Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (15925)

A legendary NASCAR family is partnering with Nationwide's Make Safe Happen program to provide tips on how to keep families safe in the event of a home fire.

NASCAR's 15-time Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy and his sister Kelley Earnhardt-Miller are encouraging everyone to create a home fire escape plan and practice it on National Home Fire Drill Day, which is Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. For tools and tips to create a home fire drill for your family, visit www.makesafehappen.com or download the Make Safe Happen app.

"Kelley, Amy and I are teaming up with Nationwide's Make Safe Happen Program because we know just how important home fire safety is," said Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Home fire escape plans are easy to put together and practicing them can be fun, especially when the kids are involved. More importantly, the drill helps to imprint on everyone's mind what they need to do if a fire breaks out in their home."

"Protecting people is a key mission for Nationwide and we're so thankful to have the Earnhardt family partner with us to raise awareness for this important topic," said Jennifer MacKenzie, senior vice president of Marketing for Nationwide. "Having Dale, Kelley and Amy on board will help us spread the home fire safety message to families everywhere."

Dale and Kelley are no strangers to the danger of home fires. When they were young, their mother's home in Virginia was completely destroyed by a fire. While the family was able to escape to safety, almost all of their belongings were destroyed. The event completely changed their living situation, and Dale and Kelley went from living with their mom to moving in with their dad in North Carolina. 

That experience has made them keenly aware of the importance of knowing how to get out of a home in under two minutes once a smoke alarm goes off.

"Seven out of 10 structure fires happen in a home – not at a business, not at school, but in the home. So that home fire drill is really important," said Kelley Earnhardt-Miller. "Seven out of 10 families don't have a fire escape plan. Dale and I didn't have a plan when we were young. Now that we're parents ourselves, we want to make sure that families are prepared in the event of a fire."

As new parents, Dale and Amy realize the importance of making sure kids know how to get out of a burning home quickly and safely. They also understand that fires are scary and that practicing a fire escape plan can help ease those fears.

"Parents need to go over the plan with their kids because you don't know how children are going to react when that smoke detector goes off," said Amy Earnhardt. "They may try to hide under the bed, or they may be concerned about grabbing their favorite toy or their pet. You want you and your kids to know how to get out of the house once they hear the alarm so it's not a panic situation."

Nationwide's Make Safe Happen Program offers the following tips for creating and practicing a home fire escape plan:

Draw out the plan as a family

  • Draw out a floor plan of your home, marking the doors and windows
  • Have two ways out of every room
  • Identify a safety spot outside where everyone should meet
  • Mark the locations of smoke alarms
  • Assign an adult to help young children or anyone needing assistance

Practice getting out of your home when the alarm starts

  • Practice getting out of the home and to the safety spot in less than two minutes
  • Get out and stay out. Do not go back in to a burning home
  • Leave everything behind
  • Stay low to avoid smoke
  • Practice your plan twice a year
  • Practice your plan during the day and night

Use the Make Safe Happen App to practice

More information and resources – including games, tools, and more – are available on the Make Safe Happen web site.

Nationwide PR

Series: Monster Energy Cup Series
Venue: Dover International Speedway
Race: Gander Outdoors 400
Track Length/Configuration: 1.00-mile, oval
Race Distance: 400 laps/400 miles
Race Format: 3 Stages: Stages end on laps: 120/240/400
Cautions:  5 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps
Lead Changes: 15 among 8 drivers
Started: 33
Finished: 30
Laps Completed: 394/404*(overtime finish)
Points Gained: 7
 
 
Stage 1
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Dover International Speedway was canceled due to rain. NASCAR set the starting line-up according to the Rule Book slating Corey LaJoie in the 33rd position in the Factor One Source Fast Pharmacy No. 72 to start the Gander Outdoors 400
 
Lap 46: Running 32, LaJoie had fallen a lap down from the leader. He relayed he had no turn and no rear lateral.
 
