ARIC ALMIROLA – 2020 Daytona Road Course Race Report

Event: Inaugural Go Bowling 235 (Round 23 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (14-turn, 3.61-mile road course)
Format: 65 laps, broken into three stages (15 laps/15 laps/35 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/24th (Running, completed 65 of 65 laps)
Point Standing: 8th (682 points, 257 out of first)

Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-15):

●  Aric Almirola started sixth and finished 21st.
●  The No. 10 Go Bowling Ford Mustang driver pitted on lap 12 for four tires and fuel. He said the car needed more power off the turns.
●  Almirola came off pit road in the top-25 and stayed out of the pits at the end of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 16-30):

●  Almirola started 12th  and finished 18th.
●  He pitted under green on lap 27 for four tires and fuel from 13th place.
●  Almirola was instructed to take care of his tires when he returned to the track.
●  He stayed out at the end of the stage to gain track position.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 31-65):

●  Almirola started 12th and finished 24th.
●  The red flag was raised on lap 37 due to lightning in the area.
●  Almirola pitted on lap 37 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments before racing resumed.
●  The Go Bowling Ford driver pitted under green on lap 50. He noted high temperatures in his No. 10 Ford.
●  The caution came out on lap 60 with Almirola scored 13th. He pitted for four tires and fuel to restart 19th.
●  Almirola had a promising restart until he was caught behind two cars and nearly avoided an accident, ultimately demoting him outside of the top-20.

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Go Bowling Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We started to gain momentum there at the end and thought we could have put the Go Bowling Ford Mustang inside the top-10. Unfortunately, that caution came out and we pitted. I was caught behind some cars on the restart with nowhere to go. That’s road-course racing. Not the day we wanted, but we kept the car on the track and in one piece. We’ll regroup and go to Dover where we know we can bring speed.”

Notes:

●  This was Almirola’s first race of any kind on the Daytona road course.
●  Chase Elliott won the inaugural Go Bowling 235 to score his eighth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his fourth on a road course. His margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .202 of a second.
●  There were four caution periods for a total of seven laps.
●  Thirty-two of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
●  Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Daytona with a 118-point advantage over second-place Hamlin.

Next Up: 

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is a doubleheader Aug. 22-23 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Each race is 311 laps around the 1-mile, concrete oval. Start time for each race is 4 p.m. EDT and live coverage of both will be provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.