NASCAR Cup Series News

NASCAR Cup Series News (17900)

The No. 6 Mazola Corn Oil® Ford will make its on-track debut this weekend at ISM Raceway (Phoenix). In honor of the occasion, Roush Fenway Racing will hold the #RFRGreatTurkeyFry on Sunday at the track with driver Ryan Newman helping to feed his team and friends a mouth-watering delicious fried turkey prepared in Mazola Corn Oil®.

“We are looking forward to having Mazola® on the car at Phoenix,” said Newman, a 2019 NASCAR Playoff Driver. “Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks. We have had a lot of success there and I think we have a good shot at a strong run with the Mazola® Ford.

“We are going to fry up some delicious turkey that morning and I can’t think of a better way to spice things up and set the stage for a great day on the race track.”

The pro-choice for mouthwatering deep-fried turkey this Thanksgiving, is Mazola Corn Oil®. With a high smoke point above 450°F, Mazola Corn Oil® it’s the gold standard of  all-purpose cooking oils, perfect for frying as well as baking and grilling and sautéing and marinating. Newman has two wins at Phoenix, the second coming two years ago in 2017. He has posted 10 top-five finishes and 12 Top-10’s in 34 starts at the one-mile oval, while boasting four poles.

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at ISM Raceway is set for 2:30 PM ET and will be televised live on NBC.

For more information on Roush Fenway Racing, visit RoushFenway.com and to find a variety of delicious recipes, check out Mazola.com or Mazola’s Facebook page.

Roush Fenway Racing is one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history. In its 32nd season, Roush Fenway is a leader in driver development, having launched the careers for many of the top drivers in the sport. Off-track, Roush Fenway is a leader in NASCAR marketing solutions, producing multiple award-winning Social Media, digital content and experiential marketing campaigns. Roush Fenway is co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Roush and Fenway Sports Group, parent company of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and English Premier League’s Liverpool F.C. Visit RoushFenway.com, become a fan on Facebook and Instagram, and follow on Twitter at @roushfenway.

RFR PR

To kick off their partnership, John Hunter Nemechek will pilot the No. 36 Yanmar/Martin Generators Ford Mustang for Front Row Motorsports in just his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz.
For over a century, YANMAR has grown to become a major supplier of YANMAR branded industrial and marine diesel engines, diesel generators, micro cogeneration and gas heat pump energy system solutions, compact construction equipment and compact utility tractors, employing thousands of dedicated team members throughout the world. Martin Generators builds YANMAR diesel powered generators that help operate FRM's team haulers at the track each week. Without the continued reliability of the Martin Generators, FRM's trackside operations would be severely disrupted.
 
"I'm really excited to work with Yanmar and Martin Generators this weekend in Phoenix," said Nemechek. "They literally help power this team at the track each week. Matt Tifft had a successful run at ISM Raceway in the spring, and I've won the pole there in Xfinity previously. I'm ready to get back into the Cup car and make all of them proud."
 
In addition to helping power the team's haulers and serving as the primary sponsor this weekend, Yanmar is also working with FRM to produce "Inside Front Row Motorsports," a behind-the-scenes video series, featuring an exclusive look at the preparations involved in a typical race weekend for the team. The first installment of the series was released today on FRM's YouTube channel.
 
The No. 36 Yanmar/Martin Generators Ford Mustang will make its debut at ISM Raceway on Friday, November 8 for practice. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at ISM Raceway will air Sunday, November 10 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
FRM PR

In observance of National Pet Cancer Awareness month, Clint Bowyer will carry the pictures of two special dogs on the side of his No. 14 Ford Mustang Sunday when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series holds its penultimate race of the 2019 season at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

 

“If carrying pictures of two of the 1,500 dogs One Cure treats on the side of our car doesn’t make us a fan favorite  in Phoenix this weekend, then I don’t know what will,” said Bowyer, who owns two dogs of his own. “I hope this gives some attention to National Pet Cancer Awareness, as well as the good work One Cure is doing for pets and humans. I think just about everybody has a pet and everybody has been touched by cancer in their lives.”

