Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Kyle Larson’s remarkable win streak continues by driving his No. 5 Valvoline Camaro ZL1 1LE to victory lane in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) inaugural visit to Nashville Superspeedway in the Ally 400. In dominating fashion, Larson led 264 of the 300-lap race on the 1.33 concrete oval to capture his third-consecutive points-paying in NASCAR’s premier series. The feat was the Chevrolet driver’s 10th NCS career-victory and fourth of the regular season. In addition, Larson won the annual invitational NASCAR All-Star race in Texas last weekend.
 
Larson’s victory marks the eighth win for the Camaro ZL1 1LE on the 2021 NCS season and 803rd all-time victory for Chevrolet in NASCAR’s premier division. The Bowtie Brand has now made its way to NCS victory lane for the fifth-consecutive points-paying event, which Chevrolet last accomplished in the 2014 season. The 28-year old’s feat gave Rick Hendrick and the Hendrick Motorsports organization its 271st all-time victory in the sport.
 
Ross Chastain, driver of the No. 42 Clover Camaro ZL1 1LE for Chip Ganassi Racing, posted his career-best finish in his NASCAR Cup Series career with a runner-up finish. Chastain has recorded two top-five’s and three top-10’s in the last four races. Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, William Byron, took the checkered flag in third to give Chevrolet a 1-2-3 finish.
 
Additionally, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., aboard the No. 47 Kroger/Nature Valley Camaro ZL1 1LE, Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Camaro ZL1 1LE, and Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE finished sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively, giving Team Chevy six of the top-8 in the final order.
 
Aric Almirola (Ford) finished fourth and Kevin Harvick (Ford) rounded out the top-five in the 300-lap event at Nashville Superspeedway.
 
GM PR
  • Daniel Suárez finished seventh in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway.
  • The finish moved Suárez to 21st in the season standings after 17 races.
  • Suárez qualified 22nd Sunday morning.
  • Suárez started well and finished fourth in Stage 1.
  • He would have earned bonus points in Stage 2, but the No. 99 team chose to pit and better position Suárez for later in the race.
  • Suárez dropped from 10th to mid-pack when Crew Chief Travis Mack pitted him with about 70 laps remaining in the race.
  • The strategy proved correct as Suárez used a fast car to drive to seventh in the final laps while few drivers were forced to pit for fuel.
  • It was the third top-10 and second-best finish of the season for the Trackhouse team.
  • Sunday marked the first NASCAR Cup Series race in Nashville in 37 years.
  • Tootsie's Orchid Cafe served as the primary sponsor in Nashville. The Trackhouse team unveiled the Chevrolet on Lower Broadway on Thursday.
  • Suárez sported a special Tootsie's uniform with cowboy boots embroidered on the suit.
  • The NASCAR Cup Series return to action Saturday June 26 and Sunday June 27 for a doubleheader at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. NBCSN will televise Saturday's race at 3 p.m. and Sunday's race at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
 

Daniel Suárez on his seventh-place finish Sunday in Nashville:

"What a great way to end the week in Nashville for all the Tootsie's folks and everyone who came out to support us this. We had a lot of fun and had a good run today. We got a little bit tight at the end and that kept us from finishing even better. (Crew Chief) Travis (Mack) made some great calls today and the pit crew was excellent. This is another step for us. We will keep working hard and getting better and better. We won't be satisfied until we are standing in victory lane."

Third top-10 of 2021:

“It was good. The car was good enough to finish right there in the top-10. I don’t know what it was, but in the last couple of runs, we lost some grip in the front. I don’t know if it was the race track, or what; but the guys did a very good job of making adjustments. The car was fast; we showed that a couple of times. We’ve just got to continue.”

 

Trackhouse Racing PR

NASCAR’s first-ever Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway got off to a hot start for Chris Buescher, who was in the mix early and moving through the field in his Fifth Third Bank Ford Mustang. However, bad luck followed the No. 17 team and debris on the track cut a tire on the car, sending Buescher into the wall and ending his day early at the Tennessee track.

“The Fifth Third Bank Ford Mustang was really good today,” said Buescher. “It’s definitely unfortunate, there’s nothing we did wrong to cause the DNF. I’m proud of my team, we had a good weekend. We had a good practice and qualifying, and the race was going to be good for us as well.”

