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Srigley Stats: Stewart-Haas Racing Displays Throwback-esque Performance at Darlington

This week, #SrigleyStats covers a throwback-esque performance from Stewart-Haas, Justin Allgaier's Xfinity Series landmark, a top-10 for Haley and Rick Ware Racing, plus the recent rise of RFK Racing.


hero image for Srigley Stats: Stewart-Haas Racing Displays Throwback-esque Performance at Darlington

As Stewart-Haas Racing continues its journey back to the top of the heap in the NASCAR Cup Series, Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway was another weekend of substantial gains for the four-car operation.

In fact, the results from Sunday’s contest resembled the Stewart-Haas Racing of old, with Josh Berry bringing home his first top-five of the season, in third, and Chase Briscoe rounding out the top-10 in fifth.

Noah Gragson (14th) and Ryan Preece (17th) also managed to place their entries inside the top-20 for a solid afternoon when the checkered flag was displayed – the first time this year all four SHR entries have finished inside the top-20.

It’s the first time since Martinsville last October – the penultimate event of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season – that Stewart-Haas Racing has placed a pair of entries inside the top-five, and the first time since May 2022 that the team has done so on a track larger than one mile in length.

For Berry, while it ended up taking 13 races, Darlington marked both the first top-five and top-10 result for the NASCAR Cup Series rookie with the organization, making him the first driver other than Kevin Harvick to score a top-10 in the SHR No. 4, which debuted in 2014.

“It was just a really good day. We had a really good car yesterday in practice, but unfortunately didn’t qualify like we should have. There’s a lot to take from that, but, overall, the car was really strong. We feel like we’re capable of days like this. We just have to keep chipping away at it, keep learning, keep getting better week in and week out. I have a great group around me and this is a finish they deserve for sure.”

Meanwhile, for Chase Briscoe, a native of Mitchell, Indiana, Sunday’s 400-mile contest marks the first time since October 2022 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that the No. 14 Ford Mustang has finished inside the top five on a track larger than one mile.

"Our car was extremely good on the really, really long run, it was just the short run that we gave up too much time," said Briscoe. It would have been interesting to see how the race played out if it went green until the end, but, overall, it’s a really good weekend for the guys. I wish we could have been a few spots better, but after the last few weeks we needed a solid run.”

Leaving Darlington, it looks as though Stewart-Haas has started to get things figured out, as strong runs in recent weeks by Josh Berry, Chase Briscoe, and Noah Gragson have left the team feeling better about their on-track performance.

Halfway through the regular season, Briscoe remains in the thick of the battle for a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series post-season, while his three teammates all have some work to do if they’re going to have a shot at the championship this Fall.

Photo Credit: David Rosenblum, NKP for Ford Performance


Over the last eight seasons, Justin Allgaier has found a great deal of success as a mainstay in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro with support from long-time sponsor BRANDT Fresh Agriculture.

After 449 starts in the second-tier series, the Riverton, Illinois-native has managed to accumulate a breathtaking stat line, which includes 267 top-10 finishes, which after scoring his 267th in Saturday’s Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 at Darlington is now the most all-time.

The 37-year-old racer didn’t just break that record, he broke it in style, collecting his 24th NASCAR Xfinity Series win on Saturday, which ties him with Tommy Houston and JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for 10th on the series’ all-time wins list.

For Allgaier, that number is poised to continue growing substantially, as the BRANDT-sponsored driver has managed to record 20 or more top-10 finishes in five of his last six seasons in the Xfinity Series, the only exception being 2020, where he scored 19.

Now, it’s unlikely Allgaier will surpass Kyle Busch as the series’ all-time wins leader, as that would require an additional 75-plus victories in a series that has grown more and more competitive in recent years. Still, there’s no doubt he’ll leave a mark on the second-tier series.

Currently, Allgaier sits eight all-time in NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, but should the JR Motorsports driver compete in each of the remaining 22 races of 2024, he will climb to sixth all-time, passing Joe Nemechek and Morgan Shepherd.

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen, Getty Images



Just about everybody expected Rick Ware Racing to improve this season, between the key hires made in the off-season of Justin Haley and Chris Lawson, plus a second season in a technical alliance with RFK Racing.

But did anybody expect Haley and the No. 51 Ford Mustang Dark Horse to finish inside the top-10 on raw speed by Darlington in May? Well, they’ve done it, and it’s not the first time they’ve shown pace either.

Haley, behind the wheel of the No. 51 NC Fraternal Order of Police Ford Mustang, came home ninth in Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington, which marked the best non-superspeedway finish in the history of Rick Ware Racing – which has 600-plus starts in the Cup Series.

For just the second time this season, Haley spent more than 90 laps running inside the top-15 on the racetrack (94), and for the first time this season, the result matched the pace in the Rick Ware Racing machine.

Making 123 green-flag passes – the most of anybody in the field – Haley had a Ford Mustang Dark Horse capable of slicing through traffic, making it simple to drive from outside the top-20 in the second half of the race.

With a sixth lead-lap finish for the No. 51 team this season, Haley is now just one away from tying a single-season, single-driver record for Rick Ware Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, which was previously achieved by Josh Bilicki (2021), Cody Ware (2022), and JJ Yeley (2023).

Prior to Sunday at Darlington, the organization had recorded a previous best non-drafting track finish of P16 in the 2023 Coca-Cola 600 with JJ Yeley. The team’s previous best finish at Darlington, was a 19th by Cody Ware in 2022, a mark which both Haley and Grala bested on Sunday.

Photo Credit: John K. Harrelson, NKP for Ford Performance



In a season that has been dominated by Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing, the resurgence of RFK Racing over the last month or so has been a welcome sight, especially for Ford Performance, who prior to Sunday at Darlington was still winless on the season.

Since a breakout performance by Brad Keselowski at Texas Motor Speedway, where a shot at the victory was derailed by a late-race yellow and the Rochester Hills, Michigan-native was forced to settle for second-place, things have been firing on all eight cylinders for RFK Racing.

The organization, which fields a pair of entries for team co-owner Brad Keselowski and long-time NASCAR Cup Series driver Chris Buescher, has managed to place an entry in either first or second in four of the last five weeks.

Keselowski ended up second in back-to-back weeks at Texas and Talladega, while Buescher followed it up two weeks later with a runner-up finish, losing to Kyle Larson by the smallest margin in NASCAR Cup Series history, 0.001 seconds.

At Darlington, both Keselowski and Buescher were in contention for the victory in the closing laps of the race, each leading at least one circuit in the final 15 laps of the race. For the Prosper, Texas-native, though, contact with Tyler Reddick cut down a tire, derailing the No. 17 team’s chance at the win.

That allowed Keselowski, co-owner of RFK Racing, to snap a 110-race winless streak in the NASCAR Cup Series, scoring his first win since April 25, 2021, and his first as both a driver and team owner.

With Keselowski locked into the post-season, and Buescher well above the cutline, RFK Racing is looking to place both entries in the Playoffs once again in 2024, and compete to advance deeper into the post-season, and potentially even make the Championship 4.

The speed they’ve found as of late, should certainly aid them in doing just that.

Photo Credit: Matthew T. Thacker, NKP for Ford Performance

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