ARIC ALMIROLA – 2020 Kansas II Race Report

Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 33 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 16th/13th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 13th with 2,167 points

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

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

● Aric Almirola started 16th and finished 14th.
● The No. 10 Ford driver raced as high as 11th in Stage 1.
● He battled loose-handling conditions at the beginning of the stage and tight-handling conditions towards the end.
● Almirola pitted at the end of the stage for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

●  Almirola started 18th and finished 15th.
● Almirola pitted under caution for four tires and fuel on lap 146. He said his balance was the best it had been all day.
● He restarted 18th and drove to the top-15 before the end of the stage.
● Almirola pitted for two tires and fuel after the stage ended.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

● Aric Almirola started third and finished 13th.
● The Smithfield Ford driver pushed the No. 18 towards the front on the restart, but fell towards the middle of the pack due to extremely tight-handling conditions.
● Almirola pitted on lap 202 for four tires and fuel under caution.
● He found the most speed of the day in the final stage and raced his way back to 13th before the checkered flag waved.

Notes:

●  This was Almirola’s second straight top-15 at Kansas. He finished sixth in the series’ previous visit to the track in July.
●  Joey Logano won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his 26th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his third at Kansas. His margin of victory over second-place Kevin Harvick was .312 of a second.
●  This was Ford’s series-leading 18th NASCAR Cup Series win of the season and its 704th all-time Cup Series victory.
●  This was Ford’s ninth NASCAR Cup Series victory at Kansas. Ford won its first race on Oct. 5, 2005 with Mark Martin. Its previous win came in May 2019 with Brad Keselowski.
●  There were six caution periods for a total of 31 laps.
●  Twenty-three of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
●  Harvick remains the championship leader after Kansas with a 21-point advantage over second-place Denny Hamlin.

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

“We battled loose-handling conditions, tight-handling conditions, and then found some neutral balance here and there. For such a cold day we rallied back to race for a top-10 and just came up short. We still have some good tracks left to try and get a win at in 2020.”

Next Up: 

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Sunday, Oct. 25 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It is the eighth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 8. It starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.