MARTINSVILLE, Va— The weekend started out strong for Stewart-Haas Racing, but when it was time to race, that magic wore off. All four Stewart-Haas cars ended up multiple laps down.
In the first practice session of the weekend, Tony Stewart was 21st, Danica Patrick was fifth, Kevin Harvick was 19th, and Kurt Busch was 11th. In the second practice on Saturday morning, Stewart was ninth, Busch was 12th, Harvick was 13th, and Patrick was 14th. In the final practice session, Stewart was second, Harvick was 10th, Busch was 12th, and Patrick was 21st.
However, when the green flag fell, the struggles came with the Stewart-Haas cars.
Stewart-Haas had no cars in the top-20 by the time of race end. Harvick was the highest finisher of the SHR cars finishing in 20th, Busch was the second highest finisher at 22nd, Patrick was in the 24th position, and Stewart finished in the 26th position.
“We missed it. I don’t know where, how, why, we missed it. Even SHR (Stewart-Haas Racing) as a group we didn’t perform well. That was not the day we needed. Sorry to State Water Heaters, their only race of the year and we didn’t perform well for them. We just missed it,” said Busch post-race.
"We were slow all weekend. We could just never get the handle on it,” said Harvick about the issues of the day.