Aric Almirola started the 400-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Dover International Speedway from the 12th position. Almirola finished the FedEx 400 in the 6th place, below is a recap of his race.¬†
Sunday‚Äôs race was Almirola‚Äôs 48th¬†NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his first at Dover International Speedway.
Almirola‚Äôs sixth-row starting position marked the fifth consecutive week that he has qualified 13th or higher.
During the first 65 of the event‚Äôs 400 laps, Almirola reported his car needed help turning on exit, for which Crew Chief Mike Ford ordered air pressure and chassis ¬†¬†¬†¬† adjustments on the team‚Äôs first pit stop on Lap 69.
Nearly 100 laps later, the¬†driver reported his car was handling fairly well ‚Äď an assessment that was¬†evident on the leader board as he moved into the top 10.¬† He requested no adjustments when he came down pit road for tires and fuel on ¬†¬†¬†¬† Lap 164.
The Jani-King/Smithfield Ford had a loose-handling stint in the mid-portion of the race, leaving Almirola calling for help with grip while he still kept the car inside the¬†top 10.
By the final 100 laps of the race, the No. 43 team had the car handling well once again, with Almirola running fast lap times and climbing as high as fifth.
The final quarter of the race¬†saw the caution flag fly three times, bunching up the field for three competitive restarts.¬† Almirola took the race‚Äôs final green-flag restart on Lap 369 in the sixth spot and held onto that position until the checkered flag flew on Lap 400.
The sixth-place finish was his second top-10 and fourth top-15 finish of the season.
The team spent the entire race on the lead lap and was never outside the top 20.
Jimmie Johnson claimed the victory in Sunday‚Äôs 400-lap race. Matt Kenseth, who took the checkered flag in third, was the highest finishing Ford.
The top-10 finish allowed Almirola to jump two positions in the driver point standings and he now sits in 17th heading into Pocono next weekend.¬† He has now¬†climbed four positions in the point standings in the past two weeks.¬†
Aric Almirola on his race:¬†‚ÄúI would say that is pretty respectable for our first time here. I can‚Äôt say enough about all the guys on this team. The beginning of the year was not what we wanted and they all kept believing in me, staying behind me, supporting me and working their guts out for me. It‚Äôs days like last week when we qualified on the pole and this week coming here and finishing sixth, runs like that, that make you realize how hard these guys work. It was a great day for everybody on this Jani-King/Smithfield Ford. I am proud of everybody and we had a really good run.‚ÄĚ