Lap 63: LaJoie had lost another lap to the leader. Running 31st, two laps down he radioed the front lacked turn and the rear was sideways
 
Lap 70: LaJoie came to pit under green flag for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. NASCAR issued an uncontrolled tire penalty to the No. 72 team. LaJoie was required to make a pit road pass through
 
Stage 1 Completion Caution: LaJoie completed the stage 33rd, five laps down from the leader. He relayed the No. 72 the handling was extremely rough. He came to pit for service of four tires, fuel and wedge adjustment
 
 
Stage 2
LaJoie took the green flag in the 33rd position, five laps down
 
Continuing to lose laps, LaJoie came in for a green flag pit stop on lap 195. He received four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment, slotting him 34th, seven laps down
 
Stage 2 Completion Caution: completing the stage 32nd, eight laps down.  LaJoie relayed the handling was some better. He came to pit for service of four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustment
 
 
 
Stage 3
LaJoie started stage 3 in the 32nd position, eight laps down
 
Lap 302: LaJoie came to pit under green flag for four tires and fuel
 
Caution Lap 340 (debris): Crew Chief Frank Kerr kept LaJoie out on track to take the wave around and requested he save fuel
 
Caution Lap 398 (incident): A multi-vehicle accident stopped the field under red flag to clear the track of debris. LaJoie sustained minimal damage to the left rear quarter panel. He came to pit when the red flag was lifted and the field resumed under caution. The No. 72 pit crew cleared the sheet metal from making contact with the tire. LaJoie rejoined the field
 
The Gander Outdoors 400 was extended to a total of 404 laps in an overtime finish. LaJoie took the checkers 30th in the Factor One Source Fast Pharmacy No. 72 concluding the day at Dover International Speedway
 
TriStar PR

The days are quickly sliding past like turn 3 out of your right window at Talladega and there are only six races left to decide the Monster Energy Cup Series champion. Those that backed Chase Elliott in the Gandar Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway over the weekend cashed in big and in Las Vegas and surely dominated in there fantasy matchups, if you want to place some action into the next race you should read Bovada review before doing it.

Next up is the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. 2.66 monster miles of mayhem, Talladega never fails to disappoint. We have to hope that the race goes smoothly and hope that the Hallowdega Curse doesn’t rear its ugly head.

Playoffs Leader Board

  1. Chase Elliott 3056
  2. Kevin Harvick 3101
  3. Kyle Busch 3096
  4. Martin Truex Jr. 3069
  5. Joey Logano 3064
  6. Kurt Busch 3054
  7. Brad Keselowski 3054
  8. Ryan Blaney 3043
  9. Aric Almirola
  10. Clint Bowyer
  11. Kyle Larson
  12. Alex Bowman

After Chase Elliott’s win at Dover and Joey Logano hitting the podium as well, the points race in the round of 12 is tight. Somehow after a pit-road mishap, Elliott road on worn tires to pop out into the lead and take the checkered flag.

His family name is legacy at Talladega. Bill Elliott holds the most poles ever at Talladega as well as the fastest official lap time, which has stood since 1987. So one has to wonder if this familiarity will be multigenerational and play into the 1000Bulbs.com 500.

Chase Elliott’s average finish at ‘The Big One’ is 13th. But this is a little misleading. In his five appearances in Talladega, his average start is 4th and he has two top-five finishes. His two races in 2017 were blemished by accidents, causing him to finish in 16th after a No. 2 start and 30th after a No. 8 start marring his overall finish stat. In Elliott’s most recent showing at Talladega, back in April, he finished 3rd.

With his momentum and history of fantastic starts at this track, he should be highly favored to get a top-five finish on October 14th.

The Big Three

Kevin Harvick is on a mission. Despite a 6th place finish in Dover, he led 286 laps and picked up a couple of extra points for winning the first two stages. Going into Talladega, Harvick has plenty of experience. With 35 races under his belt in Lincoln, there are not many drivers who have as much working knowledge of the track as Kevin Harvick. He’s coming off a 4th place finish and pole position start in April, so his recent form is good at this track.

Kyle Busch has an average finish of 20th and average start of 20th at Talladega Superspeedway. His last couple of showings at this track were lack-luster, taking 13th last April and 27th in October of 2017. However, he does have six top-five finishes and a win under his belt here, so he can’t be counted out.

Martin Truex Jr. has never gotten a win here. There is something about Talladega that chews him up no matter which team or car he is in. With an average start of 19th and an average finish of 21st, Truex Jr. seems to take two steps back on this track. His last four times to Lincoln he’s had bad luck. Accidents and engine troubles plague him at the 2.66-mile track. The last time he finished in the top ten was back in 2015. Talladega creates a prime opportunity for some of the hot drivers who are on the bubble, like Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski to pass Martin Truex Jr. in points.

