SHR Post-Race Report: Bristol

STEWART-HAAS RACING
Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Date: Sept. 18, 2021
Event: Bass Pro Shops Night Race (Round 29 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (125 laps/125 laps/250 laps)

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

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 8th, Finished 2nd / Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 20th, Finished 13th / Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 12th, Finished 18th / Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 26th, Finished 28th / Running, completed 494 of 500 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (5th with 2,123 points, 48 points ahead of top-12 cutoff… advances to Round of 12)
● Aric Almirola (13th with 2,075 points, two points below top-12 cutoff)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 529 points)
● Cole Custer (28th with 445 points)

Playoff Standings to Begin Round of 12:
1. Kyle Larson (3,059 points)
2. Martin Truex Jr. (3,029 points) -30
3. Ryan Blaney (3,024 points) -35
4. Denny Hamlin (3,024 points) -35
5. Kyle Busch (3,022 points) -37
6. Chase Elliott (3,021 points) -38
7. Alex Bowman (3,015 points) -44
8. William Byron (3,014 points) -45
9. Joey Logano (3,013 points) -46
10. Brad Keselowski (3,008 points) -51
11. Christopher Bell (3,005 points) -54
12. Kevin Harvick (3,002 points) -57

Failed to Advance to Round of 12:
13. Aric Almirola (2,075 points)
14. Tyler Reddick (2,075 points)
15. Kurt Busch (2,071 points)
16. Michael McDowell (2,028 points)

SHR Notes:
● Harvick’s second-place finish tied his best result so far this season. He finished second May 2 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
● This was Harvick’s second straight top-two at Bristol. He won the series’ prior race on the concrete last August.
● Harvick earned his eighth top-five and 19th top-10 of the season, and his series-leading 14th top-five and 21st top-10 in 41 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol.
● This was Harvick’s third straight top-10. He finished fifth Sept. 4 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and eighth in the series’ prior race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.
● This was Harvick’s ninth straight top-15, a streak that began July 11 with an 11th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
● Harvick finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and sixth in Stage 2 to earn another five bonus points.
● Harvick led three times for 71 laps, increasing his laps led total at Bristol to 1,209.
● Harvick has now led 11,339 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 15,765 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
● Briscoe earned his eighth top-15 of the season in his first career start on the concrete at Bristol.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 25th time this season.

Race Notes:
● Kyle Larson won the Bass Pro Shops Night Race to score his 12th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his series-leading sixth of the season and his first at Bristol. His margin over Harvick was .227 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 71 laps.
● Only 19 of the 38 drivers in the Bass Pro Shops Night Race finished on the lead lap.

Bristol Quotes

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Subway Delivery Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I told him (Elliott) it was kind of a chicken-$#!& move that he did there at the end. We’re racing for the frickin’ win at Bristol. We’re three-wide in the middle and he throws a temper tantrum, like I was just trying to get the lead and race him hard. Then he pulls up in front of me and just sits there until I lose the whole lead, so I just hate it for our Subway Ford Mustang team to be able to lose a race like that. I watched him let the 24 (teammate William Byron) go by and then anytime you run into him it’s a problem. They can boo all they want. I don’t care. I lost so much there and then when I got behind the car I kept getting tight off the corner and I couldn’t run my line. I’m ready to rip somebody’s freaking head off.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I’d say we had a good night overall. We were definitely working in the right direction in terms of adjustments and just doing what we needed to do to get the best finish we could. We had a really good Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford, but it would get a little tight later in the long runs, and that would hurt us a little. I’m just glad we were able to stay out of trouble and come out with a good finish.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Demo Day Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Man, I never thought we’d have this much bad luck in a season, but here we are. I can say I do feel good about getting the car solid at the end of the race tonight, but that getting caught up in that wreck in the second stage just set us back too far. It’s on to the next one.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I’m disappointed to have it end like that just because we had battled so much adversity throughout the night and got ourselves in position to where we were running top-10 and doing what we needed to do. And then that caution came out there at the end where we had 18 laps on our tires, and we stayed out. For whatever reason, when we refired on those tires the car was up on top of the racetrack and wouldn’t turn. I didn’t have any side bite and just struggled. Hats off to our Smithfield team for fixing those mechanical issues early in the race and keeping us in contention. That’s not the way we wanted it to end, but we’ll keep going and battle it out the rest of the year and see if we can’t finish inside the top-10 in points.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the South Point 400 on Sunday, Sept. 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It is the fourth race of the 10-race playoffs and the first race in the Round of 12. It starts at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-