SHR Post-Race Report: Daytona – Regular Season Finale

Coke Zero Sugar 400

Date: Aug. 28, 2021
Event: Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Round 26 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Note: Race extended five laps past its scheduled 160-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

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

SHR Race Finish:
● Aric Almirola (Started 19th, Finished 15th / Running, completed 165 of 165 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 11th, Finished 16th / Running, completed 165 of 165 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 16th, Finished 22nd / Running, completed 164 of 165 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 25th, Finished 25th / Running, completed 164 of 165 laps)

SHR Regular-Season Points:
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 777 points, 249 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
● Chase Briscoe (22nd with 465 points, 561 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (23rd with 458 points, 568 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
● Cole Custer (28th with 394 points, 632 out of first)

SHR Playoffs:
● Harvick qualified for the playoffs by virtue of his ninth-place finish in the regular-season standings.
● This is Harvick’s 12th consecutive playoff appearance and his 15th overall. He won the championship in 2014.
● Almirola qualified for the playoffs by winning July 18 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
● Almirola takes five bonus points into the playoffs via his win at New Hampshire.
● This is Almirola’s fifth playoff appearance and his fourth in a row.

Playoff Standings:
1. Kyle Larson (2,052 points)
2. Ryan Blaney (2,024 points, -28)
3. Martin Truex Jr. (2,024 points, -28)
4. Kyle Busch (2,022 points, -30)
5. Chase Elliott (2,021 points, -31)
6. Alex Bowman (2,015 points, -37)
7. Denny Hamlin (2,015 points, -37)
8. William Byron (2,014 points, -38)
9. Joey Logano (2,013 points, -39)
10. Brad Keselowski (2,008 points, -44)
11. Kurt Busch (2,008 points, -44)
12. Christopher Bell (2,005 points, -47)
13. Michael McDowell (2,005 points, -47)
14. Aric Almirola (2,005 points, -47)
15. Tyler Reddick (2,003 points, -49)
16. Kevin Harvick (2,002 points, -50)

SHR Notes:
● Harvick led three times for four laps, increasing his laps led total at Daytona to 283.
● Harvick has now led 11,250 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 15,674 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 22nd time this season.

Race Notes:
● Ryan Blaney won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 to score his seventh career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Daytona. His margin over second-place Chris Buescher was .773 of a second.
● This was Ford’s 711th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory and its second straight. Ford driver Blaney also won the series’ prior race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
● This was Ford’s series-leading 39th win at Daytona. Ford scored its first win at the track with Tiny Lund on Feb. 24, 1963.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 31 laps.
● Only 16 of the 40 drivers in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Kyle Larson won the NASCAR Cup Series regular-season championship.

Daytona Quotes

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Unibet Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I didn’t see anything. I got hit in the left-rear quarterpanel and then we wrecked a lot, but everybody on our Unibet Ford Mustang did a good job. We had a shot there at the end and that’s all you can ask, and just wound up in a wreck.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I’m not even really sure what happened at the end, but we had a really good Mobil 1 Ford Mustang, and I really felt like we’d have a shot. We just had trouble getting to pit road for the green-flag stop, and then we were so far behind. I thought we got a break when we got the wave-around chance, but then the wrecking started, and we just couldn’t avoid it. It’s tough, I thought we’d have shot, but we still have plenty of time to get a win before the season is done.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/ Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Bad luck – if we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t have any luck at all after something like that. We had a good Autodesk Fusion 360/ Ford and were in a good position at the end, but we just couldn’t take advantage of it. It’s disappointing, but we can only look ahead and see we have 10 more chances to get to victory lane.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was just one of those days. It was an up-and-down day. We definitely fought really hard to get track position, and I finally got it there at the end. I made a move to pull out on the restart. I thought the No. 41 might go with me, and I misjudged and kind of got hung out there on the bottom. Excited to move on to the playoffs and make a run for the championship.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sunday, Sept. 5 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The first race in the 10-race NASCAR Playoffs starts at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.