Aric Almirola shakes up NASCAR Cup Playoffs with unexpected win at New Hampshire

July 18, 2021 By Reid Spencer NASCAR Wire Service With a stunning victory in Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Aric Almirola sent shock waves through the NASCAR Cup Series’ Playoff standings. With hard-charging Christopher Bell closing behind him, Almirola crossed the finish line at the 1.058-mile track .657 seconds ahead of the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to win the third race of his career and give Stewart-Haas Racing its first ostensible Playoff berth of the 2021 campaign. After battling Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney—who waged their own internecine war shortly after the…

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Matt DiBenedetto relies on faith to deal with the stress of racing, life

One might think a NASCAR Cup Series driver who is working in the last year of his contract and who is essentially in a must-win situation in terms of making the NASCAR Playoffs would be under a tremendous amount of stress. Add to that, the same driver is in the midst of putting the finishing touches on and moving into a new home which, as anyone who has ever taken on that task knows, is not an easy chore. Those circumstances describe the current life situation of Matt DiBenedetto. But even with all of those things going on, the 29-year-old driver…

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Christopher Bell points out the uniqueness of Road America

In the world of oval track racing, there isn’t always the greatest amount of variety. While the lengths of the tracks and the degree of banking may vary, the shape from one to another is relatively simple as there are basically four left turns and two straightaways. While yes, one of those “straights” may sometimes be bent to form a D-shape or a tri-oval, the differences among them are only slightly greater than subtle. Fans, media, and the competitors themselves have acknowledged the sameness of oval tracks by sometimes applying the term “cookie cutter” to them as a descriptor. However,…

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Pre-race Information for the NASCAR All-Star Race

The Race: NASCAR All-Star Race The Track: Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile quad-oval with banked turns. Race Distance: 100 laps Race Format: The race is broken into a total of six segments. Round 1– This will be a 15-lap segment. At the end, there will be an invert to set the starting order for the next round. Somewhere between the first 8 and 12 positions will be inverted based on a random draw. Round 2- This will be a 15-lap segment with the entire field inverted to set the starting order for the next round. Round 3- This will…

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With momentum on his side, Kyle Larson looking forward to Eldora

Kyle Larson has won the last two NASCAR Cup Series races by claiming every stage victory in each of those events along the way. Now the Elk Grove, CA native will carry that momentum to the Eldora Speedway for this week’s twin Dirt Late Model Dream races that will begin at the famed Rossburg, OH dirt track on Wednesday. The 28-year-old racer has also won in Sprint Car races during the time span around his Coca-Cola 600 win on Memorial Day weekend and his most recent win on the road course this Sunday at Sonoma Raceway. With the next race…

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Rick Hendrick and HMS drivers pushing to continue dominant run

To say that Hendrick Motorsports has things going their way right now on the NASCAR Cup Series would be a massive understatement. The organization based only a short distance from the Charlotte Motor Speedway has won six of the first fifteen races on the 2021 schedule, including the last three. All four of their drivers have essentially locked themselves into the NASCAR Playoffs by winning at least one race and the company’s total of laps led to this point is nothing short of impressive. Sunday night that dominance by the team that employs Chevrolet Camaros as its racers was clearly…

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Kyle Larson’s Coca-Cola 600 goal is clear

Everyone who watches the NASCAR Cup Series on a regular basis has seen the statistics. Kyle Larson wins sometimes, but he finishes second more often. Indeed, the Elk Grove, CA native is currently on a streak of three consecutive runner-up results and has finished in that spot a total of four times in the first fourteen races of the 2021 season. Perhaps more frustrating to Larson and his fans is that he has seemingly had the car to beat multiple times this year in which he ultimately did not come away as the victor. Away from the NASCAR Cup Series…

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Chad Knaus a bit surprised by Hendrick Motorsports revival

Any discussion of the greatest crew chiefs in NASCAR history must include the name Chad Knaus. The pit boss is best known as the leader of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team that piled up race wins and championships with driver Jimmie Johnson. Now, however, the 49-year-old from Rockford, Ill. has a new role with the organization at which he has spent most of his career in racing. After a stint in which he served as crew chief for young William Byron, Knaus stepped down from the pit box late in 2020 to assume the role of vice president of…

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William Byron and Rudy Fugle clicking on all cylinders for HMS

If a follower of the NASCAR Cup Series had been told coming into the 2021 season that after twelve races there would be a driver who was working on a string of ten consecutive top-10 finishes several names probably would have come up before arriving at William Byron as the choice. However, that is exactly the case for the 23-year-old driver of the famed No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports as the Charlotte native has collected one win as a part of those top-10 results which have him ranked third in the overall standings. Compared to the first twelve races…

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Kyle Larson hoping to capitalize on recent strong runs with Dover win

Kyle Larson has scored one win so far in 2021 but it feels as if the Hendrick Motorsports driver should have more victories considering that he has been in contention on multiple occasions. The Elk Grove, CA native did wheel the No. 5 Chevrolet into victory lane at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway but came up short in other events after looking like a potential winner. Larson led 269 laps at the Atlanta Motor Speedway before being tracked down by Ryan Blaney late in the going and ultimately finishing second. He ran at the front of the field for 132…

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