Monster Energy Cup Series News

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Dressed as he is most days at the race track in a pressed white button-down shirt, Wrangler blue jeans - a team radio typically tucked in a side pocket – and cowboy boots, Richard Childress can hardly walk a foot at Daytona International Speedway without stopping for a handshake, an embrace, a pat on the back or quick pose for a fan’s photo.

His shirt, these days, has a special emblem sewn in - a bright golden 50 on it. This week’s season-opening Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) begins Childress’ 50th year of NASCAR competition.

The number of people from pit road to the NASCAR garage to fans in the infield that want to acknowledge Childress and this milestone is befitting of the NASCAR Hall of Famer he is and – a man who truly worked his way up to the top in the sport, which is a fact seems to be especially appreciated.

At the age of 9, Childress and his little brother Larry sold popcorn and peanuts at their local North Carolina short track, Bowman Gray Stadium – walking miles to the track each weekend as a kid. When older, he eventually earned enough money to buy a car and race. The rest as they say, is history.

And it legitimately is.

“We really liked racing and figured if we come over here and get a job, we could see more racing," Childress said of his early days at the local short track. “So we sold peanuts and popcorn. Then the next week he [stepfather] said, ‘ya’ll boys can go, but you’ll have to get there on your own.’ So we walked about five miles to get over there to the track. [My parents] would pick us up after because it was late at night. That was my first job in racing.”

After switching his focus from selling snacks to driving stock cars to fielding a team, Childress now boasts six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup championship trophies on his mantle via the late legend Dale Earnhardt and three more Daytona 500 trophies – one each from Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and Childress’ own grandson Austin, who won his just last year.

His story of success is one of hard work and pursuit – of good timing and good judgment. It reads like a high speed, storybook version of How to Succeed in Business. And it’s something NASCAR fans especially seem to appreciate.

Childress’ family didn’t own a race team. He didn’t start out as CEO of another big company and purchase his operation as a side venture. He fell in love with the sport and courted it for years, intent to find a way to make a living and spend his life there.

Many don’t realize that Childress was a NASCAR Cup driver before he was a team owner - making 285 Cup starts between 1969 and 1981 including eight fulltime seasons. His career best finish was third at Nashville in 1978.  He finished ninth in the 1976 Daytona 500 driving the No. 3 Chevrolet that Earnhardt would make so famous and his grandson Austin drives now.

As a team owner, Childress has 228 wins in NASCAR’s three premier series, including 108 at the Cup level. His drivers have earned six Cup championships, four Xfinity Series titles and two Gander Outdoors Truck Series season trophies.

“We’ve got a lot of owners out there that were businessmen that wanted to be owners and do something fun so they bought a race team and went racing," said longtime friend and RCR employee Chocolate Myers. “Richard Childress is a little bit different.

“He’s a racer that became a businessman. He is the only owner I know of that for many - many - years, when we went to the race track to test, he was under the car, under the hood, in the gate when we walked in the gate.

“In the world we live in today, I’m up there [at the team shop] a lot. I work there every day and a lot of weekends. I go there and they are closed, except I look over and Richard’s truck is in the parking lot.

“He is dedicated to this sport. He has dedicated his life to it and I think it’s pretty cool to have watched his career go like it’s gone.”

“The backstory is one of the coolest stories in the world. To watch Richard Childress go from a guy who worked in a battery manufacturing plant to a guy who could buy the battery manufacturing plant is pretty cool.”

And yet, Childress couldn’t be happier with the way it has all worked out. He has trophies and championships and a NASCAR Hall of Fame honor. But if you listen to him talk about his racing life now, the narrative has changed a bit. He still has the same goal of success and now that comes with the benefit of being a proud grandfather.

The questions he’s getting as he celebrates this special anniversary are similar to what he’s always received. They are obvious and expected. “What is his favorite moment as a team owner” is the prevailing million-dollar ask. And he’s always ready.

“For me, winning the Daytona 500 is one of the most special races you could ever win in your NASCAR career as an owner, driver or crew chief or whatever it is, it’s such a special place," Childress answers. “To have my grandson win it. … seeing Dale (Earnhardt) win it, I knew what it meant to him to win the Daytona 500 and be able to get that on his resume it was something he really wanted. To see Kevin Harvick win in 2007 …. but to see your grandson win was really, really special. When I’m asked, I say, nothing’s thicker than blood.”

