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Aric Almirola wins Coke Zero 400 underneath red flag

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After 15 prolonged years, a mythological No. 43 automobile is behind in feat lane.

Aric Almirola won his initial career Sprint Cup Series foe on Sunday after a Coke Zero 400 was called 48 laps from a finish due to sleet during Daytona International Speedway. The Richard Petty Motorsports motorist went to feat line on a 30th anniversary weekend of Petty’s record 200th win.

“The good Lord was looking out for us today,” Almirola pronounced when NASCAR called a foe during 2:56 p.m. ET, after another 56-minute sleet delay. The skies non-stop adult and fans fled a stands.

“I’m not gonna lie, we wish a good Lord would usually dump a large aged sleet showering on us right now,” Almirola had pronounced progressing from array highway after a foe was stopped.

He got his wish.

Almirola, 30, scored a initial win for a No. 43 automobile given John Andretti in a 1999 foe during Martinsville Speedway. He did it by gripping his automobile out of dual vital crashes that took out some-more than half a field.

Thanks to a win, Almirola will substantially make NASCAR’s Chase for a Sprint Cup for a initial time in his career. He entered a weekend 23rd in a standings, and any top-30 motorist with a feat will validate for a postseason.

Almirola becomes a 11th motorist in a Chase, fasten mixed winners Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr., as good as Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon.

Brian Vickers finished second, followed by Kurt Busch, Casey Mears and Austin Dillon. Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell, Danica Patrick, Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose dull out a tip 10.

The foe was rescheduled for Sunday morning after sleet cleared out a creatively scheduled foe on Saturday night.

Most of a day was a dispersion derby; usually 6 cars were not concerned in a wreck.

It didn’t take prolonged for a initial Big One to strike and collect 16 cars.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got lax nearby a front of a container 19 laps into a foe – reduction than a mile from a scheduled foe counsel — and Jeff Gordon afterwards triggered a vital pile-up when he attempted to equivocate Stenhouse.

Gordon changed to a left to skip what he suspicion would be a spin and incited Tony Stewart in a process, collecting some-more than a dozen cars.

“The 17 automobile got laterally on a path where we’re all removing a foe (caution),” Stewart said. “I theory Ricky suspicion it paid something to get to path 20.”

Among those with vital repairs were Gordon, Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, AJ Allmendinger and Ambrose.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Patrick, Hamlin and Michael Waltrip were also involved.

“Looked like a 17 got squirrely adult there and afterwards they all started wrecking,” Harvick said.

Later, an even bigger pile-up swept adult 26 cars. Greg Biffle ran into a behind of a negligence Kasey Kahne and incited him in front of a margin going into Turn 3.

A sum of 26 cars got a square of a second crash, and Kyle Busch finished adult on his roof during a finish of it. He compared a knowledge of flipping upside down to a “slow fair ride.”

“I can’t trust all a cars we’ve wrecked today,” Earnhardt said.

The cautions were partial of a sputtering start. The foe finally went immature during 11:20 a.m. internal time – some-more than 15 hours after a scheduled start was deferred due to rain.

But after usually 10 laps, another sleet showering popped adult and behind a foe for 26 minutes.

Follow Gluck on Twitter @jeff_gluck

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