Friday, July 16, 2021

New Hampshire NASCAR Betting Preview: 2021 Foxwoods Casino 301




July 18, 2021


New Hampshire Motor Speedway is always one of my favorite stops on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule because I’ve used the same betting method for the flat 1-mile paperclip layout for over 25 years and I usually come out on the winning end each time with my betting strategy.

The strategy goes like this: when handicapping New Hampshire, by all means, refer to past history at the flat 1-mile paperclip layout, but the better starting point is to look at what happened in previous races during the same season at Richmond’s flat ¾-mile layout and the 1-mile flat layout at Phoenix. If one driver does well in one of those races, they’re likely to do the same at the other two.

I remember hearing a crew chief in the mid-1990s talk about how confident they were for one of those races and he said it was because of how they ran at New Hampshire or Richmond. He said they were bringing the same chassis for all three tracks and that the set-ups and balance were similar.


if you look over the years, you’ll see a single driver winning multiple races several times in the same season at those three tracks from Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, to Kevin Harvick. Last season it was Brad Keselowski with dominating wins at both New Hampshire (led race-high 184 laps) and Richmond (led 192 laps).

This season so far after 21 races complete, we’ve seen two races on similar tracks at Phoenix (March 14) and Richmond (April 18) prior to Sunday’s Foxwood Resort 301 that can start us in the right direction. So let’s review what happened in each race and identify a few drivers that had great set-ups that day beginning with Martin Truex Jr. who won at Phoenix.


  • Date: Sunday, July 18, 2021
  • TV-Time: NBCSN, 3:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • Location: Loudon, New Hampshire
  • Distance: 318.458 miles, 301 laps

Truex didn’t appear to have the best car that day, but he came on strong down the stretch leading the last 24 laps. He led a total of 64 laps while Joey Logano led a race-high 143 laps. Truex also finished fifth at Richmond leading 107 laps. Truex has never won a Cup race at New Hampshire, but he has won an Xfinity Series race, and twice in the K&N Pro Series East (ARCA). His father also won an ARCA race there in 1994 and his brother Ryan Truex won both races there in 2010. It’s something I’m sure the Mayetta, NJ family is very proud of and all they’re waiting for now is for Truex to win a Cup race on the track.

The car that NASCAR has mandated for this race is the low downforce race package with engines producing 750 horsepower which has been used 11 times this season. All three of Truex’s wins this season have come using the 750 HP package, which also includes a win at Martinsville and Darlington.

I’ve found over the years that the Martinsville results have been very beneficial to review because it’s a flat half-mile version of New Hampshire. It’s my secondary source of data to include in the betting mix to help find the winner. And then I look at past history.

Martin Truex Jr. has seen two third-place finishes over his last six races, but outside the Top 10 in three of his last five. (AP)

The other race winner that applies here for consideration is Alex Bowman’s Richmond win where he didn’t have the best car until late in the race. He kept getting better and faster and passed Denny Hamlin with 10 laps to go. It was the only laps he led on the day. He would also win at Dover a few weeks later using the 750 HP package and has three wins on the season.

“We’ve really improved our short-track program for the No. 48 Ally team,” Bowman said earlier this week. “We struggled at Richmond Raceway for a long time and this year we went and won there. Hopefully, we can take some of what we learned there to be good at New Hampshire.”

Bowman has three wins on the season and they’ve all come in the last 13 races. Over his last nine races, he’s run 679 laps inside the top-five. He and crew chief Greg Ivers have something cooking that not only makes him a strong contender to win Sunday, but also to race for the championship at Phoenix. It’s all about consistency and not many are doing it better right now than the No. 48 team. Circa Sports has adjusted Bowman up to a very generous price of 26-to-1 to win. Go get some!


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Denny Hamlin is 6/1 to win at New Hampshire

Denny Hamlin

11 FedEx Office Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing

Saturday Race Info:

Race: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301
Date/Time: Sunday, July 18/3:00 p.m. ET
Distance: 301 laps/318.46 miles
Track Length: 1 mile
Banking: 7 degrees
Track Shape: Oval

Express Notes:

Press Kit: Download the 2021 FedEx Racing press materials at, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Chris Gabehart and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.

Atlanta Recap: Denny Hamlin had a top-five car at Atlanta Motor Speedway – maybe even one capable of winning. After starting third, Hamlin ran near the front and even led two laps until getting hit with a pit road speeding penalty during the Stage 2 break. After starting Stage 3 at the rear of the field, he climbed back to finish 13th.

