Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (16875)

 Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer season. It’s also known as the greatest motorsports weekend of the year as Sunday kicks off with the Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco, followed by the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.


After those two iconic events, a third completes the day’s impressive schedule in the form of the longest NASCAR event of the year – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.


The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the four “crown jewels” of the NASCAR season. And Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is one of only four drivers to win all four crown jewels.


Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Harvick are the only drivers to see the checkered flag first at the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500.


Harvick is hoping he can score his third Coca-Cola 600 victory after posting wins in 2011 and 2013.


And he’ll do so with Mobil 1 technology on board as a sponsor and technical partner.


Mobil 1 isn’t just the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, it also provides the entire SHR organization with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all SHR Mustangs have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. In its 17th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.


And no place will better expose this than Sunday’s 600-mile marathon at Charlotte. Harvick and his SHR teammates will have an advantage via Mobil 1 during a race that’s 100 miles longer than the next-longest events on the tour, making durability key to success.


Memorial Day weekend is also a somber time to remember those who have been lost fighting for freedom.


All cars will feature a fallen solider and the No. 4 Ford will represent Sergeant First Class Bryan Allen Hoover, 28th Military Police Company, who was killed in action on June 11, 2010.


SFC Hoover was a 10-year veteran who served four years in the Marines Corps prior to his service with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He received a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management at California University of Pennsylvania in 2009 and was an avid runner and cross country coach. He also loved playing hockey. SFC Hoover was killed by a suicide bomber in the Zabul Province, Shajoy, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He left behind his beloved dog Newton, fiancé Ashley (Tack) Sherman, his father Melvin, brothers Rick (Sarah) and Ben, and his sister Samantha.


SFC Hoover is remembered by his comrades as an irreplaceable leader and friend.


Ahead of the NASCAR Salutes weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Go Fas Racing is proud to announce that they will honor Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad on the windshield banner of the Superior Logistics Ford during the Coca Cola 600. 
During the Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will display the name of a fallen service member on their windshield as a way to honor and remember the men and woman who gave their lives in active duty service. 
Born in Mesa, Arizona and raised in Chandler, Conrad joined the Army in 2010 for a tenure that would span eight years. He served in Afghanistan on two different occasions: in 2012-13 and returned in 2014 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
On June 8, 2018, Conrad lost his life at the young age of 26 while serving in Jubaland Province, Somalia as a result of injuries sustained by a mortar blast. He was on a mission 220 miles outside of Mogadishu. 
Conrad was a member of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. During his time in the military, he earned a multitude of honors and decorations. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, in addition to the Meritorious Service Medal.

Other honors Sgt. Conrad received include the Meritorious Unit Commendation (second award), Army Commendation Medal (third award), Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, NATO Medal and other honors. 
"It's an absolute honor to represent Sgt. Conrad this Memorial Day weekend," Go Fas Racing General Manager Mason St. Hilaire said. "No sport recognizes and remembers the military the way ours does, and we're happy to be a small part of that this weekend. Meeting the families of these fallen heroes and learning their story is always a special part of these weekends and we're happy that we are able to welcome Sgt. Conrad's father, Roy, this Sunday."
Contributing to the patriotic weekend, Superior Logistics Services will serve as the primary sponsor for the Coca Cola 600. Superior Logistics Services provides shipping solutions across the continental United States, Mexico and to select points in Canada. Fitting for the occasion, the No. 32 will sport a red, white and blue scheme, the colors of the Superior Logistics brand. 
This is the second season Superior Logistics will serve as a primary sponsor for GFR. The Superior Logistics scheme was good luck for the team last year, pocketing two top-20 finishes in its two races - a 16th place run at Richmond Raceway and a 13th place at the Charlotte Roval race.

Family of Sgt. Conrad will join Go Fas Racing and the Superior Logistics team at Charlotte Motor Speedway for 600 miles of remembrance on Sunday, May 26 at 6:00 PM ET. 


Roush Fenway Racing will host its annual spring fan day at its headquarters in Concord, N.C. on Thursday, May 23.  The event is open to the public and will feature autograph sessions with drivers Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as well as NASCAR Hall of Fame owner Jack Roush.