 

Bowyer’s green-and-white car will carry the picture of Merlin on the driver’s-side door. The 8-year-old Golden Retriever was diagnosed with lymphoma earlier this year. Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs and is similar to lymphoma in humans. While there’s currently no cure for lymphoma, Merlin feels great, even while going through treatment and enjoying two long walks each day with his family.

 

On the passenger-side door of Bowyer’s racecar will be a picture of Neva, a 9-year-old mixed breed, diagnosed with bone cancer in her left-front leg. This cancer is very similar to bone cancer in humans, which is most often diagnosed in children. After amputation surgery to remove the tumor, Neva entered a clinical trial designed to personalize her chemotherapy treatment. Three years later, Neva is doing great.

 

Both dogs, as well as hundreds of others, are part of a One Cure project led by the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. The One Cure program is founded on the principle that cancer affects all creatures and that treatment breakthroughs come through collaboration between scientists and doctors working with people and animals. This approach is known as comparative oncology and it is the guiding concept of One Cure and the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State. The center works to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets, and teams with the human medical field to translate research findings that will help people with cancer.

 

The center, located in Colorado State’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, sees more than 1,500 new animal cancer patients every year, with approximately 130 patients enrolling in carefully monitored clinical trials specific to their cancer type. The canine and feline patients are helping pioneer cancer research, moving cutting-edge treatments out of the laboratory and into clinical practice, ultimately providing hope for the next generation of animal and human cancer patients.

 

One Cure has been one of Bowyer’s partners at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) since he climbed into the No. 14 racecar in 2018. The program’s goal is to direct fans to www.OneCure.com, where they can learn about the research and to offer financial support. Bowyer said it could mean life or death for humans and pets.

 

“The bottom line I learned through One Cure is this: There isn’t much difference between dogs and humans when it comes to cancer,” Bowyer said. “What they get, we get. We’re both in the same environment, drink the same water and react the same way. So, One Cure is researching cancer in dogs and other pets not only to treat them, but to apply that research in the hopes it will lead to curing cancer in humans, as well.”

 

Bowyer hopes he can give One Cure even more attention with a good run Sunday in the desert. He enters the race 11th in points after finishing 11th Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in a race that saw him finish second in Stage 1 after leading 36 laps. Bowyer arrives just 22 points behind William Byron in the battle for 10th place in the standings and just 40 points behind Brad Keselowski, who holds ninth place. This weekend in Phoenix, then next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, are the only races remaining on the 2019 schedule. 

 

“These final two races are important to us,” Bowyer said. “We can get to 10th and ninth. That would be an achievement for us and we are going to try like heck this weekend and next weekend to make it happen.”

 

He’ll have two canine friends on the side of his car in Phoenix this weekend to make sure he does, as well as to call attention to a worthy cause and organization.

TSC PR

Aside from their well-documented success at restrictor-plate tracks, Germain Racing has established a more balanced program as they gain ground on the challenging intermediate facilities with their success in 2019. The GEICO team has now logged a top-5 finish, three top-10's, nine top-15's and 15 top-20's as they continue building momentum with the season entering its final weeks. The momentum continued this weekend in the Lone Star State when Ty Dillon took to the 1.5-mile intermediate track in his No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1.
 
500-mile races are as much a test of endurance as they are talent, so it takes a solid organization to not only survive these events, but also experience success. Germain Racing exhibited their organizational strength at Texas Motor Speedway by turning in a consistent weekend that started with Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 qualifying 19th on Saturday. The trend would continue into race day where bright sunshine and perfect temperatures welcomed fans and teams to the track.
 
