|Haas Automation/Mobil 1 Driver Advances to Final Eight of NASCAR Playoffs|
|Date: Oct. 21, 2018
Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 32 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 11th/18th (Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 7th with 4,015 points…advances to Round of 8
Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kurt Busch started 11th and finished 13th.
● Busch said the No. 41 Haas Automation/Mobil 1 Ford Fusion was lacking grip.
● Busch was 15th on lap 37, and on lap 40 he pitted for four tires and fuel.
● On lap 62, running in 16th, he pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Busch started 14th and finished 20th.
● On lap 83, Busch was in 13th and pitted for four tires and fuel.
● Busch said there continued to be a lack of rear grip.
● On lap 119 Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He was in the 16th position.
● Busch had to return to pit road for a drive-through penalty for an uncontrolled tire. He returned to the track in 29th place.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
● Busch started 22nd and finished 18th.
● On lap 164 Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He was in 20th position, a lap down, and said the car lacked grip.
● While 18th on lap 215, Busch pitted for four tires and fuel.
● Busch maintained his position and finished 18th, one lap down.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I am really happy. It is exciting for us. It is our goal to win the championship. We were an elite-eight team when we started Daytona, and here we are, we did it. It was a rough day in the pits and on the track, but we had enough points from the roval and our stage races. It was a rough day, and we need to put it quickly behind us. We are back on even ground. We are in the top-eight, and Martinsville is the path to the championship down in Homestead. I want to thank Haas Automation, Mobil 1, Monster Energy and Ford.”
● Chase Elliott won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his third career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Kansas. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .903 of a second.
● There were three caution periods for a total of 17 laps.
● Only 13 of the 40 drivers in the Hollywood Casino 400 finished on the lead lap.
Playoff Standings (at the conclusion of the Round of 12):
1. Kyle Busch (4,055 points)
2. Kevin Harvick (4,054 points, -1)
3. Martin Truex Jr. (4,038 points, -17)
4. Chase Elliott (4,018 points, -37)
5. Clint Bowyer (4,015 points, -40)
6. Joey Logano (4,015 points, -40)
7. Kurt Busch (4,015 points, -40)
8. Aric Almirola (4,006 points, -49)
Failed to Advance to Round of 8:
● Ryan Blaney
● Brad Keselowski
● Kyle Larson
● Alex Bowman
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the First Data 500 on Sunday, Oct. 28 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. It is the seventh race of the 10-race playoffs and the first race in the Round of 8. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NBCSN beginning at 1 p.m.