Almirola Finishes 33rd at Martinsville

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130):

●  Aric Almirola started second and finished 26th.

●  Almirola led the first 19 laps of the race. 

●  On lap 29, he reported that “something is really wrong” and noted loose-handling conditions before he was scored a lap down on lap 56.

●  The Smithfield Ford driver pitted under caution on lap 64 to learn that the right-front tire was worn out, among other drivers who started in the top-10. 

●   Almirola remained a lap down before the stage ended and pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments at the conclusion of the stage. 

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):

●  Almirola started 24th and finished 23rd.

●  He remained one lap down and raced to maintain the lucky dog position. 

●  Almirola noted alternator issues and was forced to make changes in the car to save battery.

●  He pitted at the end of the stage for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):

●  Almirola started 21st and finished 33rd.

●  Almirola pitted on lap 329 for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help loose-handling conditions. 

●  The No. 10 driver was forced to pit on lap 353 to change batteries due to the alternator issue, scoring him 13 laps down.

●  Almirola was forced to pit again on lap 477 due to alternator issues. 

●  He returned to the track 19 laps down. 

●  Almirola brought the No. 10 Smithfield Ford to the garage with five laps to go due to continued electrical issues. 

 

Notes:

●  Almirola led once for 19 laps to increase his laps-led total at Martinsville to 75. 

●  Martin Truex Jr. won the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 to score his 27th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Martinsville. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was 4.705 seconds.

●  There were seven caution periods for a total of 52 laps.

●  Only 14 of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

●  Harvick remains the championship leader after Martinsville with a 28-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.

 

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“It was nice leading 19 laps there at the beginning. Everything went downhill from there. We found out we had issues with the right-front tire and then we had alternator issues. Looking forward to Homestead. Hopefully we got all the bugs out.” 

 

Next Up: 

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Homestead 400 on Sunday, June 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

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Speedway Digest Staff

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