September 26, 2016
ichard Petty Motorsports
Bad Boy Off Road 300 Race Report
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Bad Boy Off Road 300 Race Results:
1: Kevin Harvick
17: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford
Richard Petty Motorsports teams competed in the Bad Boy Off Road 300 at the one-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. on Sunday afternoon- the second race of the NASCAR playoffs.
The No. 43 Smithfield Ford team raced from 26th to 17th on Sunday, after racing as high as 13th in the closing laps before a late-race restart. The performance was one of the best for the team all season, although the finish didn’t show the progress made.
Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford
Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team continued to show strength on tracks less than a mile-and-a-half on Sunday. Almirola finished 17th in Sunday’s race where track position was at a premium. The pit crew had fast pit stops, Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer executed a strong race strategy and adjustments late helped Alrmirola pass to the front.
Starting 26th, Almirola advanced to race in the 22nd and 21st position for the first half of the race. A lack of cautions, the team eventually went a lap down and was forced to take the wave around to get back on the Lead Lap.
Once back on the Lead Lap, and with a series of adjustments made to the No. 43 Smithfield Ford, Almirola was able to move from 21st into the Top-15. He raced as high as 13th late in the race before a caution waved. The team took four tires on the last restart, but Almirola was stuck in traffic and wasn’t able to race for a Top-10. A fast car, Almirola was able to get back in line and finish 17th.
“The last restart hurt us and that is too bad,” said Almirola. “Overall, this was a good day for our Smithfield Ford Fusion. We had a Top-15 car and had a chance at a Top-10 at the end. Drew made good calls and we put ourselves in a good position at the end of the race. We just didn’t need that last caution. The last restart, we didn’t have a good line. We were a little better on longer runs and track position hurt us right there at the end.”