ARIC ALMIROLA – 2018 Michigan I Race Report

June 10th, 2018

Event:               FireKeepers Casino 400(Round 15 of 36)
Series:               Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Format:            200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish:      6th / 11th (Running, completed 133 of 133 laps in a rain-shortened race)
Point Standing:  11th(433points, 231out of first)

Race Winner:    Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner:Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60): 

  • Aric Almirolastarted sixth and finished 10thto earn one bonus point.
  • The Mobil 1 driver battled a tight-handling condition throughout the stage, noting that he was also losing lateral grip.
  • Almirola maintained a top-five spot through the first 28 laps, but after rolling through his box too far on pit road Almirola restarted 17thon lap 29.
  • The Mobil 1 driver quickly moved up two spots to break back into the top-15.
  • On the final lap of the stage, Almirola made a jump on the restart to gain four positions, ultimately ending Stage 1 in 10th.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120): 

  • Started 14th and finished 17th.
  • The Mobil 1 driver wheeled his way back into the top-10 by the halfway point in Stage 2.
  • Almirola reported a tight-handling condition on throttle as Stage 2 progressed, but he noted the team did make progress on handling from Stage 1.
  • The Mobil 1 crew opted to take four tires rather than two during the lap-86 caution period. The first car on four fresh tires was in spot 14, and Almirola restarted 15th.
  • Almirola was shuffled back to 17thon the following restart, where he ultimately finished the stage. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-133): 

  • Started 14th and finished 11th.
  • Almirola raced his Mobil 1 machine up to 11th by lap 129 before rain began falling and ended the event on lap 133. 

Notes:

  •  This was Almirola’s 13th top-15 of 2018.
  • Almirola earned his best finish at Michigan in 12 career NASCAR Cup Series starts. His previous best result at Michigan was 12th, earned last August.
  • Almirola finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn one bonus point.
  • The FireKeepers Casino 400 was completed under caution, with rain ending the race after 133 of its scheduled 200 laps.
  • There were eight caution periods for a total of 30 laps.
  • Twenty-nine of the 39 drivers in the FireKeepers Casino 400 finished on the lead lap.

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

“Man, I hate it for our guys. We had such a fast Mobil 1 Ford Fusion. I’m proud of our guys, and I’m looking forward to coming back to the track at Sonoma.”

Next Up: 

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 24 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.