Engine Issue Halts Almirola's Charge in Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 7, 2007) -- Just when the break came for the 01 team to play out its strategy, Aric Almirola reported to the crew that he was having engine problems in his U.S. Army ...
Engine Issue Halts Almirola's Charge in Talladega
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 7, 2007) -- Just when the break came for the 01 team to play out its strategy, Aric Almirola reported to the crew that he was having engine problems in his U.S. Army Chevrolet. A short time later the engine expired, forcing Almirola to retire from Sunday's Nextel Cup race prematurely with a 30th-place finish.
While running in the mid 30s and in the safe zone at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway, Almirola avoided the big wreck in Turn 4 on Lap 146 of 188. After the dust and smoke cleared from the 11-car melee, Almirola jumped to 18th place, but more importantly, he was back in the lead draft.
"For a moment, I thought we had a great shot of coming out of this race with a pretty good result," said crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "Aric missed the wreck and I felt this was the break we needed to make a late-race charge."
But Pemberton's optimism quickly turned to dismay when Almirola radioed that the engine was losing power. Almirola stayed on the track as long as possible before driving the Dale Earnhardt Inc. Car of Tomorrow to the garage on Lap 156.
"Obviously some of our other teammates with the same motor package had issues," said Almirola, who was competing in his first Talladega Cup race. "I am not really sure why. But I am sure all the guys in the engine department will do their homework and figure out what happened."
"I felt like we had a good strategy going -- hopefully to get fuel only at the end and trying to get ourselves in position to get a good finish," added Almirola. "I am disappointed, but it's not because of a lack of effort. These guys on this Army team worked really hard all day and had great pit stops."
This was Almirola's fourth career Cup event and his third with the 01 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team. He is scheduled to drive in two more Cup races this season -- at Martinsville, Va. (Oct. 21 ) and at Phoenix (Nov. 11).
The 01 DEI team remained 14th in owner points.