Dillon rolled from the 19th position when the green flag signaled the start of 500-miles of racing. He started off on the loose side and also noted that he needed lateral grip. Dillon initially lost a few spots due to the handling of the car. Aside from the handling issues, the splitter also began hitting the ground, which made it challenging to move forward. Crew chief, Matt Borland, used every yellow flag to adjust the handling of the car and help his driver recover lost ground.
The GEICO Military crew was successful in their efforts and Dillon would soon return to the top-20 and, by lap 96, he was scored in the 11th position. He was competitive the balance of the day and never ventured from the top-20, leaving the team in position to score another solid result. He got quicker as the race wore on and even ran his fastest lap of the afternoon later in the event, on lap 236.
 
When the checkered flag closed out 334-laps of racing, Dillon and his GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 crossed the finish line in the 18th position, posting yet another strong result as the end of the season sits in sight. Dillon's effort accounts for Germain Racing's 15th top-20 of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season.
 
"Today was a solid day for our GEICO Military team. We felt confident coming into this weekend that we had brought a fast Camaro that was not only going to race well, but that was capable of getting a top-20 finish," Dillon said after the race. "Our intermediate program has taken strides this year and definitely is moving in the right direction for next season. We fought the splitter hitting the track throughout the race, especially in turns three and four, but once we got the car off the track, I was able to run our fastest laps. An 18th-place finish at Texas is a good day for our Germain Racing team and we will keep pushing hard to close out this season strong." 
 
With just two races remaining on the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, Germain Racing will now head west to Phoenix, AZ, for race number 35 of 36 on the calendar. The team will pay tribute to our nation's military service members as they again sport the Geckoflauge-themed GEICO Military livery during Veterans Day weekend.
 
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at ISM Raceway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, November 8th, at 4:05 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 2 PM (ET).
                                                     
The Bluegreen Vacations 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, November 10th, and it will be televised live on NBC beginning at 2:30 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
PMI PR

Kevin Harvick led the Ford Mustangs to a 1-2-3-4 finish at Texas Motor Speedway. Winning his third straight AAA Texas 500, Harvick advances to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami for the fifth time in the past six years.

“Congratulations to Kevin, Tony, Gene, and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “It was an incredible race, and everyone is pushing so hard to win these last couple of races. It was great to see these Ford Mustangs run so strong. We knew it was going to be a challenge with the changing track temperatures throughout the race, but Rodney and Kevin were well prepared. We {Roush Yates Engines} are proud to be part of the Ford family and look forward to Ford Performance racing for another championship."

Harvick started the weekend off strong by taking the pole with a qualifying lap of 28.465 mph.

The Ford teams led a combined 247 laps out of the 334-lap race with a race high by Harvick of 119. In addition, Stewart-Haas teammate and Stage 2 winner Aric Almirola led 62 laps while Clint Bowyer had 36 laps and Daniel Suárez led 25 laps.

After leading the field and winning the first Stage, Harvick had to serve a pit-row penalty that put him in the rear of the field, but during a late caution he was able to get new tires on the No. 4 Ford Mustang and take control of the race, passing Almirola for the lead and finishing 1.594 seconds ahead of his SHR teammate. This marked Harvick’s 49th all-time Cup win, tying him with Stewart-Haas co-owner Tony Stewart for 14th on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series all-time wins list.

“Just really proud of everybody on this team,” noted Harvick in Victory Lane. “Just got to thank everybody from Busch Beer, from Hunt Brothers Pizza, Mobil 1, Jimmy John's, everybody from Haas Automation and Stewart‑Haas Racing, Roush Yates Engines for the last‑minute engine change and the things that they worked on to give us all the speed we had here, and it was definitely fun to drive.”

Harvick and teammates Almirola and Suárez finished 1-2-3 with Team Penske’s Joey Logano finishing P4 and Ryan Blaney P8.

Harvick is now locked into the Championship 4 Playoffs with reigning 2018 NASCAR Champion, Logano P4 (+20 above the transfer line) and Blaney (-23 below the last transfer spot).

