Talladega II: Aric Almirola race report

Almirola's Talladega Performance Better Than 13th Place Finish TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 5, 2008) -- Aric Almirola finished an unlucky 13th in Sunday's wild Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. "Let me tell you, we were much better than...

Almirola's Talladega Performance Better Than 13th Place Finish

TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 5, 2008) -- Aric Almirola finished an unlucky 13th in Sunday's wild Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

"Let me tell you, we were much better than 13th today," said a disappointed Almirola, who was running fourth before the race went into a two-lap overtime with a green-white-checkered finish. "I got shuffled out of the draft at the end and was left without a pusher (drafting partner). It's hard to swallow, because we had a really, really fast U.S. Army Chevy today. All we needed was a strong drafting partner, but never got one."

"This was a great day for DEI and I just wish I could have been up there at the finish with my teammates Regan (Smith) and Paul (Menard)," added Almirola, who was competing in his 10th Cup race of the year and 16th of his career. "I thought it was pretty cool that three DEI cars were running second, third and fourth for the final restart. I just had an awesome car today and the finish should have been much better."

Almirola, who started third, took on the ultra-fast 2.66-mile oval with the ease of a savvy veteran. The 24-year-old rookie ran a good portion of the 190-lap race in the top five as he avoided the wreckfest that resulted in two red flags.

"Except for what happened at the end, this was a really fun race," observed Almirola, who shares the No. 8 Army ride with Mark Martin. "The folks at DEI and our ECR engine department (Earnhardt Childress Racing) built an incredible machine for me. We gave it everything we had and came so close to having a top-five or better finish."

The No. 8 DEI team moved from 15th to 14th in Sprint Cup owner points with six races remaining.

The next race for the Army team will be Saturday night (Oct. 11) at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte. Mark Martin will return to the No. 8 Chevy. Almirola's next scheduled race will be at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Oct. 19.

-credit: dei

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