Stewart-Haas Racing: Save Mart 350k from Sonoma

Race Winner:  Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner:  Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Kyle Busch of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

 

SHR Race Finish:            

●  Kevin Harvick (Started 21st, Finished 11th / Running, completed 110 of 110 laps)

●  Ryan Preece (Started 22nd, Finished 13th / Running, completed 110 of 110 laps)

●  Aric Almirola (Started 20th, Finished 28th / Running, completed 110 of 110 laps)

●  Chase Briscoe (Started 24th, Finished 29th / Running, completed 110 of 110 laps)  

 

SHR Points:

●  Kevin Harvick (5th with 500 points, 25 out of first)

●  Ryan Preece (25th with 269 points, 256 out of first)

●  Aric Almirola (26th with 260 points, 265 out of first)

●  Chase Briscoe (31st with 183 points, 342 out of first)

 

SHR Notes:        

●  Harvick made his 806th career NASCAR Cup Series start on Sunday when he took the green flag at Sonoma, surpassing NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for ninth all-time. Harvick is on track to finish the year with 826 career starts, which will put him eighth all-time. He’s part of an impressive lineup that includes Richard Petty (1,185 starts), Ricky Rudd (906), Terry Labonte (890), Dave Marcis (883), Mark Martin (882), Kyle Petty (829), Bill Elliott (828), Darrell Waltrip (809) and Gordon (805). At age 47, Harvick was the fifth-youngest driver to make 800 starts.  

●  This was Harvick’s fifth consecutive finish of 11th or better, a run highlighted by a second-place drive May 14 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

●  Harvick finished 10th in Stage 2 to earn a bonus point.

●  Preece’s 13th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Sonoma – 21st, earned in 2021.

●  Preece leaves Sonoma a winner despite his 13th-place finish. Preece won Friday’s ARCA Menards Series West race in dominating fashion. He scored the pole and then led twice for a race-high 50 laps, including the final 32 tours around the 1.99-mile, 10-turn road course, to take the victory by a commanding 9.675 seconds over second-place Sammy Smith. It was Preece’s first ARCA victory and the first ARCA win for SHR.

●  Even with his 28th-place finish in the Save Mart 350k, Almirola is a winner at Sonoma. Almirola won Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Sonoma, leading twice for 17 laps to take his fourth career Xfinity Series victory and his first on a road course.

 

Race Notes:       

●  Martin Truex Jr., won the Save Mart 350k to score his 33rd career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his fourth at Sonoma. His margin over second-place Kyle Busch was 2.979 seconds.

●  There were only two caution periods for a total of six laps.

●  All but five of the 36 drivers in the Save Mart 350k finished on the lead lap.

●  Truex leaves Sonoma as the new championship leader with a 13-point advantage over second-place William Byron.

 

Sound Bites:

 

“It felt like we had something like the diffuser break in the middle of the day. I just lost all grip and couldn’t keep the pace. I think we had about a 15th-place car today if we didn’t have to come back down pit road. I’m glad we could get it done in the Xfinity Series yesterday and have my family here with me to enjoy it. I’m looking forward to this off weekend to relax and we’ll come back fresh and ready to turn this season around.” Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang

 

“Today was a good day for our 41 team. Like I’ve said, we’re moving in the right direction each weekend. I wish we got ourselves a few more spots to grab a top-10. I’m not a road-course guy at all, but I always enjoy them and our team worked really hard to make our program better. I did a lot of studying and work in the sim for this weekend. I’m proud of the effort we made and all the hard work from my team. Looking forward to the off weekend and then getting to one of my strong tracks, Nashville.” Ryan Preece, driver of the No. 41 Autodesk Ford Mustang

 

Next Up:

The NASCAR Cup Series gets a well-deserved weekend off before returning to action on Sunday, June 25 for the Ally 400 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

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