It’s a sentiment that resonates well and loudly with so many NASCAR fans. At Daytona, they surrounded him - two and three deep – hoping for an autograph, a photo, even just a glance or wave. It is NASCAR magic.

“I liked Earnhardt and have stayed with Childress," said Gerad Hudson, a fan from Mississippi waiting outside the RCR team trailer in the Daytona garage this weekend. “He’s been at it a long time and just seems like a good guy."

Two important traits among many responsible for making and sustaining one of the sport’s most legendary racing career.

“A lot has changed as far as how the sport goes, the technology and whatnot," said Andy Petree, a Cup winning crew chief with Earnhardt and now RCR’s Vice President of Competition. “The RCR heritage of winning has really never changed.

“It felt like coming back home when I came back last year, not much different from when I first got there. I knew Richard’s commitment to winning and had not won as many races in the recent past, but still so hungry as hungry as he’s ever been.

“I really hope just to be a big part of the next 50 years. I don’t know how many more we can go through that but I think there’s still some great things coming and I want to be a part of it.”

And Daytona International Speedway - where the 2019 season begins Sunday – Childress is smiling, shaking hands and clearly enjoying the sentimental moments of days past, yet determined and able to create new ones.

“Every time I drive through that tunnel I can’t help but look over at Turn 4 and think about [Earnhardt’s fatal accident] 2001," Childress said. “But then I also think of the great moments we had and the great races that we had been a big part of and all wins we had with the 125s and 150s with Dale and the Xfinity wins. Just all the great things.

“We had our worst moment in RCR history that day but we’ve had so many great ones and Dale would want us to be talking about the great ones today.”

There’s no bigger single item on Kyle Busch’s to-do list than winning the Daytona 500.

That’s because Busch has accomplished just about everything else in big-time stock car racing.

In 2015, he won his first championship in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, despite missing the first 11 races because of broken bones sustained in a brutal crash in Turn 1 during the NASCAR Xfinity Series race that preceded the Daytona 500.

A virtual lock to make the NASCAR Hall of Fame whenever he’s first eligible, Busch has 51 Cup victories, 11th most all-time. His 92 triumphs in the NASCAR Xfinity Series likely is an unassailable record, and his 51 wins in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series are good for a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. for most all-time.

Busch has won at least one race at every active track on the Cup circuit—unless you count the variant Charlotte Road Course, which was introduced to the series last year.

Last year, Busch won eight Cup races, matching a single-season best he established in 2008, his first season in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The eight victories in 2008 included Busch’s only Daytona points win in the Cup series, but that came in July, not February.

Busch won the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona in 2012 and also has three Duel 150-mile qualifying race victories to his credit.

But the big prize, the Harley J. Earl trophy, has eluded him through 14 full seasons at NASCAR’s highest level. There may be other items on Busch’s bucket list, but there’s no doubt which one is at the top, highlighted in red letters.

“There’s plenty on there for sure, but the biggest one, the top item is the Daytona 500,” Busch said on Wednesday during Daytona 500 media day at the speedway. “I would certainly like to knock that off a lot sooner than later, but hopefully–eventually, whether it’s the last year I do it, I can get one, but that’ll be seen later on.”

The Daytona 500 teased and tantalized the late Dale Earnhardt, dangling the prospect of victory in front of him before snatching it away with a late calamity. Earnhardt finally got his win in the Great American race in 1998, four years after he won his seventh Cup championship, but it took 20 years of trying.

Busch hasn’t been that close to the victory he covets most.

“It’s disappointing that I haven’t been able to win it yet, but, really, when I look back on all the years, there’s only been two opportunities that I feel like slipped away,” Busch said. “’08 slipped away, and the year Denny (Hamlin) won (2016). Those were the only two that I feel like we missed out on and weren’t able to capitalize.