The event will feature various partner displays, with partners handing out samples and other items. , The famous Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile will be on display and team personal will serve Oscar Mayer Hotdogs to fans in attendance.

In addition team members will be on hand providing fans with first hand pit crew demonstrations and a behind the scenes peek of how race car paint schemes are prepared for the track.

SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will again broadcast from the event, featuring visits with the Roush Fenway drivers, Jack Roush and Roush Fenway President Steve Newmark.

Roush Fenway encourages fans to take part in the event through social media using the hashtag #RFRFanDay, while the team will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the event throughout the day on all of its social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.  In addition, fans that are in attendance at #RFRFanDay will have the unique opportunity to use a special Snapchat filter at the event.

Autograph sessions will kick off at 9 a.m. with Jack Roush, Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. signing for fans in the team’s museum. Autograph session tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 8 a.m.

The team will host a raffle giveaway in its theater at 12 noon, where fans in attendance can win great prizes.

What: Roush Fenway Racing Spring ‘Fan Appreciation Day’

Where: Roush Fenway Racing Campus – 4600 Roush Place, Concord N.C. 28027

When: Thursday, May 23, 2019.  Autograph Ticket distribution begins at 8:00 a.m.  with autographs starting at 9:00 a.m.  Fan Appreciation Day runs until 1:00 p.m.

Hashtag: #RFRFanDay


On the brink. Oh, so close.

Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman has heard the words and lived the sentiment.

The 26-year old driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has finished runner-up in the last three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season races and is “ready” to win doesn’t even begin to describe the emotion he brings to Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Bowman is the first driver in NASCAR’s Modern Era (1972-Present) to finish second in three consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races before having earned his first career series win.

And what’s especially impressive about Bowman’s feat is that he has done it at three widely-different venues – from the Talladega Superspeedway 2.66-mile high banks, to the challenging Dover International Speedway’s one-mile concrete oval to the Kansas Speedway 1.5-miler just before last week’s All-Star break. And the Margin of Victory in each?  Equally as different – from a caution flag finish at Talladega to a 9.5-second Martin Truex Jr. runaway win at Dover to a scant 0.205-second near-miss at Kansas.

“I’m really proud of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, our race cars are so much better than what we started the year with," Bowman said, after his Kansas Speedway thriller. “I’m really appreciative.

“I wish we were standing here with three wins in a row and things had gone differently and that be the case, but we’ll keep digging."

In the Modern Era (1972-Present) drivers have finished runner-up in three consecutive races before – 14 times. The last was Kyle Larson in 2017 when he was second at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. NASCAR Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip (1978 and 1983) and Jeff Gordon (1998 and 1999) are the only to accomplish the mark in multiple seasons.

Waltrip (1983), Mark Martin (1998) along with Harry Gant (1985) scored four consecutive runner-up finishes.

Waltrip’s string of seconds in 1983 happened at Nashville, Tenn., Pocono, Pa., Talladega, Ala., and Michigan and then he put an exclamation mark on the run with a win the next week at Bristol, Tenn.

Gant was second place four times (at Dover, Charlotte, Riverside and Pocono) and Martin was runner-up in four straight races in 1998 (at New Hampshire, Pocono, Indianapolis, and Watkins Glen). As with Bowman, Martin’s mark was especially impressive considering the variety of venues – from the New Hampshire one-miler to 2.5-mile tracks in Pocono and Indy and then the Watkins Glen road course.

NASCAR’s all-time winningest driver Richard Petty’s work in the 1975 season was especially impressive too. He bookended his three straight second-place finishes with wins. … and more second-place finishes. He won the summer race at Daytona, had three straight second-place showings at Nashville, Pocono, Talladega and then won at Michigan, was a runner-up at Darlington and won back-to-back events at Dover and North Wilkesboro - eight races in a row where he finished first or second.

That’s the high end of some positive precedent for Bowman.

