Almirola A Winner in Xfinity Race at Martinsville Speedway

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MARTINSVILLE, VA - RIS - Aric Almirola survived NASCAR Overtime to win the Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway after leading 148 laps in his No. 20 Toyota. The longtime veteran also scored the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize, finishing highest among qualified participants.

Sam Mayer, Chandler Smith, Carson Kvapil and Justin Allgaier completed the top five.

With seven laps to go in the race the tenth caution came out as multiple cars got tangled up on the front stretch. After losing the lead prior to the caution, Almirola would get get around Sam Mayer to claim the victory at Martinsville after the 11th caution came.

The win is the fifth of Almirola’s career in the Xfinity Series and his first on a short track.

Sam Mayer led on the restart to overtime, but Sheldon Creed dived inside of Mayer to make the field three-wide as he tried to get him and Almirola. Instead, Creed nearly caused himself and Mayer to spin out.

That allowed Almirola to pull away to the lead and his victory was secured when NASCAR was forced to throw a caution on the final lap for a multi-car wreck.

Almirola previously had driven for Richard Petty Motorsports and Stewart Haas Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series.  He retired from Cup competition at the end of 2023 and is driving a partial schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series this year. Almirola’s first career Xfinity win technically came for JGR in 2007 at Milwaukee but Denny Hamlin was driving the car when it crossed the finish line. Hamlin had missed the start of the race and got in the car midrace, but Almirola remained the driver of record. 

“Man, this is so awesome to win for Joe Gibbs Racing,” Almirola said. “I’ve had an asterisk next to a win for Coach (Gibbs) for 17 years and it’s so awesome to finally put a real win banner up inside the shop at Joe Gibbs Racing.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you Coach for calling me and giving me this opportunity to come and have some fun and still scratch the itch of racing but still get to spend a lot of time with my family.

The Xfinity Series will move on to Texas Motor Speedway next Saturday without Almirola.

Unofficial Results: DUDE Wipes 250, April 6, 2024 - Martinsville Speedway
Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Pts, Status, Tms, Laps, Playoff Pts
1) 6, Aric Almirola, No. 20 He Gets Us Toyota, 251, 1, 2, 59, Running, 6, 148, 6
2) 9, Sam Mayer, No. 1 10X Health Chevrolet, 251, 4, , 42, Running, 2, 11,
3) 37, Chandler Smith, No. 81 Wheelers Toyota, 251, , 8, 37, Running, 2, 3,
4) 12, Carson Kvapil, No. 88 Chevy Truck Season Chevrolet, 251, , 4, 40, Running, , ,
5) 5, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Jarrett Logistics Chevrolet, 251, , 1, 42, Running, 1, 14, 1
6) 3, Sheldon Creed, No. 18 Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota, 251, 2, 6, 45, Running, , ,
7) 17, Sammy Smith, No. 8 TMC Transportation Chevrolet, 251, , 3, 38, Running, 1, 42,
8) 2, Cole Custer, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford, 251, 3, 5, 43, Running, 1, 27,
9) 11, Jesse Love #, No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet, 251, , , 28, Running, , ,
10) 23, Josh Williams, No. 11 Call811.com Chevrolet, 251, , , 27, Running, , ,
11) 19, Shane Van Gisbergen #, No. 97 WeatherTech Chevrolet, 251, , , 26, Running, , ,
12) 18, Parker Kligerman, No. 48 Spiked Lite Coolers Chevrolet, 251, , , 25, Running, 1, 5,
13) 16, Taylor Gray(i), No. 19 Place of Hope Toyota, 251, , , 0, Running, , ,
14) 24, Brennan Poole, No. 44 Macc Door Systems Chevrolet, 251, , , 23, Running, , ,
15) 7, Anthony Alfredo, No. 5 Dude Wipes Chevrolet, 251, 6, , 27, Running, , ,
16) 30, Blaine Perkins, No. 29 AutoParkit.com Ford, 251, , , 21, Running, , ,
17) 8, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 Sci Aps Ford, 251, 7, 10, 25, Running, , ,
18) 27, Hailie Deegan #, No. 15 AirBox Ford, 251, , , 19, Running, , ,
19) 34, Myatt Snider, No. 07 Superior Essex Chevrolet, 251, , , 18, Running, , ,
20) 33, Dexter Bean, No. 92 American Dream/Badger Environmental , 251, , , 17, Running, , ,
21) 14, Matt DiBenedetto, No. 38 Viking Motorsports Ford, 251, , , 16, Running, , ,
22) 21, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 Impel Union/Alliance Chevrolet, 251, , , 15, Running, , ,
23) 28, Kyle Sieg, No. 28 RSS Racing Ford, 251, , , 14, Running, , ,
24) 32, Dawson Cram #, No. 4 KSDT CPA Chevrolet, 251, , , 13, Running, , ,
25) 22, Riley Herbst, No. 98 Monster Energy Ford, 250, , , 12, Accident, , ,
26) 29, Ryan Ellis, No. 43 Costa Oil Chevrolet, 250, , , 11, Accident, , ,
27) 1, Brandon Jones, No. 9 Menards/Scotts Chevrolet, 250, , 7, 14, Accident, , ,
28) 36, Joey Gase, No. 53 Ford, 250, , , 9, Running, 1, 1,
29) 31, Garrett Smithley, No. 6 TeamJDMotorsports.com Chevrolet, 249, , , 8, Running, , ,
30) 35, Logan Bearden, No. 14 Mitchell Defense Chevrolet, 247, , , 7, Running, , ,
31) 25, Leland Honeyman #, No. 42 RANDCO Chevrolet, 244, , , 6, Running, , ,
32) 4, Jeb Burton, No. 27 Talbert's/Puryear Tank Lines Chevrolet, 242, 9, 9, 9, Accident, , ,
33) 26, Kyle Weatherman, No. 91 Tweaker Energy Drinks Chevrolet, 75, , , 4, Accident, , ,
34) 10, Austin Hill, No. 21 Bennett Transportation Chevrolet, 71, 8, , 6, Accident, , ,
35) 20, Corey Heim(i), No. 26 GearWrench Toyota, 70, , , 0, Accident, , ,
36) 15, AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Action Industries Chevrolet, 70, 5, , 7, Accident, , ,
37) 13, Parker Retzlaff, No. 31 FUNKAWAY Chevrolet, 70, 10, , 2, Accident, , ,
38) 38, Akinori Ogata, No. 35 KYOWA-EIDEMILLER Machining Toyota, 41, , , 1, Brakes, , ,
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Race Length: 251 Laps, 132.026 Miles
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 7 Mins, 48 Secs.
Average Speed: 61.984 MPH
Margin of Victory: Under Caution

