TALLADEGA, Ala – Stewart-Haas Racing nearly crossed off another Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series track off their list of winless venues on Sunday. There are only two tracks on the schedule that SHR hasn’t won a race at. One if Kentucky Speedway. The other? The site of Sunday’s Geico 500, the Talladega Superspeedway.
They were actually only 0.127-seconds away from crossing the 2.66-mile Alabama race track off the list though. Kurt Busch led a strong day out of the SHR foursome on Sunday afternoon as he brought his No. 41 Ford home second. He was that 0.127-seconds behind winner Joey Logano.
It was Busch’s first top five finish of the season but his seventh top 12 finish in his last eight Talladega starts. He’d lead five laps in Sunday’s race.
Busch, said he gave the win way though as he said he should have done things differently in the closing laps.
He and Kevin Harvick shared the front row for the start of the race, as Harvick would bring his No. 4 Ford home fourth himself. It was Harvick’s 175th career top five finish in the Cup Series, a feat that ties him with Bill Elliott for 20th all-time. He’s also had eight top seven finishes over his last nine starts on the year, seven of which resulting in top fives.
Aric Almirola started in the exact opposite spot as his SHR teammates, rolling off last place in 40th. He charged hard though and despite being involved in a Lap 71 incident, he came away with his fourth straight top 10 finish at Talladega, bringing his No. 10 Ford home seventh.
Clint Bowyer was set for a good day too, but he was caught up in that 14 car melee in Turn 4 on Lap 165 and would finish 31st in his No. 14 Ford. If he would have avoided that crash, he too likely was destined for a top 10.
Still, three cars in the top seven is a solid day for SHR overall.