Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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"Governor Tom Wolf has announced Pennsylvania outdoor sporting venues can welcome fans back at 20 percent capacity starting today. We join in our fans' excitement surrounding today's news. Pocono Raceway also anticipates, should the data continue to show signs of improvement, the number of guests allowed to attend the 2021 NASCAR Doubleheader races will increase. The health and safety of our fans, and all involved in our event, will be a top priority. We will work with the Wolf administration, health officials and NASCAR to ensure necessary guidance and protocols are met for our June 25-27 race weekend."

Pocono Raceway PR

The fiercest competition on 4-wheels this summer is at Orange County Fair Speedway in the “H.O Penn 358 Small Block Modified” racing division!  Most Saturday night OCFS events in 2021 will feature the H.O. Penn 358’s as the headlining division. What happened to the Big Blocks you may be asking? They haven't gone anywhere! Big Block Modified racing remains a staple at OCFS, with 2021 introducing a new 12 race series with special format events on Thursdays AND some Saturdays, allowing weekly racing to shine a bigger spotlight on our co-headlining Small Blocks. Oh, and with a bigger presence, comes A BIGGER PAYOUT for 358’s! 

Last year OCFS hosted an average of over forty 358 Small Block drivers weekly (with over 70 showing up for Eastern States Weekend). With the growing popularity of the 358 Small Block division (and its affordability compared to Big Blocks), it's become common for many OCFS Big Block drivers to run both Big Blocks and Small Blocks pulling double duty on many Saturday nights (Anthony Perrego, Jerry Higbie, Mike Mahaney, Tyler Boniface, Bob McGannon and more!), making competition in the Small Block events just as star studded and exciting as the Big Block division ever was.  Though the 358’s represent a drop off in sheer engine power, their reduced weight makes them only tenths of a second slower than their big block brethren, producing incredibly competitive side-by-side racing. 

If the fact that most big block drivers also already have a Small Block too wasn’t enough to produce a competitive field of drivers in 2021, the 358 Small Block purse will certainly solidify that. 2021’s Saturday night Small Block races will pay out $2200 to the race’s winner, with $200 to start the feature.  With this healthy purse, OCFS hopes to see drivers from other classes move on up to what will now be a co-headlining division at OCFS.    

When asked “why the increased emphasis on the Small Block division”, OCFS Director of Motorsports, Brett Hearn declared “Todays SB modified creates a more economical option for teams and owners. This series with the money that’s being offered will give the incentive for top drivers to get excited as well as creating interest for drivers to move up from other classes.” 

With a raise to the Small Block purse also comes a raise to their point fund.  2021’s points champion will walk away with an impressive $10,000 prize.  The season starts with April 10th's Regular Season Opener (following April 3rd's Big Block Series Race “The OC Oval Kickoff”) and ends on Champions Night (also the “Big Block Final 4” in their points series) on August 28th after 11 races.  Unlike the all-new Big Block championship series, the 358 Small Blocks will retain a traditional points series structure and handicapping. To help out our drivers who hope to compete in 2021’s Bristol Dirt race, our 358 Small Block race scheduled against it (April 24th) will be for show up points only.  For those drivers who stay in Middletown, they’ll be competing for an enhanced $3,000 to win on that night! 

358 Small Block drivers, do you want to test your mettle on America’s most historic speedway? 2021 at OCFS is calling, come add your name to the long list of legendary feature winners! This season marks the start of a new era for the H.O. Penn 358 Small Block Modifieds!

OCFS PR

The annual free-to-the-public practice session on Saturday, March 27th will kick off the 59th consecutive season of stock car racing at Grandview Speedway. That practice, which starts at noon, is open to all forms of racing competition.

Practice day is a great opportunity to see what their favorite racer will be driving this season and for fans to pick out their seats for 2021 and purchase their season tickets priced at just $350 and covering all Saturday night events, April through the Freedom 76 in September.