Unfortunately for Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson, who are entering Talladega in the 11th and 12th spots in the standings, this track has not been friendly to either of them.  Bowman has an average finish of 27th, though he did hit the top-ten, finishing 8th last April in his higher quality Hendrick car. Larson has only finished in the top ten once in his last eight appearances at Talladega, so there is a good chance that both of these drivers will get pushed out of playoff contention after this weekend.

Matt Kenseth battled a tight-handling car but survived late-race cautions, crossing the line 20th at Dover International Speedway Sunday afternoon in his Wyndham Rewards Ford Fusion.

After qualifying was cancelled Friday afternoon due to mist in the area, the field was set per the rule book, meaning Kenseth lined up 28th for the 400-lap event. The 2003 Cup Champion fought up to 25th by lap 40, but fell a lap down to the leaders. Some 20 laps later, Kenseth hit pit road for his first stop of the day, as the team went to work on his Fusion.

The three-time Dover winner ended stage one in 23rd at lap 120, and would restart there to begin the second segment. By lap 175 he powered to the top-20, but fell another lap down to the leaders with an extended green flag run. Kenseth would finish the stage in 20th, before lining back up for the final 160-lap segment in 21st.

The first non-stage caution of the day eventually flew at lap 339, a series of three to end the final portion of the race that would end in overtime, where Kenseth crossed the line 20th.

The No. 6 returns to the track next weekend with Trevor Bayne behind the wheel at Talladega Superspeedway. Race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on NBC and MRN.

RFR PR

After blowing a right front tire, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rebounded to earn a ninth-place finish in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Dover International Speedway.

“We struggled with the handling but we were able to rebound there at the end,” Stenhouse said. “Brian Pattie made some great calls on pit strategy to get us in position there late in the race to get the lucky dog and then be able to battle with those guys at the end. Overall it was a decent day for our Fastenal Ford.”

After rain cancelled qualifying setting the lineup by points, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up for the 400-lap race in the 21st position and steadily worked his forward. Crew chief Brian Pattie chose to keep the Fastenal Ford out longer than leaders allowing Stenhouse to maintain the lead for seven laps before hitting pit-road for a scheduled pit-stop. With a caution free stage one, Stenhouse closed out the stage in the 21st position.

After taking the wave around during the stage break, the two-time Xfinity champion lined up in the 18th position for the next 120-lap stage. Despite battling an ill-handling machine, Stenhouse was able to gain two positions taking the green checkered at the end of stage two in the 16th position.

With less than 100 laps remaining, a right front tire blew on the No. 17 Fastenal machine sending him into the wall and causing him to forfeit a lap to the leaders. Luckily a much needed caution was displayed allowing Stenhouse to get back one of his laps.

After getting himself into the lucky dog position, the caution flag waved allowing him to get back on the lead lap. With a multitude of cautions late in the race which eventually sent the race into over-time, Stenhouse was able to bully his way back to earn a top-10 finish.

Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is Talladega Superspeedway. Race coverage begins Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUSXM Channel 90.

RFR PR

Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

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

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

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):

Kevin Harvick started second, finished first, scoring 10 bonus points and a playoff point.

● The Busch Outdoors driver raced to the lead on lap 15.

● The No. 4 Ford surrendered the lead to come to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 75 for four tires and fuel.

● Harvick reclaimed the lead on lap 81 and held it for the remainder of the stage.

● The team came to pit road for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):

Started second, finished first, scoring 10 bonus points and a playoff point.

● Harvick claimed the lead on the restart to begin Stage 2.

● The Busch Outdoors came to pit road under green-flag conditions from the lead on lap 189 for four tires and fuel.

● Harvick reclaimed the lead on lap 195 and held it for the remainder of the stage.

● The team came to pit road at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-404):

Started first and finished sixth.

● Harvick surrendered the lead to come to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 320 for four tires and fuel.

● He reported a flat left-rear tire as a result of a broken valve stem and had to return to pit road on lap 322, causing him to fall a lap down to the leaders.

● The team earned the free pass as a result of a debris caution on lap 340 and restarted 13th after returning to the lead lap on lap 344.

● Harvick raced his way back into the top-five by lap 389.

● The Busch Outdoors Ford came to pit road under caution on lap 393 for two tires and fuel.