“I was fast in ’07. I should have finished third behind (Kevin) Harvick and (Mark) Martin, but I crashed and destroyed the field coming to the checkered. So I feel like I could have won two of them, which is not all that many when you look at it. So, obviously, it’s disappointing to just not come down here and be a dominant force and a guy that’s in contention each and every time.”

The good news is that Busch probably will have many more opportunities to win the Daytona 500. His current plan is to race at the Cup level for roughly 10 more years.

“If I’m fortunate enough to be here for 10 more years… I’m Tom Brady-factoring right now, man,” Busch said. “I’ve got to work on this fine frame to make sure it lasts that long.”

To that end, Busch is finalizing a contract extension with joe Gibbs Racing.

“We’re in discussions right now,” he acknowledged. “We’re talking. It’s all been agreed to. It’s just a matter of putting the pen to the paper.”

That should dovetail with other unfinished business beyond the Daytona 500. Busch has 194 victories across NASCAR’s top three national series. He wants to reach 200 in the near term.

“Yeah, I mean 200 is another item that is on that bucket list and that checklist of what we’re looking to do,” he said. “I hope that that comes this year. I think there’s a great opportunity for that.

“I’ve got five truck races slated, seven Xfinity races slated and of course a full Cup schedule, so a lot going on in all of that and looking forward to being able to produce results and wins and again compete for a championship.”

No, Busch won’t equate his 200 victories to the 200 achieved by seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty, who recorded all of them in NASCAR’s premier series. But Busch can see himself challenging Jeff Gordon’s 93 career victories, perhaps even David Pearson’s 105.

“I feel as though I’m chasing Jeff Gordon or maybe even David Pearson,” Busch said. Maybe… I don’t know if I can get there. I like to think I can get there. I’m at 51 right now, so if I can get another 50 in the next 10 years, that would certainly be nice to go out with 100 Cup wins.”

But first things first—Busch’s next shot at the Daytona 500 is on Sunday. And after all, that’s the one item at the top of the priority list.

Move over, performance cars: The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is taking over the Daytona 500. This weekend, Chevrolet will debut the new Silverado competing in the NASCAR truck series, a production Silverado will be the first truck ever to pace the Daytona 500, and a deserving fan will see it all unfold through a once-in-a-lifetime camping trip in the bed of a Silverado.

“The Daytona 500 weekend is home to some of the most memorable moments in racing,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “This is an exciting opportunity to introduce the strongest, most advanced Silverado ever to race fans all weekend long.”

First new Silverado race truck since 2014

The Silverado Takeover begins today as the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series kicks off its 2019 season. With 232 wins, nine Manufacturers’ Championships and 13 Drivers’ Championships, Silverado has been the most successful truck to compete in the series since the inaugural 1995 race.

The Silverado will debut a fresh track livery this season. For the first time in five years, the race truck has been redesigned for the series and will align with the all-new 2019 Silverado RST.

Silverado is the first-ever truck to pace Daytona 500

On Sunday, Chevy will continue to make history as Silverado becomes the first truck to ever pace The Great American Race. Two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the pack for this unprecedented moment in the race’s 61-year history.

Powered by a production 6.2L V-8 engine and paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the pace truck delivers 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque with no performance modifications necessary to pace the field of NASCAR drivers.

Camping Experience at Hotel Silverado

The word “unforgettable” will take on a new meaning for a deserving fan and his closest family and friends. They will be the first to camp out at the Chevrolet Experience Center on the Daytona Motor Speedway infield.

Through a Chevy Cares partnership with the American Cancer Society, Joey Miller and his family will put the Silverado’s Durabed — the most functional bed of any full-size truck — to the test as they camp out in six Silverados equipped with tents at Hotel Silverado.

“When we heard Joey’s story, we knew we had to do something,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Truck Marketing. “Joey has raised a significant amount of donations for cancer research, and has inspired dozens of people to join his team. Hosting Joey and his family for the Daytona 500 is a small way Chevrolet can recognize his efforts for helping others.”

Tune into FOX Feb. 15-17 to catch the all-new Chevrolet Silverado during the Daytona 500 weekend.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is the strongest, most advanced Silverado ever, delivering more capability and efficiency. Silverado offers more choice than competitors, with six powertrain options and eight trim choices, with each trim offering unique designs and capabilities to meet every need.