Once again the one-third-mile banked clay track will be operated by the Rogers family and will again carry a NASCAR sanction and will be part of the Advance Auto Parts National Weekly Racing Series.

Scott Hoffmaster with sponsor Wicked Effects Car Club will host their 13th annual car show at the Coventry Mall in Pottstown, PA on March 5th through March 7th. The show is open to street and race cars with move-in set for March 4th after 7 p.m. Grandview Speedway will be well represented. There will be no admission charge with the show open during mall hours (11 am to 7 pm on Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm on Sunday). For more information check in with Scott Hoffmaster at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Again this season long time track supporter T.P.Trailers will sponsor the Modifieds while T.P.Truck Equipment will be back sponsoring the Sportsman division of racing.

However the first racing event of the new season will be the VP Race Fuels 4th Annual Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker offering $7,500 to the winner of the 50-lapper that has the Small Block Modifieds going up against the Big Block talents. The race is set for Saturday, April 3rd and is run in memory of the man who was instrumental in building the track and making it the huge success it has become. The first annual Rogers Memorial was won by NASCAR Camping World Series and dirt Modified standout Stewart Friesen.

Ready to kick off their season at Grandview will be Craig Von Dohren seeking his 12th NASCAR track title. Jeff Strunk will be looking for his 11th championship while Duane Howard seeks his seventh. Doug Manmiller, Jared Umbenhauer and a host of others will be seeking their first titles. And in Sportsman Brian Hirthler will be looking to claim a third title.

And the biggest race of the season, the “Granddaddy of Major Modified Races”, the 50th annual Freedom 76, which offers the biggest pay day of the season is on the schedule for Saturday, September 18 with a September 25th rain date.

A complete 2021 schedule is available at www.grandviewspeedway.com.

Opportunities for event sponsorship and billboard advertising are available for the 2021 season. Full information can be had through Ernie Saxton at 267.934.7286 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Information updates can be had at www.grandviewspeedway.com or check in at Facebook. Track telephone number is 610.754.7688.

Grandview Speedway is located on Passmore Road, Bechtelsville, PA, just off Route 100 10 miles north of Pottstown.

Grandview Speedway PR

Atwater’s Evan Burrola won Sunday afternoon’s second round of the Stockton Challenge at Delta Speedway, earning the victory in the 20-lap Open 500 Outlaw feature. Burrola was one of seven winners during the second round of the kart and Outlaw Kart series where again over 100 teams competed at the 1/7th mile dirt oval.

Burrola persevered over a lap 16 restart to hold off Talin Torres for the win. “I knew Talin was coming. He was pretty fast. That four-lap shootout wasn’t what I wanted because we were slowly running out of fuel there,” Burrola said.

The driver of the #21E took the lead from the outside pole position at the start. Polesitter Sage Bordenave of French Camp stumbled on the second lap, sending Roseville’s Danny Carroll into a spin. Lodi’s Ryan Holden collided with Carroll in turn two to bring out the caution. Eighth starting Luke Hayes of Dunnigan advanced to fourth by lap four before the next caution flew on lap eight.

Cautions waved on lap nine when Stockton’s Caden Sarale – a multi-time Delta champ – spun from just outside the top five in turn four. Simultaneously, Holden and Fresno’s Jarrett Huber crashed in turn one. Torres found something on the top side of the race track on the ensuing restart, moving past Yuba City’s Josh Wooten and Fresno’s Tyler Henson to take over second. Wooten and Hayes then followed suit, going around the outside Henson to drop him back to fifth.

A caution on lap 16 set up a four-lap dash to the finish but Burrola led the way at the checkered flag, followed by Torres, Wooten, Hayes, and Henson.

Fifth-starting Bentley Nelson of Merced won the Box Stock main event. Delta Speedway Jr. Sprint feature winner Hayden Stepps led the opening go around from the pole while Nelson quickly rocketed to second on the fourth lap. Levi Annas of Carson City, Nev. made moves from the sixth position, using the outside line to challenge Nelson for second by lap six.