With traditional qualifying taking place Sunday morning, Buescher finished 17th on the speed charts and would begin the afternoon’s race there. With restarts going three-wide up and down the slick track, Buescher was able to quickly run through the middle of the pack and navigated to 12th place in just a handful of laps.

The first round of green flag pit stops would prove to be untimely for the team, as a caution flag came out just as Buescher was exiting the pits. He was scored 22nd, and one lap down to the leaders, but was able to get back on the lead lap with a wave around for the ensuing restart.

Buescher once again had a strong showing on the restart, recovering much of the lost track position and getting up to 13th by the time another caution flag flew just ten laps later.

The Fifth Third Bank Ford Mustang continued to be a strong performer, until lap 77 when a car in front of Buescher had a mechanical issue and debris from the car tore through the front of the No. 17. The debris caused an immediate cut tire that sent Buescher into the fence, and also damaged parts of the car’s interior that the team was unable to repair. Buescher was ultimately credited with a 37th-place finish.

RFR PR

In the first NASCAR event at Nashville Superspeedway in a decade, Ryan Newman put himself in prime position to capitalize on a chaotic afternoon, finishing 14th in the Planters Ford Mustang.

The weekend schedule saw a rare practice and qualifying session, where Newman put his No. 6 machine 29th in single-lap qualifying. But, with a total of nine cautions – not including those induced by stage breaks – Newman and the No. 6 team continued plugging away on the car to secure a solid finish on the day.

After a quick yellow in the first turn of the afternoon, the race ran green through Newman’s first pit stop. A badly-timed yellow just after Newman exited pit road trapped him a lap off the leaders, forcing the No. 6 team to play strategy games to get the position back. Following a series of cautions where he wasn’t eligible to wave around, Newman battled and earned the lucky dog to end stage one, giving the team a fresh restart on the race.

He began the second stage from the 29th spot, but worked his way near the top-15 by lap 138 when he restarted 17th. He got to 15th for a restart with five to go in stage two, but ultimately fell back to 23rd to close the segment after the handling went away on the short run.

Following another stop – one of his eight on the afternoon – to try and tune up the Planters Ford, he began stage three from the 20th position. The last half of the race saw three combined yellows, as fuel strategy came into play late.

The final restart came at lap 232, and just after Newman reported his best balance of the race. That, combined with some fuel strategy not working out in other competitors’ favor, put him 14th at the finish line in his first-ever shot at the 1.33-mile track.

Next up the NASCAR Cup Series visits Pocono Raceway for a doubleheader next weekend. Saturday’s race is set for 3 p.m. ET, with Sunday’s race set for 3:30 p.m. ET. Both will air on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.

RFR PR

Buddy Kofoid took the lead from Brent Crews on lap six and went on to pace the final 25 laps to win the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Illinois SpeedWeek finale at Fayette County Speedway Sunday.

While Kofoid got the win, it was Cannon McIntosh who earned the Illinois SpeedWeek title after finishing third on Sunday as he registered a top-four finish in each of the week’s five events, including a victory on night two at Lincoln Speedway.

The 13-year-old Crews would take the lead from the pole position and pace the first five laps before Kofoid would use a slider to take over the top spot. Crews made a couple of runs in an attempt to regain the lead, but in the end, Kofoid would pull away from the field to take the win. Crews never ran below second on the way to matching his career-best POWRi finish. 

McIntosh, needing just to finish with 10 positions of Kofoid to wrap up the championship for the week, would finish third with a comfortable advantage over Crews’ CB Industries teammate Ryan Timms.

Also earning top-10 finishes for Toyota were Gavan Boschele in sixth, POWRi points leader Bryant Wiedeman in seventh and Kaylee Bryson in eighth, giving Keith Kunz Motorsports four of the top 10.

After completing five races in five nights, the POWRi National Midget League will be off until July 16 when the series returns to the track for the “Thunder in the Valley” double-header at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri.

Quotes:

Buddy Kofoid, Keith Kunz Motorsports: “I was able to get the lead and felt really comfortable on the restarts. I knew it would be tough for him to slide me. This track is a lot of fun. My guys did a really good job with this car. It just felt comfortable. It wouldn’t be possible without Keith Kunz Motorsports, Mobil 1 and Toyota giving me this opportunity.”