The all-new Silverado builds on its legacy of dependability with the segment-exclusive Durabed, the most functional bed in the segment, offering:  

  • Best-in-class cargo volume: The 2019 Silverado offers the most cargo volume in every bed length.
  • Higher-strength steel floor: Silverado features a roll-formed, high-strength steel bed floor.
  • More and stronger tie-downs: The Silverado now has 12 fixed tie-downs, and their strength has doubled to 500 pounds of force before bending. The Silverado also has nine moveable tie points for even more cargo flexibility.

Chevrolet PR

It was a racing Hall of Fame podium. NASCAR team owners Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Chip Ganassi and Richard Petty addressed the media at Daytona International Speedway Friday morning to discuss Chevrolet’s outlook for the 2019 season.

There are 19 Daytona 500 victories and 25 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup championships among them – as an owner and/or a driver in the sport. The four Chevy team owners joined Chevrolet's U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports Jim Campbell to offer their opinions on Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and the 2019 season.

Chevrolet couldn’t be more eager to return to champion status. It’s won 10 of the last 14 Cup titles – it’s last by Jimmie Johnson in 2016. And it likes its chances both long-term and short term.

“For Chevrolet, excited to start here with the NASCAR season," Campbell said. “Last weekend was very exciting with the [Daytona 500] qualifying effort with Chase [Elliott] and Alex [Bowman] locking up the front row last weekend and the first five positions showing really good individual car speed. Really looking forward to the year.

“Great things happening with NASCAR. We're working very closely as part of the NASCAR OEM council on kind of marketing fan experience as well as the competition side. We're looking forward to the year.

“It's a real honor to be racing with Richard and Rick, Chip and Richard Petty. Three Hall of Famers for NASCAR, and Chip obviously won every big race in every category. Real honored to be here with them and you all.”

The ownership foursome boasts some of the sport’s biggest names in their driver lineup and claims some of the marquee moments in recent NASCAR competition.

For Childress, whose grandson Austin Dillon is the defending Daytona 500 winner, his relationship with Chevrolet goes back to his own racing days – long before he was fielding cars and winning championships with the late seven-time champ Dale Earnhardt in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I was racing Chevys way before '69, but I ran a '69 Camaro here in Daytona 50 years ago," Childress said. “It's been a great ride.  We wouldn't be where we are today, RCR wouldn't be, without General Motors, all the support from Chevy, engineering, all the help they've got.

“I think we had the very first engineer back in the '80s I think it was. They've been really great for RCR. They've been great for the sport.

“When you get a manufacturer like GM behind the sport, we won so many championships over the years, all of us have, it's just been a great honor."

The new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rules package for tracks [not including the 2.5-mile superspeedways in Daytona and Talladega, Ala.] was, not surprisingly, a big topic for the owners to address this week. The new rules will use enhanced aerodynamics and a new engine configuration to produce closer racing much like the sport enjoyed in last year’s trial run, the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The drivers are open – even optimistic – about the close racing the new rules package is expected to produce and the Chevy owners echoed the positive outlook.

“NASCAR is doing everything they can, I think, [and] the drivers and the owners are doing everything they can to kind of go to the next level with our racing," Petty said. “Again, starting the season next week in Atlanta basically is going to be an exciting deal.  I think everybody is looking forward to that.”

One of the positive results expected of the new package is that it may help control costs, which in turn opens the competition up to even more teams. There has been a lot more “glass-half-full” reactions.

“I think racers, they're going to spend whatever they got to spend to get the job done," Hendrick said. “I think NASCAR has done a good job of trying to hold costs down. I mean, it's a lot of work going on with our CFO's, not just the Chevy teams, but all of the team owners and presidents are working together to look at what we're spending, how we can do it for less.

“I think in the future, you're going to see other things happen with the cars, engine packages, that's going to reduce the cost.  So NASCAR is really on it.  When you look at it, we talk about a spending cap. I don't know how you regulate that with all we have going on. I mean, everything is on the table.

"I think they've done a great job.”

The new Ford Mustang announced its arrival into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in emphatic fashion—sweeping the top three positions in each of the two Gander RV Duel at Daytona 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday night.

