SHR Post-Race Report: Daytona 500

Date: Feb. 14, 2021
Event: 63rd Running of the Daytona 500 (Round 1 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (65 laps/65 laps/70 laps)

Race Winner: Michael McDowell of Front Row Motorsports (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 8th, Finished 4th / Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 27th, Finished 11th / Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 30th, Finished 19th / Running, completed 197 of 200 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 3rd, Finished 34th / Accident, completed 13 of 200 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (3rd with 50 points, eight out of first)
● Cole Custer (15th with 27 points, 31 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (18th with 18 points, 40 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (23rd with 13 points, 45 out of first)

Harvick Notes:
● This was Harvick’s 20th career start in The Great American Race, with his first Daytona 500 coming on Feb. 17, 2002.
● Harvick earned his 11th top-five and 16th top-10 in 40 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has earned four top-fives in the Daytona 500.
● Harvick finished second in Stage 2 to earn nine bonus points.
● Harvick led twice for 17 laps to increase his laps-led total at Daytona to 279.
● Harvick has now led 11,156 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 15,582 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.

Custer Notes:
● Custer made his 40th career NASCAR Cup Series start and his third at Daytona to kick off his sophomore season in the NASCAR Cup Series.
● Custer’s 11th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Daytona – 30th, earned in the series’ visit to the track last August.
● Custer finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn one bonus point.
● Custer led lap 31. It was his first lap led at Daytona.

Briscoe Notes:

● The Daytona 500 marked Briscoe’s NASCAR Cup Series debut.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie.

Almirola Notes:
● Almirola earned a third-place starting position in the Daytona 500 by virtue of his win in Thursday night’s Bluegreen Vacations Duel. It was Almirola’s best start in 19 career NASCAR Cup Series races at Daytona.

Race Notes:
● Michael McDowell won the Daytona 500 to score his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory.
● This was Ford’s 705th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory.
● This was Ford’s 16th NASCAR Cup Series victory at Daytona. Ford won its first race at Daytona on February 24, 1963 with Tiny Lund. Ford’s previous NASCAR Cup Series win at the track came via SHR in the 2017 Daytona 500 with former driver Kurt Busch.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 40 laps.
● Only 11 of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Dillon leaves Daytona as the championship leader with a six-point advantage over second-place Denny Hamlin.

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on Sunday, Feb. 21 on the Daytona road course. The race begins at 3 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.