New Hampshire Preview: The NASCAR Cup Series will be heading to New England for 301 laps of action at New Hampshire Motor speedway on Sunday. Hamlin has notched three wins at the “Magic Mile” in his career with his most recent victory in 2017. He and the #FedEx11 team will look to replicate that previous success this weekend as they continue to seek a “W” with only five races remaining in the regular season.

Hamlin Statistics:

Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Races: 27
Wins: 3
Top-5: 11
Top-10: 16
Laps Led: 754
Avg. Start: 10.4
Avg. Finish: 9.6

Hamlin Conversation – New Hampshire:

How do you feel about going back to a shorter track this week?

“We’re confident going back there. Our short track package has been better this year. It’s something we put an emphasis on because of the final race being in Phoenix. We got our tails kicked there last year in the Championship 4, so we put more focus on it and we’ve gotten better.”

How do you feel about the points battle right now?

“I’m grateful that we are still leading in points. I feel like we’ve gone through a month or two of not performing at our peak. Our bad days are finishing fifth or sixth – we’re not out to lunch. But we’re just not as dominant as we were. We’re not leading laps like we were at the beginning of the season. So, we’re just weathering the storm until we get a little better. And I think we can start to see that in the next few races. There’s definitely some pride in winning the regular season championship. Don’t think I’m not trying.”

FedEx Office Along for the Ride at New Hampshire: The “FXO” on the #11’s B-post is a thank-you to all FedEx Office team members for rising to meet and overcome challenges on a daily basis.

FedEx Office – Closest to New Hampshire Motor Speedway: 10 Ft Eddy Rd, Concord, NH, (603) 226-0565

Hendrick Motorsports driver quotes for New Hampshire

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway: “I’ve always enjoyed going to Loudon. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my best tracks, but I do enjoy going there because it’s different. It reminds me of a longer, bigger Indianapolis Raceway Park the way you race it. With the traction compound application there, it seems to wear out for the last couple runs so you have to adapt and search and find where there’s more grip.”

Larson on his contract extension and announcement with “The chance to extend my contract with Hendrick Motorsports and have such an awesome sponsor in are things I don’t take for granted. I feel like I’m driving for the best team and the best sponsors in the sport. To know that our on-track performance is having positive business influence off the track is very important because I want to return the incredible support they’ve given me. Everyone at Hendrick Automotive Group has made me feel like part of their team, and it’s exciting to be able to represent a company that loves racing like I do. I feel like we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.”

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on the challenges of setting the car up on a flatter track: "New Hampshire is definitely a challenging track – high importance on stopping and going while also having your car turn properly in the center of the corner. It’s a tough place to figure out, but a great race track with great fans in a great area.”

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on racing at New Hampshire: “New Hampshire has been a really hit-or-miss place for us; it’s just a different track. It takes a different driving style, I feel like, than some of the other places. I look at Loudon at being more of its own animal. We’ve had a couple solid runs there, but never a dominating performance. It hasn’t been my best place, I don’t feel like, personally.”

Elliott on the upcoming “CHASE” documentary: “I was looking forward to having Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) down and showing him a little bit of our home state. I feel like people think about Georgia and they think about Atlanta. They don’t think about the greater Atlanta area and the northern side of the state, which is where I have lived and grown up in for the majority of my life. I got to show him a little bit of my day-to-day life and some of the things that I do. We talked a lot about racing and my career, which I really enjoyed. It was great to have him in town and for him to make the trip. I’m looking forward to everyone having the chance to watch and enjoy it.”

William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on returning to New Hampshire: “New Hampshire is fairly difficult. I feel like it’s a track that, historically, the veteran drivers do really well at with their experience there. It’s just a tough racetrack. You have to have a lot of grip in your car to run well. And honestly, this is one of the tracks that Rudy (Fugle) and I have done the best at in our careers. We have some testing notes there and know what works well and what the car needs to do. I’m honestly pretty excited about going to New Hampshire this weekend. It’s a track that Rudy and I have been looking forward to going to all season long.”

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on heading to New Hampshire: "This race at New Hampshire has been circled on my calendar since I started the job at Hendrick Motorsports. That’s how much I enjoy going there. It’s a track that I’ve just taken to, honestly, and I don’t know exactly why that’s the case, but I’ve been able to figure it out early on. I enjoy the challenge it brings with how crucial grip is, and like most short tracks, how important it is to have drive off to set yourself up on entry for the next set of corners. It’s a fine line. I feel like we have a good idea what want to have in the car when we unload. Plus, I feel like Hendrick Motorsports has made quite a few gains with its short track program which only helps heading to a track like this.”

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on taking on New Hampshire Motor Speedway: “We’ve really improved our short-track program for the No. 48 Ally team. We struggled at Richmond Raceway for a long time and this year we went and won there. Hopefully, we can take some of what we learned there to be good at New Hampshire.”