Team owner Jack Roush, for one, is delighted that the Mustang has finally ascended to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Roush, after all, has fielded Mustangs in a wide array of motorsports pursuits in a career that spans more than five decades.

“The Mustang is a river that runs through for me,” Roush said on Friday at Daytona International Speedway during a press conference with fellow Ford team owners and Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford performance Motorsports. “Fifty-three years ago, I loaded my first Mustang on the truck and took it to the (drag racing) Winter Nationals.

“I've watched the Mustangs be raced in a myriad of classes, road racing and drag racing. We've taken it to Bonneville, Pikes Peak. We've taken it to Europe. The Mustang has finally taken its rightful place at the top of the stock car arena with NASCAR. It's been something that I've watched come over a period of time that I'm very proud of being a staple with (Ford) for all those years.”

Growing pains may still surface in the transition from the Fusion to the Mustang this year, but to a great extent, any apprehension that may have existed was allayed substantially by the Fords’ performance in last Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash, where Paul Menard ran up front until contact from Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet sent him spinning, and in the Duels, where Fords finished 1-2-3 in both races.

Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart says such transitions have become routine for his organization, which made the jump from Chevrolet to Ford before the start of the 2017 season. And the ability of the Ford teams to work together at superspeedways has led to the carmaker’s dominance at those tracks.

“As far as preparation for this year, I think Stewart Haas Racing probably has been one of the teams that are used to hitting curve balls left and right,” Stewart said. “To sit here and switch body styles over the winter, as much as that's a huge undertaking for everyone, I think it's just another walk in the park for our guys.

“They're so used to it from adding teams in consecutive years, to changing manufacturers, changing body styles. It's just a layup for our guys. I've had all the confidence in our group. We have cars that are fast down here. I think we all learned last year, especially at the restrictor-plate tracks, when we get these Ford teams together, it's really hard to handle all of us if we're working together.

“We all want to win the race at the end of the day, but if we're racing each other at the end of the day, it's a lot better scenario than racing the entire field. Excited about what we've got to look forward to this year.”

To Stewart’s point, before Austin Dillon triumphed in last year’s Daytona 500, Ford drivers had won three straight races at the track. At Talladega, Ford has a current seven-race winning streak, with reigning Cup champion Joey Logano accounting for three of those.

Team Penske owner Roger Penske, who fields Logano’s Fords, believes Stewart-Haas’ manufacturer switch has helped produce a critical mass that has strengthened the entire camp.

“We really began a collaboration back then from the standpoint of how to make the cars better,” Penske said. “With the thought of the new Mustang, all of us had the opportunity with our technical people to sit down and interface with Ford's performance team. Whether it was wind tunnel, scale tunnel, all the things that go together, they were key. Each of us had a piece of that.

“From our preparation, you have all these cars that are Fusions. We don't have just four or five cars in the stable. You have multiple cars that have to be changed over. It puts a big pressure on us. The good news was Ford provided us the pieces that are specific by NASCAR. We had those in time in order to build these cars, which I thought was good.”

Penske also credited engine builder Roush Yates Engines as integral to the performance of the Fords, describing it as “the cornerstone of our success last year.”

“And certainly, what you saw last night (in the Duels), it's a big piece of that,” Penske added. “They should get a big thank-you for that. It's just a total collaboration. We're racing each other when it comes to Sunday.

“But I think what we learned is we can work better together during these races. You could see it last night and during the season last year. We all want to win, but I think that's key to get us to that point where you have five or 10 laps to go, you have a chance to win, (that’s) what we're all trying to do.”

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are set to start the Daytona 500 from seventh place thanks to Menard’s third-place finish in the first of two Gander RV Duels on Thursday night.

Menard started the 150-mile qualifying race from sixth position but settled out in fourth place, where he ran until a green-flag pit stop at lap 12 of 60.

Once the pit stops cycled out, Menard was running second to eventual winner Kevin Harvick. Menard lost a spot to third place when the bottom line briefly gained momentum midway through the race.

On the last lap, he made a bold move on second-running Ricky Stenhouse Jr. but came up just inches short.