Three of the 12 drivers to previously score three straight runner-up finishes – earned victories in the next race. Along with Petty, Jeff Gordon capped his second place showings with a trophy. He was runner-up at Dover, Michigan and Pocono then went on to win the next race on the Sonoma road course from the pole position.

Kyle Larson similarly capped a three-race runner-up streak with a win from the pole position. Larson finished runner-up at Atlanta, Las Vegas and ISM Raceway then closed out the 2017 Western Swing with a victory at Auto Club Speedway. In all Larson scored eight runner-up finishes and four wins that season.

Although understandably disappointed – even frustrated – to be so close to that career-defining first victory, Bowman has handled the situation well. He’s 12th in the championship standings and his 86 laps out front have all come in the last three races. Plus, he was a career-best ninth in the Coca-Cola 600 last year.

“It’s absolutely a good day for everyone at Hendrick Motorsports," Bowman said after climbing out of the car in Kansas. “We all had really competitive cars and we really appreciate everyone’s hard work to continue to build our cars and continue to get better like we have.

“It was a really good day. My family is from here, so it would have been pretty cool. Probably the two closest times I have been to winning was my hometown and my dad’s hometown, so it’s just frustrating.

“We will get one soon.”

May is always a welcomed time of the year, as all of the NASCAR teams get to sleep in their own beds for the back half of the month. It's also special because Germain Racing and GEICO partner each year to honor the United States military with the GEICO Military paint scheme, which features the ever-popular 'Geckoflauge'.  
Germain Racing kicked off the week at home just down the road in Concord, NC, at the Monster Energy Open on Saturday night. Blazing heat made for the hottest All-Star weekend in NASCAR history, but it did not slow down Ty Dillon, who had the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 atop the leaderboard in the closing laps of the race.
Dillon posted a top-5 practice time on Friday before later qualifying 14th. Crew chief, Matt Borland, and his team of engineers were armed with a plan of attack that would send Dillon and his GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 to the front of the field. Germain Racing's pit crew would reciprocate throughout the evening and always leave Dillon in contention upon his return to the racing surface after pit stops.
When the green flag turned the field loose amid the blistering heat on Saturday evening, Dillon rolled off of the starting grid from the 14th position. He hustled his way through the field and closed out the opening stage in the eighth position. The second stage saw the GEICO Military Camaro continue its trek to the front and when it concluded, Dillon had worked his way up to the fourth position. Sensing a pattern, excitement built in the Germain Racing pit stall and on social media as Dillon appeared to get stronger as the race wore on. Even the announcers on both television and radio noted the speed of the GEICO Military Camaro ZL1.  
With stage wins at both Bristol and Talladega, Dillon could smell the lead as the third and final stage got underway. The young gun dashed to the lead in his No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 and placed the saluting Gecko atop the scoring tower. He led five of the final ten laps of the race before being passed by a hard-charging Kyle Larson. The two drivers would pull away from the field and when the checkered flag drew the intense race to an end, Dillon crossed the finish line in the second position and accounted for Germain Racing's best-ever result at the 1.5-mile facility.
"We executed well tonight. Matt Borland (crew chief) made great calls from the pit box and our GEICO Military team had solid stops on pit road," a smiling Dillon reported after exiting his racecar. "We had ourselves in the perfect spot to start the final stage. I was able to beat the 42 car (Kyle Larson) on the restart and lead laps, and I wish we could have held on to win the race. But, we showed everyone that Germain Racing can build fast race cars. We're going to keep digging at the track and at the shop. This gives us a lot of confidence to come back here next week and race 600-miles."
The GEICO Military livery will remain in place on the No. 13 entry when Germain Racing begins practice for the Memorial Day weekend's running of the Coca-Cola 600. The team will honor Marine Corporal Bobby Steele on their windshield and Army Ranger SFC Matthew Thomas on the decklid of the GEICO Military Camaro.  
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Thursday, May 23rd, at 2:35 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 7:10 PM (ET).
The Coca-Cola 600 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, May 26th and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 6 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Before taking to the race track Memorial Day weekend in Charlotte, Oscar Mayer, in partnership with Rise Against Hunger and NASCAR race team Roush Fenway Racing, are joining forces in the fight against hunger. Driver of the No. 6 Oscar Mayer Ford Mustang, Ryan Newman, and more than 30 volunteers will come together on May 23 at Roush Fenway Racing in Concord, North Carolina to help package meals to fight food insecurity and malnutrition around the world.

