Loudon II: Aric Almirola race report

Almirola Claims 18th-Place Finish in New Hampshire LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 14, 2008) -- Aric Almirola's steady performance in Sunday's Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup race resulted in an 18th-place finish for the U.S. Army driver. . Competing in only his...

Almirola Claims 18th-Place Finish in New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 14, 2008) -- Aric Almirola's steady performance in Sunday's Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup race resulted in an 18th-place finish for the U.S. Army driver. .

Competing in only his ninth Cup race of the season and 15th of his career, Almirola ran as high as ninth in his Chevy Impala SS before settling for a top-20 finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway's 1.058-mile oval.

The result was Almirola's third-best career finish in Cup competition. His two top finishes were eighth and 13th at this year's races in Bristol, Tenn.

"We had a clean race today and a decent finish," said the 24-year-old Almirola. "Not a bad day overall. I thought we had a 15th-place car, but missed that finish by a few spots."

Almirola started 15th and ran in the low 20s for a good portion of the race. He fell a lap down on Lap 203, but came on strong during the late stages of the race.

"We fought hard to get our lap back and never gave up -- it was a Soldier-like effort," stated Almirola, who shares the No. 8 Army/DEI ride with Mark Martin. "The pit stops were great. I am really happy that we were able to finish on the lead lap at this track -- that's an accomplishment."

If it weren't for some savvy driving, Almirola would not have finished on the lead lap, or finished the race at all.

"There were a couple of close calls, but I was able to avoid the wrecks," noted Almirola. "I'm looking forward to everything I'm learning and applying it to next year. It was a lot of fun out there today."

The No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team remains 15th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup owner points.

The next race for the U.S. Army team will be Sunday (Sept. 21) at Dover International Speedway, where Martin will return to the No. 8 Chevy.

Almirola has three scheduled Cup races remaining -- at Talladega (Oct. 5), Martinsville (Oct. 19) and Phoenix (Nov. 9).

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Aric Almirola , Mark Martin