Random Race Recap: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 – Quin Houff

Drivers prepare to battle each other, and the heat, at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

This Random Race Recap series will feature a brief recap of a pre-selected NASCAR Cup Series driver, drawn at random, and their race weekend. This week, the random driver is Quin Houff with StarCom Racing.

Quin Houff’s No. 00 sits on the grid pre-race at Texas Motor Speedway. (Image Credit: StarCom Racing’s Twitter)

With only one NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway to his name, Quin Houff rolled off P26 for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. 

It was worth noting the air temperature was stifling as the mercury rose to 96 degrees. No doubt, it would be a long, hot afternoon for Houff in his No. 00 Permatex Camaro. 

Prior to the drop of the green flag, Houff thanked his team and told them to “Stay safe all day.”

 

Stage 1: 

Car handling was difficult for the StarCom driver, and while lap 14 brought his “best lap” to that point, a lap later, he was lapped by a dominant Aric Almirola. 

Houff anxiously awaited the lap 20 competition caution to receive adjustments to allow his machine to handle better. 

Fortunately, as the yellow flag flew for the scheduled caution, he was deemed the lucky dog. He came to the attention of his crew for adjustments and restarted P35 on lap 25.

Approximately 10 laps after pitting, Houff informed his crew chief, George Church, that the adjustments were better, however, he still needed “a little more.” 

Lap 41 brought the leader, Kevin Harvick, to Houff’s bumper. He now had to maintain his position in the lucky dog spot once again.

The remainder of the opening stage was essentially a 180mph freight train with minimal passing opportunities throughout the field. While this might seem dismal, on the flipside, Houff was improving on his lap times with each passing lap.

With eight laps remaining, Houff’s spotter, Tom Legeman, told his driver, “Learn from these guys ahead of you because they ain’t that much faster than you!” Houff finished out the stage P34. 

Quin Houff's crew hard at work during a pit stop at Texas Motor Speedway. (Image Credit: StarCom Racing social media)

Quin Houff’s crew hard at work during a pit stop at Texas Motor Speedway. (Image Credit: StarCom Racing social media)

Stage 2:

After Houff came to his crew under caution, he hit the track P33, racing the No. 27 of Gray Gaulding for position. He maintained this position during the stage that saw a long green-flag run after an early caution for Jimmie Johnson.

The action stretched out to a single file once again. The lack of breaks in the action allowed Houff to try different things on varying lines throughout the track. An uneventful second stage saw the driver bring in his machine P33.

 

Stage 3: 

The final stage started with Houff saying, “So I need to be smart?” as he was informed he was on a lap alone.

He rolled off P32 to tackle the last 124 laps. Immediately, a huge caution occurred off of turn 4 with many lead laps cars involved. 

Things went downhill from here. This incident forced an already hot afternoon into red flag conditions. Under red, Houff and his team tried to make the best of it, discussing strategy, IndyCars, and the heat. 

After cars were rolling (and some air was flowing), Houff restarted P30, and after a few back-to-back cautions, worked his way up multiple positions. 

Unfortunately, with 29 laps remaining, Houff’s day came to an early end after miscommunication between team members. This sent him sliding into Christopher Bell, ricocheting off of Matt DiBenedetto, and finally slamming hard into the outside wall. 

Houff would end his day P34.

Post-race, he shared via social media that he would learn from the mistake and move forward.

 

It’s worth noting, the rules for Random Race Recap indicate that once a driver has been chosen, they are off the list for the next three races. So until we hear about Houff’s next race weekend, keep up with him via Twitter. Additionally, you can keep up with the StarCom Racing team on Twitter as well.

Terra Jones

As a life-long NASCAR fan and lover of words, I'm fortunate enough to put the two together here at The Podium Finish to bring our readers and motorsports fans news, features, and interviews from the world of wheels. Originally from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, I moved westward to graduate from Middle Tennessee State University. I now reside in central North Carolina with my husband, our three boys, and our dog, Charlotte. While my heart is at the race track, I also enjoy watching baseball, as well as college football and basketball. 

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