Almirola Motors To An 11th Place Finish At Michigan

Aric Almirola
Date: June 10, 2018

Event: FireKeepers Casino 400 (Round 15 of 36)

Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)

Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)

Start/Finish: 6th / 11th (Running, completed 133 of 133 laps in a rain-shortened race)

Point Standing: 11th (433 points, 231 out of first)

 

Race Winner: Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):

● Aric Almirola started sixth and finished 10th to earn one bonus point.

● The Mobil 1 driver battled a tight-handling condition throughout the stage, noting that he was also losing lateral grip.

● Almirola maintained a top-five spot through the first 28 laps, but after rolling through his box too far on pit road Almirola restarted 17th on lap 29.

● The Mobil 1 driver quickly moved up two spots to break back into the top-15.

● On the final lap of the stage, Almirola made a jump on the restart to gain four positions, ultimately ending Stage 1 in 10th.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):

● Started 14th and finished 17th.

● The Mobil 1 driver wheeled his way back into the top-10 by the halfway point in Stage 2.

● Almirola reported a tight-handling condition on throttle as Stage 2 progressed, but he noted the team did make progress on handling from Stage 1.

● The Mobil 1 crew opted to take four tires rather than two during the lap-86 caution period. The first car on four fresh tires was in spot 14, and Almirola restarted 15th.

● Almirola was shuffled back to 17th on the following restart, where he ultimately finished the stage.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-133):

● Started 14th and finished 11th.

● Almirola raced his Mobil 1 machine up to 11th by lap 129 before the rain began falling and ended the event on lap 133.

 

Notes:

●  This was Almirola’s 13th top-15 of 2018.

●  Almirola earned his best finish at Michigan in 12 career NASCAR Cup Series starts. His previous best result at Michigan was 12th, earned last August.

●  Almirola finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn one bonus point.   

●  The FireKeepers Casino 400 was completed under caution, with rain ending the race after 133 of its scheduled 200 laps.

●  There were eight caution periods for a total of 30 laps.

●  Twenty-nine of the 39 drivers in the FireKeepers Casino 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Man, I hate it for my guys. We had such a fast Mobil 1 Ford Fusion. I’m proud of our team, and I’m looking forward to coming back to the track at Sonoma.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 24 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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