Tony Stewart’s Conflicted Driver Gets Him Petty Salvation After Dull Darlington Outing

Published 09/05/2023, 12:19 PM EDT

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Lately, the momentum of the Fords has been coming up steadily. With RFK Racing snatching the limelight at Daytona and Michael McDowell grabbing his playoff spot with his victory at IMS, the Fords have come back into the conversation. However, some teams are doing better than others.

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2023 has not been a great season for Tony Stewart‘s Cup team. Stewart-Haas Racing is about to lose its biggest asset, Kevin Harvick, by the end of this year. Moreover, after Aric Almirola’s questionable move at Daytona, Stewart is left with double trouble. However, the number 10 Ford driver managed to salvage his race at Darlington last Sunday despite damage on a restart in Stage 2.

Aric Almirola claimed to have lost his chances due to a bump in his car

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The 39-year-old speedster started from P10, and finished 10th in stage 1, earning one bonus point. However, after running 367 laps at the ‘Lady in Black’, he made a 14th place finish altogether. Stewart’s driver claimed that all things considered, the day was a decent one for his team.

As per www.nbcsports.com, Almirola, after the race, said, “We had a top-10 car all day and the guys executed on pit road. We got damage to the nose and splitter on that restart in stage two when everyone stacked up, which wasn’t repairable and completely changed the balance of our car.”

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Almirola was unable to gain his pace back after the incident and lagged behind.

“We fought all day and stayed out of trouble and found our way from 28th back up into the top-10,” he added.

Almirola had no complaints whatsoever about his team or pit crew. He exclaimed, “I’m proud of this team and these guys for working so hard.”

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Two years ago, when an incident ended the day early for the number 10 Ford team

Darlington Speedway does not seem to be a lucky charm for Aric Almirola. He just needs to look back at 2021 Goodyear 400. Aric Almirola was able to run just 5 laps before his car hit nose-first into the inside wall. Being the first driver in the race to be out of it, Aric Almirola received his 4th DNF in his last 12 races.

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Just as he made a turn on lap 6, Almirola’s spot tightened up. As Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tailed him, Almirola was forced to lift off the throttle. Stenhouse nudged Almirola so hard that he went spinning off the corner and down the inside of the backstretch. As a result, Aric Almirola came 37th that day.

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While Josh Berry will be replacing Kevin Harvick in his #4 Ford Mustang with Rodney Childers as the crew chief, fans remain uncertain about the future of Aric Almirola & Stewart-Haas Racing.

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Written by:

Soumyadeep Saha

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Soumyadeep is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. He has done his Master's in English Literature and is a semi-professional bodybuilder. He has, in recent years, channelized his love and commitment for motorsports into a building career path.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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