Almirola Finishes 17th at Richmond

Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

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

Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):

● Aric Almirola started 25th and finished second to earn nine bonus points.

● Almirola climbed 24 positions in the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion in Stage 1.

● Crew chief Johnny Klausmier told the team that the Smithfield Ford was the quickest car on the track by two-tenths of a second.

● The No. 10 pitted at the conclusion of the stage for four tires and fuel.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):

● Started sixth and finished third to earn eight bonus points.

● Almirola fell to sixth place after the pit stop in Stage 1 but regained the top-five by lap 138, joining teammates Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer.

● During the closing laps of Stage 2, Almirola made a clean pass on Busch for the third position and finished behind Bowyer.

● He noted loose-handling conditions on entry, tight to the middle and loose to the exit of the turns.

● The Smithfield Ford Fusion took four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the end of the stage.


Final Stage Recap (Laps 201-400):

● Started fourth and finished 17th.

● Almirola continued to battle handing issues but held the Smithfield Ford inside the top-10.

● On lap 328 he pitted under green-flag conditions for four tires and fuel. He was scored in the ninth position when green-flag pit stops cycled through.

● After a lap-370 caution Almirola restarted in the ninth position, but he was caught in four-wide traffic and fell outside of the top-10.

● During the final restart with three laps to go, Almirola battled to keep his Smithfield Ford in and around the top-15 but did not have enough laps to climb back through the field.



● Almirola earned a total of 17 bonus points.

● There were six caution periods for a total of 46 laps.

● Twenty-three of the 39 drivers in the Richmond 400 finished on the lead lap.

● Kyle Busch won the Richmond 400 to score his 46th career Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his fifth at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Chase Elliot was .511 of a second.


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

“We fought hard all day up front and had a great car, but just couldn’t get the Smithfield Ford where we wanted it toward the end of the race. It’s tough when you have such a great car and worked so hard to finish where we did.”


Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Geico 500 on Sunday, April 29 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX TV, MRN and SiriusXM Radio.