Aric Almirola stuns the field in clutch win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday.
With five races remaining in the regular season, the NASCAR Cup Series raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this past weekend. A place that has been titled ‘The Magic Mile’ can become a tricky place to race. A one-mile oval with flat, sweeping corners; New Hampshire Motor Speedway only grants its magic to those who respect it.
Kyle Busch Ends his Day Early with Slick Track
Kyle Busch brought the field to the green flag, and he was able to jump out front heading into the first turn. His day did not last long with the lead, or in the race. Eight laps in, Kyle Busch spun out on his own and slammed into the wall.
Two other drivers also lost their footing in the same corner. The incident was due to a light mist over the track. NASCAR moved the race to a red flag to allow the weather to pass the track.
The race did resume with Chase Elliott in the lead. After another quick caution, Chase Elliott had to battle Ryan Blaney for the lead. Blaney claimed the lead and the led the remaining thirteen laps to win the first stage.
Team Penske Prevails Again
Kevin Harvick cycled into the lead to begin the next stage. He was able to lead the first 45 laps before Quin Houff was spun out by Ryan Newman.
Harvick continued to lead after the caution, but he had to battle Brad Keselowski to hold onto the lead. Keselowski was able to pass Harvick and take the lead with 40 laps remaining in the segment. Kevin Harvick tried to pass him back but was unable to get the job done. Brad Keselowski wins the second stage.
Aric Almirola Stuns the Field with a Clutch Win at New Hampshire
Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski battled for the race lead to begin the final stage. Ryan Blaney prevailed, and the race was on.
Meanwhile, NASCAR officials were unsure if the race would be able to go the distance. The sun was going down fast, and there were still 110 laps to go.
Aric Almirola understood the pressure, and he pressed on. He passed Keselowski for second place and set his eyes for the race lead. Almirola passed Blaney with under sixty laps remaining. Aric Almirola continued to lead through the green flag pitting cycle.
Shortly after, NASCAR released that due to darkness, the race will be shorted. Leaving only ten laps left to go in the race, Almirola had a comfortable lead. He was able to navigate lapped traffic and win the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.
Aric Almirola’s win shakes up the playoff picture even more. His win leaves three spots up for grabs with four races remaining. Currently, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Tyler Reddick sit inside the playoffs based on points alone. Denny Hamlin is the season leader in points despite not having a win on the season. Kevin Harvick sits 82 points within the cut line, and Tyler Reddick sits a mere five points to the green side of the cut line.
Below the cut line sits Austin Dillon, who is sitting five points down. Below him in order are, Chris Buescher, Matt DiBenedetto, and Ross Chastain. These last three drivers basically need to win to receive a playoff bid as they all sit more than 100 points back. However, with two more road courses left, and a superspeedway race a Daytona, everything hangs in the balance.
Crew chiefs are not only smart when it comes to setting up a race car for an upcoming race, but they are also great strategists. Many races have been won because a crew chief made a play call to give their driver track position. With playoff implications, crew chiefs are going to be aggressive for those teams who sit on the edge. These next four races to end the season are extremely critical for the five-six teams who are right on the cusp of contending for a title.