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Almirola Captures First Talladega Superspeedway Win

in Sparks Energy 300
Saturday, May 6, 2017


Aric Almirola
Aric Almirola
Aric Almirola knew when his team unloaded the car off the hauler and he ran a few practice laps in a limited session on Friday, he had a rocket ship for Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series event at Talladega Superspeedway.

Almirola drove his No. 98 Fresh from Florida Ford to the front of the pack and held off veterans Elliott Sadler and Joey Logano to win the Sparks Energy 300 in thrilling fashion.

“I knew it right from the beginning of practice. We ran about 10 laps in practice and I said, ‘Put it on jack stands. We’re ready to go. This thing is fast,” Almirola said. “It means so much they let me run this thing seven or eight times a year, and I have so much fun, especially at the speedway races like Talladega. Our Ford Mustang was super-fast today.”

After numerous lead changes over the last several laps by drivers that included Logano and Erik Jones, Almirola regained the lead with two laps to go and went on to win his third career NXS race in his 99th start.

Sadler finished second, his sixth top-10 showing in nine NXS starts at Talladega. It is his eighth top-10 finish of the 2017 season. He currently leads the XFINITY Series point standings by 29 points over Justin Allgaier. Sadler was looking to win his third career Sparks Energy 300 and second in a row.

Logano finished third, followed by Ben Kennedy in fourth and Jones who rounded out the top-five. An incident occurred on the backstretch of the final lap involving Darrell Wallace Jr. and JJ Yeley, but NASCAR made the decision to not throw a caution flag letting the field finish under green.

“Man we were so close, aggravating, but so much fun. I love racing here at Talladega in these XFINITY cars,” Logano said. “If the caution came out sooner, we would have won the race. I'm glad they let us race to the end. Selfishly, I wish the caution came out, but for the fans I'm glad that it didn't. We did everything that we could do.”

The race weekend commences on Sunday with the GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, scheduled to start at 1 p.m. CDT (live on FOX and MRN). Fans can still purchase tickets to watch the excitement unfold at NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track by visiting or calling 855-517-RACE (7223).

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