“At Oscar Mayer, we believe in always finding a better way, whether that means making the highest quality meats, putting a solid car on the race track, or joining with our partners to give back to the community,” said Matt Riezman, Associate Director of Marketing, Oscar Mayer. “Oscar Mayer has supported Rise Against Hunger for more than six years and this month, with the help of volunteers and NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, we’ll roll up our sleeves to package meals for children and families in need.”

Since 2013, Oscar Mayer and Kraft Heinz have partnered with Rise Against Hunger to alleviate hunger in developing nations through employee volunteerism at meal packaging events and the donation of micronutrient sachets.

Rise Against Hunger’s mission is to end hunger by 2030, which is also encompassed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2. The organization’s meal packaging events are part of a volunteer-based program that coordinates the streamlined packaging of highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables and 23 essential vitamins and minerals. After packaging, the meals are shipped to countries around the globe and distributed to beneficiaries in critical need.

“What we want everyone to know is that hunger is solvable and is the common thread among the world’s most challenging issues,” said Peggy Shriver, Chief Development Officer of Rise Against Hunger. “When hunger is targeted, you give leverage and hope to every other cause including poverty, disease, education and the welfare of women and children.”

“Everyone at Roush Fenway is excited to team up with Oscar Mayer and Rise Against Hunger to feed those in need,” said Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 6 Oscar Mayer Ford Mustang. “Giving back has long been a common theme across everyone in the NASCAR industry, and we’re honored to continue that with this event alongside our outstanding partners.”

For more information about Oscar Mayer, visit or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Paul Menard’s promising start to the Monster Energy Open was short-lived as he experienced a loose condition with his No. 21 Menards/Knauf Insulation Mustang on the first lap, brushed the wall in Turns Three and Four while running in fifth place and never really recovered.

He started seventh and finished seventh in the final 10-lap Stage, and with only the Stage winners advancing to the Monster Energy All-Star Race, Menard and the No. 21 team were done for the night.
“We were just so tight [Friday] in practice I felt like we made the tires mad in practice, so we freed it up a lot for [Saturday] and just over-adjusted,” Menard said. “It just snapped on me in [Turns] Three and Four and then just had to play catch-up with crash damage after that, which is never easy.”
Menard and the Menards/Knauf Insulation team will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway next week for the Cup circuit’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600.


Ryan Newman overcame some early troubles in Saturday night’s All-Star Race to finish 13th in his Acorns Ford Mustang.

The 2003 Driver of the Year got into the main event via his 2002 victory in the All-Star race. With a unique qualifying session that includes three timed laps and a four-tire pit stop at max speed, Newman rolled off the grid sixth following Friday’s qualifying session for the four-stage race.

Just a few laps in Newman reported he possibly had nose damage on his machine after contact with the No. 12 machine. The team went to work on the nose as well as the handling at lap 26 when the caution flew, trying to loosen up the No. 6 Ford.

He went on to finish stage one 14th before pitting for more adjustments at lap 33. Following the stage two restart, the yellow flag waved once again when Newman went spinning through the front stretch grass. Despite the damage, the South Bend, Indiana, native kept it rolling and stayed on the lead lap.

Under the same yellow, crew chief Scott Graves brought the No. 6 machine to pit road ensuring the fenders were cleared for the final segments. The costly time on pit road forced Newman to settle with a he quickly maneuvered his Acorns Ford inside the top five within the first five laps of the segment. A caution flag was displayed shortly after setting up a 10-lap shootout.

With the restarts going three and four wide, Newman battled before losing positions forcing him to settle with a 13th-place finish in the non-points race.

Newman and the No. 6 team return to action next weekend at for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Race coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET next Sunday on FOX. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.


