Bristol: Aric Almirola race report

Almirola Boasts Sixth at Bristol Bristol, TN, (August 21, 2009)-Aric Almirola piloting the No. 15 Graceway Pharmaceuticals NASCAR Camping World Truck posted a sixth-place finish in the O'Reilly 200 race at Bristol Motor Speedway...

Almirola Boasts Sixth at Bristol

Bristol, TN, (August 21, 2009)-Aric Almirola piloting the No. 15 Graceway Pharmaceuticals NASCAR Camping World Truck posted a sixth-place finish in the O'Reilly 200 race at Bristol Motor Speedway Wednesday, August 19, 2009.

Almirola placed the Billy Ballew Motorsports entry in the seventh-place position on the starting grid for the 200 lap race on the .533-mile racetrack with a time of 15.977 seconds at a speed of 120.098 miles per hour.

From the start of the Camping World Truck Series race, Almirola had maintained a top-10 position when the first caution flag flew on lap 34. He reported to the team that the Graceway Pharmaceuticals truck was "wrecking loose" asking for major adjustments on the pit stop.

The team came down pit road on lap 36 for four tires and returned on lap 37 for fuel and adjustments sending Almirola out for the restart in the 11th-place position.

Almirola didn't feel the adjustments helped and pitted on lap 53 for a chassis adjustment and fuel. He returned on lap 54 for two right side tires restarting in his lowest running position of the race, 24th-place position.

When the caution flag flew on again on lap 66 Almirola reported that the rear of the truck was still loose but more drivable. The team opted to come back down pit road for a round of wedge out of the truck and two left tires.

The stops helped the truck but were costly in position for the team restarting in the 20th-place position on lap 73. Almirola used his driving talent and patience to battle through the slower traffic around him on the high banked oval, advancing to the 14th-place position by lap 150.

Almirola radioed crew chief, Doug George, telling him the truck was better but was still a bit "free" off the corners. With the laps dwindling and track position key on the short track the call was risky, but George brought Almirola down pit road one last time on lap 153 for the adjustment and fresh right side tires. The pit stop was infallible with Almirola returning to the track in the 10th-place position for the restart on lap 158.

Almirola was able to advance four positions picking up a sixth place finish in the No. 15 Graceway Pharmaceuticals truck in the O'Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Almirola has scored three top-five and four top-10 finishes in six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts for Ballew in 2009.

"Our truck was pretty good," Aric Almirola said. "I don't know if we had a bad set of tires in practice or what, but we started the race way, way too loose. I was just hanging on for dear life. These guys worked really, really hard in the pits and they made a lot of changes. We came down pit road a lot and gave up a lot of track position, but they got the truck driving a lot better and it turned out to be a decent night for us."

According to NASCAR Loop Statistical Data, Aric Almirola posted 36 green flag passes, the most passes during green flag conditions in the 200 lap race at Bristol Motor Speedway Wednesday night.

Almirola will return to the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports entry for the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, Friday, August 28, 2009.

-credit: bbm

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Aric Almirola