Ford NASCAR Xfinity driver Austin Cindric led the Ford Mustangs with a P4 finish Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway followed by Cole Custer P8, and Chase Briscoe P22. In the NXS Playoff driver’s points standings, Custer is P2 (+52) above the transfer line while currently below the last transfer position are Briscoe (-18) and Cindric (-31). NASCAR heads into the final event of the season this weekend in Arizona before the Homestead-Miami Championship race decides the titles for 2019.

RYE PR

Michael McDowell
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops/Luber-Finer Ford Mustang
Started: 27 | Finished: 25
"We had a pretty decent Ford Mustang tonight. Unfortunately we had an issue with one of the oil lines coming loose, so we had to go behind the wall to repair it. Luckily, we were able to get it fixed and get back on the track. Although we lost a handful of laps, we were still able to get back out and salvage a top-25 finish. Normally when you lose all of the oil in your engine, it blows up, you spin out and crash, and then you have no chance of getting back out there. The fact that we were able to avoid doing all of that and get back out there is a testament to our Love's Travel Stops/Luber-Finer team’s hard work and it paid off."
John Hunter Nemechek
No. 36 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang
Started: 29 | Finished: 21
"We had a pretty decent race tonight. Our No. 36 Speedy Cash team kept making adjustments on every pit stop, trying to see how we could improve the car. I learned a lot as a driver today, and was able to lean on my teammates for a lot of information this weekend. I'm proud of our P21 finish in my Cup debut and will take that momentum onto Phoenix and Homestead. Thanks again to Front Row Motorsports for this opportunity. I'm wishing Matt Tifft a speedy recovery and hope we can see him back in the car again soon."
David Ragan
No. 38 Mystik Lubricants Ford Mustang
Started: 26 | Finished: 35
"I felt like we had a decent No. 38 Mystik Lubricants Ford Mustang. My team did a great job of making adjustments and getting our car better, but a pit road penalty forced us to restart at the rear of the field where we unfortunately got collected in someone else’s wreck, ending our day early. I want to thank Mystik Lubricants for all of their support this year and for being part of the action this weekend in Texas. Onto Phoenix."

FRM PR

Michael McDowell
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops/Luber-Finer Ford Mustang
Started: 27 | Finished: 25
"We had a pretty decent Ford Mustang tonight. Unfortunately we had an issue with one of the oil lines coming loose, so we had to go behind the wall to repair it. Luckily, we were able to get it fixed and get back on the track. Although we lost a handful of laps, we were still able to get back out and salvage a top-25 finish. Normally when you lose all of the oil in your engine, it blows up, you spin out and crash, and then you have no chance of getting back out there. The fact that we were able to avoid doing all of that and get back out there is a testament to our Love's Travel Stops/Luber-Finer team’s hard work and it paid off."
John Hunter Nemechek
No. 36 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang
Started: 29 | Finished: 21
"We had a pretty decent race tonight. Our No. 36 Speedy Cash team kept making adjustments on every pit stop, trying to see how we could improve the car. I learned a lot as a driver today, and was able to lean on my teammates for a lot of information this weekend. I'm proud of our P21 finish in my Cup debut and will take that momentum onto Phoenix and Homestead. Thanks again to Front Row Motorsports for this opportunity. I'm wishing Matt Tifft a speedy recovery and hope we can see him back in the car again soon."
David Ragan
No. 38 Mystik Lubricants Ford Mustang
Started: 26 | Finished: 35
"I felt like we had a decent No. 38 Mystik Lubricants Ford Mustang. My team did a great job of making adjustments and getting our car better, but a pit road penalty forced us to restart at the rear of the field where we unfortunately got collected in someone else’s wreck, ending our day early. I want to thank Mystik Lubricants for all of their support this year and for being part of the action this weekend in Texas. Onto Phoenix."

