Aric Almirola won today’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Aric fought off Elliott Sadler and Joey Logano on the final lap to to win his 3rd career series win. His was last victorious July of 2016 at Daytona.
It was a battle for the top spot on the last lap, Bubba Wallace and Ryan Seig both spin out behind the leaders. No caution flag flew and the race back to the line was on, When the checkered flag flew it was Aric Almirola for the win
Almirola said, “This means so much. I want to thank everyone at the Biagi DenBeste team – they let me run this thing seven or eight times a year and I have so much fun, Our car was super-fast. I knew it right from the beginning of practice. We ran about 10 laps in practice."Almirola also said, "Put it on the jack stands, we’re ready to go. This thing is fast."
Almirola is this season’s seventh different winner. He led 3 times for 13 laps including the final 4Logano was all the way back to 7th in the final laps but somehow he got back to the front and was a challenge to win however he came up two positions short.
Logano said, "Man we were so close, aggravating, but so much fun, I love racing here at Talladega in these XFINITY cars. The draft is so crazy and different. The runs come so quick and it's hard to block them. You have to physically block them with your car and it's really tight. We came through Turns 3 and 4, I thought I had a run and Aric was late to block and I was like, This is could be where it all ends laughs. He got there just in time and I just got into his rear and had to cross him over. Dang it! I had a good push there at the end with the 2 car and we just couldn't stay attached like we needed to."
Sadler, Logano, Ben Kennedy and Erik Jones filled the rest of the top five.
Jones said, "The JGR Joe Gibbs Racing cars haven’t been great on superspeedways here the last year and a half and today I really felt like we had a car that could race and make a lot of good moves, big moves, and get clear, get to the front and lead laps. So that’s a big step for us and it was a good day overall".
Matt Tifft, Michael Annett, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Suarez and Jeff Green filled the rest of the top 10 spots.
Kasey Kahne led for 18 laps however a penalty for pitting outside his pit box during a caution, lead him to finish 15th.Almirola and Allgaier won the opening two stages.
There was two multi-car pile ups, including a 9 car pile that saw Daniel Hemric, Spencer Gallagher and Brandon Jones among others. No injuries however a red flag to clean up the debris.
In the other pile up later in the race, Ryan Reed was hit from behind by Almirola and Brendan Gaughan had the most damage.
Reed said, "Aric got careless there and he took the blame for it, but I think it being Saturday and him not racing here that often he was a little more careless, I don’t think if it was Dale Jr. or somebody he races with every week in front of him that he would have done that, so I wish he would have taken a little more time, especially that early on, and give us a little more respect because we do race in the series every week. We’re racing for a championship and he’s not, and feel like he owes us that respect, so I’m frustrated."
The NASCAR XFINITY Series is off until May 27th at Charlotte Motor Speedway.