Aric Almirola’s Day Ends Early in Xfinity Series Season Opener at Daytona
Smithfield/DenBeste Water Solutions Driver Collected in Late-Race Accident
Date: Feb. 17, 2018
Event: Powershares QQQ 300 (Round 1 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Raceway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 120 laps, broken into three stages (30 laps/30 laps/60 laps)
Start/Finish: 13th/35th (Accident, completed 121 of 143 laps in overtime)
Race Winner: Tyler Reddick of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):
● Aric Almirola started Stage 1 in the 13th position and reached the top-10 before completing it in 15th.
● The Tampa, Florida, native pitted on lap 10 for fuel, four tires and adjustments.
● Almirola pitted at the conclusion of Stage 1 for fuel and adjustments to improve the No. 98 machine’s handling.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-60):
● The Ford driver began Stage 2 from the fourth spot, and finished second.
● At the end of the stage, Almirola made his third pit stop of the day for two right-side tires and fuel only.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 61-143):
● The 33-year-old started the final stage in the first position.
● After jockeying for positions throughout the final stage Almirola restarted fourth with five scheduled laps remaining in the race.
● Unfortunately, Almirola was caught up in a multi-car accident during the first overtime attempt which ultimately ended his day.
● This marks Almirola’s 10th NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and 101st career Xfinity start.
● Almirola led one time for four laps in the Smithfield/DenBeste Water Solutions Ford, bringing his Xfinity Series Daytona laps led total to 16.
●12 cautions slowed the race for 49 laps
●The race went 23 laps past the scheduled 120-lap distance.
●Tyler Reddick won the Powershares QQQ 300 to score his second careerXfinity Series victory, first of the season and first at Daytona. His margin of victory over second-place Elliot Sadler was .001 seconds.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 98 Smithfield/DenBeste Water Solutions Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi DenBeste:
“I hate that we got caught up in a wreck. Our Ford Mustang was really fast and I thought we were going to get us another Xfinity victory, but unfortunately we didn’t. I’m really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste. They brought some really nice race cars for speedway racing.”
The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Atlanta 250 on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1.