Note: Race extended three laps past its scheduled 85-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish in Stage 1.


Race Winner:      Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner:  Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 3 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

Clint Bowyer started first and finished third.

Bowyer dropped to fourth on the start and told the team his No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford Mustang was loose.

Bowyer held his position through the first caution on lap 27.

● A quick pit stop by the No. 14 crew returned him to the track in third.

● On the restart he battled for the lead on the final lap before finishing third.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-50):

Bowyer started third and finished 14th.

● Bowyer and Ryan Blaney made contact on the opening lap and Bowyer dropped through the field.

● Bowyer pitted twice to make repairs and cure the handling ills that kept him in the back.

● He told the crew his car was very loose in the closing laps of the stage.


Stage 3 Recap (Laps 51-70):

Bowyer started first and finished 16th.

Took only two scuffed tires before the start of the stage, saving his four new tires for the final stage.

Bowyer led two laps before the cars with newer tires shuffled him to the back of the pack.


Stage 4 Recap (Laps 71-88):

Bowyer started 16th and finished 12th.

Bowyer took four tires, but returned to pit lane before the start of the final stage to secure a lug nut.

Bowyer could only climb to 12th before the end of the race.  

After the checkered flag, Ryan Newman hit Bowyer’s car, sending it nose-first into the outside wall.

Bowyer exited his car on pit lane and immediately went to Newman’s car to show his displeasure.


Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“I don’t know what the hell his beef was. I thought he was a lap down. Our day was over. We lost track position there, got sideways, crossed up and basically buying time there to see if something was gonna happen at the end. They got four-wide off of four. Hell, I thought he was a lap down. I checked up and he ran into my left-rear and that’s the last I saw of him. Then after the race he comes and runs into my back and turns me all around and I pull up next to him and he dumps me into four. Where I come from you get poked in the nose for that, and that’s what he got.”



● Bowyer started on the pole for the All-Star Race for the first time in his career. Saturday night’s race marked his 10th All-Star Race.

● Bowyer led twice for two laps to increase his laps-led total in the All-Star Race to 13.

● Kyle Larson won the All-Star Race with a .322-of-a-second margin of victory over runner-up Kevin Harvick.

● The All-Star Race featured 10 lead changes among seven different drivers. Nineteen drivers comprised the field.


Next Up:

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, May 26 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Cup Series schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


Note:  Race extended three laps past its scheduled 85-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish in Stage 1.


Race Winner:  Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner:  Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 3 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

Kevin Harvick started third and finished second.

● Harvick drove his No. 4 Busch Beer #MillennialCar into the lead at the start and led the first 19 laps.

● Kyle Busch took the lead on lap 20, and Harvick held steady in second through the end of the stage.

● Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-50):

Started second and finished first.

● After a restart on lap 39, Harvick retook the lead and held the position through the end of the stage.

● Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage, but the stop was slow and it dropped Harvick to seventh.


Stage 3 Recap (Laps 51-70):

Started seventh and finished sixth.

● Harvick keyed the mic on lap 56 to say, “I’ve got a loose wheel!”

● Under caution on lap 58, Harvick came to pit road to have all of his wheels tightened. This dropped him to 15th for the lap-63 restart.

● Harvick drove his way to sixth by the end of the stage.

● Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage while a handful of others took only two tires.


Final Stage Recap (Laps 71-88):

Started 10th and finished second.

● Harvick wheeled the Busch Beer #MillennialCar up to eighth by the lap-76 caution.

● Once the race went back to green, Harvick picked up another four spots.

● In fourth place prior to the green-white-checkered finish, Harvick rallied to second before the checkered flag waved.



● Harvick has made an appearance in every single Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race in his 19-year career, the most of any driver eligible for this year’s All-Star Race.

● Harvick led twice for a race-high 33 laps to increase his laps-led total in the All-Star Race to 157.

● Kyle Larson won the All-Star Race with a .322-of-a-second margin of victory over Harvick.

● The All-Star Race featured 10 lead changes among seven different drivers. Nineteen drivers comprised the field.


