It has been a bit since Aric Almirola claimed victory in the cup series....like a few years since his last win. There have been plenty of rumors about whether or not he will still be in the 10 car for Stewart Haas Racing after this season, but snagging this victory almost out of nowhere will do him a lot of good to make sure he gets a ride somewhere beyond this season. It was a bizarre race that started out on a really weird note. NASCAR waved the green flag despite concerns of rain on the track - and just 6 laps in some of the biggest contenders ran into problems.
Kyle Busch was really frustrated with NASCAR, so he decided to bump the pace car(?) which I guess he thought would prove a point? Seems dangerous and stupid to me.
Anyway, the race was red flagged and basically reset just 6 laps in. With some contenders already out, it was due to be a really interesting race. Lots of scenarios were in play - guys are trying to lock down points to secure or bolster their playoff spot, while other drivers are fighting for their best finishes to ensure that they can get a seat next season. Matt Dibenedettoand his team took a gamble to stay out as it started to get dark on the track, but he ended up having to pit. That left the door open for Aric Almirola to steal the spotlight...and he did!
Almirola's surprise win had MAJOR implications on the NASCAR playoff picture. You can see the full standings HERE, but a snapshot showing just how tight things are at the 16 cut line.
NASCAR is now on a few week break as their TV partner NBC broadcasts the Olympics. They will return to action at Watkins Glen on August 8th. Only 4 races remain before the playoffs and I am sure it will be wild!