Nonetheless, it was a cause for celebration in the Ford Motor Company camp as Mustang drivers swept the top three finishing positions, a feat the Blue Oval contingent was able to duplicate in the second Duel.

“We really had a bunch of fast Fords up front, and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang was really good,” Menard said in his post-race comments. “Ricky [Stenhouse] and I had some fun at the end there. He came over after the race, and we were trying to figure out if we should have gone earlier, later, whatever else might've worked.  

“I was faster than him through the Tri-Oval, he had me by a bit down the back... at the end I had a little run and I'll tell you what, I wouldn't have been able to sleep tonight if I didn't try at least something there.”

The Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, which also earned eight Stage points in the Duels, now turns its focus to practice sessions on Friday and Saturday as they make final preparations for Sunday’s Great American Race.

The green flag for the 61st annual Daytona 500 is set to fly at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2:30 p.m., with TV coverage on FOX.

WBR PR

Duel No. 1 Winner:  Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Duel No. 2 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

 

SHR Finish:

Kevin Harvick (Started 8th, Finished 1st/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)

● Daniel Suárez (Started 11th, Finished 11th / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)

● Clint Bowyer (Started 4th, Finished 2nd / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

● Aric Almirola (Started 9th, Finished 3rd / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

 

Notes:                                   

● Clint Bowyer will start sixth in Sunday’s 61st Daytona 500. His best Daytona 500 finish is fourth, earned twice (2009 and 2010).

● Bowyer started fourth in the second Duel and moved to third at the drop of the green flag.

● He inherited the lead during the only pit cycle at lap 13 and never relinquished it until the final lap when Joey Logan passed him for the victory.

● Bowyer led twice for a race-high 41 laps in his Duel race.

● This was Bowyer’s third runner-up finish in 14 career Duel starts.

● Bowyer scored nine regular-season points.

● In the first Duel, SHR teammate Kevin Harvick earned the first win for Ford’s Mustang in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

● SHR collectively scored three top-five finishes in the Gander Outdoors Duels.

● Of the 120 laps available between the two Duel races, Harvick and Bowyer combined to lead 85 laps (70.8 percent).

● Drivers earning odd-numbered positions from Sunday’s pole qualifying session were assigned to the first Duel race. Drivers earning even-numbered positions from pole qualifying competed in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race were based on qualifying times.

 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

WHAT COULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY AT THE END? “I don’t know. I guess I could have gone down there and blocked a little bit, but when you are leading the train, you can’t see the runs that are coming behind you. All you can do is hear your spotter telling you that they are coming, but I can’t tell if he pulls out, how fast they are coming or anything else. They came with a big run, and by the time he got to me, I could have gone down there and blocked it and gotten myself wrecked. It was just one of those things. I thought we would still be able to connect and get back up through ‘em. It is what it is. We will start up front for the 500, which is the goal, and the car is still in one piece. The Mustangs are fast. That is two Mustangs winning both Duels, and we did all the right things. Like I said, if that was the Daytona 500 I would have pulled down there and blocked him and tried to do whatever, but he had a massive run. We will just get regrouped and talk about it and get a little better communication there. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, it is just once they pull out like that you can’t tell how fast they are getting on you until they pull out, and he was going pretty fast.”

 

Next Up:

The 61st Daytona 500 gets underway at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 17, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 1 p.m.

 

TSC PR

Duel No. 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Duel No. 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

 

SHR Finish:

● Kevin Harvick (Started 8th, Finished 1st/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)

● Daniel Suárez (Started 11th, Finished 11th/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)

● Clint Bowyer (Started 4th, Finished 2nd/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

● Aric Almirola (Started 9th, Finished 3rd/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

 

Notes:                           

● Aric Almirola started Duel No. 2 from ninth place and quickly raced to eighth.

● He pitted on lap 13 for fuel and ran in third place when green-flag pit stops cycled through.

● On the final lap, the No. 22 car made a move to break up the field. Almirola fell back to fifth, but he raced his way back to third before crossing the finish line.

● Almirola will start eighth in the Daytona 500. His best Daytona 500 finish is fourth (2017).