Cannon McIntosh, Dave Mac Motorsports: “It was a good week. We found lots of speed and we were really consistent. We were able to regroup and figure out what we needed. We weren’t as good as the top two tonight, but we did what we needed to do. Everybody with Dave Mac Motorsports did a great job this week.”

Notes: 

- Five different Toyota drivers won the five events during Illinois SpeedWeek, with Kofoid leading the way with two wins, while McIntosh, Daison Pursley and Emerson Axsom each winning one.

- Buddy Kofoid’s victory is his 11th national midget feature win of the year. It also marked Toyota’s 30th national feature triumph of the 2021 season.

TRD PR

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)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-90):

● Aric Almirola started first and finished 16th.

● Almirola was scored third by lap eight. He noted loose-handling conditions into the turn and being tight to the middle.

● On lap 45, Almirola was called to the pits. Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz radioed Almirola to roll through pit road to stay on the lead lap due to an ill-timed caution.

● The No. 10 Smithfield team pitted during the caution period for four tires, fuel and air pressure and wedge adjustments.

● Almirola restarted sixth, but another caution was called on lap 55.

● He restarted seventh and drove to the top-five until another caution on lap 79.

● The team pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments and restarted 12th.

● Almirola said his tires chattered during the restarted, resulting in the No. 10 dropping to 16th before the end of the stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 91-185):

● Almirola started 10th and finished ninth, earning two bonus points.

● The No. 10 Smithfield team opted not to pit at the end of the stage.

● Almirola rejoined the top-10 by lap 108 when he passed teammate Cole Custer and was scored eighth just 11 laps later.

● He pitted during a caution period on lap 132 for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help the No. 10 Ford turn better.

● The Smithfield Ford pit crew gained Almirola one spot on pit road to restart eighth.

● Almirola drove back to sixth place by lap 147 and passed teammate Kevin Harvick for fifth on lap 155.

● The caution was called on lap 174. Almirola restarted 10th and held his Smithfield Ford inside the top-10.

● He pitted at the end of the stage for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 186-300):

● Almirola started eighth and finished fourth.

● He pitted under caution for four tires, fuel and adjustments on lap 228, telling his team he needed more grip.

● He restarted sixth and said grip improved after the adjustments.

● The No. 10 Smithfield Ford driver raced his way to fourth place by lap 251.

● Almirola was told to save fuel with 40 laps to go.

● He fell to fifth while saving fuel and passed teammate Kevin Harvick right at the finish line to finish fourth.

 

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.

● 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.

 

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.”

 

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.

 

TSC PR

Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet Team Survive Long, Hot Day at Nashville Superspeedway with Stage Points and Top-15 Finish
 
 
 
12th
 
 
28th
 
11th
 
“What a race! We knew we would have our work cut out for us today in the No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE after qualifying didn’t go as well as we planned. This Richard Childress Racing team never gave up though, and I am so proud of them for that. Early in Stage 1 we earned some track position but fell back a bit with an ill-timed caution after a green-flag stop. We then rallied to race our way to sixth position at the end of Stage 1. We finished Stage 2 second to earn additional points, which is really good for our NASCAR Playoffs battle. Overall, I’m really proud of this team and we will take this 12th-place finish and move on to Pocono Raceway for a double-header next weekend.” 
 
 
-Austin Dillon
 
Tyler Reddick and the No. 8 Joe Nichols / Quartz Hill Records Team Power Through Chaotic Race at Nashville Superspeedway
 
 
 
 
19th
 
 
26th
 
13th
 
“Today was all about survival at Nashville Superspeedway. Our No. 8 Joe Nichols / Quartz Hill Records Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE had a lot of speed in it, but we had to overcome a lot of obstacles today. After our first pit stop of the day, there was no grip on the pit access road while exiting, and I clipped the grass and spun around. Luckily, I didn’t hit anything and other than some dirt on the windshield, we were able to keep going after pitting for fresh tires. Shortly after that, someone on the track dropped some debris that went through the nose of my car but didn’t hit anything bad enough to end our day. From then on, we just raced really smart to get our laps back, which we were able to do after a couple of quick cautions. Our car was a bit on the tight side today and needed to be looser, but our adjustments really didn’t seem to help on the short runs like we needed them too. Our long run balance wasn’t bad, but I had a really bad vibration in the final 12 laps and had to slow my pace to make sure a tire or brake rotor didn’t blow. We were able to pick up a few extra spots since other guys ran out of fuel at the end, but we’ll definitely have to study this race and figure out how to be better next time.”
 
