SHR Post-Race Report: Folds Of Honor 500 at Atlanta

Date: March 21, 2021
Event: Folds of Honor 500 (Round 6 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
Format: 325 laps, broken into three stages (105 laps/105 laps/115 laps)

Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 7th, Finished 10th / Running, completed 325 of 325 laps)
● Cole Custer(Started 27th, Finished 18th / Running, completed 324 of 325 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 16th, Finished 20th / Running, completed 324 of 325 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 24th, Finished 23rd / Running, completed 323 of 325 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (6th with 203 points, 74 out of first)
● Cole Custer (22nd with 105 points, 172 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (26th with 87 points, 190 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (27th with 87 points, 190 out of first)

Race Notes:
● Harvick earned his fifth top-10 of the season and his series-leading 16th top-10 in 31 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta.
● This was Harvick’s seventh straight top-10 at Atlanta. He hasn’t finished outside the top-10 since a lone 19th-place finish in August 2014.
● Harvick has finished among the top-10 in 14 of his last 17 starts at Atlanta, a run that began with a seventh-place drive in March 2008.
● This is Harvick’s second straight top-10. He finished sixth in last week’s race at Phoenix Raceway.
● Custer’s 18th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Atlanta – 19th, earned in his first NASCAR Cup Series start at the track last June.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 25 laps.
● Only 14 of the 39 drivers in the Folds of Honor 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Atlanta with a 43-point advantage over second-place Larson.

Atlanta Quotes

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Ford Mustang:
“Well, that was definitely not the result we wanted, but I would call it a solid day in a lot of respects. We made improvements on our Mustang all day but just couldn’t get going on the restarts for the life of me. Still, proud of all the hard work by Mike (Shiplett, crew chief) and everyone on this HaasTooling team. This is a tough track to get your car right. We’ll go get ’em on the dirt at Bristol next week.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Pit Boss Grills Ford Mustang:
“We battled handing issues all day. Our Pit Boss Ford Mustang just didn’t have the handling on the restarts and couldn’t hold up on the long run. If we helped the restarts, we hurt the long run. We tried a few different adjustments, and nothing really helped us. It was another character building race that we’ll learn and grow from. We’re not running to our potential yet, and we have a long season ahead with a lot of hard-working people. On to Bristol on dirt.

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Financial Services Ford Mustang:
“Our balance was kind of off all day, but our Financial Services Ford Mustang was pretty good that last run. We were just too far behind to do much with it by then. Other than that, we had a nice clean race and we’ve learned a lot that we’ll be able to bring back in July. I’m pretty excited to get to Bristol and do some dirt racing next week. Maybe that’s what we need to turn things around.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Food City Dirt Race on Sunday, March 28 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.