● Harvick restarted 11th on lap 396 and narrowly avoided a wreck on the restart to advance to the eighth position.

● Harvick raced the No. 4 Busch Outdoors Ford from eighth up to sixth during the overtime.

 

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

“We were just lucky there and wound up dodging and weaving and being in the right place, so maybe that makes up for the bad luck on losing the race with an absolute dominant car.”

 

Notes:

● This was Harvick’s series-leading 25th top-10 of 2018 and his 17th top-10 in 36 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.

● Harvick finished first in Stage 1 to earn 10 bonus points and one playoff point, and first in Stage 2 to earn an additional 10 bonus points and one more playoff point.

● Harvick led five times for a race-high 286 laps to increase his laps-led total at Dover to 1,442.

● All four SHR drivers finished in the top-10 in Stage 1 and again in Stage 2.

● Chase Elliott won the Gander Outdoors 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .265 of a second.

● There were five caution periods for a total of 31 laps.

● Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Gander Outdoors 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Playoff Standings (with two races to go before the Round of 8):

1.       Kevin Harvick (3,101 points) +68 points

2.       Kyle Busch (3,096 points) +63 points

3.       Martin Truex Jr. (3,069 points) +36 points

4.       Joey Logano (3,064 points) +31 points

5.       Chase Elliott (3,056 points) 1 win

6.       Kurt Busch (3,054 points) +21 points

7.       Brad Keselowski (3,054 points) +21 points

8.       Ryan Blaney (3,043 points) +10 points

9.       Aric Almirola (3,033 points) -10 points

10.    Clint Bowyer (3,033 points) -10 points

11.    Kyle Larson (3,031 points) -12 points

12.    Alex Bowman (3,009 points) -34 points

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the 1000Bulbs.com 500 on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is the fifth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NBC. Prerace coverage on NBCSN begins at noon with NASCAR America followed by Countdown to Green at 1 p.m. 

 

TSC PR

Race Winner:      Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

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

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

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):

Kyle Busch started first, finished third.

● Busch started first by virtue of his position as the points leader with qualifying rained out on Friday afternoon.

● The Interstate Batteries driver held the top spot for the first 15 laps before Kevin Harvick made his way around Busch on lap 16.

● Busch settled into the third position for much of the first green-flag run of the race. He radioed to crew chief Adam Stevens that he needed more turn from the center through the exit of the corner.

● On lap 70, Busch radioed again that he needed to pit immediately because he felt an issue with a tire. He came down pit road on lap 71 to take on four new tires and a wedge adjustment. Fortunately, the stop didn’t hurt Busch’s track position, as many of the frontrunners also pitted within five laps of him.

● The Interstate Batteries driver settled back into third and finished the first stage there to collect eight bonus points.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):

Started third, finished seventh.

During the stage break, Busch reported that his trackbar switch wasn’t working, leaving him without an important tool in the racecar to deal with changing track conditions throughout the race.

● On lap 123, Busch pitted during the stage break for four tires and an air pressure adjustment.

● Busch restarted the second stage in third but slowly fell through the field as he was unable to adjust the trackbar to keep up with the racetrack conditions, falling to seventh by lap 155 and ninth by lap 164.

● Busch fell through the field to as low as ninth, but he moved his way back up to seventh by the end of the second stage.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 241-400):

Started 13th, finished eighth.

The 2015 NASCAR Cup Series champion was called to pit road following the second stage. Since he was seventh and there were only 13 cars on the lead lap, Stevens elected to work on the trackbar adjuster. The team suspected the system had come unhooked behind the monitor.

The Interstate Batteries driver restarted 13th on lap 246, but the No. 18 fell through the field again, although Busch reported the car was as aero-tight handling as it could be.

Busch pitted on lap 322 to take on a wedge adjustment and air pressure changes, but he was too fast entering the pits and had to serve a drive-through penalty.

The penalty put Busch a lap down to the leaders until the caution waved on lap 343 with Interstate Batteries driver sitting in 15th place.

Busch was able to take the wave-around prior to the next restart, positioned 13th on lap 392. A huge accident in front of him helped Busch move up to restart 10th for overtime laps following a red flag. He moved the Interstate Batteries Camry up two more spots on the final two laps to salvage a top-10 finish during a very tough day for Busch and the No. 18 team.