The leaders navigated through lapped traffic on lap nine, with Nelson using a lapped car as a pick to lead lap ten over Stepps. Riley Stowers of Lincoln and Sacramento’s Braiden McKenzie hit the front stretch wall to bring out a caution on lap 11. Both drivers were uninjured.

Nelson led the final four laps for the Box Stock triumph followed by Annas, Stepps, Maclaine Lourenco of Atwater, and Braxon Vasconcellos of Visalia.

Tyce Domingos of Tulare went two-for-two in Beginner Box Stock competition by claiming the 15-lap affair which started 16 of the youngest drivers at the speedway. Zayne Darpli of Hanford led the first two circuits from the outside front row before Dominigos took over from lap three. A caution flew on lap nine for Heston Stepps of Oakdale and Mylee Wood up against the wall in turn two.

Great racing developed all throughout the top-five but coming to the checkered flag, Darpli and Blake Lyons of Loomis crashed in the third turn. Domingos led Logan Barnes, 14th starting Samantha Dozier, Hawaii’s Braxton Moniz, and Corbin Johnson as the top-five drivers.

Roger Guthrie of Atwater used an inside maneuver on a late restart to top the Clone division in the 20-lap feature. Round No. 1 winner Frank Correia won his heat race to earn the pole position over the 19-kart grid for the feature. After a caution on lap six, Correia and Guthrie traded the lead before Correia wrestled it back on lap eight. Jason Figura of Waterford go up in smoke on lap 12 while Fresno’s Koen Shaw went on his lid in the wild lap 12 that necessitated the red flag. All drivers were uninjured.

Guthrie went to the inside of Correia on the restart for the decisive move, then never relinquished the lead for the victory. Watsonville’s Ricky Sanders took over second in the closing stages as well, ahead of Correia, Jason Van Fossen, and Dustin Silva to round out the top-five.

Logan Mitchell of Hanford won his second consecutive Pure Stock feature, pacing the field for all 15 circuits. Only the top-three finishers came home on the lead lap with Mitchell topping John Tevis of Los Banos and Patrick Flynn of Calistoga.

Connor Grasty of Suisun City led all 15-laps for a comfortable win in the 250 Outlaw Kart division. Visalia’s Jett Barnes, a multi-time winner at Delta in 2019 in Jr. Sprints, hounded Grasty but had to settle for second. Round No. 1 winner Kenzzie Brown of Chowchilla finished third.

Stock Appearing was another race that was decided by a dominating margin. Concord’s Bill Macedo led the opening lap before third starting Anthony Silva of Merced took over. Silva charged ahead for the win with Macedo, Jason Van Fossen of Tracy, Rich Van Fossen of Livermore, and Calistoga’s Ken Flynn as the balance of the top-five finishers.

The inaugural Stockton Challenge continues March 7 with Sunday afternoon shows at Delta Speedway. Delta’s Micro Sprint season opens on April 10.

For more information on Delta Speedway presented by Financial Center Credit Union, follow us online at www.deltaspeedwaystockton.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Delta Speedway PR

Chris Buescher was the talk of the afternoon in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, advancing to the point early and leading 57 laps – including winning the opening stage – before going on to finish 19th in his No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang.

“It was a good run for our Fastenal group,” Buescher said. “I’m really proud of the effort through the offseason. I think we made a lot of improvements and a lot of really good things, but still working to close the deal. We’ll keep digging and take what we learned and get ready to go for Las Vegas and beyond.”

The stellar afternoon produced a number of highlights for the Texas native. Buescher’s 57 laps led marked a new career best for the driver, and was the most laps a Roush Fenway driver has paced in a single race since Greg Biffle led 58 laps in the 2014 spring Talladega event. The opening stage win also marked the second of Buescher’s career, following last year’s first stage in the fall Talladega race.

