St. Louis: Aric Almirola race notes

ARIC ALMIROLA POSTS SEASON-BEST FINISH AT GATEWAY Driver of No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado Overcomes Radio Problems to Finish 10th Madison, IL - Despite loss of radio contact with his crew on lap three, Aric Almirola and the No. 75 ...

ARIC ALMIROLA POSTS SEASON-BEST FINISH AT GATEWAY
Driver of No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado Overcomes Radio Problems to Finish 10th

Madison, IL - Despite loss of radio contact with his crew on lap three, Aric Almirola and the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado team brought home the 10th place finishing position at Gateway International Raceway. The top-10 finish netted the Tampa, FL native the Raybestos Rookie of the Race award as well.

The normal team procedure of radio check as soon as Almirola buckled in the truck on pit road didn't indicate any problems. But by the third lap, the crew could no longer here him. They switched radios, did everything they could but the Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender drove the entire race listening to the crew but unable to respond.

As a result of the weather issues, qualifying was canceled and the field lined up by the top-30 in 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series owner's points and provisions set forth in the rulebook. Almirola lined up in the 22nd starting spot for the 160-lap, 200-mile Ram Tough 200.

Great pit strategy by crew chief Dave McCarty gave Almirola the ever-important track position Almirola needed in the top-10 runners. The Joe Gibbs Racing development driver stayed there to finish in 10th.

"What a night. I am pretty happy with our finish," said Almirola. "When we rolled off of pit road for the start, I could talk to my crew and they could hear me and me them. Then about three laps into the race, they couldn't hear me, we changed radios and every thing else we could think of but I went the whole night trying to give Dave and the crew hand signals to tell them what was going on with the truck.

"I am pretty proud of our team and how we rallied back and got a decent finish. It helped us with the cautions because I could get them some signals about the truck. It got pretty crazy there at the end. We stayed out on older tires so they guys that had fresher tires got us there in the last few laps but still, the gamble for track position Dave took really paid off for us and we got our first top-10 of the season."

Almirola now sits 17th in NCTS driver's points as the series heads to Lowe's Motor Speedway for the May 19th Quaker Steak and Lube 200.

-sm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Aric Almirola
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing