SHR Post-Race Report: Inaugural Ally 400 from Nashville

STEWART-HAAS RACING
Inaugural Ally 400 from Nashville

Date: June 20, 2021
Event: Inaugural Ally 400 (Round 17 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway (1.333-mile oval)
Format: 300 laps, broken into four stages (90 laps/95 laps/115 laps)

Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Race Finish:
● Aric Almirola (Started 1st, Finished 4th / Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 12th, Finished 5th / Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 7th, Finished 31st / Running, completed 252 of 300 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 16th, Finished 32nd / Accident, completed 227 of 300 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (8th with 516 points, 168 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (26th with 284 points, 400 out of first)
● Cole Custer (27th with 259 points, 425 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (28th with 240 points, 444 out of first)

SHR Notes:
● Almirola earned his first top-five and second top-10 of the season.
● This was Almirola’s best finish so far this season. His previous best result was a sixth-place drive April 18 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.
● Almirola finished ninth in Stage 2 to earn two bonus points.
● Harvick earned his fifth top-five and 12th top-10 of the season.
● Harvick finished 10th in Stage 2 to earn one bonus point.
● Briscoe finished third in Stage 2 to earn eight bonus points.
● Almirola led a lap and Briscoe led once for five laps.

Race Notes:
● Kyle Larson won the inaugural Ally 400 to score his 10th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fourth of the season and his third straight. His margin over second-place Ross Chastain was 4.335 seconds.
● There were 11 caution periods for a total of 60 laps.
● Twenty of the 39 drivers in the Ally 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Nashville with a nine-point advantage over second-place Larson.

Nashville Quotes

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a good car and finally ended some of the bad luck that has been dealt our way this year. Our race team is doing a great job scrounging and scrapping to build better racecars, and it’s nice to come here and run up front, run in the top-five and at least be in the mix, so it feels good. We’ll just keep building on it. The All-Star Race was a good race for us. Today, again, was a good race for us, so we’ll just keep grinding. We had some really fast cars on Pocono last year, and we’re racing there twice this weekend, so we’ve got a chance to keep building on this momentum.”

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Our Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford Mustang was a lot loose at the beginning and really pretty good the second half of the race. We got some damage there when we made a little contact with the 24 (William Byron) and that made it a little bit tighter. I thought we were better than the 24. The 42 (Ross Chastain) had fresh tires, and the 10 (SHR teammate Aric Almirola), I thought we were better than those cars. The 5 (Kyle Larson) was kind of in a league of his own, but once again the guys did a great job and ground away at it and came away with a top-five as we ran out of gas. I think before our damage we probably had the second-best car at the end and got a little bit of damage on the right side. I got a little bit tight and then ran out of gas off of turn four and lost a couple of spots but, all in all, it was a solid day.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Dixie Vodka Tony’s Tea Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Just wasn’t the day we were hoping for at Nashville. Our car was strong and qualified in the top-10, but we had that right-rear flat in the second stage and after going to the garage, we just couldn’t recover. We’ll head to Pocono and try to turn things around.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com/Thorlabs Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We just lost the brakes getting into turn three. It’s super unfortunate for our HighPoint.com/Thorlabs team. We had a really, really good car, and I feel like we were going to be right there for a top-five at the end. We just needed a long run, but even on the short run we made our car so much better, so I really hate it, because that was going to be our best run of the year for sure and something like that happens. It’s really wild to see all the brake issues we’ve had today. We were able to do the Goodyear test a few months ago and knew that brakes were going to be way worse than everybody else thought. So we beefed them up and it still wasn’t good enough, so it’s unfortunate. We’ll go on to Pocono and try to have a good run for HighPoint.com at their home track.”

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is a doubleheader June 26-27 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The first race starts at 3 p.m. EDT on Saturday and the second race begins at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Both races will be broadcast live on NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-SHR-