Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Aric Almirola Quietly Races His Way to a Top-Five Finish at Dover
@Aric_Almirola was the highest finishing non-Chase driver in Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, racing his way to a fifth-place finish and staying under the radar in the process.
The fifth place finish was the third top-five of the 2015 season for 31-year-old from Tampa, Florida. His finish was overshadowed by the drama in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Series championship, which Almirola was a participant in in 2014 after winning a rain-shortened race at Daytona International Speedway.
Almirola has not had the success this season he had hoped for, despite nearly racing his way into the Chase at Richmond International Raceway, a race he finished third in. His finish on Sunday was his second top-five finish this season at Dover International Speedway and his third top-10 finish at the concrete mile.
“That was a good run for us,” Almirola said after the race. “I’m really proud of the guys. That’s two top-fives in a row here at Dover. It was a really good job.”
Much like in the spring race where he started 23rd and raced his way to a fifth-place finish, the veteran racer had to do the same thing again on Sunday. He started Sunday’s race in 18th and methodically worked his way up through the field throughout the duration of the 400-mile race.
“It was a really good job,” Almirola explained. “We just struggled with getting the car in the race track most of the day and right there at the end four tires paid off for us. That was some really good adjustments by Trent and the guys and the pit crew did a good job getting me off pit road and just a really solid day for us.”
Almirola and the Richard Petty Motorsports team now look ahead to Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Almirola’s best career Charlotte Motor Speedway finish was an 11th place in the 2014 Coca-Cola 600. Earlier this season in the 600-mile marathon race, Almirola finished 17th.