SHR Post-Race Report: Richmond

STEWART-HAAS RACING
Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders

Date: Sept. 11, 2021
Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders (Round 28 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/155 laps/165 laps)

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
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 5th, Finished 8th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 9th, Finished 14th / Running, completed 399 of 400 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 26th, Finished 16th / Running, completed 398 of 400 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 21st, Finished 22nd / Running, completed 397 of 400 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (6th with 2,078 points, 25 points ahead of top-12 cutoff)
● Aric Almirola (11th with 2,056 points, three points ahead of top-12 cutoff)
● Chase Briscoe (23rd with 505 points)
● Cole Custer (28th with 436 points)

Playoff Standings (with one race to go before Round of 12):
1. Denny Hamlin (2,127 points) 1 win
2. Martin Truex Jr. (2,113 points) 1 win
3. Kyle Larson (2,151 points) +88 points
4. Joey Logano (2,093 points) +40 points
5. Ryan Blaney (2,081 points) +28 points
6. Kevin Harvick (2,078 points) +25 points
7. Chase Elliott (2,072 points) +19 points
8. Christopher Bell (2,070 points) +17 points
9. Brad Keselowski (2,066 points) +13 points
10. Kyle Busch (2,061 points) +8 points
11. Aric Almirola (2,056 points) +3 points
12. Kurt Busch (2,053 points) +0 points
13. Alex Bowman (2,053 points) -0 points
14. Tyler Reddick (2,048 points) -5 points
15. William Byron (2,035 points) -18 points
16. Michael McDowell (2,015 points) -38 points

SHR Notes:
● Harvick earned his 18th top-10 of the season and his series-leading 27th top-10 in 41 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond.
● This was Harvick’s second straight top-10. He finished fifth in the series’ prior race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
● This was Harvick’s eighth straight top-15, a streak that began July 11 with an 11th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only finished outside the top-15 once at Richmond, a lone 24th-place finish in the series’ previous visit to the track in April.
● Harvick finished ninth in Stage 1 to earn two bonus points and 10th in Stage 2 to earn an additional bonus point.
● Almirola earned his eighth top-15 of the season and his eighth top-15 in 19 career starts at Richmond.
● This was Almirola’s third straight top-15 at Richmond. He finished sixth in the series’ prior visit to the track in April and eighth last September.
● Almirola finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn one bonus point and eighth in Stage 2 to earn three more bonus points.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 24th time this season.
● Briscoe’s 16th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Richmond – 22nd, earned in the series’ prior race at the track in April.

Race Notes:
● Martin Truex Jr. won the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders to score his 31st career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fourth of the season and his third at Richmond. His margin over second-place Denny Hamlin was 1.417 seconds.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 30 laps.
● Only nine of the 37 drivers in the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders finished on the lead lap.

Richmond Quotes

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Cummins/Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“This was one of my best runs at Richmond, for sure. I think we still have a long way to go, but I don’t hate it as much as I used to. It certainly helps when the car is handling the way it’s supposed to. The result doesn’t show the effort put in and how strong we were, but I feel like it was something that I can build on now that I kind of understand how to drive the track.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Demo Day Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Today was just a rough day at Richmond. We struggled with the balance of our No. 41 HaasTooling.com Demo Day Ford Mustang throughout the entire race. We’ll take what we learned today and move ahead to Bristol.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield/Tuesday’s Children Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We didn’t have a race-winning car, but I thought we could have run fifth to eighth, so I’m a little frustrated but it’s a team sport and we’ll go to Bristol and keep fighting.I think we’re competitive. We’re in the hunt. We had a loose lugnut and I had to pit again under green, and then got us behind. I don’t know where we finished. I think we finished 14th instead of sixth or seventh, which is about where we were running, so frustrating that we gave up those points. This situation we can’t really give up any points. It would have been a lot nicer to go to Bristol plus 12 instead of plus three or four, but it is what it is. It’s no big deal. We’ve got to put our head down and go race. It’s the same situation. We’ve just got to go racing and score as many points as we can. You just hate to give up six, seven, eight points.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bass Pro Shops Night Race on Saturday, Sept. 18 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. It is the third race of the 10-race playoffs and the last race in the Round of 16. It starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-