Almirola 27th at Sonoma
Farmer John Ford Driver Runs as High as Sixth, Hindered by Late-Race Incident
Date: June 6, 2021
Event: Save Mart 350k (Round 16 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (2.52-mile, 12-turn road course)
Format: 90 laps, broken into four stages (20 laps/20 laps/50 laps)
Start/Finish: 26th / 27th (Running, completed 92 of 92 laps)
Point Standing: 28th (205 points, 459 out of first)
Note: Race extended two laps past its scheduled 90-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):
● Aric Almirola started 26th and finished 22nd.
● Almirola dropped to 32nd early, then steadily gained position to 22nd place. He said he needed help turning to the right and in the breaking zones.
● Almirola and the Farmer John Ford team opted not to pit at the end of the stage to gain track position.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):
● Almirola started eighth and finished 15th.
● Almirola dropped to 21st and pitted under the caution period for four fresh tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments to help the No. 10 Farmer John Ford turn better to the right.
● He gained multiple positions before the stage ended and noted that his rear security in the braking zones improved.
● The team pitted at the end of the stage for four fresh tires, fuel and more adjustments.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 41-92):
● Almirola started 24th and finished 27th.
● The No. 10 Farmer John Ford driver passed teammate Chase Briscoe for eighth place with 29 laps to go.
● He pitted from sixth place on lap 63 for four fresh tires and fuel, then came of pit road in 22nd.
● During a caution on lap 71, Almirola pitted for four tires and fuel to come off pit road in 17th.
● After a caution on lap 77, Almirola restarted 15th.
● Another caution was called on lap 86. Almirola stayed out of the pits and restarted 17th.
● On the restart, multiple cars were involved in an accident in front of Almirola. He avoided them by driving off the course, but damage to the splitter forced him to the pits to repair damage.
● Almirola restarted 32nd and drove past five more cars before the checkered flag waved.
● This was Almirola’s first finish outside of the top-10 at Sonoma since joining SHR in 2018.
● Kyle Larson won the Save Mart 350k to score his ninth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season, his first at Sonoma and his first on a road course. His margin over second-place Chase Elliott was .614 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 18 laps.
● Thirty-three of the 37 drivers in the Save Mart 350k finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Sonoma with a 47-point advantage over second-place Larson.
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the nonpoints NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday, June 13, at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 8 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio beginning at 6 p.m. with the undercard NASCAR All-Star Open.