Stewart-Haas Racing dominated at Talladega 500, Aric Almirola wins
Aric Almirola wins the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in the #10 Ford Fusion of Stewart-Haas Racing in a dramatic overtime finish when his teammate Kurt Busch came out of fuel on the last lap. It’s the second NASCAR Cup Series win in Almirola’s career and it secured him a spot in the Round of 8 of the Playoffs.
Almirola won the race ahead of third SHR teammate Clint Bowyer in the #14 Ford. Led by Kurt Busch, the four SHR drivers swept the top four starting positions in Saturday’s qualifying session. In the race, Busch won the first stage, Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Almirola. At the end of Stage 2, Harvick was in front, followed by Bowyer, Busch and Almirola. With that stage win, Harvick scored enough stage points to clinch a spot in the Round of 8 of the Cup Playoffs.
The SHR drivers were running 1-2-3-4 with three laps left when playoff driver Alex Bowman lost control of his #88 Chevrolet in Turn 4 to cause the eighth caution of the afternoon. When Harvick and two more playoff drivers Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney came to pit road, Busch held the lead during overtime but his fuel was out in Turn 4 of Lap 193, handing a victory to Aric Almirola. With the runner-up finish, Bowyer climbed to the sixth place in the playoff standings.
The last race in the Round of 12 would be the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 21.