Las Vegas are the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● This was Harvick’s fourth straight top-10. He finished fifth Sept. 4 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, eighth Sept. 11 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, and second in the series’ prior race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
● This was Harvick’s 10th straight top-15, a streak that began July 11 with an 11th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
● Harvick finished eighth in Stage 1 to earn three bonus points and eighth in Stage 2 to earn another three bonus points.
● Briscoe earned his ninth top-15 of the season and his first top-15 in two career starts at Las Vegas.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 26th time this season.
● Briscoe’s 14th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Las Vegas – 21st, earned in his first visit to the track in March.

Race Notes:
● Denny Hamlin won the South Point 400 to score his 46th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Las Vegas. His margin over second-place Chase Elliott was .442 of a second.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Only 12 of the 38 drivers in the South Point 400 finished on the lead lap.

Las Vegas Quotes

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Subway Delivery Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“That was about what we had tonight. We got the right-front fender nicked up a little bit, but that didn’t really change the car, so we lucked out on that. We battle and gained ground on it. That is what we wanted to do – not give it all away today. We were able to gain ground and we’ll go from there.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I thought our One Cure Ford Mustang was going to be really strong when the sun went down, but we just couldn’t get the handling right. The smallest changes would take it from loose to tight, and it was really tough to get it exactly where we wanted it. Fourteenth is still a huge improvement over what we did earlier this year, and it just shows how much I’ve learned as a driver and how far this team has come.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Demo Day Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Another rough race for our team. We struggled with the balance of our No. 41 Dixie Vodka Greyhound Cocktail Ford Mustang and just couldn’t get it right. We’ll head to Talladega.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We found really good speed and balance in our Mobil 1 Ford halfway through the race today and were good enough to race inside the top-10. Then we made one small adjustment, and something just flipped a switch and our balance was way off. We’ll move on to Talladega where we’ve had a lot of success. Excited to get there and compete for a win.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, Oct. 3 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is the fifth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.