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on preparing for Sunday’s race at Loudon: “New Hampshire is just like any other racetrack. When you run well, it is a lot of fun to drive and when you struggle, it is not a lot of fun to drive. Coming off of a Richmond (Raceway) win and some of our road course success, I feel like we can go into this weekend’s race at New Hampshire with some positive confidence and compete for a top five, if not a win. As a team, we have to stay focused and positive on Sunday.”

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Kyle Busch is +750 to win 2021 Quaker State 400 at Atlanta



Heating Up For The Summer


HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (July 7, 2021) – With the summer swing in full effect for the NASCAR Cup Series, Kyle Busch has been heating up in the NASCAR Cup Series as he heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday.


Busch, driver of the No. 18 SKITTLES Gummies Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), has posted three consecutive top-three finishes as he comes off a strong third-place run in Skittles colors this past weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In fact, Busch has posted five top-five finishes in his last seven races, including his second win of the season two weekends ago at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.


Busch and the SKITTLES Gummies team have found the summer stretch more to their liking as the Las Vegas native continues to jell and grow with first-year crew chief Ben Beshore and a mostly new lineup. The pairing of Busch and Beshore took a huge step forward in the first stop this season at Atlanta, when they were able to overcome a speeding penalty to bring home a fifth-place finish there back in March. The team showed a lot of speed on the 1.54.-mile oval, which they used as a springboard to better finishes, including their first win together at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City in May.


Busch returns to the racetrack this weekend where the winning for him began with JGR in 2008. That was his first year with JGR, and he headed to Atlanta for the fourth Cup Series race of the season aiming to bring home the maiden victory for the team’s two new partners – Mars Wrigley and Toyota. After leading a race-high 173 laps, Busch broke through for the first time in NASCAR’s top series for Toyota, which was in its second year of Cup Series competition and its first year with JGR. Busch added an Atlanta Cup Series win in 2013 to go with seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10s at the 1.54-mile oval during his career.


The two-time Cup Series champion will have SKITTLES onboard for the second week in a row, with SKITTLES Gummies on the Cup Series car for the first time this season, but they did add a win together back in May at Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race. SKITTLES Gummies are available to fans in stores nationwide.


So, as the Cup Series heads back to Atlanta yet again this weekend, Busch and the SKITTLES Gummies team look to take lessons from their 2008 and 2013 race wins and their top-five finish this past March on the lightning-fast oval and bring home a third Cup Series win at the track. It would be extra sweet – the milestone 60th of Busch’s Cup Series career. 


KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 SKITTLES Gummies Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 


You’ve been very strong on 1.5-mile ovals so far this year. What are your expectations this weekend?


“Our expectations are always focused on winning. I feel like we’ve been very good with the 550 (horsepower) package this year. We ran really well at Atlanta earlier this year and may have had a shot to win the race if not for a pit-road speeding penalty. Atlanta was the first weekend of the year I felt like we had a lot of speed, and Ben (Beshore, crew chief) and the team keep getting better each week. Really looking forward to this weekend at Atlanta with our SKITTLES Gummies Camry. It’s going to be hot and slick out there, so a bit different than it was there in the spring. We’ll see how it plays out and hopefully we can get another shot at a win there.”


What are your memories of racing at Atlanta?

“I’ve won a few Truck Series races there. That was fun. I won for the first time in an Xfinity race there a few years ago, so that was very cool. I finished second three or four times, so it had been an Achilles heel for me, I guess. The Cup races there, I’ve either been really good or really bad, it seems. There have been times where I’ve been really good throughout the event. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t seem to keep the grip in my car for the long haul, as long as you need to throughout a run.”


What are your expectations going to Atlanta?


“Atlanta is one of those places where anything can happen and we’ll definitely have to be on our toes there this weekend with our SKITTLES Gummies Camry. You have to have good grip there, you have to have good (tire) fall-off – you have to be fast to start a run, yet you don’t want to fall off more than anybody else. So you have to take care of your stuff and bide your time a little bit. That lends itself to options by the driver to either push hard early (in the run) or save a little and be there late.”


With the way the racing is on the 1.5-mile and 2-mile ovals, are you doing anything differently with the aero on those types of tracks?


“It’s the same for everybody. You’re trying to shut off the guy behind you. You’re trying to shut his air off. That’s why the blocking is so bad, even at some of these places. The guys out front, they’ll mirror drive wherever the heck you’re going to make sure they shut your air off so you have to get out of the gas and stay out of the gas and lose momentum, and they can get a gap on you so they don’t have to deal with you again. As soon as you sort of lose that lead draft, if you’re not fast enough to catch back up to that guy in front of you, then you just continually seem to lose ground.”


