Cook Out 400

Date: July 30, 2023
Event: Cook Out 400 (Round 22 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (70 laps/160 laps/170 laps)

Race Winner: Chris Buescher of RFK Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Tyler Reddick of 23XI Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of RFK Racing (Ford)

SHR Race Finish:
● Aric Almirola (Started 24th, Finished 8th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)

SHR Points:
● Aric Almirola (24th with 384 points, 360 out of first)

Almirola Notes:
● Almirola earned his second top-10 of the season and his fifth top-10 in 21 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond.
● This was Almirola’s second straight finish of 12th or better. He finished 12th last Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
● This was Almirola’s second straight finish of 13th or better at Richmond. He finished 13th in the series’ prior visit to the track in April.
● Almirola finished eighth in Stage 1 to earn three bonus points.

Race Notes:
● Chris Buescher won the Cook Out 400 to score his third career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Richmond. His margin over second-place Denny Hamlin was .549 of a second.
● Buescher was the 13th different winner in the 22 NASCAR Cup Series races run this season.
● This was Ford’s 723rd all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory and its third of the season.
● This was Ford’s 35th all-time NASCAR Cup Series win at Richmond. It won its first race at the track on May 5, 1957 with Paul Goldsmith.
● There were just three caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Nineteen of the 36 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Martin Truex Jr., remains the championship leader after Richmond with a 39-point advantage over second-place Hamlin.

Sound Bites:
“It was a strong day. I don’t know that we had anything for the 17 (Chris Buescher) or the 6 (Brad Keselowski). They were really good, but I could maintain and after about 55 laps, I think we were arguably the best car on the racetrack from that point on. The first run it went 70 laps and from like lap 50 to 70 I passed a ton of cars and, unfortunately, in those next few stages the runs aren’t as long. They’re only 45-50 laps when you break them up into three, and I didn’t have enough of a long run to pass a lot of cars like I did previous. I’m frustrated that I bottomed out getting onto the apron coming to pit road under the green flag there and kind of took off in a four-wheel slide and barely clipped the orange box there with my right side tires. I’m frustrated. That’s a silly mistake. You can’t make those mistakes, but, all in all, it was a great day. I had a great Smithfield Ford Mustang. I’m really proud of our guys. We’ve been bringing some really good racecars to the racetrack lately, so we’ll see. We’ve got a few more here to try and get one.” – Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang.

Next Up:
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, Aug. 6 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race begins at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by USA and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.