● Stewart-Haas Racing scored three top-three finishes in the Gander RV Duels at Daytona.

● Almirola scored eight regular-season points.

● This was Almirola’s best career finish in the Duel races. His previous best Duel result was fifth in 2009, his first Duel race.

● Drivers earning odd-numbered positions from Sunday’s pole qualifying session were assigned to the first Duel race. Drivers earning even-numbered positions from pole qualifying competed in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race were based on qualifying times.

 

Aric Almirola, diver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Our Smithfield Ford Mustang drove great tonight. I knew Joey was going to try to make a move at some point, but I didn’t know if it was going to be on the front or backstretch. We were able to finish third to put us in a decent starting position for the Daytona 500.” 

 

Next Up:

The 61st running of the Daytona 500 starts at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 1 p.m.

 

TSC PR

Front Row Motorsports (FRM) today announced a new season-long partnership with Tunity, a revolutionary mobile app, which allows race fans to hear live audio from muted televisions directly on their mobile device; and Surface Sunscreen, which provides high quality suncare products to the athletes and fans of action sports.

Both companies will serve as co-primary sponsors for Matt Tifft and the No. 36 Ford Mustang team during select races throughout the 2019 season.

New York City-based Tunity is the first application of its kind, identifying a live video stream on a muted TV, and syncing the audio with exact timing on the user's mobile device. They have made it easier than ever for fans to listen in and keep up with the race while in bars, restaurants or gyms.

"We are thrilled to support Front Row Motorsports and Matt Tifft as he competes at the highest level of racing," said Yaniv Davidson, founder and CEO of Tunity. "Matt has proven his success on and off the track time and again and we couldn't be more excited to see his perseverance pay off in 2019. We are excited to play our part and help fans keep up with the race whether they're traveling, out to dinner or working out."

Located in Southern California, Surface Sunscreen helps fans of the outdoors to enjoy their favorite activities without worrying about the sun's damaging effects. From sunscreen to lip balm, they offer a variety of purpose-built products designed with athletes and action sports in mind.

"We can't think of a better partnership," said Guy Trotter of Surface Sunscreen. "We are committed to providing high-quality suncare products for fans and participants who spend their days outside at the track. Aligning with Matt helps us carry our message to a broader NASCAR-focused audience."

Tifft makes his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2019 with Front Row Motorsports this Sunday in the Daytona 500. Previously, he competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series where he earned nine top-five finishes, 38 top-10 finishes and two poles.

FRM PR

SHR Finish:        

Kevin Harvick (Started 8th, Finished 1st/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)

● Daniel Suárez (Started 11th, Finished 11th / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)

● Clint Bowyer (Started 4th, Finished 2nd / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

● Aric Almirola (Started 9th, Finished 3rd / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

 

Notes:                   

● Kevin Harvick started eighth in Duel No. 1 and was fourth by lap 12.

● The Busch Beer Car2Can Ford Mustang pitted for fuel only on lap 13.

● On lap 16 Harvick moved to first place, and he maintained the lead for the final 44 laps.

● This was Harvick’s second career win in the Gander Outdoors Duels. His first win came in 2013.

● Harvick earned the first win for Ford’s Mustang in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

● Harvick scored 10 regular-season points.

● Harvick will start third in the Daytona 500. He won the 2007 Daytona 500.

● Drivers earning odd-numbered positions from Sunday’s pole qualifying session were assigned to the first Duel race. Drivers earning even-numbered positions from pole qualifying competed in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race were based on qualifying times.

 

Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Car2Can Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“It handled good when we were behind cars. Last week taught us that we needed to have track position. They did a good job on pit road and got on and off pit road, and then we had a couple Ford Mustangs behind us, as well. Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) and Paul (Menard) worked with us, and we were able to keep the track position, and our cars were fast enough together to keep everyone else back there. I am really proud of everybody on our Busch Beer Ford Mustang. It is a great way to get Mustang into victory lane. I gotta thank everybody from Busch and the great promotion with Car2Can with 40 cool cans that are made of my old cars. It is cool to see those in victory lane.”

 

Next Up:

The 61st Daytona 500 gets underway at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 17, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 1 p.m.

 

TSC PR

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