Event Overview:

● Event: Quaker State 400

● Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 11

● Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway

● Layout: 1.54-mile oval

● Laps/Miles: 260 laps/400 miles

● Format: Stage 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps

● TV/Radio: NBCSN / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Chase Briscoe is 250/1 to win at Atlanta



Atlanta Advance

No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing



Event Overview


● Event: Atlanta 400 (Round 21 of 36)

● Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 11

● Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway

● Layout: 1.54-mile oval

● Laps/Miles: 260 laps/400 miles

● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps

● TV/Radio: NBCSN / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


Notes of Interest


● Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team earned their second top-10 finish of the season last Sunday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Both of Briscoe’s top-10s have been earned on road courses with the first coming at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.


● Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway marks Briscoe’s second Cup Series start at the 1.54-mile oval and the first time he’s revisited a track on the schedule, with the exception of the Pocono Raceway doubleheader. When the NASCAR Cup Series visited Atlanta in March, Briscoe started 24th and finished 23rd in just his sixth Cup Series start. Though the team struggled to find the right balance throughout the race, by the time the checkered flag waved, Briscoe felt like the team had improved enough to run up front in this weekend’s return.


● One Cure returns to the No. 14 Ford Mustang for its first race of the 2021 season at Atlanta. The One Cure project is led by the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University with a mission to find a cancer cure through research benefiting man’s best friend. It is founded on the principle that cancer affects all creatures and that treatment breakthroughs come through collaboration between scientists and doctors working with people and animals. This approach is known as comparative oncology and it is the guiding concept of One Cure and the Flint Animal Cancer Center. The center works to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets, and teams with the human medical field to translate research findings that will help people with cancer.The center, located in Colorado State’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, sees more than 1,500 new animal cancer patients every year, with approximately 130 of them enrolled in carefully monitored clinical trials specific to their cancer type. The canine and feline patients are helping pioneer cancer research, moving cutting-edge treatments out of the laboratory and into clinical practice, ultimately providing hope for the next generation of animal and human cancer patients.


● Briscoe has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta with a best finish of ninth in 2020. The native of Mitchell, Indiana, also made a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the track in 2017, starting fourth and finishing 25th.


● Before taking to the track at Atlanta, Briscoe will return to the Truck Series for the third time this year to compete in the No. 04 Ford F-150 for Roper Racing Friday night at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. The former dirt racer has competed in four previous Truck Series races on dirt surfaces, collecting three top-fives and a win at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio in 2017. In the Truck Series’ most recent dirt race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Briscoe started 33rd and finished fifth.


● Following his second top-10 finish at Road America, Briscoe gained two spots in the driver championship and is now 23rd. He continues to lead the Rookie of the Year standings by 139 points over Anthony Alfredo and has been the highest finishing rookie contender in 16 races to date.


Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:


For the first time this season, you get to return to a track that you’ve already raced at in the Cup Series. What does that do for your confidence?

“I’m pretty excited. We weren’t exactly our best earlier this year at Atlanta. That was probably one of our worst tracks this year. But it’ll be nice to go and know the feel I need the car to have and to know what to expect when I go into turn one on lap one of the race. Having decent track position to start will also help, so I’m definitely looking forward to having another shot at it. It’s another one of my favorite tracks and I think we’ll be able to have a chance to come out with a good finish.”


Will you go back to Atlanta with a completely new setup, or did you find something that worked in the first race?

“We’ll for sure go back with something different. We tried to figure out what worked last time but we’re going to have something different. Truthfully, I’m a dramatically different racecar driver than I was at that point of the year. I feel a lot more confident and know what I need in the car. For us, we should be better going back this time. You never really know until you get there, but I do think it will be a lot easier. Track position at the start is so key in these Cup Series races. You kind of end up running the speed of the cars you’re around, so starting 11th will hopefully help us.”


You’ve been doing more racing outside the Cup Series – a few Truck Series races, and you have some dirt races on the schedule. Explain how that can help you improve on Sunday.

“Doing more racing, I feel like, has made me sharper when I get in the Cup car. Whether it’s running the Sprint car last week in Wisconsin before Road America, or the truck which I’ll run at Knoxville this week, I just think it’s really been helping me stay on my game. They are absolutely different disciplines, but I feel like there’s a lot of crossover. In Sprint cars, you’re having to work with a lot of tire spin and you have to be able to finesse the car in those situations, which you then deal with on road courses. There are things that I can apply when we go to tracks like Atlanta that are hot and slick when the car is sliding around. You have to be able to control it.”

