“Maximize Every Single Day” – Aric Almirola on His Strategy to Advance in the Playoffs

Published 09/03/2021, 11:02 AM EDT
Jul 18, 2021; Loudon, New Hampshire, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola (10) enters turn four at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports


In the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Aric Almirola currently sits in 14th place in the championship. So for the next four races, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver will have to battle hard to escape elimination. Ahead of the first playoff race at the Darlington Raceway, Almirola revealed his strategy to tackle the season.

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He said, “It really boils down to, as simple as, you just have to maximize every single day.

“You can never, in the playoffs, have an off weekend and finish 18th or 20th. It’s just not acceptable and it puts you in such a hole that it requires you to win or run Top 5 in the next two races of that round. You can’t have an average finish of 15th in any of the round and expect to go to the next round.”

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According to the #10 driver, everyone is expected to perform at a high level. For obvious reasons, the playoff drivers need to turn in flawless drives and make minimal mistakes. At this juncture, stage points are hugely important and they have to maximize every race.

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What else did Aric Almirola say?

He continued, “As you go through the rounds, winning become more and more imperative. When I look at the year, I look at what our strengths are. At Nashville, we qualified on pole and ran in the Top 5. Then we went to Loudon (New Hampshire) with the 750 package, with a car just like we had at Nashville. We started 22nd and drove all the way to the lead and won the race.”

BROOKLYN, MI – JUNE 12: Aric Almirola, driver of the #51 Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota, stands on the grid during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway on June 12, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

For now, Almirola and teammate Kevin Harvick are flying the flag for Stewart-Haas Racing. The duo know that they will be in for a tough battle, with strong and talented opponents. Aric Almirola already has bragging rights over Harvick, as he has one win to none for the latter. Nevertheless, all 16 drivers are starting the playoffs on a clean slate.

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Dhruv George

11989 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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