Almirola's Momentum Halted in Season Finale
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2008) -- Two early incidents in Sunday's final Sprint Cup race of the season stalled Aric Almirola's performance at Homestead Miami Speedway.
The 24-year-old rookie was gaining ground at the 1.5-mile oval after starting the 400-mile race from the 40th position. But a spin on Lap 69 of 267 and a pit-road speeding penalty on Lap 123 relegated the U.S. Army/DEI Chevrolet driver to a 35th-place finish.
"Our car was really good the second half of the race, but we got behind early with the spin and the penalty," said Almirola, who was competing in his 12th Cup race of the season. "When you fall two laps down it's very difficult to overcome the poor track position."
Almirola, who claimed one top-10 and five top-20 finishes as the co-driver with Mark Martin in 2008, offered praise for the No. 8 team as he was leaving the racetrack.
"I told the guys before the race that I felt like the luckiest guy in the world to drive for this team," offered Almirola. "They are not only very talented, but also a lot of fun to be with. And from a sponsor standpoint, it was truly an honor to drive for the United States Army and represent our brave Soldiers who are fighting for our freedom."
The No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team finished the season 14th in Sprint Cup owner points.
"When you have two drivers and finish 14th in owner points I feel that says plenty about the quality of the team that Dale Earnhardt Inc. put forth in 2008," offered Almirola.