Cole Custer is 200/1 to win 2021 Quaker State 400



Atlanta Advance

No. 41 Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing



Event Overview


● Event: Atlanta 400 (Round 21 of 36)

● Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 11

● Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway

● Layout: 1.54-mile oval

● Laps/Miles: 260 laps/400 miles

● Stage Lengths: Stages 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps

● TV/Radio: NBCSN / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


Notes of Interest


● For 51 seasons – from 1960 through 2010 – the NASCAR Cup Series raced twice a year at Atlanta Motor Speedway before scaling back to just one annual visit from 2011 through 2020. This weekend, Cole Custer and the No. 41 Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) join their Cup Series counterparts for a second 2021 event at the 1.54-mile oval during Sunday’s Atlanta 400. When the series last visited there in March for the sixth event of the season, Custer started 27th and finished 18th.


● Riding along with Custer and the No. 41 team for the first time this season will be longtime SHR partner Code 3 Associates, which has been a hero to animals for more than 30 years. If disaster strikes, Code 3 will deploy its Animal Rescue Team to help in emergencies like hurricanes, fires and floods. Since April 21, fans have had the opportunity to see their name featured on the No. 41 Code 3 Associates Ford this weekend. The fundraising campaign generated $4,100 in donations and, as a result, the names of 90 donors will appear on the decklid of Custer’s racecar. 


● Sunday’s 400-mile race will be Custer’s milestone 60th Cup Series start and his third at Atlanta. In his first Cup Series start there in June 2020, Custer posted a 19th-place finish.


● In his three Atlanta starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Custer’s best was his most recent, when he qualified his No. 00 SHR Ford on the pole and finished second by .191 of a second to Christopher Bell in the February 2019 race. Custer finished 10th in his Atlanta Xfinity Series debut in 2017 before returning in 2018 to qualify fourth but seeing his race end early after a lap-10 accident.


● Custer first appearance at Atlanta came in the February 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, when he started sixth and finished 17th in the No. 00 entry for JR Motorsports.


● After his 17th-place finish in last weekend’s inaugural Cup Series race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Custer arrives at Atlanta 28th in the driver standings.


● Code 3 Associates is dedicated to providing professional animal disaster response and resources to communities, as well as providing professional training to individuals and agencies involved in animal related law enforcement and emergency response. The organization’s mission is accomplished through hands-on animal rescue and care operations during disaster events, and through its certified animal welfare training seminars, which include animal cruelty training for investigators.


● As announced during the annual Coca-Cola 600 Memorial Day weekend, Custer and the team encourage fans to join Wow Wow Classic Waffles in support of Feeding America®, the largest hunger relief organization in the United States with a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. Fans are encouraged to text HUNGER to 50555 to make a $5 donation to Feeding America®, by visiting the Feeding America® donation page on Facebook, or the donation page via the Feeding America® website. Each $1 donated helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.


Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing


Aside from the doubleheader weekend at Pocono, Atlanta is the first track you’re visiting for a second time in 2021. How will you benefit from your experience there in March?  

“Well, our race in March definitely was not the result we wanted, but I still called it a solid day in a lot of respects. We made improvements on our Mustang all day but just couldn’t get going on the restarts. It’s a tough track to get your car right. Going back there a second time is going to be great for the series. It’s going to be hotter this weekend than it was in March so we’re going to get more of what we’re used to at Atlanta – a hot, slick track. We’ll just apply everything we learned from March and some past races at Atlanta to figure out how we can improve.”


You had a pretty good track record at Atlanta when you were full-time in the Xfinity Series. What do you like about the track?

“It has definitely been a pretty good track to me in the past. I think all of the worn-out racetracks have been good for me and are so fun to race. Being able to manage tire fall-off, and slipping and sliding around, and being able to do a lot of different things with the car. I’m looking forward to going back again. We’ve continued to learn a lot about the 550 horsepower package since we’ve started, so I think we can definitely capable of going there and having a strong run. Hopefully this is the week we can put it all together and have a strong run, compete for a top-10 and have a good finish. I think we’ve put a lot of work into it. We’ll see what happens this weekend.”


Code 3 Associates will be riding along with you for the first time, and there will be the names of 90 people who donated to the organization on the decklid of your racecar. How special is that for you?

“First of all, I want to say thanks to everyone who participated in the fundraiser. I love animals of all kinds and the work that Code 3 Associates does whenever disasters happen is definitely unique and incredible. They’ve been with Stewart-Haas for quite some time and it’s a privilege to have Code 3 Associates on my racecar this weekend with the names of all those donors. I hope to go out and give them a solid finish at Atlanta this weekend.”


