WATCH: Aric Almirola Earns Third Place in a Bizarre Manner in the Most Thrilling Finish of the 2020 NASCAR Season

Published 12/03/2020, 9:25 AM EST
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)


The NASCAR 2020 Geico 500 race at the much renowned Talladega Superspeedway, arguably produced the best finish to a race in the 2020 season. Although Ryan Blaney eventually claimed the win, there was much more happening until the end of the race.

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The finish from Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola was dramatic, to say the least. It was sensational, considering he was down in the midfield places for quite a long time in the race.

Blaney defended the inside line very well from Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Denny Hamlin, but ultimately it went down to the wire. The Team Penske driver just about edged Stenhouse, to seal the race win in his favor.

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Aric Almirola backed up in reverse to cross the line in third place

The manner in which the race had stacked up, at least four drivers were in with a genuine shot at winning the race. Although Blaney had the advantage going into the final lap in overtime, he was under tremendous pressure from the likes of Stenhouse Jr, Hamlin, and even Almirola.

However, receiving a push from behind with meters to spare to the checkered flag, the Stewart-Haas No.10 went spinning wide from the main track. Despite that, he did just about enough to back it up in reverse gear and finished behind Blaney and Stenhouse Jr.

After the conclusion of the race, Almirola stated, “When I crossed through the tri‑oval, I thought we were going to win the race, I was going so much faster than they were. I just barely got clipped by I think the 47 and spun across the start/finish line, ended up third.

“I’m happy to finish top five another week in a row. Felt like we were really close to winning that one.”

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Disappointing fortunes for some of the top NASCAR stars

Hendrick Motorsports did not enjoy a great day at the office. With two of their best drivers finishing in dismal track positions. Elliott retired from the race, following a crash that involved him getting caught between Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.

Lincoln, Alabama, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron (24) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) go below the double yellow line coming out of turn 4 on the final lap during the Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson similarly finished the race in 13th place, with his rivals just having enough speed to keep him at bay. The seven-time NASCAR champion had to complete the race without a Top 10 finish, and that possibly summarized the tone of the entirety of the race.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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