Kurt Busch ran out of gas on the last lap of the Talladega race and Aric Almirola took the lead. He held onto it long enough to take the checkered flag. Almirola had been in the top four all day long waiting patiently for his chance to make a move. The Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team had been upfront for almost the entirety of the race.
This is the first win for Aric Almirola in one-hundred and forty some races, his first and only other win came in Daytona. Almirola grabbed the flag from the flag man and danced around with it throwing his fist in the air. At the start finish line Almirola high-fived Rutledge Wood. “Oh man. That was so awesome! At Talladega! You guys are awesome!” He shouted at the fans.
Almirola turned back to the camera, “I’ve been so close so many times the year and this Smithfield team everybody believing in me… four or five times this year I feel like we’ve had a chance… and to come here a place that I love…” Almirola said he came into the race with the mindset of “if we wreck, we wreck and if we win, we win” And since Almirola won a fan wins bacon for life!
The number 10 driver mentioned that over 400 employees are at SHR and around 200 at Roush Yates and to them he said, “Thank you this was incredible.” Almirola never stopped smiling. “I’m just glad to be the one on top today.” Turning to the fans he shouted, “I love you guys! Man this is awesome!”
When asked what he's most excited about in Victory Lane he said, “I can’t wait to go see my guys! I feel like I've let them down more than anyone else more than myself.”
Almirola said he hoped there would be some cold beer and bacon waiting for him in victory lane. On his way to victory lane, Harvick reached in and gave him pat on his head which made Almirola laugh.
When asked about how he came to Talladega after last weekend's race, he said. “I shook it off.” That was when Clint Bowyer ran in to Victory Lane and hugged him.
Almirola said that Paul Menard gave him a push at the end and that he’s his ride home. He joked saying he hoped Menard didn’t leave without him.
Almirola and Chase Elliott are the only two drivers locked into the next round, who’s going to get cut out? Tune in next week to find out in Kansas!
*Quotes from NBC Broadcast
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