Aric Almirola is targeting his fifth overall Top 10 & first Top 5 finish on Saturday at Kansas Speedway.
He has been in a positive headspace for Stewart-Haas Racing so far this season after he came home 7th and 11th at Talladega and Dover respectively.
Aric Almirola’s terrible wreck at Kansas 12 months ago
Before we look at his overall Cup record, Almirola comes here this weekend with a sad occasion over towards Turn 2.
12 months ago, he got involved in a big pile-up with Joey Logano and Danica Patrick that saw his then No.43 smashed straight to Logano at high speed.
It took a while for the medics to work tirelessly to get Almirola out of the car and send him to hospital.
Fortunately, Almirola managed to walk away from the hospital a couple of days later as he needs 8-12 weeks to recover from a back injury.
It’s a shame that he missed the races that required him to sit out.
However, he did fully recover in time after the expected 12-week mark when Almirola returned to the car by New Hampshire in Mid-July.
So, credit to the medics & team management from Richard Petty Motorsports in assisting in his recovery and staying on the mend.
Aric Almirola’s Cup Kansas Speedway Record
He made 12 Cup Series appearances at Kansas Speedway having clocked 2832 of 3206 laps with a percentage of 88.5%.
During his debut at the 1.5-mile track, Almirola started 26th before he came home 23rd with three laps down on April 22, 2012.
Almirola may have endured a challenging first year at Kansas where he came 29th.
However, he struck three straight Top 10 finishes between the Spring races of 2013-2014. One of which is his best place finish in 8th on two Kansas Spring races.
- 8th, April 2013
- 10th, October 2013
- 8th, May 2014
He since has an inconsistent run over the next three years where the only time Almirola performed closer towards the Top 10 is P11 back on May 9, 2015.
- 31st, October 2014
- 11th, May 2015
- 24th, October 2015
- 18th, May 2016
- 40th, October 2016
- 38th, May 2017
Since he returned to Kansas as a 100% active driver in October 2017, Almirola posted his first Top 10 in two and a half years by coming home in 9th place.
- 12 events
- 2832 of 3206 laps completed, 88.5%
- 69 laps led
- Highest Qualifying Position: 3rd, October 2014
- Best Finish: 8th, April 2013 & May 2014
- Four Top 10s, 33.3%
- Average Start: 16.8 & Finish: 20.8
- DNFs: Three, Crash (October 2012, 2016 & May 2017).
- Average Driver Rating: 73.6
Aric Almirola’s 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season so far.
- 11 races
- 3476 of 3635 laps completed, 95.6%
- One Lap led
- Best Qualifying Position: 10th at Martinsville, March 2017
- Highest finish: Bristol, April 2017
- Four Top 10 finishes, 36.4%
- Average Start: 22.3 and Finish: 12.7
- DNF: One, Crash (Texas).
- He sits 11th in the Drivers’ Standings with 304 points.
Almirola’s P11 result from Dover is excellent as he at least picked up points after the checkered flag.
However, he may look for a bit more room for improvement when it comes to staying consistent with his SHR team-mates such as Harvick, Bowyer, and Ku. Busch.
Maybe, Almirola would need a bit more time with the long green flag runs to pass more cars especially when a few cautions came out as some of the competitors opted to change their strategy.
That’s where it hurt Almirola’s chances of finishing inside the Top 10.
Next time, he would like more green flag runs to enable to stick with his long speed runs & go for his first Top 5 on Saturday.
Apart from that, Almirola is on a rollercoaster since he’s now at SHR.
Racing with top quality equipment alongside a group of experienced team-mates does benefit Almirola’s positive approach which racked up Four Top 10s so far in 2018.
As long as the No.10 Ford Fusion is still fast, Almirola can again challenge his team-mates and the front-runners to be the third SHR driver to visit victory lane anytime soon.
He only needs to remain patient and calm throughout the entire three stages; then he’ll come right come Saturday night at Kansas.
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Feature Image and Statistics: Racing Reference.
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