Buescher rolled off the grid in 12th and quickly broke into the top-10, running eighth by the time the competition caution waved at lap 25. After a quick pit stop for service, the team gained three positions on pit road to restart fifth. Twenty-one laps later, Buescher took the lead and held it all the way until the caution flag waved at lap 64.

With just 24 laps to the stage break, pit strategy came into play. The driver reported a tight-handling Ford on corner entry and the team elected to pit for service and more adjustments. With another fast pit stop effort, Buescher was able to maintain his lead and restarted first with eight to go. With the choose cone back in play, the Prosper, Texas native opted to restart on the bottom lane. Buescher held strong on the restart and led the field all the way to the green-white checkered flag to win stage one, earning a playoff point and 10 stage points.

After pitting for fresh tires and fuel, Buescher chose to restart in the bottom lane and once again led the field to green. Ten laps into the stage, the driver toggled between the first and second position, but regained the lead at lap 109. Green flag pit stops soon began to cycle through and the team visited pit road at lap 121 for an air pressure adjustment, tires and fuel.

Buescher settled into the second position after the cycle finished up. When a late stage caution flag waved at lap 156, the team pitted for an air pressure adjustment, more tires and fuel. Back on track in fifth for a one-lap shootout to end the stage, the driver finished stage two in sixth and earned five stage points.

The No. 17 team opted to stay out for track position during the stage break and restarted sixth with 100 laps to go in the race. During a chaotic restart, the driver got shuffled back through the pack, settling into 14th by lap 170. When the caution flag waved at lap 199, the team made another small adjustment and gave Buescher a fresh set of tires.

Buescher lined up 17th on the bottom lane for the final restart of the race and worked to maintain track position. Toggling as far back as 23rd, he was able to work his way back up to 19th before the checkered flag waved on 400 miles in south Florida.

Buescher and the No. 17 team head out west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend for 400 miles. Race coverage is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.

RFR PR

In a race that saw Roush Fenway shine in more than one way, Ryan Newman was in the thick of the action early and often, ultimately finishing seventh in the 400-mile race in his Oscar Mayer Ford.

“More than anything I’m glad and excited for a good run, it’s what we needed,” Newman said. “Our guys have been working extra hard all offseason, and to come down here and collectively show what we were able to do says a lot about the progress we’ve made. We still have work to do yet, but I’m happy with a top-10 in our Oscar Mayer Ford.”

Newman, a prior winner at Homestead in the Xfinity Series, rolled off 23rd on the grid but quickly inserted himself into the conversation, jumping inside the top-10 by lap 54. For much of the first stage he and teammate Chris Buescher – who went on to lead 57 laps – were well inside the top-10 simultaneously. Following a pair of opening-stage pit stops, Newman finished just one position shy of earning a stage point in 11th.

After starting 13th for the second 80-lap segment, Newman worked his way back to 11th before hitting pit road under the green flag at lap 117. He was one of the first to hit pit road in that sequence and the strategy paid off as he maintained the ninth spot when the yellow came out at lap 153, seven laps prior to the stage end. Newman restarted eighth for the one-lap shootout, but got shuffled back to finish 17th in the second segment.

Following another stop in the stage break, Newman restarted 21st for the final 100 laps, and from there began his march forward. He worked his way back to 15th by lap 199, when the race’s final caution flew. Following another stop, he restarted 13th, and continued charging to the end, ultimately finishing seventh.

After three-straight races in Florida to start the season, NASCAR heads west next weekend to Las Vegas, where the Cup Series runs Sunday afternoon. Coverage is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, and can also be heard on PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.

RFR PR

A frustrating start to the 2021 season for Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Menards/Moen team continued on Sunday with a 28th-place finish in the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Poor finishes in the first two races of the season – both at Daytona International Speedway – relegated DiBenedetto to a starting position of 37th on Sunday, as the field was set based on results of the first two races.