FRM PR

Race Winner:  Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner:  Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):

● Kyle Busch started 12th and finished fifth to earn six bonus points.

● After starting 12th, Busch relayed to the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota team just before the first caution of the day on lap eight that he was lacking rear grip.

● Busch stayed on track to restart in 11th on lap 12 but was unable to advance his position as his M&M’S Camry didn’t have enough grip on restarts to carry momentum.

● When the second caution of the day occurred on lap 16, Busch pitted for fuel and a chassis adjustment. He rejoined the field in 22nd for the restart on lap 19.

● The 2015 Cup Series champion was able to work his way back into the top-15 and inherited the third position on lap 43 when the leaders pitted under caution and Busch remained on track.

● The race returned to green on lap 47, but the field would be slowed three more times for cautions before the end of Stage 1 on lap 85.

● Busch stayed on track during those yellow-flag periods to complete the stage in the fifth position.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):

● Busch started 28th, finished ninth and earned two bonus points.

● Busch pitted at the end of Stage 1 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. After several laps under caution the M&M’S team elected to pit a second time on lap 93 to top off on fuel, eventually restarting in 28th on lap 94.

● The Las Vegas native advanced to the 15th position before the leaders began green-flag pit stops on lap 140.

● The No. 18 team chose to stay on track as long as possible, allowing Busch to take over the lead on lap 154.

● Crew chief Adam Stevens called Busch to pit road under green on lap 164 for a splash of fuel, just enough to complete the final six laps of Stage 2.

● Busch returned to the track in the 10th position and held on for a top-10 finish in the second stage.

● At the stage break, Busch pitted once again for four tires and fuel.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 171-334):

● Busch started 10th, finished seventh.

● Busch was running in the ninth position on lap 218 as the leaders began to make green-flag pit stops. He advanced as high as second before the yellow flag was shown once again on lap 244.

● Stevens brought Busch to pit road on lap 245 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment after the driver reported his M&M’S Toyota Camry was still free in turns one and two. Busch’s was the second car off pit road, but he restarted fourth after two cars stayed on track.

● Busch dropped back to the third spot on the restart, but he took over the lead once again on lap 307 as green-flag stops began.

● The M&M’S Toyota driver continued to lead until running out of fuel and pitting under green for fuel only on lap 312. As a result of running the tank dry, Busch was delayed getting off pit road and rejoined the field in the seventh position, which he maintained for the final 20 laps.

 

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

“I was running wide open there, and those guys were just driving away. We got what we got out of our M&M’S Camry tonight. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) made some good adjustments. The whole first set of tires was just ugly for us. Once we got past that and got some other tires on the car, it seemed to go a little bit better. It was hard battling some of them guys up there and up through traffic and what not. We should have run third, but we ran out of gas and starved the pump there at the end. Then I was stalled on pit road. That cost us four or five spots there.”

 

Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bluegreen Vacations 500k on Sunday, Nov. 10 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. It is the penultimate race of the 10-race playoffs and the cutoff race to make the Championship 4. The event starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage on NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

TSC PR

For Kevin Harvick, Texas is the new Phoenix.

Overcoming a pit road penalty for a tire placed in his pit box too early, Harvick took control of the AAA Texas 500 as the sun set on Texas Motor Speedway and won his third straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at the 1.5-mile track in Cowtown.

Locked into the Championship 4 race two weeks hence at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Harvick can now breathe easy heading into the final Round of 8 race at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, a track where Harvick has nine wins and a current streak of 12 top-10 finishes—but where Harvick struggled uncharacteristically in the spring while running ninth under the new 2019 rules package.

After leading a race-high 119 laps and finishing 1.594 seconds ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola, Harvick, the pole winner, won’t have to worry about the one-mile flat track in Arizona’s Sonoran desert.

“Texas has always been so great to us, and what a race track the last few years,” said Harvick, who won for the fourth time this season and the 49th time in his career, tying him with SHR co-owner Tony Stewart for 14th all-time. “It's just been a lot of work put into this race. We knew this was a good race track for us. Felt like it fit the styles of our cars, and, man, did it.”

