DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Aric Almirola grew adult dual hours from Daytona International Speedway, attended large races as a child and even “dreamed about what it would be like to have a possibility to competition during a tip turn during this racetrack.”
He found out Sunday, after dual days of thunderstorms, 3 red-flag stoppages and dozens of wrecked cars.
As a bonus, he also achieved a attainment on a miracle anniversary for his automobile owner, NASCAR fable Richard Petty.
Almirola won a behind and rain-shortened Sprint Cup competition during Daytona, putting Petty’s famed blue No. 43 behind on tip for a initial time given 1999.
The 30-year-old Almirola’s initial Cup win came on a same weekend Petty distinguished a 30th anniversary of his 200th career victory.
“The 43 automobile is though a doubt a many famous automobile in a sport’s history,” Almirola said. “And to have that event to expostulate that competition automobile has been unequivocally special from a day that we stepped feet in it. All we wanted to do from a unequivocally initial time we gathering it was get it to Victory Lane. It took 2 1/2 years we guess, though we finally did it.”
Petty wasn’t around for a festivities, carrying already left Daytona during one of a many delays.
The Coke Zero 400 was ostensible to start Saturday, though solid sleet forced it to be deferred a day. When it did finally get going, it was interrupted several some-more times.
There were 7 cautions and 3 red flags, dual of them given of outrageous accidents that took out many of a 43-car field. Top contenders Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch were among those knocked out.
Only 7 drivers avoided both crashes. Not surprisingly, Almirola was among them.
He became a initial Cup motorist other than Petty to win in a mythological No. 43 during Daytona. The prior time a 43 won was with John Andretti behind a circle during Martinsville in 1999. So Petty’s eminent automobile went 543 races though a victory.
“Everybody always asks me, ‘How, how many vigour is it to expostulate The King’s car?’” Almirola said. “To be honest with you, there’s nobody that can put any some-more vigour on me than me given we wish to win for myself. we know this sounds terrible, though it’s some-more about winning so that we can feel a clarity of fulfilment some-more than usually winning to give Richard Petty another win. He’s won adequate races.”
Here are 5 other things to know about a Daytona race:
NO SWEEP: Dale Earnhardt Jr. had hoped to turn a sixth motorist to brush a deteriorate during Daytona.
His chances were shot usually 20 laps into a competition when he was collected in a 16-car collision that caused critical repairs to his No. 88 Chevrolet. He fell a path down during repairs, eventually got behind on a lead path and finished 14th.
The Daytona 500 leader was quite angry given he’d indeed avoided a accident, though got strike from behind.
“We were going to be excellent on that initial wreck, though we got run over,” he said. “I can’t trust all of a cars we have wrecked today.”
WILD RIDE: Kyle Busch went for a wildest of rides in a 25-car pile-up that will be remembered for his automobile flipping onto a roof. But that mutilate was usually as unsettling for Jamie McMurray, whose automobile quickly went airborne.
“I have never had a automobile that’s off a ground, and it’s a crazy feeling, and it’s a infirm feeling,” McMurray said. “I was unequivocally propitious that it set behind down.”
As fantastic as a large accidents look, McMurray pronounced they are customarily a easiest for drivers.
“You see these large wrecks and those are substantially a easiest hits we take all year prolonged given everybody is going a same speed, and for a many part, those don’t harm nearby as bad as if we have a tire emanate or something,” he said.
CHASING THE CHASE: Slots are stuffing quick in a 16-driver Chase for a Sprint Cup championship, with Almirola’s feat expected securing him a latest berth.
There are usually 8 races remaining and, with 11 winners to date, there could effectively usually be 5 remaining spots to fill. NASCAR overhauled a format this year to emanate a win-and-in system, and several stars have nonetheless to squeeze a indispensable victory.
Among a winless with dual months to go are Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer. It could lead to one of a many rival on-track summers in some time.
“Obviously a fewer spots there are, a power picks up,” pronounced second-place finisher Brian Vickers. “You go to each competition perplexing to win and meaningful what’s during interest if we do, and what’s during interest if we don’t.”
DODGED THE BIG ONE: A mistake on array highway expected saved Danica Patrick’s competition during Daytona.
Patrick was using eighth when she headed to array highway for a slight stop, though she missed her stall. She had to behind up, losing profitable time and dropping to 30th when she got behind on track.
It incited out to be a blessing when it put Patrick distant behind a container and in position to equivocate being collected in a 25-car pileup. She eventually finished eighth.
Still, she wanted a shot to competition for a win.
“On a normal speedway weekend, we would contend eighth is flattering good, let’s usually go home with a automobile that is not too badly banged up,” she pronounced while she waited out a final sleet delay. “But there is a lot reduction to remove than normal, so it would be fun to go behind during it.”
FORD FACTS: Aric Almirola’s feat during Daytona was a third uninterrupted win for a Ford driver. The strain started final month when Carl Edwards won during Sonoma and continued final week with Brad Keselowski’s feat during Kentucky.
The final time Ford won 3 true Cup races was in 2005, when Greg Biffle won Dover, Edwards won during Pocono and afterwards Biffle won again during Michigan.
The win is a seventh of a deteriorate for Ford Racing, equaling a many wins for Ford given 2011.
It was a third win for Richard Petty Motorsports as a Ford-backed team.
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