-Tyler Reddick

RCR PR

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)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-90):

Cole Custer started seventh and finished 18th.

● The No. 41 Dixie Vodka Tony’s Tea Ford quickly moved forward at the start of the race and was running fifth when the caution flag waved on the first lap of the race.

● From the lap-five restart, Custer held steady in fifth until his lap-44, green-flag pit stop for four tires, fuel and a slight adjustment.

● The caution flag flew while the team was on pit road and Custer was set to restart in the top-10. However, the No. 41 was hit with a pit road speeding penalty sending Custer to the tail end of the longest line on the lap-52 restart.

● The No. 41 driver came to pit road under the lap-78 caution while he was running 25th to get four tires, fuel and an adjustment. This put the team in a position to stay out and gain track position when the stage came to an end 12 laps later.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 91-185):

Custer started 11th and finished 33rd.

● The No. 41 Dixie Vodka Tony’s Tea driver notched a spot in the top-10 on the lap-96 restart and stayed there for the opening part of the stage.

● On lap 117, Custer reported concerns over his brakes after several cars had been involved in incidents on track. The No. 41 Ford Mustang kept growing tighter on the run and fell back to 14th by lap 159.

● The No. 41 Ford Mustang began to slow with a flat right rear tire on lap 172, bringing out the caution flag. Unfortunately, the team was unable to fix the issue on pit road as the brake rotor was damaged. They took the racecar to the garage for repairs on lap 173 and continued to work until the end of the stage.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 186-300):

The 23-year-old driver started 33rd and finished 31st.

● The Ladera Ranch, California, native brought his Ford Mustang back out on the track on lap 218 to re-enter the race in 33rd, 45 laps down.

● The No. 41 Dixie Vodka Tony’s Tea Ford Mustang came down pit road for an unscheduled pit stop on lap 281 after Custer reported vibrations. He rejoined the field and finished the race in 31st.

 

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.

 

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.”

 

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.

 

TSC PR

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)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-90):

Kevin Harvick started eighth and finished 14th.

● The No. 4 Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford Mustang gained five positions on the opening lap, which ended with the caution flag flying for a single-car incident. Harvick stayed on track and restarted eighth on lap five and maintained his position in the top-10 until pitting from ninth under green on lap 44. He took four tires and adjustments to tighten up the racecar’s loose condition.

● The caution flag flew for a spinning car in turn four during Harvick’s out lap, and he was shown in 17th.

● Less than two laps after the lap-52 restart, Harvick was 20th when the caution flag flew once again for a single-car incident in turn two. He pitted for four tires and chassis adjustments, and restarted 23rd on lap 61.

● Harvick held his relative position and emerged 21st after a two-car incident in turn two brought out the caution flag on lap 78. He said his Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford was tight in the front, but the rear end needed more attention. He pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments and restarted 17th on lap 85. He picked up three positions in the final five laps of the stage. He stayed on track during the break after saying his racecar took off better for that short run.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 91-185):

Harvick started ninth and finished 10th, earning one bonus point.

● The No. 4 Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford Mustang picked up a pair of positions in the early laps of the stage and held position in seventh until the caution flag flew on lap 132 for a spinning car in turn two. Harvick said his racecar felt better, just needed “a little bit of grip” in the center of the corner.” He pitted for four tires, fuel and restarted sixth on lap 138.

● Harvick held position over the next 30 laps, saying his racecar would go loose as the run progressed. He cracked the top-five on lap 170 with a pass of Denny Hamlin, just before the caution flag flew on lap 172 for debris. Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments to tighten up the car’s handling and restarted 11th on lap 180, then picked up one more position over the final five laps of the stage. He stayed on track during the break.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 186-300):

Harvick started eighth and finished fifth.