 

Notes:

● Busch’s eighth-place finish was his 24th top-10 of 2018 and his 17th top-10 at Dover in 28 starts at the mile oval.

 

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

“It worked in our favor a bit today with some other cars getting torn up, which is unfortunate for them. Our day was not very good with our Interstate Batteries Camry. Speeding on pit road took us out of the running for a top-10 and a solid finish, but we ended up getting some good luck on stuff happening to some other guys and we were able to salvage our day. We’ll take it and move on to Talladega and try to get better here the next time around.”

 

Team Interstate Results: 

● Denny Hamlin finished second.

Erik Jones finished fourth.

● Kyle Busch finished eighth.

● Daniel Suarez finished 10th.

 

Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the 1000Bulbs.com 500 on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC.

 

TSC PR

Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet) in overtime

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

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

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):

● Aric Almirola started 11th, finished ninth, scoring two bonus points.

● The Smithfield driver joined the top-10 by lap six.

● On lap 72, Almirola pitted the No. 10 Ford under green-flag conditions for four tires and fuel. He came off pit road in 10th place.

● Almirola passed for ninth place before the stage ended after noting tight-handling conditions throughout the stage.

● At the conclusion of Stage 1, Almirola pitted for four fresh tires and fuel, and gained two additional spots on pit road.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):

● Started seventh, finished fifth, scoring six bonus points.

● Almirola drove the Smithfield Ford to sixth place by lap 179.

● He pitted the Smithfield Ford under green-flag conditions for four tires and fuel. He was scored in sixth when he rejoined the field.

● Almirola passed teammate Kurt Busch on lap 229 after battling for the fifth position since he left pit road.

● Almirola radioed crew chief Johnny Klausmier that the Smithfield Ford was too tight and needed adjusting at the end of the stage.

● When the stage concluded, he pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. After a quick pit stop he advanced to fourth place off of pit road.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-400):

● Started fourth and finished 13th.

● Almirola powered the Smithfield Ford to second place on the restart and held the position until he was passed by teammate Clint Bowyer on lap 302.

● At the time, Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) had all four of its drivers in the top-four.

● Almirola took the second position back on lap 314 until he pitted under green for four tires and fuel.

● The Smithfield Ford driver took the lead when he exited pit road and stayed up front until a lap-338 caution.

● Almirola brought the No. 10 Ford to the pits for four tires and fuel. He exited pit road in second due to the No. 2 car only taking two tires.

● Almirola drove back to the lead on the restart and held the top spot until another caution was brought out on lap 338.

● He came to the pits under the caution for four tires and fuel. Several of the drivers behind him took two tires, demoting Almirola to the sixth position.

● During the restart, Almirola made contact with the wall and was involved in a multicar accident. He took the Smithfield Ford back to the pits to repair damage and finished 13th after the final two-lap shootout in overtime.

 

Notes:

● This was Almirola’s 23rd top-20 of 2018 and his ninth top-20 in 13 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.

● Almirola finished ninth in Stage 1 to earn two bonus points and fifth in Stage 2 to earn an additional six bonus points.

● Almirola led twice for 64 laps – his first laps led at Dover. This was the second-highest total of the race.

● All four SHR drivers finished in the top-10 in Stage 1 and again in Stage 2.

● Chase Elliott won the Gander Outdoors 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .265 of a second.

● There were five caution periods for a total of 31 laps.

● Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Gander Outdoors 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

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

“We’ve had so many opportunities and been so close and had the car to win and been in position, and it just seems to not come through. I’m frustrated and mad and angry. I could have been conservative and probably finished third or fourth like Kurt; it’s just, track position is so tough and it’s so hard to pass here. On that restart I tried to at least go where they weren’t to the top, and the 11 moved up to kind of block me and I just got really tight off of turn two and hit the wall."

 

Playoff Standings (with two races to go before the Round of 8):

1.    Kevin Harvick (3,101 points) +68 points

2.     Kyle Busch (3,096 points) +63 points

3.     Martin Truex Jr. (3,069 points) +36 points

4.     Joey Logano (3,064 points) +31 points

5.    Chase Elliott (3,056 points) 1win

6.    Kurt Busch (3,054 points) +21 points

7.     Brad Keselowski (3,054 points) +21 points

8.     Ryan Blaney (3,043 points) +10 points

9.    Aric Almirola (3,033 points) -10 points

10.  Clint Bowyer (3,033 points) -10 points

11.   Kyle Larson (3,031 points) -12 points

12.   Alex Bowman (3,009 points) -34 points

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the 1000Bulbs.com 500 on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is the fifth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race for the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT on NBC with live prerace coverage provided by NBCSN beginning at noon.

