November 21, 2016, Blog, homeslider
Richard Petty Motorsports
Ford EcoBoost 300 Race Report
Ford EcoBoost 300 Results:
1: Daniel Suarez
10: Aric Almirola, No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford
Aric Almirola competed in his tenth NASCAR XFINITY Series race of the 2016 season this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. One of the fastest cars during the two practice sessions, the No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford Mustang was loose at times, but had great turn that allowed Aric Almirola to move all over the track. When the green flag dropped, Almirola was in 15th place and quickly started moving forward, getting as high as the ninth position.
When the third caution came on Lap 90, Almirola was in 14th place and providing feedback to the team on the car’s loose conditions. Crew Chief Jon Hanson had made adjustments to the car on the previous pit stop to work on the car’s balance, and Almirola was happy with the improvements. The team called him back down under the Lap 90 caution to give him four new tires, pull out a packer and make a wedge adjustment. Almirola restarted in the 14th position and had his best take off of the night. When the green flag dropped, Almirola shot through the field and was in fourth place within four laps.
He got as high as the third position before the car started turning loose again. Another caution flag came out on Lap 138, and the team made the first gamble of the night from fifth place. With only one set of fresh tires left, Almirola stayed on track to restart in first place. The whole field fanned out on the restart, and Almirola was shuffled back to 12th place. The No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford team made the same gamble again on the next caution and restarted in first place again. Almirola had the oldest tires of the field and fell back to 18th place, the last car on the lead lap. The team finally got the caution they needed at the end of the race to take advantage of being the only team left with a set of sticker tires. But, with only three laps remaining at the drop of the green flag and restarting in the 16th position, Almriola didn’t have enough laps to get back to the front. He made it up to 10th place when he took the checkers.
“The guys brought me an awesome No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford this weekend,” said Almirola. “It was fast in practice and fast in the race. We knew that there were a couple cars better than us, so we played the strategy game to try and pull a win out of this. But, there just weren’t enough laps left there at the end to make enough moves with our sticker tires. This team worked hard and should be proud of their hustle there at the end and, really, all season. We scored a win and a handful of Top-10 finishes this year, and that’s definitely something to be proud of.”