● No. 4 Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford Mustang picked up a position in the opening laps of the stage before the caution flag flew on lap 197 for a single-car incident in turn two. Harvick stayed on track after reporting, “That’s the best I’ve been able to let off the brake and let it roll through the corner.” He restarted seventh on lap 202.

● Harvick was running sixth on lap 216 when he reported his racecar struggled to turn down in the center of the corner and was losing the back end. Moments later, the caution flag flew for a spinning car on the frontstretch. Harvick pitted for tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. He restarted third on lap 222.

● Harvick and the car of William Byron made side-by-side contact in turn two during the restart, after which Harvick reported the Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford was “super tight.” He was fourth when the caution flag flew for a single-car incident in turn four. He stayed on track and restarted third on lap 232.

● From that point, the Monster Jam/Grave Digger Ford maintained its position in the top-three until eight laps remained while employing fuel-saving mode a majority of the way, and took the checkered flag fifth.

 

Notes:

● Harvick earned his fifth top-five and 12th top-10 of the season.

● Harvick won two NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Nashville (April 2006 and 2010). In his four Xfinity Series starts at the track he finished in the top-three all but once, and that was a seventh-place drive in April 2001. Harvick also made one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Nashville in April 2010 and finished second.

● Kyle Larson won the inaugural Ally 400 to score his 10th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fourth of the season and his third in a row. 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.

 

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.”

 

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.

 

TSC PR

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)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-90):

Chase Briscoe started 16th and finished 19th.

● Briscoe entered the top-10 on lap six but slipped back to 12th on lap nine. The HighPoint.com/Thorlabs driver held that position until lap 34 when cars further back in the field began to move forward.

● On lap 39, Briscoe reported he was free on entry to the corner. Crew chief Johnny Klausmeier called him to pit road five laps later for a scheduled green-flag stop. He received four tires, fuel and adjustments and returned to the track in 23rd, one lap down, just as the yellow caution flag was shown for the first time.

● Briscoe waved around and restarted 18th on lap 53. Just three laps later, caution was called again, and Briscoe restarted 16th on lap 62.

● The HighPoint.com/Thorlabs Mustang was running 20th when the field was slowed for an incident in turn two. Briscoe relayed his handling was good but he needed his right-rear tire to have more grip on entry. He pitted under the caution for four tires, fuel and additional adjustments, and restarted 20th on lap 86.

● Briscoe battled for position over the remaining five laps in the stage to finish 19th.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 91-185)

Briscoe started 15th and finished third, earning eight bonus points.

● The sixth caution of the race was called on lap 133 with Briscoe running 15th. He told the team his rear grip was much better but he still needed help with turn, as the HighPoint.com/Thorlabs Ford was tight center-off. The No. 14 team pitted for tires, fuel and several adjustments to help with front turn.

● Briscoe restarted 12th and worked to find the best line until caution came out on lap 174. Under yellow, he pitted for right-side tires and fuel, and then lined up first for the lap-181 restart.

● The HighPoint.com/Thorlabs driver held off Kyle Larson for a lap and a half before moving back to second. On the final lap of the stage, he battled with the No. 3 car to the finish line and was scored third at the line.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 186-300)

Briscoe started 13th and finished 32nd.

● After pitting for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help front turn, Briscoe started the final stage in the 13th position on lap 191.

● He fought his way up to eighth before the yellow flag was shown on lap 197. He radioed to the team that the HighPoint.com/Thorlabs Ford fired off the best it had all day. The team elected to stay on track and restarted seventh on lap 203.

● Briscoe maintained his position inside the top-10 and was running eighth until the next caution on lap 219. He asked the team for just a slight air pressure adjustment to help his front turn but noted the previous adjustments did help his handling. He was seventh off pit road and lined up eighth for the lap-223 restart.

● The HighPoint.com/Thorlabs Ford Mustang was running seventh on lap 228 when Briscoe drifted up the track and made contact with the outside wall in turn four. He reported that he had no brakes. After pitting for the team to assess damage, it was determined the No. 14 could not continue due to a loss of brakes.

 

Notes:

● Briscoe finished third in Stage 2 to earn eight bonus points.

● Briscoe led once for five laps.

● 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.

 

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.

 

TSC PR

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