SHR Post-Race Report: Pocono Doubleheader

STEWART-HAAS RACING
Pocono Doubleheader

Date: June 26, 2021
Event: Pocono Organics CBD 325 (Round 18 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format: 130 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/52 laps/53 laps)

Race Winner: Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 3rd, Finished 8th / Running, completed 130 of 130 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 11th, Finished 16th / Running, completed 130 of 130 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 28th, Finished 24th / Running, completed 130 of 130 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 26th, Finished 38th / Accident, completed 13 of 130 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (8th with 552 points, 177 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (26th with 298 points, 431 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (27th with 262 points, 467 out of first)
● Cole Custer (28th with 261 points, 468 out of first)

SHR Notes:
● Harvick earned his 13th top-10 of the season and his 21st top-10 in 41 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Pocono.
● Harvick’s 21 top-10s at Pocono are tied with Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch for the most among the active NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● This was Harvick’s fourth straight top-10 at Pocono.
● This was Harvick’s second straight top-10. He finished fifth in the series’ last race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway.
● Harvick finished fifth in Stage 1 to earn six bonus points.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie.

Race Notes:
● Alex Bowman won the Pocono Organics CBD 325 to score his fifth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Pocono. His margin over second-place Kyle Busch was .683 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 25 laps.
● Thirty-one of the 38 drivers in the Pocono Organics CBD 325 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Pocono with an eight-point advantage over second-place Kyle Larson.

Pocono Quotes

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Our Busch Light Ford Mustang was really good at the end. It just took us all day to kind of get the track position and get the loose into the center of the corner better. It took all day, but then we were able to get an OK finish out of it.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Yeah, these restarts. You’re trying to get up in those tight holes to make sure you don’t get freight trained by five cars on the straightaway. I don’t know. I haven’t seen a replay. I don’t know if it was just too tight or miscommunication or what. I really wanted a good day today. I thought we had a good car those first few laps with our HaasTooling.com Mustang, but we’ll just move on to tomorrow. It’s frustrating. I can’t tell you how frustrating this year has been. We’ll just have to keep surging on and go to tomorrow.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“This Smithfield Ford team fought all day to find more speed and just didn’t have it today. Proud of everyone for working so hard to gain as many spots as we could. It’s a doubleheader weekend, so the work doesn’t stop now. We’ll regroup and see what we can do to build on tomorrow’s race. We’ll have a better starting spot with the field invert, so we’ll take that as a positive.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com/Webex by Cisco Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Our car was so good earlier in the race and I really felt like we had something to work with, but we fired off too tight on old tires, and in the end that hurt us. We’ve definitely got something we can build on for tomorrow, and we’ll give it another shot at putting the HighPoint.com/Webex by Cisco Mustang in the top-10.”

Next Up:
The second event of the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono is the Pocono Mountains 350 on Sunday, June 27. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

____________________________________

Date: June 27, 2021
Event: Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 (Round 19 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format: 140 laps, broken into three stages (30 laps/55 laps/55 laps)

Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 13th, Finished 4th / Running, completed 140 of 140 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 5th, Finished 16th / Running, completed 140 of 140 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 24th, Finished 21st / Running, completed 140 of 140 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 38th, Finished 24th / Running, completed 139 of 140 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (8th with 550 points, 168 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (25th with 301 points, 417 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (27th with 273 points, 445 out of first)
● Cole Custer (27th with 273 points, 445 out of first)

SHR Notes:
● Harvick earned his sixth top-five and 14th top-10 of the season. It was his 15th top-five and 22nd top-10 in 42 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Pocono.
● This was Harvick’s fifth straight top-10 at Pocono.
● This was Harvick’s third straight top-10. He finished fifth last Sunday at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway and eighth yesterday in the Pocono Organics CBD 325.
● Almirola finished second in Stage 1 to earn nine bonus points and ninth in Stage 2 to earn two more bonus points.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 15th time this season.

Race Notes:
● Kyle Busch won the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 to score his 59th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his fourth at Pocono. His margin over second-place Kyle Larson was 8.654 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
● Twenty-two of the 38 drivers in the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Pocono with a four-point advantage over second-place Larson.

Pocono Quotes

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Buga (crew chief Mike Bugarewicz) and the No. 10 Smithfield team made steady improvements on the car all day. We thought the fuel mileage would play out better in our favor and give us a top-10. It was nice to run up front today in clean air and get some stage points. The strategy didn’t completely work out in our favor, but overall we had a decent day, and I don’t think our finish was indicative of that.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Man, we had a fast No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang today and definitely could’ve contended up there in the top-10 if we hadn’t run into trouble at the beginning of the final stage. It was hard to recover from that damage. We’ll learn and move ahead to Road America.”

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We struggled with the car at the beginning of the race with the handling – just way too tight and also fighting loose in. Rodney (Childers, crew chief) and everybody on pit road did a really good job. Our car is just really sensitive in traffic and I lose a little bit more time in traffic than I’d like to and it just takes me longer to get by. But I’d like to thank everybody on our Busch Light Ford Mustang. I want to welcome Unibet on the car for the first week – Hunt Brothers, Jimmy John’s, Mobil 1, everybody from Haas Automation that helps this car, we just keep plowing along.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com/Webex by Cisco Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“The front end of car was just way too tight at the beginning. We finally got it to where the balance was pretty good and it seemed like our pit strategy was going well, but we were just a little too short on fuel to run hard at the end. I’m really excited to go to Road America. It’s one of my favorite tracks, so hopefully we’ll be able to put on a show there and come out with a good finish.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Jockey Made in America 250 July 4 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.