Aric Almirola earns first ever stage win at Chicagoland

Aric Almirola cruised to victory over Kyle Larson in Stage 1 of Sunday’s Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Aric Almirola earns first ever stage win at Chicagoland
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops
Kasey Kahne, Leavine Family Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Thorne Wellness
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Chevrolet Camaro WIX Filters
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield

Almirola emerged as the race leader after a round of green-flag pit stops and held off a charge from Larson before holding him over by three seconds. It’s the first career stage win for Almirola.

"My car is strong everywhere. Our car is really fast," Almirola said during the break. "The track is really slick and fast and old and we're making good grip."

Martin Truex Jr. was third, Kurt Busch fourth and Kevin Harvick fifth as Stewart-Haas Racing tool three of the top-five positions.

Also collecting stage points were Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and Erik Jones.

Blaney, who started second, quickly powered to the lead at the start as pole-winner Paul Menard dropped back to fifth.

Clint Bowyer moved into the runner-up position on Lap 13.

Five laps later, Bowyer made his way around Blaney to take the lead for the first time in the race as Blaney dropped back to second, followed by Kurt Busch.

On Lap 23, Truex – who started at the rear after his qualifying speed was disallowed Saturday – moved into the Top-10.

Early in the first run, Trevor Bayne reported that his cooling box was no longer working – not a good development considering the scorching temperatures on Sunday.

On Lap 37, Truex was among the first group of cars to hit pit road for a round of green-flag pit stops.

During the stops, Daniel Suarez was penalized for having a crew member over the wall too soon. Bowyer, who came in as the leader, was caught speeding on pit road. Bowyer was caught speeding again while serving his penalty and was forced to make a stop-and-go penalty.

Bowyer then had to make a third trip to pit road when he failed to do the ‘stop’ part of the stop-and-go penalty. When he was finished he was running 35th and two laps down.

Once the cycle of pit stops was completed on Lap 60, Almirola had moved into the race lead followed by Kurt Busch and Larson.

With 18 laps remaining in the stage, David Ragan was forced to take his No. 38 to the garage with a mechanical issue.

With 15 laps to go, Almirola held a slight advantage over Larson, followed by Kurt Busch, Truex and Harvick.

Almirola moved out to more than a three second lead over Larson with five laps left in the stage.

 

shares
comments
Paul Menard takes surprise pole at Chicagoland
Previous article

Paul Menard takes surprise pole at Chicagoland

Next article

Harvick steals Stage 2 win with daring last-lap pass at Chicagoland

Harvick steals Stage 2 win with daring last-lap pass at Chicagoland
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021