Aric Almirola is 100/1 to win second Atlanta race


Aric Almirola

Atlanta Advance

Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing



Event Overview


● Event: Atlanta 400 (Round 21 of 36)

● Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 11

● Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway

● Layout: 1.5-mile oval

● Laps/Miles: 260 laps/400 miles

● Stage Lengths: Stages 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps

● TV/Radio: NBCSN / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


Notes of Interest


●  History at Atlanta Motor Speedway: This will mark Almirola’s 12th NASCAR Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway oval. Almirola has two top-10 finishes, four top-15s in his previous 11 Atlanta starts, and he qualified on the pole and led 36 laps in 2019. He also has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts there with a best finish of eighth, and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts with a best finish of third.


●  Almirola’s best finish this year is fourth at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. His second-best finish was sixth at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, and his next-best was 11th at Phoenix Raceway.


●  Last weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Almirola led a lap and finished 14th to earn his best road-course result of the season.


●  Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz has two top-five finishes at Atlanta in six outings as a Cup Series crew chief.


●  Almirola’s 2020 season proved successful when he earned a career-high 18 top-10 finishes, six top-fives and led 305 laps. During the season, Almirola went on a five-race streak of top-five finishes and earned nine consecutive top-10s.


●  Career Stats: Almirola has career totals of two wins, two poles, 25 top-five finishes, 81 top-10s and 860 laps led in 372 NASCAR Cup Series starts.


●  Smithfield Foods celebrates 10 years of partnership with Almirola this season with a special campaign called Taste Victory.As one of the most active partners in NASCAR, Smithfield plans to engage fans all year long by hosting a microsite that provides the opportunity to win when Almirola wins or finishes inside the top-10. When Almirola wins, one fan wins $10,000, and 10 fans win a gift card for each top-10 finish. The microsite also doubles as an Aric Almirola fan page and entertainment source where fans can get behind the wheel of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with a custom racing game, and learn more about Almirola with fast facts, favorite recipes and custom content about his life on and off the track. Visit to learn more. Thanks to Almirola’s Feb. 11 win in his Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500, one lucky fan has already won $10,000.


●  Beyond the 10 YouTube Series:In 2021, Almirola continues to share his life beyond the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with season three of his award-winning YouTube series. Fans and media can subscribe on YouTube to see Almirola’s personality on and off the track. Episodes have already featured life as a dad, a husband and an athlete, and it gives fans a unique perspective on what goes on in the life of a professional NASCAR driver. Fans can also follow Almirola’s social media channels: @Aric_Almirola on Twitter and Instagram, and @AricAlmirola on Facebook.


●  After the season’s first 20 points-paying events, Almirola and the Smithfield Ford team sit 27th in the championship with 317 points, 481 behind leader Denny Hamlin and 154 behind the playoff cutoff line. 


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


What’s it like racing at Atlanta?


“Drivers love to race at tracks that are old and worn out because it gives us options. It seems like the times we go to repaves, it gets very narrow and we can only run right in a single groove. When we go to Atlanta, it’s got a lot of character. It’s rough. It’s bouncy. It’s worn out and you slip and slide. We like having that control of cars sliding around and driving it. We really enjoy tracks like Atlanta.”


We saw improvement in the 1.5-mile program when you won the All-Star Open at Texas. Do you think that will translate to Atlanta? 


“We did find some solid speed at Texas and it was great to see improvement there after the year we have had. I hope a few things transfer over to Atlanta, but it’s such a worn-out track that you’re mostly managing tire fall-off. We had a lot of bad luck at the beginning of the season at tracks like Homestead and Vegas, so we didn’t get a chance to build a lot of notes there. I think we’re back on the right track and head to Atlanta with the most confidence we’ve had all year.” 

Kevin Harvick is 9/1 to win 2021 Quaker State 400 at Atlanta



Atlanta Advance

No. 4 Mobil 1 Summer Road Trip Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing



Event Overview


●  Event:  Atlanta 400 (Round 21 of 36)

●  Time/Date:  3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 11

●  Location:  Atlanta Motor Speedway

●  Layout:  1.54-mile oval

●  Laps/Miles:  260 laps/400 miles

●  Stage Lengths:  Stage 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps

●  TV/Radio:  NBCSN / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


Notes of Interest


●  Mobil 1 has been the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR since 2003, and this summer Mobil 1™ synthetic is celebrating everyone’s drive as the Official Motor Oil of Road Trips. Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang is sporting a special paint scheme commemorating summer road trips this Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway where Harvick will embark upon a 400-mile road trip of his own in the Atlanta 400. What’s more, as part of the Mobil 1 Thousand Sweepstakes, Mobil 1 is sending one lucky winner and a guest on a once in-a-lifetime trip from the final race of the regular season at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway to the first race of the NASCAR Playoffs at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Special stops include meet-and-greets with Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammates, a tour of SHR, a Ford Performance Racing School ride-along with SHR’s Chase Briscoe, and a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame where SHR co-owner Tony Stewart’s 2011 NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning car is on display. Fans can register at where in addition to becoming eligible for the ultimate summer road trip, they’re also eligible to win $1,000 or more every race weekend if a NASCAR Cup Series driver who uses Mobil 1 takes the checkered flag.