 

TSC PR

Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet) in overtime

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

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

 

Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 120):

Clint Bowyer started fifth and finished fourth to earn seven bonus points.

Held the fifth position during the first half of the stage and was the fastest car on the track on lap 48.

● Moved up to fourth on lap 69 before pitting for four tires and fuel.

● Reported his VF-1/Rush Truck Centers Ford was “too heavy on the nose, making it too tight center off” following the stop.

● Battled Kyle Busch for third during the final five laps of the stage but ultimately finished fourth.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 240):

Bowyer started third and finished second to earn nine bonus points.

Team made minor wedge adjustment to loosen the car up before the stage began.

● Bowyer turned the fastest laps early in the stage and took second from Joey Logano on lap 157.

Reported the car being tight, but he was closing on leader Kevin Harvick on lap 188.

Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz called for right-side air pressure adjustments during a green-flag stop on lap 190.

Bowyer reported the car was extremely tight after pitting and said "the front end needs to turn better,” but his lap times were extremely fast.

Closed to the bumper of leader Harvick several times late in the stage but couldn’t make a move for the lead.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 404):

Bowyer started third and finished 35th.

● He continued to be one of the fastest cars on the track during the early laps of the final stage.

● Pitted following a caution on lap 339 and restarted third.

● Reported a loose wheel on lap 377 and pitted on lap 381 for right-side tires.

● His race ended on lap 388 when his racecar’s right rear gave way, causing the No. 14 VF-1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion to contact the turn-four wall and come to a stop on the inside guardrail.

 

Notes:

●  Bowyer finished fourth in Stage 1 to earn seven bonus points and second in Stage 2 to earn an additional nine bonus points.

●  Bowyer led one lap to increase his laps-led total at Dover to 83.

●  This was Bowyer’s first DNF (Did Not Finish) in 26 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.

●  All four SHR drivers finished in the top-10 in Stage 1 and again in Stage 2.

●  Chase Elliott won the Gander Outdoors 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .265 of a second.

●  There were five caution periods for a total of 31 laps.

●  Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Gander Outdoors 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation VF-1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We broke and I hit the wall. I’m just really disappointed. I’m frustrated with our day, obviously, we had a very fast race car. I got tore up passing a lapper and then all of a sudden we had a loose wheel, I think it was a loose wheel, and then we went back out and broke something in the front end and it was two different things. When we pitted it was something in the rear, obviously, the right-rear, the left-rear was loose, it was all out of control, and then all of a sudden we went back out it was fine, so I took back off and then I think something in the left-front broke, it just went straight – whether I ran over something, I don’t know. I’m just sick for Aric.  He had that race won. It was his win and unfortunately his teammate had trouble and took him out of it.”

 

Playoff Standings: (with two races to go before Round of 8):

1.     Kevin Harvick (3,101 points) +68 points

2.     Kyle Busch (3,096 points) +63 points

3.     Martin Truex Jr. (3,069 points) +36 points

4.     Joey Logano (3,064 points) +31 points

5.     Chase Elliott (3,056 points) 1 win

6.     Kurt Busch (3,054 points) +21 points

7.     Brad Keselowski (3,054 points) +21 points

8.     Ryan Blaney (3,043 points) +10 points

9.     Aric Almirola (3,033 points) -10 points

10.   Clint Bowyer (3,033 points) -10 points

11.   Kyle Larson (3,031 points) -12 points

12.   Alex Bowman (3,009 points) -34 points

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the 1000Bulbs.com 500 on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is the fifth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NBC. Pre-race coverage on NBCSN begins at noon with NASCAR America followed by Countdown to Green at 1 p.m. ​

 

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Race Winner:      Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

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

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

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):

Kurt Busch started seventh and finished eighth to earn three bonus points.

● The No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion was tight early in the race.

● On lap 72, Busch pitted for four tires and fuel, emerging in eighth position.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):

Busch started eighth and finished sixth to earn five bonus points.