For a time early in the race, it appeared that DiBenedetto and the Menards/Moen team were on their way to putting the disappointments of February behind them. After just five laps, he had driven into the top 20, gaining a few of those spots when drivers scheduled to start ahead of him had to drop to the rear and motoring by the rest.

By Lap 16 of 167 he broke into the top 15 but lost three spots by the time the Competition Caution flew at Lap 25.

DiBenedetto finished the first 80-lap Stage in 14th place. Stage Two was more of a challenge. Although crew chief Greg Erwin and the Menards/Moen crew made adjustments intended to improve the handling of the car, the changes didn’t produce the intended results, and the No. 21 Mustang was outside the top 20 at the end of the second Stage.

The third and final segment of the race saw DiBenedetto and the team continue their search for speed, and while he was able to gain spots just after restarts, as the runs went on he fell back.

An incident with the No. 42 of Ross Chastain left the Menards/Moen Mustang with what appeared to be minor damage, but when the team made repairs on a subsequent pit stop, DiBenedetto reported the repairs made his car drive better.
 
As the laps wound down, DiBenedetto was poised to finish just outside the top 20 but a tire problem with six laps remaining led to an unscheduled pit stop, a lost lap and a drop to 28th place at the finish.
 
“We were just off all night,” DiBenedetto said. “Then we got damage in the nose from the 42, and that set us back more.
 
“We have some work to do.”
 
Eddie Wood said his team did its best to make the most of a difficult situation.
 
“The car was too tight for much of the race,” he said. “The crew made adjustments, but the changes made the car worse instead of better, which meant they had to go back the other way on the next stop just to get back to where they were to start with.  
 
“That was frustrating.”
 
Wood said that while the Menards/Moen team is off to a rough start to the season, he’s not overly concerned at this point.
 
“I’ve been through stretches like this many times in my years in racing,” he said. “You just have to keep working hard, and eventually things will turn around.
 
“And your competitors who have had things going good for them will have their fortunes go the other way.
 
“It’s racing.”
 
The No. 21 team will be looking for that change of fortune next Sunday in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where DiBenedetto and the team scored runner-up finishes in both Cup Series races hosted by the track in 2020.

WBR PR

Race Winner:  William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner:  Chris Buescher of Roush-Fenway Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

●  Cole Custer started 10th and finished 17th.

●  The HaasTooling.com Ford held position in the top-10 during the opening laps but began losing ground on lap five. Custer said two simple words on the radio – “Really loose” – as he drifted back to 16th place by lap 10.

●  By lap 20, Custer was in 23rd and said his HaasTooling.com Ford was still free on corner entry. He picked up a position to 22nd by the time the competition caution flag waved on lap 25 and said his racecar was just starting to come to him. Custer pitted for four tires, fuel, a right-rear track-bar adjustment and packer removed from the left front, and he restarted 20th when the race went back to green on lap 30.

●  Custer dropped a pair of positions by lap 37 and said his racecar was “a little too tight.”

●  The caution flag flew for fluid on the backstretch on lap 64 with Custer running 25th. He said the previous changes fixed “about 75% of my problem on exit,” but that he was still too tight on corner entry. He pitted for four tires, fuel and a right-rear track-bar adjustment, and restarted 26th on lap 72.

●  The short run to the end of Stage 1 was Custer’s best of the stage, as he picked up nine positions. He said his HaasTooling.com Ford was good on entry and exit, but was just too tight through the center of the corner. He pitted during the break for four tires and fuel and adjustments focused on the front end.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

●  Custer started 15th and finished 14th.

●  The HaasTooling.com Ford made a forward surge in the opening laps of the stage, jumping into the top-10 before settling in 12th place for eight laps.

●  Custer was up to eighth on lap 120 as the field began its round of scheduled green-flag pit stops. He came down pit road on lap 121 for four tires and fuel. He asked the crew for help remedying a tight condition and a lack of rear grip, and was in 20th when the round of green-flag stops was complete.

