Almirola Completes Challenge in Watkins Glen Debut WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 10, 2008) -- Aric Almirola posted a 35th-place finish in Sunday's Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen International. It was a challenging experience for the rookie driver,...
Almirola Completes Challenge in Watkins Glen Debut
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 10, 2008) -- Aric Almirola posted a 35th-place finish in Sunday's Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen International. It was a challenging experience for the rookie driver, whose first lap on the 2.45-mile road circuit was in Saturday's practice session.
"My only experience at this track prior to this weekend was in NASCAR video games," said Almirola, who completed his sixth Cup race of the season and the 12th of his career. Almirola shares the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. ride with veteran Mark Martin.
For the majority of the race, Almirola was clicking off competitive lap times in his U.S. Army Chevrolet Impala SS. But late in the race, he was involved in a spinout, and near the end of the event he had to make an unscheduled pit stop as a result of running over debris.
"The finishing result really doesn't tell the whole story," said crew chief Tony Gibson. "Aric did a heckuva job today considering this was his first race here. Driving at a road course is not what he grew up on. It's all about experience and he showed all of us on this team that he has the potential. He's our future."
Almirola was both candid and positive about his second career Cup performance on a road course.
"My goal was to stay on the pavement, finish the race and gain more experience in road course racing," said Almirola. "I felt I did some good things out there today and some not so good things. Overall, I was thrilled to be in the Army Chevy and competing with the big dogs. I think of our soldiers in a time like this. We'll never quit, we'll continue the fight and work even harder to complete the mission."
The No. 8 team remains 15th in Sprint Cup owner points.
Almirola's next race in the No. 8 DEI Chevy will be Aug. 23 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Mark Martin will drive the No. 8 entry next week at Michigan International Speedway.