Stewart-Haas Racing begins to find its rhythm with encouraging Nashville showing

LEBANON, Tenn. — For the a lot of part, Stewart-Haas Racing raced to the beat of a various tune on Sunday at Nashville Superspeedway.

After uncharacteristic battles throughout most of the 2021 season, Aric Almirola altered course by scoring the Busch Pole for the Ally 400. The No. 10 Ford motorist had the ability to parlay that into a fourth-place surface at the 1.33-mile track, his very first leading 5 and 2nd leading 10 of the year.

MORE: Complete Nashville outcomes | Pictures from race weekend

After coming off a 2020 season that produced profession bests of 6 top-five and 18 top-10 outcomes, Almirola stated it simply felt great to be in the discussion in advance.

“It‘s been such a tough year and it‘s easy to get down on yourself and just not have a lot of confidence,” Almirola stated after Sunday‘s race. “Confidence is something that comes with results. You can‘t fake it. So, it‘s been nice to have two good weeks now. It certainly makes everybody have a little pep in their step and things are going in the right direction.”

Kevin Harvick was the next-highest-finishing SHR automobile in 5th location. Harvick is having the very best season out of the SHR motorists up until now with 5 leading fives and 12 leading 10s, however it will take more constant outcomes to approach his 2020 season-ending mark of 20 leading fives and 27 leading 10s.

Almirola had the ability to surpass his colleague for position on the last lap when the No. 4 Ford of Harvick lacked fuel concerning the checkered flag. Harvick likewise got damage previously in the race, which prevented the efficiency of the automobile in the later phases.

“Before our damage, I think we had the second-best car at the end,” Harvick stated. “Got a little bit of damage on the right side, got a little bit tight and then ran out of gas there off of Turn 4. All in all, it was a solid day.”

It wasn‘t a significant declaration run by any stretch, however Harvick a minimum of took solace in the reality that they ran much better. However can they make Success Lane a sensible expectation moving on?

“I don‘t know,” Harvick stated. “I don‘t think anyone can beat the 5 (team of race winner Kyle Larson) right now.”

The other 2 motorists in the SHR steady, Cole Custer and Chase Briscoe, were not able to attain much enhancement. In spite of running in the leading 12 for a part of the 300-lap occasion, Custer ended up 30th after tire concerns, while Briscoe drew out the last care of the race on Lap 227 when the No. 14 Ford retired after striking the wall due to a brake failure.

The Ford Efficiency camp still has much ground to acquire to much better position themselves for a playoff run with 9 races staying in the routine season. While Hendrick Motorsports has actually made it look simple in advance, Almirola kept in mind simply how hard it has actually been on the No. 10 group to work for much better outcomes.

“When you run bad, it‘s 10 times as much work because you‘re going down every single avenue trying to figure out what‘s going to make speed in the race cars,” Almirola stated. “When you have fast race cars, it‘s easy. You just massage on it and polish it and keep going to the race track with what you know is fast. We‘ve been working so hard and proud of everybody back at the shop.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.