●  The Mobil 1 branding on Harvick’s No. 4 Ford Mustang goes more than skin deep as the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand gives Harvick an added advantage. Mobil 1 products are used throughout his racecar and they extend beyond just engine oil. Power steering fluid, transmission fluid, gear oil and driveline lubricants from Mobil 1 give Harvick a technical advantage over his counterparts by reducing friction, heat and rolling resistance.Mobil 1 is a sponsor whose technology makes Harvick’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang faster.


●  Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only one finish outside of the top-10 in his last eight starts at Atlanta. In fact, that lone result came in Harvick’s first race at Atlanta as a member of SHR. Since finishing 19th in August 2014, Harvick has finished in the top-10 in every race since – a streak that includes two victories (February 2018 and June 2020) and four top-fives.


●  Harvick has finished among the top-10 in 14 of his last 17 starts at Atlanta, a run that began with a seventh-place drive in March 2008.


●  Harvick’s top-10 streak at Atlanta appeared in jeopardy during the NASCAR Cup Series’ most recent visit to the 1.54-mile oval in March. After starting seventh and running as high as second, Harvick made a routine pit stop for four tires and fuel during a caution period on lap 27. But just before taking the green flag for the lap-31 restart, Harvick had to duck onto pit road to replace a flat left-rear tire. The culprit? A broken valve stem. This put Harvick all the way back in 32nd place. He ended up going a lap down, finishing 24th in the first stage and 20th in the second stage. Harvick began the final stage in 19th, one of six drivers a lap down. A fortuitous caution on lap 221 allowed Harvick to take the wave-around and get his lap back. He restarted 17th on lap 225 and cracked the top-15 with a pass of Michael McDowell on lap 231. Harvick then passed Ryan Newman for 14th on lap 259 before making a scheduled, green flag pit stop on lap 268 for four tires and fuel. Thanks to quick work by his pit crew, Harvick climbed to 12th by lap 270. He passed Ricky Stenhouse Jr., for 11th on lap 303 and then grabbed 10th from Matt DiBenedetto four laps from the finish to preserve his top-10 streak at Atlanta.


●  Harvick has three NASCAR Cup Series wins at Atlanta. His first at the track was the first of his career, and it came a little over 20 years ago on March 11, 2001. The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 was just Harvick’s third race in a Cup Series car. He started fifth in the 325-lap race and led twice for 18 laps, including the final six. But Harvick had to earn the win on the final lap and hold off a then three-time champion in Jeff Gordon. Harvick succeeded, outdueling the eventual 2001 series champion to take the win by a scant .006 margin of victory – the seventh-closest finish in NASCAR history.


●  Of course, the backstory to that first win is significant. Harvick wasn’t just driving any racecar when he won at Atlanta. He was driving the racecar that less than a month earlier had been piloted by Dale Earnhardt. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion died on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Team owner Richard Childress tabbed Harvick, who was racing for him in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, to pull double-duty and take over Earnhardt’s Cup ride. The No. 3, made iconic by Earnhardt, was changed to the No. 29 and Harvick made his Cup Series debut Feb. 25 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Harvick started 36th that Sunday at Rockingham, but rain washed over the 1.017-mile oval just 51 laps into the 393-lap race. The race resumed at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, whereupon Harvick drove to a solid 14th-place finish. He then traveled to Las Vegas on Tuesday, married his wife, DeLana, on Wednesday, and was back in a racecar on Friday, competing in both the Xfinity Series and Cup Series events at Las Vegas. After finishing eighth on Sunday to score his first career top-10 in the Cup Series, Harvick headed to Atlanta where the first of his 58 career Cup Series wins was secured.


●  Harvick is the leader among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers at Atlanta.

    ▬ He has a series-leading 31 career starts at Atlanta. Kurt Busch is next best with 30 starts.

    ▬ He is tied with Kurt Busch for the most wins at Atlanta (three).

    ▬ He has a series-leading nine top-fives at Atlanta. Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch are next best with seven top-fives apiece.

    ▬ He has the most top-10s at Atlanta (16). Kurt Busch is next best with 15 top-10s.

    ▬ He has led a series-high 1,348 laps at Atlanta. Kurt Busch is next best with only 804 laps led.

