Almirola Finishes Third in Duel No. 2
Smithfield Driver To Start 61st Running of Daytona 500 in Eighth
Date: Feb. 14, 2019
Event: Gander RV Duels at Daytona
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: Twin 150-mile qualifying races that set the field for the Daytona 500
Start/Finish: 9th/3rd(Running, completed 60 of 60 laps)
Duel No. 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Duel No. 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 8th, Finished 1st/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)
● Daniel Suárez (Started 11th, Finished 11th/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)
● Clint Bowyer (Started 4th, Finished 2nd/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)
● Aric Almirola (Started 9th, Finished 3rd/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)
● Aric Almirola started Duel No. 2 from ninth place and quickly raced to eighth.
● He pitted on lap 13 for fuel and ran in third place when green-flag pit stops cycled through.
● On the final lap, the No. 22 car made a move to break up the field. Almirola fell back to fifth, but he raced his way back to third before crossing the finish line.
● Almirola will start eighth in the Daytona 500. His best Daytona 500 finish is fourth (2017).
● Stewart-Haas Racing scored three top-three finishes in the Gander RV Duels at Daytona.
● Almirola scored eight regular-season points.
● This was Almirola’s best career finish in the Duel races. His previous best Duel result was fifth in 2009, his first Duel race.
● Drivers earning odd-numbered positions from Sunday’s pole qualifying session were assigned to the first Duel race. Drivers earning even-numbered positions from pole qualifying competed in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race were based on qualifying times.
Aric Almirola, diver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Our Smithfield Ford Mustang drove great tonight. I knew Joey was going to try to make a move at some point, but I didn’t know if it was going to be on the front or backstretch. We were able to finish third to put us in a decent starting position for the Daytona 500.”
The 61st running of the Daytona 500 starts at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 1 p.m.