Date: Aug. 15, 2021
Event: Inaugural Verizon 200 at the Brickyard (Round 24 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.439-mile, 14-turn road course)
Format: 82 laps, broken into three stages (15 laps/20 laps/47 laps)
Start/Finish: 18th / 19th (Running, completed 95 of 95 laps)
Point Standing: 23rd (416 points, 537 out of first)
Note: Race extended 13 laps past its scheduled 82-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: AJ Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-15):
● Aric Almirola started 18th and finished 39th.
● The No. 10 Mobil 1 Ford was nearly forced off the track during the first lap, resulting in Almirola falling to 23rd.
● On lap eight, the No. 7 car made contact with Almirola’s right-front fender.
● Almirola radioed he had a tire rub. He was forced to pit under green-flag conditions for slight repairs and for fresh tires.
● The No. 10 team was in the Lucky Dog position to rejoin the lead lap. Almirola opted to pit twice under the caution period to repair damage and restarted at the rear of the field.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 16-35):
● Almirola started 39th and finished 35th.
● The Mobil 1 driver raced his way to 29th by lap 26.
● Almirola was called to the pits from 26th place on lap 32 for four fresh tires, fuel and handling adjustments.
● He came off pit road in 35th and did not pit at the end of the stage, gaining 15 positions.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 36-95):
● Almirola started 20th and finished 19th.
● On the restart, the field stacked up into the first few turns and left Almirola with nowhere to go.
● The Mobil 1 driver was forced to the inside. There, his No. 10 made contact with other cars and the elevated rumble strip, causing a spin.
● The caution was called for debris. Almirola pitted to assess the damage to his racecar and take fresh tires.
● When racing resumed, the No. 10 team pitted again under green to repair another tire rub, forcing Almirola a lap down.
● The caution was called for debris on lap 72.
● The No. 10 team opted to pit during the caution period for four fresh tires and fuel. Almirola was still scored one lap down.
● The red flag was called on lap 78 for a multicar incident, pausing the race for 19 minutes.
● Almirola rejoined the lead lap and restarted 29th before another caution was called on lap 89 for a multicar accident. He restarted just outside the top-20 and crossed the finish line 19th.
● AJ Allmendinger won the inaugural Verizon 200 at the Brickyard to score his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first of the season. His margin over second-place Ryan Blaney was .929 of a second.
● Only 24 of the 40 drivers in the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard finished on the lead lap.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 25 laps.
● Twenty-four of the 40 drivers in the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard finished on the lead lap.
● Kyle Larson remains the championship leader after Indianapolis with a 22-point advantage over second-place Denny Hamlin.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Not the day we wanted for our Mobil 1 Ford team, but we certainly made the most of it. We got caught up there with nowhere to go and took on a lot of damage. The guys worked hard all day to keep us on the lead lap. We never gave up all day with a torn-up racecar to get ourselves a top-20. On to Michigan.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, Aug. 22, at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!