    ▬ He has completed a series-high 9,867 laps at Atlanta. Ryan Newman is next best with 9,228 laps completed.


●  Who is the all-time leader at Atlanta? That’s none other than Richard Petty. They call him “The King” for a reason: 65 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta with six wins, 22 top-fives, 33 top-10s and 1,827 laps led with 17,513 laps completed.


●  Harvick is also incredibly good at Atlanta outside of the NASCAR Cup Series. He has five Xfinity Series wins at the track, including four in his last six starts at the 1.54-mile oval, the last of which ended in victory – February 2018 when he walloped the field, leading four times for a race-high 141 laps and cruising to the win with a 4.183 margin over second-place Joey Logano. In 17 career Xfinity Series start at Atlanta, Harvick has 11 top-fives and 13 top-10s with 973 laps led.


Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Summer Road Trip Ford Mustang 


Your track record at Atlanta is incredibly strong. Performing well at Atlanta means managing your tires and taking care of your racecar. How do you do that when you’re still trying to outrun 39 other drivers?

“Atlanta has one of the most unique track surfaces. There are things about Atlanta that you manipulate your car with, and a lot of that has to do with rhythm. There are a lot of bumps, and a lot of things that go with the bumps are the brake pedal and the gas pedal, and all of those things combine to make a good lap at Atlanta. It’s just a fun racetrack to drive and we’ve been fortunate to have success really every year that we’ve gone there since I’ve been at Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s just a good racetrack for us. I feel like we should’ve won every race that we’ve raced at Atlanta, but we haven’t one way or another, but we’ve been fortunate to win a couple.”


Your race at Atlanta back in March was very atypical for you and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team. How much of it was the result of a broken valve stem that put you behind early in the race, and how much of it was not having the kind of lights-out car you typically have at Atlanta?

“Ryan Blaney won the race and we raced right with Blaney at the beginning of the race. The unfortunate part for us was two things – the untimely pit stop that we had to have because of the valve stem, and the 5 car (Kyle Larson) was extremely fast. So, every time we would pass cars, he would pass more cars and there just weren’t a lot of cautions and we never could get back to where we needed to be until the very end of the race. I really felt like we had a top-five car in that particular race. It wasn’t a car that was as fast as we’d like to have capable of winning the race and setting the pace, but it definitely put us behind and we never could make it up because of how fast the 5 car was.”


Explain how a setback – be it in the pits or on the racetrack – compounds itself when you’re racing in traffic, and how that is intensified at a track like Atlanta.

“It just starts to lose grip, and Atlanta’s a little bit different than most places just because the whole car comes out of the racetrack. And when the whole car comes out of the racetrack, the first thing that happens is that the front end doesn’t start to turn, and when the front end doesn’t turn, there’s basically a line that I like to run that is the fastest way around the racetrack and, when everybody’s trying to run that line, it just takes time. You have to basically be patient enough to wait for the guy in front of you to make a mistake and hope you didn’t make enough mistakes to be right on his bumper so you can capitalize on that mistake. And you have to take that approach with every single car. It’s just a methodical, timely approach that it takes to get back through traffic.”


Your race at Atlanta back in March notwithstanding, is Atlanta one of those tracks where you and crew chief Rodney Childers say, “Alright, we’re good here,” or are there still things to tweak in order to stay ahead of the curve?

“We’re 100 percent bought into the feel in the racecar at Atlanta, and we’re going to chase that feel and what we want, because we know that it’s just different than everywhere else that we go to. You’re looking for a different reaction out of the car that allows you to be able to run fast for a long time. It’s a different type of racetrack, but in the end those guys are bought into knowing that if we don’t win at Atlanta, it’s a letdown because of the expectations we have going in there.”


How much does Atlanta change from the relative cool of March to the heat and humidity of July?

“It’s going to be much different going back in the summer just because of the temperature and the surface. And when you have that temperature on that surface, it just has less grip. And when it’s hotter outside, you make less downforce and the cars just won’t drive as good. They never drive great at Atlanta, but going back in the summer, it’s going to be worse.”


NASCAR’s rulebook makes teams operate in a pretty small box. When it comes to a momentum track like Atlanta, how important is Mobil 1’s technology in the overall efficiency of your racecar, specifically in regard to reducing friction, heat and rolling resistance?

“Mobil 1 technology is a true difference maker, especially this year. There’s a development freeze on all the parts and pieces that go into the racecar as we get ready for the NextGen car in 2022. That means we have to maximize what we’ve got. Efficiency equals speed. The less friction, the less rolling resistance, the faster you’ll go. From the synthetic oil in the engine to all the lubricants throughout the car, it all adds up to a more efficient racecar, and that shows up on the stopwatch.”