Stewart-Haas Racing: Enjoy Illinois 300 from St. Louis

Race Winner:  Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner:  Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

SHR Finish:       

●  Chase Briscoe (Started 23rd, Finished 17th / Running, completed 240 of 240 laps)  

●  Noah Gragson (Started 27th, Finished 22nd / Running, completed 240 of 240 laps)

●  Ryan Preece (Started 32nd, Finished 29th / Running, completed 239 of 240 laps)

●  Josh Berry (Started 29th, Finished 36th / Accident, completed 109 of 240 laps)

SHR Points:

●  Chase Briscoe (15th with 358 points, 176 out of first)

●  Josh Berry (20th with 264 points, 270 out of first)

●  Noah Gragson (23rd with 255 points, 279 out of first)

●  Ryan Preece (29th with 211 points, 323 out of first)

SHR Notes:        

●  Briscoe’s 17th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Gateway – 24th, earned in the inaugural race at the 1.25-mile oval in 2022.

●  Briscoe finished seventh in Stage 2 to earn four bonus points.

●  Gragson’s 22nd-place result bettered his previous best finish at Gateway – 33rd, earned last year.

Race Notes:       

●  Austin Cindric won the Enjoy Illinois 300 to score his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Gateway. His margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was 3.844 seconds.

●  This was Ford’s 730th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory and its second of the season.

●  This was Ford’s second NASCAR Cup Series win at Gateway. Joey Logano won the track’s inaugural race for the Blue Oval in 2022.

●  There were five caution periods for a total of 32 laps.

●  Twenty-four of the 36 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

●  Hamlin remains the championship leader after Gateway with a 21-point advantage over second-place Kyle Larson.

Sound Bites:

“I’m not really sure what all happened. I know there were a lot of different strategies there and I don’t know what played out and how it played out. Our car was OK. It definitely seemed like we struggled a little more on the long run than some of the other people, and we were lacking overall grip. Kind of a worst-case scenario for us, how it all played out. But I thought we definitely made our car way better from yesterday. We’ll learn from that and go to Sonoma.” – Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Ford Mustang Dark Horse

We just struggled all weekend with the balance, and struggled with speed, struggled with take-off pace, struggled with long-run speed. Everything was just stuck in dirty air and couldn’t go on new tires, just struggled. Appreciate all these SERVPRO guys. Our 10 team, we’re frustrated, it’s not to our standard today. We’re going to go back to work and figure it out for Sonoma.” – Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 10 SERVPRO Ford Mustang Dark Horse

I really don’t know what happened. Obviously, with what our past has been with the rotors here, it kind of makes you think that. I went over and looked at the rotors and it looked like they were still on it, so it’s either that or a tire. For where we started, we moved up into the top-15 pretty quickly. The car was pretty good and I was learning a lot. We pushed the exit on the last section a little too hard and got the penalty there. We were still passing cars, though, and it would’ve been another good day.” Josh Berry, driver of the No. 4 Ford Mustang Dark Horse

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 9 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.