●  The caution flag flew on lap 153 for fluid on the backstretch with Custer running 19th. He said this latest run started out tight but then the handling became decent. He still asked for help turning through the center of the corner. He pitted for four tires, fuel and a left-rear track-bar adjustment. He restarted 17th on lap 159, picked up three positions during that lap of the stage and then stayed on track during the break.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

●  Custer started ninth and finished 23rd.

●  The No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang had a strong restart, flirting with the top-five during the opening lap before settling in seventh. Custer said he was still dealing with a tight condition.

●  Custer said the tight condition got markedly better but wasn’t completely resolved by the time the caution flag flew on lap 199 for a two-car incident in turn three while he was still running in seventh place. He pitted for four tires, fuel and another left-rear track-bar adjustment and restarted fifth on lap 207.

●  The HaasTooling.com driver held onto fourth place for almost the entire run to the finish before he lost the position to Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick with 30 laps go, then fell to sixth when Tyler Reddick got by him with 18 to go.

●  Custer radioed that he had a tire going down while running eighth with two laps to go. He carefully made his way around the track for those final two laps and took the checkered flag in 23rd.

 

Notes:

●  William Byron won the Dixie Vodka 400 to score his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first at Homestead. His margin over second-place Tyler Reddick was 2.777 seconds.

●  There were six caution periods for a total of 36 laps.

●  Twenty-five of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

●  Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Homestead with a 20-point advantage over second-place Harvick.

 

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Well, that really stings. Mike (Shiplett, crew chief) and the guys did everything they could to help fix our ability to turn through the center of the corner, and we knew that when the sun went down we would have the rear grip we were struggling with early in the race. It was looking like it might be a top-five day, but then we needed to make sure we had fuel enough to get to the end. At worst we had our first top-10 of the season, and then the tire started coming apart with three to go. It’s a shame for the HaasTooling.com team, but we are looking forward to heading out West to Vegas and Phoenix.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Las Vegas 400 on Sunday, March 7, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

TSC PR

Race Winner:  William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner:  Chris Buescher of Roush-Fenway Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

●  Kevin Harvick started fourth and finished 13th.

●  Harvick pushed his No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang into the second spot after the first lap.

●  But by lap nine, Harvick radioed that he was “out of control” with “no rear grip” as he ran fourth.

●  After the competition caution on lap 27, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.

●  The pit stop was quick, as the Busch Light crew gained Harvick three positions. He restarted in fourth place on lap 31.

●  The car’s ill-handling ways continued, however, as Harvick dropped out of the top-10 on lap 57.

●  When the caution flag waved on lap 65, Harvick radioed that he was “light on rear grip.”

●  Another track bar adjustment, along with four new tires and fuel, was made during a pit stop on lap 68.

●  Harvick fell to 13th by the end of the stage and said, “Every time you touch the throttle, it wants to spin out.”

●  Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and wedge and tire pressure adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.

●  Another fast pit stop allowed Harvick to pick up four spots to restart ninth for the second stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

●  Harvick started ninth and finished seventh, collecting four bonus points.

●  Handling continued to plague the No. 4 machine as Harvick was 17th by lap 92.

●  “Still too tight,” said Harvick while running 18th on lap 100.

●  Harvick climbed back to 15th on lap 117 and said, “I’m a little bit too tight.”

●  A scheduled, green flag pit stop was made on lap 120 for four tires and fuel.

●  By lap 125, Harvick was up to 13th and by lap 137 he was up to 11th, just behind his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Aric Almirola.

●  A caution on lap 155 allowed Harvick to pit for four tires and fuel. Only adjustment was to tire pressures.

●  Harvick was 10th for the lap-160 restart. He shot the middle going into turn one to pick up three spots and finish the stage in seventh.

●  Crew chief Rodney Childers kept Harvick and the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang on the racetrack at the end of the stage to maintain track position.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

●  Harvick started seventh and finished fifth.

