Poised and Composed: How the 2022 season has been so far for the Stewart Haas Racing team in the NASCAR Cup Series

How has the NASCAR Cup Series team Stewart-Haas Racing performed so far in 2022

Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Chase Briscoe and Cole Custer

Stewart-Haas Racing, an American Stock-Car racing team based out from North Carolina just a few miles away from the iconic Charlotte Motor Speedway which hosted this year’s exhilarating and the longest Coca-Cola 600 event in the sport’s history, two of the team’s drivers, Kevin Harvick and Chase Briscoe managed to acquire a P3 and P4 respectively. The team currently competes in the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

The team is currently owned by one of its former drivers, Tony Stewart, and Haas Automation founder, Gene Haas, and they both have built a team from the ground up making it one of the strongest and dominant teams in the competition alongside Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing, two teams who have dominated the sport since a long time, the team was formed in 2002 and in 2009, now co-owner Tony Stewart acquired 50 percent stake of the team.

The team ever since its formation in 2002 has gained two Cup Series Championships in 2011 won by team owner Tony Stewart and the 2014 Championship won by Kevin Harvick in the No.4 Ford Mustang who still competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series. The team also won a total of 67 Cup Series races since the time of the team’s existence and they’ve been an active team in testing and improving their cars throughout the seasons.

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How have the Stewart Haas Racing drivers performed so far in the NASCAR Cup Series?

Kevin Harvick’s No.4 Mustang for Memorial Day Weekend

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season has been pretty up and down for Stewart Haas Racing for all four drivers on the team’s roster, namely, Kevin Harvick of the No.4 Busch Ford Mustang, Aric Almirola in the No.10 Smithfield Ford Mustang with Chase Briscoe in the Mahindra Tractors No.14 Mustang and Cole Custer in the Haas Automation No.41 Ford Mustang who have all managed to show steady improvement throughout this season who have all outperformed themselves this season striving to be better at what they do as NASCAR drivers.

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick

The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series Champion currently stands 12th in the Cup Series standings after posting no victories but acquired four top 5s keeping him alive this season with just a few more races to go and he is in a must-win situation if he wants to have a shot at this year’s championship. So far this season his best accolades have been his P7 finish at the Auto Club Speedway followed by a 12th place finish in the Pennzoil 400, then a P6 at Pheonix Raceway followed by an 11th place finish in the first road-course race of 2022 at COTA.

He remains the oldest member of the NASCAR team in terms of experience and partnership and he also serves as an inspiration for the young drivers of the sport he is known as ‘Happy Harvick’ for a reason, which is pretty evident on and off track and his game has been pretty good in the last few races despite just one DNF at the inaugural World Wide Technology Raceway run after the season opener Daytona 500 but redeemed his form with a 4th place finish at the most recent race at Sonoma Raceway.

Aric Almirola

Aric Almirola

The 38-year-old Cuban-American drives the No.10 Ford Mustang sponsored by Smithfield and has been racing for Stewart-Haas Racing since 2018 in his four years of racing with the team he has provided a lot for the team in other ways if not with victories but he managed to finish 5th in his debut season with the team and his current season seems to be pretty good with three consecutive top 10 openings.

He then got thrown off the track by finishing in less favorable positions and managed to get a P8 at Martinsville Speedway and a 4th place finish at the inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway and a P14 in the most recent road-course race at Sonoma Raceway. He has acquired just three Cup Series victories in over 400 races throughout his career with 89 top 10s and is evidently skilled behind the wheel, although he announced his retirement from full-time Cup Series racing after this season.

Chase Briscoe

Chase Briscoe celebrates his victory at Phoenix Raceway

The No.14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang driver, Chase Briscoe being one of the two newest additions to the team in 2021 replacing Clint Bowyer ended up with a mediocre 23rd place finish in his debut season with the team and has made a pretty decent comeback in his next season standing 13th in the points table behind teammates Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick with one victory at the Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway being his first Cup Series victory and he also posted 3 top 5s this season.

He has managed to acquire a third-place finish in the season opener Daytona 500 followed by a P4 in the longest ever Coca-Cola 600s run in the sport’s history and all his other outings include four top 10s and few finishes below P20 and with his victory at Phoenix Raceway, he became the 200th distinct driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race and he has to pull himself back hard in the playoffs to make himself a potential threat to the other drivers out there this season in order to emerge victorious.

Cole Custer

Cole Custer

The youngest member of the NASCAR team, the 24-year-old driver of the No.41 Ford Mustang, Cole Custer joined the team in 2020 replacing Daniel Suarez and he went on to gain his first NASCAR Cup Series win at Kentucky in the Quaker State 400 in his debut year with the team and his 2022 season has been pretty rough on him resulting in him standing 27th in the points table with no hopes for the playoffs this season unless he scores a victory in the races yet to come.

Being the youngest driver on the team, it is pretty evident that Cole Custer still has a long way to go in the sport given time, and despite having not-so-great performances so far, he surely can learn a lot from his fellow teammates who are far more experienced and Custer can definitely make the most out of the learnings from his colleagues and if he can succeed in reflecting that in his racing, he surely can become one of the biggest names in the sport and he is currently, the only driver of the team to stand very low in the points table, yet which is reasonable given his time behind the wheel of the Next-Gen car and his age.

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