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

“Once they get single-file, as soon as they drive in your lane they pushed up the groove, so you’ve got to go where they aren’t and he (Kyle Larson) was fast enough to run the bottom, and that’s where I needed to run to really make time. Everybody was wide-open, so once the restart thinned out, everybody just kind of goes where they go.”


Next Up:

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, May 26 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Cup Series schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


Note I: Race extended three laps past its scheduled 85-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish in Stage 1.

Note II: The Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race was comprised of drivers who won a points-paying race in 2018 or 2019, full-time drivers who have previously won the All-Star Race, full-time drivers who have won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and drivers who advanced from the Monster Energy Open.


Race Winner:  Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner:  Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 3 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

Started 13th, finished 19th.

● Almirola reported on lap one that the Smithfield Mustang was too loose all around.

● On lap 10 and running in the 17th position, Almirola said he was “still loose but was on the splitter some” as he began to work his way back through the field.

● Almirola reached the top-15 just before the first caution of the race on lap 28.

● He pitted on lap 29 for four tires, fuel and adjustments and exited the pits in the 11th position for the lap-31 restart.

● As the field was approaching the end of Stage 1, Almirola said he had a loose wheel that felt as though it was about to fall off. He was able to stay on track.

● At the stage break, Almirola pitted for fuel and to tighten the loose left rear wheel.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-50):

Started 19th, finished 12th.

● After an early caution in Stage 2 on lap 37, Almirola began to work his way back toward the front and claimed the 11th position on lap 44.

● With four laps remaining in Stage 2, Almirola radioed that the Smithfield Ford wouldn’t turn and he had lost rear lateral.

● At the end of Stage 2, Almirola pitted on lap 53 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to help the Smithfield Mustang turn in the corner.


Stage 3 Recap (Laps 51-70):

Started 12th, finished 17th.

● The Smithfield team maintained position after the pit stop to restart 12th.

● During the fourth caution on 58, Almirola stayed on track but told the team he was having a hard time gaining momentum on restart.

● After going back green on lap 62, the No. 10 was caught in a three-wide battle for the 10th position and sustained left-side damage, causing Almirola to lose the handling in the Smithfield machine.

● Almirola fell back to 17th but was again able to continue until the end of Stage 3 to pit under caution.

● On lap 73, Almirola brought the Smithfield Ford to pit road under caution for four tires and repairs. He returned to the track in the 17th position, but the team received a penalty for too many crew members over the wall, which pushed them back to 19th for the restart.


Final Stage Recap (Laps 71-85):

● Started 19th, finished sixth.

● There were three cautions to start the final stage of the 2019 All-Star Race, preventing Almirola from gaining much ground from the 19th position.

● When the race returned to green for the final 12 laps, Almirola quickly advanced into the top-10 and gained at least one position each lap.

● On lap 82, Almirola took over the sixth position and tracked down Joey Logano for fifth. He briefly moved into the top-five but settled back into sixth after a charge from the No. 22.

● Almirola held the sixth position until the completion of the race to earn his best career finish in the All-Star Race.



● Almirola’s sixth-place result bettered his previous best finish in the All-Star Race – 14th in 2015.

● Kyle Larson won the All-Star Race with a .322-of-a-second margin of victory over runner-up Kevin Harvick.

● The All-Star Race featured 10 lead changes among seven different drivers. Nineteen drivers comprised the field.


Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang:

 “You have to be super aggressive in this race if you want to be up front competing for the money at the end of it. You can’t really pass after it gets strung out so, you’ve got two or three laps to be as aggressive as you possibly can be. If you check out of the throttle for the slightest little bit, they go by you three- and four-wide. It’s all about momentum and being in the right lane on the restarts. Everything is situational if a guy in front of you wiggles and checks up, and you check up to keep from running over him. You lose four, five, six spots in one straightaway. It’s aggravating, but that’s the way it is when you don’t have a lot of horsepower, it becomes all about momentum.”


Next Up:

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, May 26 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Cup Series schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


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