Harvick led an impressive contingent of SHR drivers, all of whom took turns at the front of the field before Harvick took control. Runner-up Almirola led 62 laps, Clint Bowyer led 36 and Daniel Suarez 25.

“That was a very solid night, and I’m very happy with the performance and speed that we brought from the shop,” said Suarez, who matched the third-place finish he posted at Texas in the spring. “Everyone back at the shop did a great job. We knew we would be fast here.

“We had a solid performance here last time. We did a good job. We had good execution and a good clean day. I’m very happy for Stewart-Haas Racing and the 41 Ford Mustang was pretty sporty. I am very happy for Kevin getting his ticket for Homestead.”

Harvick’s path wasn’t easy. On a Lap 186 pit stop under caution, a tire dropped from the top of the pit wall into Harvick’s stall before the No. 4 Ford arrived, forcing Harvick to restart from the rear. But Harvick charged forward and on Lap 255, he passed Almirola for the lead.

Suarez completed the 1-2-3 podium sweep for SHR, followed by Joey Logano, who held the fourth position in the standings and extended his margin above the current Championship cut line to 20 points. Alex Bowman ran fifth, and Martin Truex Jr., already locked into the season finale by virtue of last week’s Martinsville win, finished sixth.

Playoff drivers Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney were seventh and eighth, with Busch standing 22 points above the cut line and Blaney 23 points below, tied with 12th-place finisher Kyle Larson.

Chase Elliott’s dire Playoff situation crystallized on Lap 9 when he tried to run the high lane and slid into the outside wall in Turn 2. Elliott barely beat the repair clock on pit road and returned to the race, albeit it seven laps down.

The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet leaves the Lone Star State with a 32nd-place finish and one path to the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway—he must win next Sunday’s race at Phoenix to advance.

Like Elliott, Denny Hamlin failed to score points in either of the first two stages. On Lap 80, five short of the completion of Stage 1, Hamlin got sideways in Turn 44 and spun through the infield grass. He lost two laps under repairs and two more on the track and came home 28th.

As a consequence, the five-time Cup winner this season fell 20 points below the cut line for the Championship 4.

Jimmie Johnson’s prospects of ending a 92-race drought looked promising early on but came to a disappointing finish early in the final stage. Johnson passed Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman for the lead on Lap 99 and held the top spot for 40 laps—the most laps the seven-time champion has led in a single race since his 60 at Texas in the spring.

But Johnson spun in Turns 1 and 2 while battling for third on Lap 185 and slapped the Turn 2 wall. Johnson couldn’t make minimum speed after repairs and retired to the garage after completing 199 laps.

Note: John Hunter Nemechek finished 21st, one lap down in his Cup debut—substituting for Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft, who suffered a seizure last Saturday at Martinsville.

Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):

● Aric Almirola started sixth and finished 13th.

● The Smithfield Ford driver raced to third on the restart. He said his car was slightly tight but the overall balance was good.

● Almirola advanced to second place behind teammate and leader Kevin Harvick while holding off teammate Daniel Suárez.

● On lap 35, he pitted under caution for fuel only.

● After a lap-59 caution, Almirola raced from 10th to sixth before another caution was called on lap 72.

● He pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments to restart 29th under the caution period.

● Lap 81 brought another caution, but the No. 10 Ford did not pit.

● Almirola drove to 13th during the one-lap shootout and stayed out at the conclusion of the stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):

● Almirola started fourth and finished first to earn 10 bonus points.

● Almirola drove the No. 10 Smithfield Ford to second place on lap 104.

● He reported tight-handling conditions in the exit of the turns on lap 116.

● Almirola gained the lead over the No. 48 car on lap 139.

● He pitted from the lead on lap 145 for fuel and chassis adjustments. When green-flag pit stops cycled through on lap 165, he regained the lead.