Stage 1 Top 10: 20, 18, 00, 1, 16, 5, 39, 21, 27, 31
Stage 2 Top 10: 7, 20, 8, 88, 00, 18, 9, 81, 27, 39

Comments: Aric Almirola won the DUDE Wipes 250, his fifth NASCAR Xfinity Series victory.

Prior to the start, the following cars dropped to the rear of the field for the reason indicated: Nos. 7, 8, 9, 35, 42, 43, 81 (unapproved adjustments).

Failed to Qualify: (1) 74 Ryan Vargas.

Cautions: 11 for 68 laps;
Laps: 10-13 (Nos. 8, 6, 92 Incident Turn 4 [None]);
37-42 (Nos. 44, 15, 91 Incident Turn 2 [None]);
62-70 (Stage 1 Conclusion [4]);
72-80 (Nos. 15, 20, 21, 91, 42, 26, 51, 92, 14, 5, 16, 28, 31, 9 Incident Turn 1 [None]);
86-90 (No. 48 Spin Turn 2 [15]);
122-130 (Stage 2 Conclusion [48]);
171-177 (Debris Turn 3 [15]);
197-204 (Nos. 15, 6 Incident Turn 1 [4]);
235-239 (No. 39 Incident Turn 1 [92]);
245-249 (Nos. 27, 38, 51, 28, 07 Incident Frontstretch [4]);
251-251 ( [None]).

Lead Changes: 15 among 8 drivers;
B. Jones 0;
C. Custer 1-27;
A. Almirola 28-65;
S. Mayer 66-69;
S. Smith 70-111;
J. Allgaier 112-125;
J. Gase 126;
A. Almirola 127-172;
P. Kligerman 173-177;
A. Almirola 178-203;
C. Smith 204;
A. Almirola 205-238;
C. Smith 239-240;
A. Almirola 241-242;
S. Mayer 243-249;
A. Almirola 250-251.

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Ronald Fleshman and John Davison

Ron Fleshman  and John Davison are Editors at ris-news.com

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Volume 2024, Issue 4, Posted 10:54 PM, 04.06.2024