TBT: Aric Almirola Wins First Cup Race


In this week’s Flashback Friday we revisit Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola’s first trip to victory lane in NASCAR’s premiere series.

July 6, 2014 would mark a day in Almirola’s career that he’ll never forget.

The Cup series was at Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400 and at the time Almirola was driving the famous No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Almirola managed to avoid two wrecks that would take out top contenders such as Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards to name a few.

Almirola was scored as the leader when the race was called off after 112 laps due to rain.

The race was originally scheduled to be run on Saturday evening but was postponed until Sunday due to the weather.

The race would be interrupted several more times due to the weather on Sunday and was eventually called official by NASCAR.

Almirola became the first Cup driver other than Richard Petty to win in the legendary No. 43 at Daytona.

The 43 hadn’t won since John Andretti was behind the wheel at Martinsville Speedway in 1999.

Almirola would also go on to become the 11th different winner at that point in the 2014 season and earn one of the 16 available spots for the Chase playoffs later in the season.

“We’re in the Chase! This team deserves to be in the Chase. Man, I just took the 43 car to Victory Lane at Daytona! Almirola said after the race, Almirola said.”

Note: Almirola would now drives the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion for Stewart-Hass Racing came very close to winning the Daytona 500 earlier in the season.

However, he was involved in a last lap incident while battling for the win with eventual race winner Austin Dillon. The incident would result in Almirola finishing 11th.

Almirola has seen success at Daytona in both MENCS and NXS competition, winning at the famed track in both series and would be a solid fantasy pick for Saturday evenings race.

In the MENCS at DIS, Almirola has 1 win, 2 top-5’s, and 2 top-10 finishes in 13 starts and in the NXS he has 1 win, 1 top-5 and 3 top-10 finishes.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah Handy is a NASCAR writer. You can find her on Twitter at @SarahHandy85. A college student studying Communications/Public Relations Field and an Electronics Associate at Walmart. Sarah enjoys tweeting about racing, running, reading, puzzles, video games, and photography. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah avidly follows all major New England Teams (Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins & Celtics) as well as a huge fan of what she considers her “home track” New Hampshire Motor Speedway which she attends each year.

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