● The No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion was still tight center and loose on exit.

● Pitted on lap 122 for four tires and fuel.

● Busch was in fifth when he pitted on lap 191 for four tires and fuel.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 241-404):

Busch started eighth, finished fifth.

● The No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion was still tight center out.

On lap 242, Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.

Busch was in fourth and pitted for four tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment on lap 321.

● While fourth, he pitted on lap 341 for four tires and fuel and a trackbar adjustment.

● On lap 352, Busch passed Brad Keselowski for second place and was trailing his teammate, Aric Almirola, by just 1.2 seconds.

● After a late-race caution, Busch pitted for two tires on lap 394 and restarted in seventh.

● He avoided a multicar wreck and, after a red flag, restarted fifth, which is where he finished.

 

Notes:

●  This was Busch’s sixth top-five and 19th top-10 finish of 2018.

●  Busch earned his ninth top-five and 11th top-10 in 37 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.

●  Busch finished eighth in Stage 1 to earn three bonus points and sixth in Stage 2 to earn an additional five bonus points.

●  All four SHR drivers finished in the top-10 in Stage 1 and again in Stage 2.

●  Chase Elliott won the Gander Outdoors 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .265 of a second.

●  There were five caution periods for a total of 31 laps.

●  Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Gander Outdoors 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“It was a really good day for us with the stages. We were just a little bit tight most of the day and felt like it came to us toward the end. I was giving it all I had chasing down Almirola, then the yellow comes out, and from there it just changed the course of everything. It’s not even a ripple effect, it’s a tidal wave of things that happen. Once one yellow comes out, that goes against what everybody thought was going to happen, so Almirola could have won, we could have finished second. We ended up fifth. We have nothing to complain about. Big thanks to Monster Energy, Haas Automation and Ford. Solid day.”

 

Playoff Standing (with two races to go before the Round of 8):

1.       Kevin Harvick (3,101 points) +68 points

2.       Kyle Busch (3,096 points) +63 points

3.       Martin Truex Jr. (3,069 points) +36 points

4.       Joey Logano (3,064 points) +31 points

5.       Chase Elliott (3,056 points) 1 win

6.       Kurt Busch (3,054 points) +21 points

7.       Brad Keselowski (3,054 points) +21 points

8.       Ryan Blaney (3,043 points) +10 points

9.       Aric Almirola (3,033 points) -10 points

10.     Clint Bowyer (3,033 points) -10 points

11.     Kyle Larson (3,031 points) -12 points

12.     Alex Bowman (3,009 points) -34 points

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the 1000Bulbs.com 500 on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is the fifth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NBC. Pre-race coverage on NBCSN begins at noon with NASCAR America followed by Countdown to Green at 1 p.m.  

 

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Eddie Wood, long-time observer of all things NASCAR, knows his team’s 16th-place finish in Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway isn’t something he’d usually brag about – unless one considers how hard it was to come by.

His driver Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Tarkett team started Sunday’s race at a disadvantage, having to line up 18th when a shower on Friday led to the starting line-up being set by car owner points.
 
Wood and the team’s pre-race fears came to fruition when the race opened with a long, green-flag run, which made it difficult for drivers like Menard who started back in the field to remain on the lead lap with the fast Ford of Kevin Harvick setting a blistering pace out front.
 
Menard came within a lap of remaining on the lead lap at the end of the first 120-lap stage but fell short of the free pass position by one spot.
 
From then on to the checkered flag, the Menards/Tarkett team turned to strategy in an attempt to rejoin the lead lap.
 
“When you’re in that position, you have to do something different than what the leaders do,” Wood said.
 
That meant taking the wave-around on several occasions and pitting later than the leaders on others. Crew chief Greg Erwin made the calls he had to make if he wanted to make up lost ground, and Menard did his part behind the wheel of the No. 21 Fusion, but the breaks rarely came their way.
 
“We’d get in position to make up a lap, and the caution just wouldn’t come,” Wood said, adding that the team’s strategy often left Menard on the track with much older tires than his competitors. “Paul ran really good on old tires and had some good lap times in spite of the tire disadvantage.”
 
At one point, Menard was three laps behind the leaders but ended the race as the first driver one lap down.

 “It wasn’t a bad day by any means,” Wood said.
 
Menard and the No. 21 team now head to Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday’s 1000Bulbs.com 500.

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