●  Harvick grabbed sixth place on the lap-168 restart and stayed there until a caution on lap 201.

●  “I just need a tweak. Nothing major,” said Harvick about his racecar during the caution period.

●  Pitted for four tires and fuel with a track bar adjustment on lap 202.

●  Lined up fourth for the lap-208 restart, but settled back into sixth place as the race wore on.

●  “It’s getting too loose on me when I touch the throttle,” said Harvick on lap 225 while running sixth.

●  Picked up fifth place on lap 228 when the No. 1 car of Kurt Busch, who was in fifth, made an unscheduled pit stop.

●  Grabbed fourth place from Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Cole Custer on lap 237.

●  Tyler Reddick took fourth from Harvick on lap 254. “It got tight for some reason,” said Harvick.

●  Harvick was unchallenged in fifth place through the checkered flag.

 

Notes:

●  Harvick earned his second top-five and third top-10 of the season. It was also his 12th top-five and 18th top-10 in 21 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead.

●  This was Harvick’s third straight top-10. He finished fourth in the season-opening Daytona 500 and sixth in last week’s race on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He is one of only two drivers to open the 2021 season with three straight top-10s. The other driver is Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell.

●  Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only finished outside the top-five once at Homestead.

●  Of the 5,613 laps available to Harvick in his 21 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead, he has completed all but two of those laps. 

●  William Byron won the Dixie Vodka 400 to score his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first at Homestead. His margin over second-place Tyler Reddick was 2.777 seconds.

●  There were six caution periods for a total of 36 laps.

●  Twenty-five of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

●  Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Homestead with a 20-point advantage over second-place Harvick.

 

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We actually had a good car the second half of the race. We were just way too loose in the first third of the race. The Busch Light Ford team did a great job of getting the car better and a great job on pit road keeping our track position, so I’m just really proud of the way that everybody is battling right now. I would consider these three tracks that we’ve gone to so far kind of hit or miss for me as far as my likeability as far as driving and the things we have going on. To have the finishes that we’ve had in the first three races says a lot about our team.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Las Vegas 400 on Sunday, March 7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

TSC PR

Race Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Chris Buescher of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

● Aric Almirola started 17th and finished 21st.

● The No. 10 Smithfield driver said the car was extremely tight throughout the turns and needed adjustments.

● He pitted twice during the first stage for four fresh tires and adjustments to loosen the car.

● The Smithfield Ford team continued to work on the car during a pit stop at the conclusion of the stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

● Almirola started 21st and finished 19th.

● Almirola radioed crew chief Mike Bugarewicz to “keep making adjustments in that direction” as he raced to 12th by lap 109.

● He pitted on lap 121 for four fresh tires, fuel and more chassis and air pressure adjustments to loosen up his Smithfield Ford.

● Almirola raced his way to the top-10 by lap 13.

● He pitted under caution on lap 155 for four tires, fuel and adjustments. He came off pit road in 11th.

● Almirola was contacted on the one-lap shootout and fell from 11th to 19th.

● The No. 10 team pitted at the end of the stage for four fresh tires and fuel.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

● Almirola started 24th and finished 30th.

● Almirola and the No. 12 car made contact on lap 201, bringing out the caution.

● He pitted to repair damage three times and resumed in the 30th position, one lap down.

● Almirola finished the race three laps down.

 

Notes:

● William Byron won the Dixie Vodka 400 to score his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first at Homestead. His margin over second-place Tyler Reddick was 2.777 seconds.

●  There were six caution periods for a total of 36 laps.

●  Twenty-five of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

●  Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Homestead with a 20-point advantage over second-place Harvick.

 

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

“We fought hard all day to get our Smithfield Ford where we needed it. We found some speed there in the second stage and were headed in the right direction on the balance of the car. I got tight there and slid up the track into the 12. That put us back. On to Vegas.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Las Vegas 400 on Sunday, March 7, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

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