● At the conclusion of the stage, Almirola pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-334):

● Almirola started seventh and finished second.

● The No. 10 was scored in fourth before a lap-185 caution.

● The Smithfield Ford driver advanced to second place on the restart and gained the lead for the third time on lap 201.

● Almirola pitted on lap 241 for four tires, fuel and adjustments. While he was on pit road the caution was called. Luckily, he passed the start/finish line before the caution waved and remained the leader when racing resumed.

● Teammate Harvick passed Almirola for the lead on lap 256.

● Almirola pitted from second place on lap 305 for fuel only.

● When he rejoined the track, Almirola was scored 4.5 seconds behind leader Harvick.

● With just five laps to go, Almirola drove the No. 10 Smithfield Ford to within 1.4 seconds of Harvick before the checkered flag waved.

 

Notes:

● Almirola earned his third top-five and 12th top-10 of the season and his first top-five and fourth top-10 in 18 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas.

● This is Almirola’s third consecutive top-10 at Texas. He finished seventh in the series’ previous visit to the track in March.

● Almirola’s runner-up result bettered his previous best finish at Texas – seventh, earned twice (April 2013 and March 2019).

● Almirola led four times for 62 laps to increase his laps-led total at Texas to 65.

● Harvick won the AAA Texas 500 for the third consecutive year. His margin of victory over second-place Almirola was 1.594 seconds.

● There were 11 caution periods for a total of 56 laps.

● Only 14 of the 40 drivers in the AAA Texas 500 finished on the lead lap.

● Ford took the top-four finishing positions and five in the top-10 in the AAA Texas 500.

 

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

“Our Smithfield Ford Mustang was really fast. I am really proud of the effort by everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing, Roush Yates Engines and Ford Motor Co. Our cars were really, really good from the time we unloaded here, and we all came with a little something different. We were just trying to learn and get ahead for next year. I think we learned a lot. I am really proud of all the guys on my team. We have had such a bad run of luck the last two months, and it is so nice to come here and just execute all night and have a fast car, lead laps and win a stage and run up front. We had a great night on pit road. I did my part on restarts, and the team did theirs to make an all-around solid night. We can build on that.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bluegreen Vacations 500k on Sunday, Nov. 10 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. It is the penultimate race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 8. The event starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

TSC PR

Track position proved to be key in a 500-mile race Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway as Ryan Newman crossed the line 15th in his Roush Performance Ford Mustang.

After starting from the 25th position, Newman spent much of the day trying to claw his way forward as five cautions were displayed in the opening 85-lap stage. Following a trio of stops in the opening segment – two of which were early fuel-only stops – the yellow came out with five to go in the stage, which set up a one-lap shootout to the stage flag, where Newman crossed the line 22nd.

With varying pit strategies, Newman rolled off 12th for the second stage, and maintained his position just outside the top-10 for the better part of the run, until green flag stops ensued more than 50 laps later. After pitting from the fifth position at lap 152, this time for four tires and fuel, Newman finished the stage 21st.

With just 18 laps on his tires, Newman took the wave around under the stage break putting him back on the lead lap, restarting 21st for the final segment. Over the course of the next five laps, two yellow flags were displayed as Newman pitted again for service before restarting inside the top-20 at lap 190.

Another 50 laps later, as green flag stops were cycling, Newman ran 12th when the caution came out once again, this time setting up a strategy call for crew chief Scott Graves. He elected to put two tires on Newman’s No. 6 machine from the 11th position, which put the 2003 Texas winner third on the restart at lap 248.

The team’s final pit stop would come at lap 299 with Newman running 13th. The green flag would remain in the air from that point on, with the South Bend, Indiana, native crossing the line 15th.

Newman and the No. 6 team return to action next weekend at ISM Raceway. Race coverage on Sunday from Phoenix begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.

RFR PR

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