Nascar Exclusive Race Report

Stewart-Haas Race Report:
Kansas Speedway | 5/13/2017

Greg Zipadelli|Vice President of Competition, Stewart-Haas Racing

Friday: Practice and Qualifying

“Friday was a busy day. Since Kansas was a two-day show, we had two practice sessions and qualifying all that day. Normally on a three-day weekend, we focus on qualifying Friday and then on race trim Saturday, but we had to cram it all in during the two practices Friday. The teams made longer runs at the start of final practice and then swapped over to qualifying trim. We seemed to have good speed across the board by the end of the final session.

“The inspection process has seemed to be challenging for most teams almost every weekend this season. The No. 4 team made it out late in the first round, but the No. 14 team was one of 12 teams that didn’t make it through tech in time to make a qualifying run. That was frustrating, to say the least.

“Kurt (Busch) and Kevin (Harvick) made it to the final round in qualifying and ended up sixth and eighth. Danica (Patrick) made it to the second round and qualified 24th.”

Saturday: Race

“Since Sunday was Mother’s Day, we raced on Saturday night at Kansas. Racing at night after practicing in day-time conditions is always a little bit of a challenge, but the teams made adjustments throughout the night to adapt to the changing track conditions.

“Kevin’s race started out solid, but he got caught a lap down when the caution flag waved right after they made a green-flag stop for a vibration in the second stage. Luckily, he was able to take the wave-around, get back on the lead lap and was able contend there at the end. Clint (Bowyer) had a solid night overall. I know they struggled a bit with the handling at times, but Buga (crew chief Mike Bugarewicz) took some big swings at it with adjustments and they were able to bring home a top-10 at the end.

“Kurt definitely had an up-and-down night. He was two laps down at one point after pitting under green for a flat right-front tire, but was able to wave around at one point and then got the free pass just a little bit later. I thought Kurt’s night was turning around, but then he made contact with the No. 48 car late in the race and dropped back a good bit and finished 19th.

“The No. 10 team had some handling issues the first part of the race, but Billy (Scott, crew chief) made some solid calls on pit road and had Danica running well as they went into the second stage. She was having her best race of the year until the wreck with the Nos. 22 and 43 cars. I really hated to see that happen. The car was absolutely destroyed, but we were all glad to see that she was able to walk away from the accident OK.”